Father Sez

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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Of Humans, Jinns and Humans with Jinns

Monday, May 4th, 2009

The Holy Quran mentions Jinns in several places, amongst which are: 

“I have only created Jinns and Men that they may serve me”                              

Surah As Zariyat, Ayat 56 

“And the Jinn race, we had created before, from the fire of a scorching wind”                                               

Surah Al Hijr, Ayat 27 

Hence all Muslims believe and accept the presence of Jinns.  I am not an expert in Islam. My understanding which seems to be confirmed by this IIU website is that Jinns have similarities with humans in that they have the power to reason, and to know what is right and wrong. However we cannot see them. And of course there are good Jinns and bad Jinns. The rewards and punishment promised to humans upon our death depending on how we lived our lives applies equally to Jinns.

The Holy Quran also makes the following statement: 

“Yet make Jinns equal with Allah, even though Allah did create the Jinns..”                                               

Surah Al An’am, Ayat 100 

This Ayat makes it clear that we should not worship Jinns, as they are just like us, another creation by the All Mighty. There are a lot of literature on people being possessed by Jinns, using Jinns to do extraordinary feats, using Jinns in their fortune telling etc. 

In addition, there are also stories about people using Jinns to protect themselves and even to do evil deeds.  Malaysian history is rich in stories of people who have either voluntarily or involuntarily been possessed by Jinns and used their powers for both good and evil.  

On the 30th March 09, The Star carried a story about Uztaz Trimizi, a 23 year old,  modern-day exorcist who would be conducting mobile clinics to rid victims, particularly the Malaysian community in Britain, of sihir (black magic) spells and disturbances by spiteful spirits.He is probably Malaysia’s youngest Islamic medical practitioner who specialises in undoing charms and witchcraft.

Trimizi, who hails from Kuala Lumpur, says he has screened more than 20,000 people in Malaysia, mostly in Sabah and Sarawak, over the past seven years. Of that, 800 were treated for djinn affliction and black magic.

Trimizi has come a long way since he learnt the art from his grandmother at the age of eight in Taiping, Perak. After her death, he continued to study Islamic medicine from renowned teachers in Malaysia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen S

So it seems that many can be afflicted and be completely unaware.  

Ustaz Trimizi says that Jinns can be “burnt with Quranic verses. You can hear them scream before they are weakened and leave the body.”  

This issue of Jinns and their ability to infuse themselves into our body and exert some form of control over our actions must have caused some confusion over the treatment of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia etc.  So in some cases, people who are just sick may instead be treated as being possessed or being witches. In India and Africa stories of witches being burnt and stoned to death abound.  See some of the news here and here.

In Malaysia, there are a number of religious columns written by scholars in the local papers. Often questions are asked in these columns about how to go about riding oneself of Jinns or other “benda halus, like saka”.  

In his website, Ustaz Suhaimi from Temerloh writes that “Saka are Jinns that have been in the body of a person for so long that they become almost one. This can happen with or without the person being aware, because it is inherited from his family.”

He also offers services and advice on people wanting to remove these saka, a form of exorcism so to speak. 

For a Malaysian family educated in the Western way, the whole issue of being possessed by evil spirits, Jinns etc is a huge poser. Where do they turn to for treatment? How do they even decide it is a matter of the supernatural and not some medical ailment?  

For us in Malaysia, though there is a huge number of the Western educated amongst the Muslims, the link with the “kampung” is still incredibly strong. So even though Western medical cures are sought, it is very often supplemented with “traditional treatment”. 

I suggest that we should never ignore the issue of these paranormal forces whenever some family member or friend seemingly goes off his or her rocker. Or when things aren’t too often, what they should be! 

Selamat Hari Raya Aidul Adha

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Today Muslims the world over celebrate Aidul Adha. 

This festival is celebrated the day after the gathering at Arafah, one of the most important rituals of the Haj. The Haj is the annual pilgrimage that is obligatory on every physically and financially able Muslim.  

Arafah is a plain about 21.3 kilometres from Mecca. We believe that it was in Arafah that Nabi Adam A.S. and Hawa reunited after being separated for many years. Thousands, if not, a couple of millions of Muslims, all dressed in the obligatory ihram gather for the compulsory presence in Arafah.

 arafah02.jpg

The gathering at Arafah. I got this picture from autumnzapple.   The view is something like people all in white as far as the eye can see. It was here that the Prophet delivered his powerful final sermon. A message that should be read and re-read as guidance.

My wife and I performed our Haj in 1990. That year there was a tragic accident that resulted in the deaths of almost 1,500 pilgrims. By the Grace of the All Mighty, my wife and I were completely unaware of this huge tragedy till we were at the airport on our return trip back home.  

I have often wondered how the city of Mecca can take this mass movement of people that happens over such a compressed period of time. This is sure to tax severely any city, but somehow the city of Mecca handles this. The number of pilgrims is restricted by the Saudi Authorities by quotas given to other Governments in the issuance of Haj visas. I am sure that in addition a large number of people sneak in without proper documents. I think the official number of pilgrims is in excess of 2.5 million.  

I am grateful that my wife and I could perform the Haj when we were young and physically able. Many of the pilgrims are old yet somehow they get or find the strength to carry out the physically taxing rituals of the Haj. 

My wife and I hope, Insya’Allah, to be able to perform another Haj. We have not fixed any target dates yet. In Malaysia, the demand is far higher than the quota that is allotted to Malaysia by the Saudi Arabian Government. So the waiting list is like 6 years.  

Maybe it is time to register our interest.

The last 10 days of Ramadhan

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Last Saturday night was the 21st night of Ramadhan, signalling the start of the last 10 days.  

The last 10 days are ultra special days of what is regarded as the holiest month of the Islamic calendar. Our holy Quran was first sent down during these 10 days. And the Quran tells us about a particularly special night known as “Lailatul Qadar” or the Night of Power. 

In the name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful.
1 Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Predestination.
2 Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is!
3 The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
4 The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees.
5 (The night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn.

All Muslims strive to maximise their prayers and good deeds on this night, which the Hadith explain would fall during one of the odd nights of the last 10 days of Ramadhan. We believe that our requests to the All Mighty on this night, which is better than a 1000 months, would be granted. 

This belief may seem strange to non Muslims, but then this is what “faith” is all about.  Complete acceptance and belief.  

Talking about faith, something I read in Readers Digest many years ago comes to mind.  

A mother asked her 6 year old son after he came back from Bible classes on what he had learnt that day. The boy told her that the teacher told them the story of Moses and his followers being chased by the soldiers of the Pharaoh until Moses was stuck at a sea shore. So Moses called up the Air Force General who sent fighter jets and bombers to fight the Pharaoh and his soldiers. The general also sent some boats to Moses to take him and his followers across the sea. 

The mother said, “I am sure this is not what the teacher said”. 

To which the boy replied, “Mom, if I told you what she told us, you’ll never believe it!” 

I am sure that once the boy becomes a little older and understands faith, he’ll truly understand and accept the story of Moses, which is also explained in the Quran.   

There is quite a bit of literature on how to look for and identify the Night of Power. As for me, the Hadith is good enough. It should fall on one of the odd nights of the last 10 days of Ramadhan. And Insya’Allah the angels will find me praying or doing other good deeds on every night of these last ten days, and may my prayers be answered. 

Ramadhan AlMubarak

Monday, September 1st, 2008

2007-10-14t101215z_01_karesized.jpg

The holy month of Ramadhan, when all Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk has just started.  

Fasting in the month of Ramadhan is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. An obligatory duty for all able Muslims.  It’s not exactly an easy feat, especially for those of us who did not start when we were young. Luckily my children have been fasting since they were 5 or 6, starting off with perhaps half a day of fasting. Now our children seamlessly move into fasting mode without too much difficulty, even the youngest girl, Ain. 

Fasting teaches us patience and humility, though the world of modern marketing has moved into this sector too. Hotels have what they call Ramdhan buffets, where they charge an arm and a leg for the meal at the breaking of the fast. 

The fasting month is full of benefits from the religious point of view. Any good that we do is multiplied many fold. The “satans” of the world are all chained up during this month and the only “temptations” that we succumb to is from our own internal conscience.  

The mosques are more crowded than on most other days of the year and many Muslims do more acts of charity during this month. 

The moment of the breaking of the fast is believed to be a time when our requests are more likely than not to be granted by God. And each Ramadhan we have 30 such times.  

For me, the fasting month has a very special significance. I had very little religious education whilst growing up and had never ever fasted a full fasting month, until the year I found religion.  

It was 1988 and I was facing what I thought was the bleakest future I could envisage. I immersed myself into religion and prayed fervently for the All Mighty to open the doors for me and to make things easy for me. This was the year, when for the first time in my life I fasted the whole 30 days and did as much of the additional prayers as I could.  

And boy, were the doors thrown wide open! 

Since then, I am ashamed to say that I have deteriorated from the religious point of view. This year, God Willing, I hope to focus on the fasting month and do all I can to make full use of the facilities God grants all of us Muslims.  

To all fellow Muslims, we wish them Ramdhan Al Mubarak!  

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