Spells and Sorcery
Until last year I did not believe in spells and sorcery. However, last year one of my relatives went mad. When he had a fit, he became rigid with his eyes fixed on a certain point. We sought the help of every doctor, but in vain. Finally, we went to someone who could break spells. He recited incantations and did some other things. On the way back, the patient asked in a normal tone: "Where am I? What happened to me?" He had recovered. I now believe that sorcery is real.
Most of us have heard of or even seen such cases. As the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, declared that the evil eye is an undeniable fact, sorcery is also an undeniable reality. The Qur'an speaks about (and severely condemns) the sorcery practiced to cause a rift between spouses. According to the Qur'an and Islam, sorcery and casting spells are as sinful as unbelief.
While breaking a spell is a good, meritorious deed, it must not be adopted and practiced as a profession. Although our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, met with jinn, preached Islam to them, and took their allegiance, he never explained how to contact them or how to cast or break a spell. However, he taught how jinn approach us and seek to control us, how to protect ourselves against their evil, and how to protect ourselves against the evil eye.
The safest way to be protect ourselves against evil spirits is to have a strong loyalty to God and His Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings. This requires following the principles of Islam strictly. In addition, we should never give up praying, for prayer is a weapon against hostility, protects us from harm, and helps us to attain our goals.
Praying. Prayer does not mean to ignore and neglect material means in attaining goals. Rather, prayer can be divided into four types. First is that which reaches to the Court of God from the whole universe. For example, plants and animals pray through the tongue of their potential to achieve a full form and to manifest certain Divine Names. Second is that which is expressed in the tongue of natural needs. All living beings pray to God, the Absolutely Generous One, to satisfy their vital needs, for they cannot do so themselves. Third is that which is done in the tongue of complete helplessness. A living creature in straitened circumstances takes refuge in its Unseen Protector with a genuine supplication, and turns to its All-Merciful Lord. These three kinds of prayer are always acceptable unless somehow impeded.
The fourth type of prayer is the one we do. This also falls into two categories: active and by disposition, and verbal and with the heart. For example, acting in accordance with causes is active prayer. By complying with causes, we try to gain God's approval for our requests, for only God can produce the result. For example, plowing the soil is an active prayer, for it involves actually knocking at the door of the treasury of God's Mercy. Similarly, going to a doctor is an active prayer for recovery from illness. For this reason, believers must seek medical help when ill. Believing psychiatrists should be preferred in cases of mental illnesses, for innumerable cases show that most mental illnesses are not due to material causes and that (physical) therapy cannot cure them. Most of them require spiritual therapy. This active type of prayer is usually acceptable, for it is a direct application to the Divine Name the All-Generous.
The second type of prayer, which is done with the tongue and the heart, is the real one. It is to ask God from the heart for something that we cannot obtain on our own. Its most important aspect and finest and sweetest fruit is that the supplicants know that He hears them, is aware of whatever occurs to their hearts, has power that extends everywhere, can satisfy all their desires, and helps them because He is merciful to the weak and helpless.
Prayer is a form of worship rewarded primarily in the Hereafter. For this reason, we must not say that our prayers are not answered when we do not receive that for which we prayed. Just because a prayer is "answered" does not mean that it is "accepted" in all circumstances. There is an answer for every prayer, but its acceptance and answer depend on God's Wisdom. Suppose a sick child asks a doctor for a certain kind of medicine. The doctor either will give that medicine or something better, or will give no medicine at all, especially if there is some reason to think that it will harm the child.
Similarly, God Almighty, the All-Hearing and All-Seeing, answers His servants' prayers and changes the depression of loneliness into the pleasure of His Company. But His answer does not depend on our fancies; rather, it depends on Divine Wisdom, according to which He either gives what is requested or what is better, or He gives nothing at all. However He answers, we must pray.
As we pray for ourselves, we also must request those who we believe to be near to God to pray for us. The Companions frequently asked the Prophet to pray for them. As recorded by Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, al-Tabarani, and Umm Hani: An insane child was brought to God's Messenger, who touched him and said: "Come out, O enemy of God." Then, he washed the child's face and prayed. The child recovered. Many similar cases are narrated in the Bible. The Prophet Jesus, upon him be peace, was famous for healing the insane by God's permission and power.
Avoiding Exorcists. Some people go to exorcists. Although a few people might know how to drive out evil spirits, such activity is usually quite dangerous, for most exorcists deceive people. In addition, an exorcist must be very careful about his or her religious obligations, refrain from sin, and be an upright person who really knows what he or she is doing. Patients usually rely on exorcists and attribute their recovery to them, and also rely on the written charm or amulets they are advised to carry. However, our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, declared that God would admit into Paradise 70,000 people without calling them to account for their deeds. These people would be those who do not wear armlets or amulets, who do not consider things auspicious or inauspicious, and who trust completely in God.
Consulting Believing Psychiatrists. Believers should not go to psychiatrists or doctors who restrict themselves to a materialist view of existence. Such psychiatrists, who do not believe in the spirit and spirit beings, may advise patients suffering from spiritual dissatisfaction or spirit possession to indulge themselves in pleasure and amusement. This is like advising thirsty people to quench their thirst with salt water.
Reciting Specific Prayers. God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, mentioned that special prayers should be recited to protect oneself against the evils of Satan and other unbelieving jinn. The Verse of Throne (2:255) is one of them. We also read that: If a stimulus from Satan occurs to you, seek refuge in God immediately (41:36) by saying: "I seek refuge in God from Satan, the accursed."
As reported by 'A'isha, the Mother of Believers and one of the Prophet's wives, God's Messenger recited the chapters al-Falaq and al-Nas three times every morning and evening, and then breathed into his joined palms and rubbed them against the parts of his body he could reach. He also recited three times every morning and evening: "In the Name of God, whom nothing on the earth and in the heaven can give harm despite His Name, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing." This recitation and the following one are among the prayers advised for protection against paralysis: "I seek refuge in all of God's words from all devils and vermin and from all evil eyes."
Imam Ghazali advises us to protect ourselves against spells, charms, and evil spirits by reciting: "In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate" once, "God is the Greatest" ten times, and: The magician will not be successful wherever he appears (20:69), and from the evil of blowers upon knots (113:4). Another imam advises us to recite these two verses 19 times after each sip of any liquid.
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