This Article is from Dr. Thomas Ahmed an Ex Moslim and I repost it here as it is. A bit longer but read it all to understand psych of Moslim Mind. ; Sam Hindu
Muslim Women and the Satanic Rituals.
While she was in Canada and before she came to Sudan to do her field work for her PhD dissertation on Women in Islam, Inaas read about the teachings of Islam on polygamy and female genital mutilation but one day she witnessed some female practice that she had neither heard about it before nor read about it in any religious book of Islam.
It was a social practice called AL-ZAAR. Whether that female practice had any religious justification or not Inaas had no clue. However, since that practice was exclusively done by women she decided to include it in her field work on Women in Islam. All Muslim men, children and adults, were excluded from that practice. For Inaas the practice of Al-Zaar seemed to be performed on the woman who was either suffering from some spells of black magic or having serious psychological problem.
Inaas noticed that one of the three rival wives, the youngest one, was behaving in a strange manner. Her problem began by screaming for no reason and hallucinating during the day light. She began to speak so much about sex and claim that she was having sex with her husband every minute and every second.
Everyone knew that she was not telling the truth because her husband was dividing his time between his three wives. Since Muslim women were very shy to speak about their sexual life, her frankness appeared wasn’t normal. Sometimes, she beat up herself and attack any one came near her.
When her problem became serious and she began to pose danger to herself and her children even to the other two wives and their children, Haja Sakinah suggested that they should perform Al-Zaar on her because someone worked black magic on her. However, Inaas tried to convince Haja Sakinah that the woman was suffering from psychological problem and hence needed to be sent to a psychiatric.
To her surprise Inaas came to know that there wasn’t a single psychiatric doctor in Sudan. People of Sudan never believe in psychoanalysis or any problem could be solved in that way. Haja Sakinah believed very strongly on the power of black magic and argued that Muhammad with all his holiness and divine protection was affected by black magic when a Jewish boy cast spells on him.
Before, we proceed with this matter it would be good idea to verify the religious argument of Haja Sakinah. We should see whether it was true that the prophet of Islam was placed under the power of black magic. If that claim was true then we would be able to find some religious justification or authorization to that practice of Al-Zaar.
“According to A’isha, “magic was worked on Allah’s Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not. Then one day he said, “Oh A’isha do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I asked Him about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other sat near my feet. The one near my head asked the other, “What is wrong with this man?
“ The latter replied the man is under the effect of magic. The first one asked, “Who has worked magic on him?” The other replied, “Labid Ibn Al-A’sam, a man from Bani Zuraiq who was an ally of the Jews and was a hypocrite” (Al-Bukhari, vol. 7, hadith no. 660).
The kind of magic that was worked on Muhammad was described by one of his followers as the worst one.
‘Urwa related that A’isha said, “The Mohammad of Allah, was bewitched so that he would imagine that he had intercourse with his wives when he had not”. (Sufyan said, “This is the worst type of magic when it does that)” (Sahih al-Bukhari, book of medicine, hadith no. 79).
For six months, the prophet of Islam remained in a state of not knowing what he was doing and fell very sick and lost the hair of his head due to that powerful magic.
“The Muhammad had a Jewish servant boy. The Jews approached him and kept after him until he gave them some fallen hair from the Mohammad , Allah bless him and give him peace, as well as a few Hair from his comb. The Jews used these to cast a spell of black magic on him. The person who was behind this was the Jew Labid ibn al-A‘sam. He then put the hair in a well belonging to Banu Zurayq called Dharwan.
The Mohammad fell ill for a period of six month, during which the hair of his head fell off; he imagined that he slept with his wives when he did not, and was withering away without knowing the reason” (Asbab Nuzul Surah al-Falaq 113: 1-5 by ‘Ali Ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi).
Surprisingly, the story of the Muhammad showed that when he experienced the power of black magic Allah ordered him to use the Qur’an for treatment whereas Haja Sakinah and other Muslim women in Sudan used Al-Zaar to get relief from the same problem. However, this explained very important thing.
In case of Muslim men having similar problems they seek the help of religious men to treat them through the verses of the Qur’an. Usually those verses would be written in a tumult and the patient would be asked to wear them all the time to drive away those evil spirits.
However, in the case of women since they were usually considered unclean most of the time especially during their menses and child delivering they would not be allowed to wear those tumults where the verses of the Qur’an were written.
I believe that explained to us why the Muslim women came up with that practice of Al-Zaar to get rid of those evils spirits that tormenting them.
However, as Inaas witnessed and explained it the practice of Al-Zaar similar to exorcism. By the time that practice performed on her the third wife’s case so worsen that her body became lifeless. She could not move a limb or move. She was lying on her bedroom like a dead body.
The only things that still move in her were hear eyes. She lost her hair. She was fed in the mouth by Haja Sakinah and Salwa. The other two rival wives avoided contacting her for the fear of being affected by her black magic. However, as Haja Sakinah told Inaas that the other two wives were responsible for that problem.
They were the ones who paid a Faki (witchdoctor) and made him to work that black magic on the third wife because she was the youngest and the most favoured one by their husband.
On the day the Al-Zaar was performed on the third wife many women attended the ceremony. Inaas was puzzled by the huge gathering of women. Each woman was dropped in by her either her husband, brother, son, or grandfather.
A big calf was slaughtered and the blood was applied on the forehead, legs, hands, and head of the sick wife. The woman who was in charge of the practice was an old woman. She was known as Alshykha. She was the biggest woman in size that Inaas had ever seen in her life.
When she spoke her voice was like that of a man. Her hair was dyed red and she looked so quite different from the other Sudanese women. From Salwa, Inaas learned that the woman originally from Turkey but was born and brought up in Sudan. She was having a huge drum known as Daloka.
Then, all women gathered in the huge house compound around that woman and her team of women. The lifeless body of the possessed wife was brought by some women and laid on the ground in front of the woman in charge.
As soon as the body was carried out of the bedroom and brought inside the circle the drum began to sound loudly. There was not a single male. Even the male children of the family were sent somewhere by their mothers. While she was hitting with both hands on that huge drum the woman and her team began to sing and shout. It wasn’t a merry song.
Inaas tried hard to know what those women were saying or singing but she couldn’t. It seemed that they were speaking some language that only they could understand. In order to clear her doubts Inaas consulted Salwa who also said she did not know what they were saying.
While those women were shouting out their song Inaas was shocked when she saw suddenly the lifeless body of the possessed wife sprang like a rocket out of the ground and jumped on her feet and began to dance in a hysterical way. When the possessed wife stood on her feet and began to dance and throw her hands on the air the other women began to shout for joy.
Moreover, Inaas saw other women fell on their knees and began to dance and swing their heads on all directions. Some of them were laughing, other crying, yet others making funny sounds. However, none of them were standing on her feet and dancing and jumping everywhere except the possessed wife.
Inaas was keeping close attention to those women and asking Salwa to explain to her every action. However, while she was conversing with Salwa who was sitting shoulder to shoulder beside her suddenly Salwa too was carried away and began to shake and move like other women.
Inaas was frightened when she looked at Salwa and saw how suddenly her face had changed. Her eyes became widely open and her head covering fell of her head. Then, Salwa began to scream and utter unintelligible words and swing her head all around her body.
By then, Inaas had noticed that every woman’s hair was freely open and their heads were swinging like table fans all around. Inaas felt strange phenomenon that she could not explain in human words. Why suddenly every woman seemed to be controlled by irresistible force.
The strangest thing for Inaas was that most of the young women were taken in that strange rapture while the old women weren’t. Haja Sakinah was just clapping her hands like many more other old women. Nevertheless, Inaas realized that she was the only young woman who still in control of herself.
While Inaas was trying to find some explanation to that strange phenomenon suddenly she heard the woman in charge shouted in the loudest voice she ever heard before, “BAS”. Like a magical word “Bas” brought everything to stillness. One could hear a pin drop.
Inaas understood the meaning of the Arabic word “Bas” which means enough and stop it. Although every woman stopped swinging her head and shouting, the possessed woman resumed her jumping again. The woman in charge increased her voice and shouted “I said bas”. The possessed woman stopped making any movement and it seemed that she was forced to obey the order. However, she still standing on her feet.
“What is your demand?” asked the woman in charge.
“I want to smoke” replied the possessed wife.
“Give him cigarette to smoke” continued the woman in charge.
Immediately one of her team members brought a cigarette and handed it over to the possessed woman. Then, she used a match and lighted the cigarette for her. The woman began to smoke. Inaas’ wonder was reached beyond comprehension. In a Muslim country a young woman smoking a cigarette!
“Do you have any more demands?” asked the woman in charge.
“I want trouser and shirt” responded the wife while still smoking her cigarette.
A couple of women brought trouser and shirt and handed them over to the possessed wife. Inaas could not believe her eyes when she saw the young wife stripping all her clothes and then putting on the trouser and shirt. Inaas felt a bit impressed to see a young woman in the midst of such huge gathering standing in her underwear and bra and then putting on a man’s clothes. However, the other women seemed to be not so impressed by such behaviour.
“What is your Jinn?”
“Khoaja” replied the possessed woman after she put on her trouser and shirt and still smoking her cigarette. Inaas understood the meaning of the word “Khoaja” which mean “a white man”. However, she was puzzled by the claim of the possessed woman that her Jinn or the demon that possessed her was “a white man”.
“Do you have any more demands before you go?”
“We don’t have whisky”.
“Give him sherry to drink”.
Some women brought a bottle of sherry and handed it over to the possessed woman. She took hold of the bottle of sherry and began to drink it like water. When she emptied half of it in her mouth she asked for another cigarette. By then she finished the first cigarette. The women gave her a cigarette and a match box. Then, she asked for a chair.
When the chair was brought to her she sat on it and folded one leg and placed it on the other leg. After that she emptied the rest of the sherry in her mouth and continued her smoke.
Inaas whispered at Salwa who by then became normal and sober again. She asked Salwa whether the bottle contained a real sherry or just some red grape juice. Salwa assured her that the sherry was a real alcohol. By then Inaas was extremely perplexed by such a strange practice in a Muslim country and by Muslim women. How a young married Muslim woman could ask for smoke, dress up in shirt and trouser, and drink alcohol in her own house. Inaas was wondering what else that possessed woman would ask for.
“Dasatirkom Awalad Mama, Dasatirkom Awalad Mama” shouted the woman in charge.
“I want whip” shouted the possessed woman in the top of her voice.
Someone immediately handed over to her a long whip. Inaas was so frightened when she saw the possessed woman standing in the middle and holding the whip in her right hand. Was she going to be allowed to go on rampage and scourge every woman she did not like? Before she found an answer to her question Inaas saw the possessed woman striking the air with her long whip.
Then, the drum began to sound when the huge hands of the woman in charge fell on it as hammer and the shouting and screaming and the swinging of the heads resumed all over again. The possessed woman began to jump and dance and whip the empty air. Luckily, she did not hit any woman. After a second similar round of hysterical dancing, Inaas heard again the shouting of the word “BAS”. The second “Bas” brought different result than the first one. It did not only stop every woman from shouting and swinging of her head but the possessed woman dropped down unconscious.
Three women brought a red Sari and covered her body. Then, they carried her unconscious body to the bedroom from where they brought her before. Inaas saw every woman was smiling which indicated that the Al-Zaar performance was over and it brought the required result.
When she asked Salwa, she confirmed her guessing and told her that the demon had left peacefully after all his demands were fulfilled. After some time the huge trays of delicious Sudanese food were served and some soft drinks were distributed.
Inaas kept thinking and meditating on that female ritual healing dance for a quite long time. After that day she kept close watch on the third wife and did not see any of those demonic symptoms manifested themselves again.
She knew that the third wife was possessed but how that healing dance released her from those demons was beyond Inaas’ understanding. Sometimes, Inaas was tempted to look at the matter as a psychological sickness. She often told herself that most probably the third wife like any oppressed and abused Muslim woman was having psychological problem and that was caused by the oppression she suffered from since childhood under the hands of her father, brother, and when she got married by her husband.
The way that possessed woman behaved in that day made Inaas to believe that the deeply oppressed soul of the third wife tried to rebel but due to the social system could not. However, in that day through those demands she rebelled against the system which showed favour for the man and oppressed the woman. Otherwise, why did she want to be a man and smoke cigarette and drink alcohol? Moreover, the whip was the tool that most probably her father and husband used to oppress and abuse her with. Therefore, she wanted a whip to show that she could also have power like a man.
Inaas’ theory of rebellious soul was confirmed when Salwa told her about another young woman who behaved even in more dangerous way than the third wife. According to Salwa that young woman demanded shirt and pant. When she put on the shirt and pant she demanded the blood of the animal that was sacrificed for her Al-Zaar. After drinking the blood she asked for alcohol. After drinking a full bottle of alcohol the young woman demanded a sword.
When the sword was handed over to her a great disaster took place. The young woman managed to run out of the house on the streets with those men’s clothes and the sword in her hand. She began to chaste only men by her sword. She never bothered to attack women on the streets. Luckily, she did not able to kill any man as every male fled for his life when he saw the woman with the sword in her hand. However, the policemen were able to control her after they hit her with their truck. The young woman was not killed but badly injured. After a few weeks she was discharged from the hospital.
Ever since that incident took place the Al-Zaar’s Alshykha never allowed a dangerous weapon in the ritual dance to be handed over to the possessed woman. She could allow an empty revolver or gun but not loaded or dangerous weapon.
Inaas wished that she could attend another Al-Zaar dance so that she could understand more about it. However, Salwa told her the Al-Zaar would be performed only on possessed women. Moreover, Salwa said that the woman in charge who was known as Alshyakha was possessed herself but she was on good terms with her demon. She inherited the demon from her mother who inherited him from her grandmother and so on. Since the demon passed through inheritance he was not harmful but a good demon that helps rather than harms the person he was possessing.
Inaas found it difficult to believe this theory of inherited demon and a good demon. According to her Christian faith a demon is a demon and always an evil spirit that does nothing but evil. Nonetheless, since Inaas was pretending to be a Muslim she did not share her doubts about the inherited demon with Salwa or Haja Sakinah.
Read more about the Oppression of Muslim Women,
“Irshad and the Abuse of Muslim Women”
“Ibtihal and Muslims’ Liberation Movement”
“Insaaf: A Story of an Arab Girl”
“Intisar: A Story of a Muslim Girl”
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