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Heal yourself, the fatwas advise

The Abu Dhabi's General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) regularly warns in sermons and fatwas against seeking out black magic.

The Abu Dhabi's General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) regularly warns in sermons and fatwas against seeking out black magic.

"The authority recognises sihir as an ancient practice that still exists, though it is reduced now," said Dr Ahmed Al Moussa, a spokesperson for Awqaf. "Its cure is known to every Muslim, which is reading the verses from the holy Quran."

At the same time, he stressed that the authority did not accredit any sheikh or sheikha to be an official healer, or Qare (reader of the Quran). "A Muslim should read the Quran themselves, upon themselves."

Awqaf issues fatwas through its Ifta Centre in Abu Dhabi in response to questions submitted online, texted or phoned in, about what is permissible under Sharia.

A fatwa in March called on people to perform their own ruqya, or healing prayers, against misfortune, magic and evil eye.

It advises Muslims which chapters and verses to recite as ruqya, including Surat Al Fatiha (Opening) and the Mouwizat, which includes Surat Al Ikhlas (Purity of faith), Surat Al Falaq (The Dawn) and Surat Al Nas (Mankind). It also mentions reciting Ayat Al Kursi (Throne, the 255th verse of Surat Al Baqara).

The fatwa says on the authority of his wife, Aisha, that the Prophet Mohammed treated his wives by passing his right hand over the place of the ailment, saying: "Oh Lord of the people, remove the difficulty and bring about healing as You are the Healer. There is no healing but Your Healing, a healing that will leave no ailment."

"The performer of ruqya can recite the Quranic verses and then breathe into dust or water, before spraying it on the patient," says the fatwa.

Traditionally, saffron and flowers are sometimes added to the water in china or metallic bowls inscribed with verses from the Quran.

The fatwa also reminds Muslims to protect their household by reading Surat Al Baqara as it is mentioned in the hadith: "Recite Surat Al Baqara, for to take recourse to it is a blessing and to give it up is a cause of grief, and the magicians cannot confront it."

rghazal@thenational.ae

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