Black Magic, Jinn Possession, and DIY Exorcist Aunties

In many ways, sihr, or black magic, is linked to superstition, yet even some of the most devout Muslims believe in its existence, regardless of whether or not they are educated or uneducated, rich or poor.
In the Muslim world, it’s common for men and women to visit healers for all sorts of problems, from trying to get a girlfriend to fixing a broken marriage to getting a cure for cancer, and so on.

Despite black magic being forbidden in Islam, this dark underworld is largely accepted by believers. 

An ugly side to this is the disgusting industry of so-called Islamic healers which profit from taking advantage of those who wish to remove black magic spells or cast a spell.
Recently, a sex tape leaked of a Pakistani malwi who claimed to be a raqi, or healer who removes spells, for women who couldn’t get pregnant. Women would pay for his supposed magic ability to remove their curse of infertility. The malwi was caught making sex tapes of his desperate victims.
Other so-called healers have been caught on video beating young women who come to them for exorcism.
In the West, stories like these are often published by newspapers with an underlying connotation of victimizing Muslims, particularly young women.
They feed into the Islamophobic narrative that Muslim women are perpetually struggling and are so desperate for help that they will even dole out hard-earned cash to save their poor souls.
This is horrible, yes, but it’s not how it has to be or even how it really is.

There is another category of would-be experts who find it necessary to meddle in the well-being of others: the DIY exorcist aunties.

I’m trying not to call them witches, but… Maybe you’ve met a few.
They love to save money and in for no reason would they spend it on a professional healer, when they think that they are fully capable of exorcizing others themselves through their own mechanisms.
They are the type of auntie who speaks to you in a crowded room without moving her mouth. Using a language that they can’t normally speak, they ask you personal questions to which they don’t expect an answer.
They think you are either a witch or you have been possessed by a jinn, you’re just that weird to them.
They seem friendly most of the time, but when they believe you are possessed, they avoid eye contact with you all costs and don’t wish to be in the same room as you, drink the communal cup after you at mealtimes, etc…
But they still must communicate with you, nevertheless.
Maybe when you’re cleaning the bathroom, they hide things from you. They move around your belongings and write cryptic messages on them. They leave vials of blood in your dresser drawer. Above all, they love to scare you.
Then, later, after they think you are no longer possessed, they become your best friend and tell you how much they like you and how beautiful you are.
In a nutshell, they are out of control superstitious. And I love them.

Say, I seek refuge with the Rabb of the Morning from the evil of created things; and from the night when it spreads, and from those who blow into knots (practice secret arts), and from the evil of a jealous person. (Surah al-Falaq; 113)

Contributed by Carol Khan