Living by It. One lesson a day…

… from Quran. Changing slowly, but surely.

Lesson 16 – Voodoo Child? February 24, 2010

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Rabi Al-Awwal 9, 1431

“And from the evil (of groups of those who practice occultism by) spitting on knots.”

Surah Al- Falaq (Surah 113), verse 4


This Surah starts with a prayer asking for refuge; the above is just one of the 4 things one should ask refuge for.

Muslim matters did a wonderful article on this and I feel a little stupid and ignorant even attempting to write on this; nonetheless, here I go…

When we’re in the hospital (and we are working in Pakistan), no doctor ever thinks about occultism. Of course we need to have that frame of mind in order to get to the root of the person’s symptoms; nevertheless, it’s important to not discard concepts which have been mentioned in Quran.

We don’t know why people do what they do, we don’t know why mothers-in-law and other family members (I know somebody personally who’s a victim) want to cause harm to their blood relations and not-so-blood relations, we don’t know why it’s so satisfying to see somebody lose. Somebody I know who has been successful in worldly relations but has faced a specific kind of problem in her life that need not be mentioned, once said to me,”You know people want good for you, it’s not like they don’t… but only to a certain limit. They want you to be happy, but not too happy; they want you to be successful but not too successful.” And basically it comes down to what each person’s limits or criteria for success are. It’s unfortunate that envy is so deep rooted in us… and I have come to believe it’s our lack of faith and our lack of acknowledgment of His Power and His Being, what with us finding such little time to talk to Him, to pray to Him, to ask for help from the Ever Powerful, Ever Merciful Allah.

This one time I was working in the paediatrics ward (children) when a couple came in with their baby son and his X-Ray. The X-Ray evidently showed needles (or metallic objects if you must argue) in his chest and it was mind-boggling to say the least. The baby had an older sister and the doctors immediately started thinking along the lines of abusive family members (parents and relatives both) and/ or sibling, while the couple suspected black magic. Now I’m not saying the doctors were wrong and the couple right, but the fact that they completely discarded the idea of black magic now feels like they were denying its existence and power. I never got to see the end of the case because I was assigned to be in that ward for only a limited time, but a after discussion with a cousin whose knowledge in Quranic matters is splendid, I came to a conclusion that we should have at least suggested recitation of Surah Al-Falaq to them because the true knowledge of where the needles came from is with Allah alone and He has the Power to relieve the parents of this perplexing condition (?) if they were suffering through black magic at all.

That Pakistan mostly comprises of uneducated, poor, basically illiterate people doesn’t help matters. It’s easier to think that black magic is talked about by this set of people only, so obviously its root is in the ignorant minds. That the human race has come such a long way, anything remotely retardive or supernatural is but a figment of our imagination. That we have discovered and invented once-unimaginable things, that we have improved people’s lives remarkably… all help us push aside the concept of things we have little understanding of. So what do we do? Essentially, we need to believe His word.

Another thing that happens that I’ve seen too often now (because I’m training to be a doctor, my interaction will mostly be with a limited type of professions) is the God complex some people develop. Not all do. Just the ones who’ve received immense success, a consequence of their knowledge and training combined. What they have forgotten is HOW they started and Who Allowed them to enjoy that kind of success. This is a bit tangential for my current post, my point though, is just that we cannot deny things we don’t understand and we must admit to our ignorance on a myriad of subjects to keep our arrogance in check.