Monday, 15 January 2018

Reality of Demonic Possession


نحمده ونصلى ونسلم على رسوله الكريم

والعاقبة للمتّقين

 

Reality of Demonic Possession

 

Presently many educated Muslims have begun to doubt the reality of demonic possession and consequently the validity of exorcism in Islam. The heavy influence of materialism and atheism has pushed the educated class of Muslims toward greater skepticism. It is true that Islam has an overall negative view of ‘superstition’, and on this very blog I have written extensively against many of the evil superstitions and folk beliefs prevalent in the Muslim world, such as magic, astrology, necromancy, fortune-telling, etc. Nevertheless, Islam is one of those few religions which emphasizes the real existence and danger of Satan and the demons. Orthodox Christianity too emphasizes the real danger of devils and demons, because it is well known that the promised Messiah of Nazareth (peace be upon him) was a faith-healer and exorcist, with a great part of his ministry expended in driving out demons from possessed persons and waging spiritual war against all kinds of devils. A true Nazarene is therefore someone who zealously seeks to emulate the work done in the ministry of the Messiah and travel about the land waging war with demons and exorcising evil spirits from possessed persons. Regarding demonic possession, Allah Most High says in His Holy Quraan:

 

الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لَا يَقُومُونَ إِلَّا كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ

 

Those who consume Riba [usury] will not be resurrected except as one resurrected who is being driven insane from the touch of Satan

(Sura 2: 275)

 
In other words, a person who commits the grave sin of consuming usury will be in the same condition and position on Judgment Day as a person who died in a state of demonic possession. This is to illustrate the gravity and extreme wickedness of the sin of consuming usury, by equating one who does so with being as doomed as someone who died in a state of demonic possession!
 
Admittedly, the detail regarding demonic possession, as held in popular imagination, is not explicit from the text of the Holy Quraan. The idea of demons or evil Jinn entering into the human body and taking ‘possession’ of it can best be backed by certain Hadith or traditions of the Prophet Muhammad . Unlike the case of Jesus of Nazareth, it is not as well known that our beloved Prophet likewise engaged in spiritual warfare with demons and evil spirits, exorcising them from possessed persons and teaching his companions and disciples various prayers in order to safeguard themselves from demonic afflictions.
 
Uthman b. Abul AasRA narrates:
 
لَمَّا اسْتَعْمَلَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ عَلَى الطَّائِفِ جَعَلَ يَعْرِضُ لِي شَىْءٌ فِي صَلاَتِي حَتَّى مَا أَدْرِي مَا أُصَلِّي فَلَمَّا رَأَيْتُ ذَلِكَ رَحَلْتُ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ ابْنُ أَبِي الْعَاصِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ نَعَمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ مَا جَاءَ بِكَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ عَرَضَ لِي شَىْءٌ فِي صَلاَتِي حَتَّى مَا أَدْرِي مَا أُصَلِّي ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ ذَاكَ الشَّيْطَانُ ادْنُهْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَدَنَوْتُ مِنْهُ فَجَلَسْتُ عَلَى صُدُورِ قَدَمَىَّ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَضَرَبَ صَدْرِي بِيَدِهِ وَتَفَلَ فِي فَمِي وَقَالَ ‏"‏ اخْرُجْ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَفَعَلَ ذَلِكَ ثَلاَثَ مَرَّاتٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ الْحَقْ بِعَمَلِكَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَقَالَ عُثْمَانُ فَلَعَمْرِي مَا أَحْسِبُهُ خَالَطَنِي بَعْدُ
 
“When the Messenger of Allah () appointed me as governor of Ta’if, I began to get confused during my prayer, until I no longer knew what I was doing. When I noticed that, I travelled to the Messenger of Allah (), and he said: ‘The son of Abul-‘As?’ I said: ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah.’ He said: ‘What brings you here?’ He said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I get confused during my prayer, until I do not know what I am doing.’ He said: ‘That is Satan. Come here.’ So I came close to him, and sat upon the front part of my feet then he struck my chest with his hand and blew in my mouth and said: ‘Get out, O enemy of Allah!’ He did that three times, then he said: ‘Get on with your work.’” ‘Uthman said: “Indeed, I never felt confused (during my prayer) after that.” (Sunan Ibn Maja: H. 3548)
 
Yaala b. MurraRA narrates:
 
لَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ثَلَاثًا ، مَا رَآهَا أَحَدٌ قَبْلِي ، وَلَا يَرَاهَا أَحَدٌ بَعْدِي ، لَقَدْ خَرَجْتُ مَعَهُ فِي سَفَرٍ حَتَّى إِذَا كُنَّا بِبَعْضِ الطَّرِيقِ مَرَرْنَا بِامْرَأَةٍ جَالِسَةٍ ، مَعَهَا صَبِيٌّ لَهَا ، فَقَالَتْ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، هَذَا صَبِيٌّ ، أَصَابَهُ بَلَاءٌ ، وَأَصَابَنَا مِنْهُ بَلَاءٌ ، يُؤْخَذُ فِي الْيَوْمِ ، مَا أَدْرِي كَمْ مَرَّةً ، قَالَ : " نَاوِلِينِيهِ " . فَرَفَعَتْهُ إِلَيْهِ ، فَجَعَلتْهُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ وَاسِطَةِ الرَّحْلِ ، ثُمَّ فَغَرَ فَاهُ ، فَنَفَثَ فِيهِ ثَلَاثًا ، وَقَالَ : " بِسْمِ اللَّهِ ، أَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ ، اخْسَأْ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ " . ثُمَّ نَاوَلَهَا إِيَّاهُ ، فَقَالَ : " الْقَيْنَا فِي الرَّجْعَةِ فِي هَذَا الْمَكَانِ ، فَأَخْبِرِينَا مَا فَعَلَ " . قَالَ : فَذَهَبْنَا وَرَجَعْنَا ، فَوَجَدْنَاهَا فِي ذَلِكَ الْمَكَانِ ، مَعَهَا شِيَاهٌ ثَلَاثٌ ، فَقَالَ : مَا فَعَلَ صَبِيُّكِ ؟ فَقَالَتْ : وَالَّذِي بَعَثَكَ بِالْحَقِّ ، مَا حَسَسْنَا مِنْهُ شَيْئًا حَتَّى السَّاعَةِ ، فَاجْتَرِرْ هَذِهِ الْغَنَمَ . قَالَ : " انْزِلْ فَخُذْ مِنْهَا وَاحِدَةً ، وَرُدَّ الْبَقِيَّةَ " . قَالَ : وَخَرَجْنَا ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ إِلَى الْجَبَّانَةِ ، حَتَّى إِذَا بَرَزْنَا قَالَ : " انْظُرْ وَيْحَكَ ، هَلْ تَرَى مِنْ شَيْءٍ يُوَارِينِي ؟ " قُلْتُ : مَا أَرَى شَيْئًا يُوَارِيكَ إِلَّا شَجَرَةً مَا أُرَاهَا تُوَارِيكَ . قَالَ : " فَمَا قُرْبُهَا ؟ " قُلْتُ : شَجَرَةٌ مِثْلُهَا ، أَوْ قَرِيبٌ مِنْهَا . قَالَ : " فَاذْهَبْ إِلَيْهِمَا ، فَقُلْ : إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَأْمُرُكُمَا أَنْ تَجْتَمِعَا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ " . قَالَ : فَاجْتَمَعَتَا ، فَبَرَزَ لِحَاجَتِهِ ، ثُمَّ رَجَعَ ، فَقَالَ : " اذْهَبْ إِلَيْهِمَا ، فَقُلْ لَهُمَا : إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَأْمُرُكُمَا أَنْ تَرْجِعَ كُلُّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْكُمَا إِلَى مَكَانِهَا " . قَالَ : وَكُنْتُ مَعَهُ جَالِسًا ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ إِذْ جَاءَ جَمَلٌ يُخَبِّبُ ، حَتَّى ضَرَبَ بِجِرَانِهِ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ ، ثُمَّ ذَرَفَتْ عَيْنَاهُ ، فَقَالَ : " وَيْحَكَ ، انْظُرْ لِمَنْ هَذَا الْجَمَلُ ، إِنَّ لَهُ لَشَأْنًا " . قَالَ : فَخَرَجْتُ أَلْتَمِسُ صَاحِبَهُ ، فَوَجَدْتُهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِنَ الْأَنْصَارِ ، فَدَعَوْتُهُ إِلَيْهِ ، فَقَالَ : " مَا شَأْنُ جَمَلِكَ هَذَا ؟ " فَقَالَ : وَمَا شَأْنُهُ ؟ قَالَ : لَا أَدْرِي وَاللَّهِ مَا شَأْنُهُ ، عَمِلْنَا عَلَيْهِ ، وَنَضَحْنَا عَلَيْهِ ، حَتَّى عَجَزَ ، عن السِّقَايَةِ ، فَأْتَمَرْنَا الْبَارِحَةَ أَنْ نَنْحَرَهُ ، وَنُقَسِّمَ لَحْمَهُ . قَالَ : " فَلَا تَفْعَلْ ، هَبْهُ لِي ، أَوْ بِعْنِيهِ " فَقَالَ : بَلْ هُوَ لَكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ . قَالَ : فَوَسَمَهُ بِسِمَةِ الصَّدَقَةِ ، ثُمَّ بَعَثَ بِهِ
 
I saw Allah's Messenger do three things which no one before or after me saw. I went with him on a trip. On the way we passed by a woman sitting at the roadside with a young boy. She called out, 'O Messenger of Allah, this boy is afflicted with a trial, and from him we have also been afflicted with a trial. I do not know how many times per day he is seized by fits.' He said, 'Give him to me.' So she lifted him up to the Prophet . He then placed the boy between himself and the middle of the saddle, opened the boy's mouth and blew in it three times, saying, 'In the name of Allah; I am the slave of Allah. Get out, enemy of Allah!' Then he gave the boy back to her and said, 'Meet us on our return at this same place and inform us how he has fared.' We then went. On our return, we found her in the same place with three sheep. When he said to her, 'How has your son fared?' she replied, 'By the O ne who sent you with the truth, we have not detected anything [unusualJ in his behaviour up to this time.” (Musnad Ahmad)
 
In another narration, though with a slight weakness, Ibn AbbasRA narrates:
 
أَنَّ امْرَأَةً جَاءَتْ بِوَلَدِهَا إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فَقَالَتْ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، إِنَّ بِهِ لَمَمًا ، وَإِنَّهُ يَأْخُذُهُ عِنْدَ طَعَامِنَا ، فَيُفْسِدُ عَلَيْنَا طَعَامَنَا , قَالَ : " فَمَسَحَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ صَدْرَهُ ، وَدَعَا لَهُ " , فثَعَّ ثَعَّةً ، فَخَرَجَ مِنْ فِيهِ مِثْلُ الْجَرْوِ الْأَسْوَدِ ، فَشُفِيَ
 
“A woman once brought her son to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah my son is affected with some type of madness/sickness which affects him when we are eating and he ends up spoiling our food. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) wiped his chest and made du’a for him, the boy vomited and something like a black puppy came out, he was then cured’.” (Musnad Ahmad)
 
Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn TaymiyyaRA brings forth a narration from the Imam of Ahlus Sunna, Ahmad b. HanbalRA affirming the reality of demonic possession:
 
Abdullah reported that when he asked his father, Ahmad bin Hanbal, “there are some people who claim that the jinn cannot enter the body of a human.” His father replied, “O my dear son, they are lying; for that is one [jinni] speaking with his tongue.”
 
Reference: Idah al-Dilala fi ‘Umum al-Risala, p.6


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