I was in Chittagong this past week, went to attend a Gaye Holud (adorning with turmeric) ceremony of my catholic Christian friend- Petros Mendes. It has been quite a while that I had been out of the city. This event came at a great time as I badly needed time out from the mundane events of my extraordinarily stressful life.

           My stress is not with infinite workloads but with people! I sometimes feel that people I love or who I’m close to have this uncanny knack of making my life miserable. While I was in Chitts, Petros’ brother Stan was telling me not to cut my nails at night or throw away my fallen hair, just anywhere. I was puzzled by an educated man telling me this. I’ve heard such tales before from uneducated Maids at our house since I was a child. I could surely not expect Stan, of all people to be parting with Superstitious advice. I enquired for his reasoning of his tale. To my dismay he told me that most Chittagonians believe in Black Magic and that it was a way of life for them. As a matter of fact, Black Magic seems to be used frequently among the ignorant people of Bangladesh, mostly in the rural areas. Ppl use this to get back at their enemies, to cause harm to the one they envy, to enslave ppl, or to marry the man/woman that one desires, a form of enslavement.

        Black Magic is forbidden in Islam, which is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. If anyone practices the art of Magic, which is always Black, one will become an unbeliever-Kufr. He/she will incur the curse of Allah.

 They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon; the blasphemers were not Solomon but the evil ones teaching men magic and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut.  But neither of these taught anyone (such things) without saying: “We are only for trial, so do not blaspheme.” They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s permission.  And they learned what harmed them not what profited them.  And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter.  And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls if they but knew!

                 If they had kept their faith and guarded themselves from evil far better had been the reward from their Lord if they but knew!” (Verses 102 & 103-Surah Baqarah; Al Qur’an)

                  Yet these black magicians have set up trade, selling their services to most of the ignorant people of the rural villages & even the towns & cities. These people on account of their ignorance go to these so called ‘healers’ mistakenly thinking them to be pious, religious folk, who might help them in their calamity. Then there are others who sow discord between man & wife, some try to take another’s wife as his own, and some take away land by making the owners ill or by making them or their family members mad, etc. This is a disease prevalent in our & other cultures today. This used to be the case before Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) came with the message of Islam, but now we seem to be going back to the time of IGNORANCE.

       One fine day, just before my trip to Chitts, I was walking back home from the Masjid when I saw a man selling “Pitha”- a local form of savory rice cake, accompanied with Mustard paste, or dried fish paste, etc. I ordered some and was happily feasting on them while overhearing a conversation of the vendor & a very sad looking Muslim local. Both sported long beards. It was a very sad story that the local was relaying to the vendor. The conversation only interested me as they were hinting at Black Magic, in the sad local’s predicament. I enquired to serve my curiosity.

        The local had left his homestead & his family in order to come to the capital & scrap a meager salary working as a guard in a wealthy man’s abode. He left his two brothers as guardians of his family & property. His brothers conned him & sold their share of it to a neighbour, without even informing the elder brother- the local, who sacrificed his own education to bring up & educate his younger orphaned siblings. The cunning neighbour went to a local witch doctor & got some kind of spell or charm & fed it to the sad local’s wife forcefully. In a matter of days the wife lost her head and became totally crazy. The sad was almost in tears as he was narrating to me that his wife runs away from him every time he goes back home. He was more miserable as he said that it has been two years that his wife last cooked for him. My heart goes out for that man. Anyway, so did he avenge his misery? Certainly…guess how! … He acquired the services of another witch doctor and put a spell on his neighbour- the original criminal! Now that neighbour has not even his own land, he lost his business and his wife left him and got married to another man of the same locality and now lives next door to her previous husband’s broken home.

       Sad but true. An infinite circle. Blood for blood, an eye for an eye. Magic for magic. I asked him, as he was a pious, religious man, why he took the shelter of unbelief-magic to rid him of the same. Revenge & anger takes control of us & makes us do things that we could never think of touching with a pole.

        If any of you has been affected by black magic then please DO NOT enlist the services of these Unbelievers. The cure to rid oneself is given in the verses of the Qur’an. They are Surah Ikhlas, Surah Falaq & Surah Nas, repeated in this order 3 times. After each recitation, we are told to blow on our palms & rub it on the length & breadth of our bodies. InshAllah Allah, our only Master will help us overcome this grave test of evil. Please be patient and avoid any kinds of talisman or charms.