Sorcery and witchcraft alive and kicking in this digital age

24 Sep 2023 12:31pm
Times have changed and these methods have advanced. (123rf)
Times have changed and these methods have advanced. (123rf)

Do you believe in magic? Particularly more of the darker kind? Apparently dark magic has now advanced with the times, with some shaman’s claiming that curses can be delivered via video and phone calls!

Demonic possessions or similar incidents frequently occur in Malay society more often than usual as we often hear stories of mass hysteria in schools, or the white figure dressed in white with long hair jumping from tree-to-tree outside your window, or the favourite lady in kebaya waiting by the roadside hoping to get a lift and pay with with leaves. It is something talked about in conversation and acknowledged.

But the worse are those people with grudges and evil intent sending spells to their targets through a bomoh (shaman) to destroy the person's/persons' life. Such typical targets include splitting couples, destroying a person's happiness, career or even businesses.

Preacher and religious teacher (ustaz) Apandi Hussain, who has experience with Islamic healing, said the begrudging individual can send sihir santau (curse), a type of black magic by "spitting lightly" into the wind to "poison" a person, among other methods.

However, he said times have changed and these methods have advanced.

“A curse can be even sent using your full name, if you notice actors or actresses sometimes do not use their own names and instead use stage names.

“This is to avoid being sent curses. Spells can also be sent by a person who is in possession of a person’s hair, nails, anything from the person’s body,” he told Sinar Daily.

Apandi said certain curses and spells can also be sent by a mere touch of oil on a person, through food and drink, through the wind in open spaces, through a handshake, through cigarette smoke, through voices (sound waves) as well as pictures.

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What's more interesting, however, is how easy one can direct these enchantments to their targets. In the age of social media, he said one can simply use the images of their targets that had been posted on their social media platforms in a bit to "deliver" their curses and spells.

Not only that, Apandi said curses could also be sent through the eyes, when people look directly or hold a long gaze. Makes you think twice about sharing things online and where you look, right?

He said often victims of the curses or spells will experience restlessness and vomit blood, rusty needles and nails, as well as human and bamboo hairs.

A 33-year old survivor, who has since survived the predicament, told Sinar Daily that she had "fallen in love" with a stranger and could not stop thinking about him, and whenever she was away from him, she would feel tired or sick.

When friends and family told her that there was something wrong or suspicious about the relationship, she would flip out and accuse them of being jealous.

"All I could think about was him, all I thought about was him. I was skipping class and failing university. Everyone was worried but I ignored them, I was obsessed with him," she said, stating her parents finally seeked help with an Islamic healer a few months later.

She said her parents took this big step because they started experiencing mystical incidents in the house with the final straw being my mother seeing a human-like monkey in our house. The family discovered that the man had sent a curse for her to fall in love with him after finding her on a social media platform. He used her photographs and information on the platfrom to manifest his mission.

She said it took her months to be truly healed but it became a scary process as she felt stalked by him. She has since deleted her images on the platforms and instead uses photos of flowers.

Another victim, who wanted to remain annonymous, sat down with Sinar Daily sharing her experience after "getting cursed" through her food. She discovered that the perpetrator was jealous of her advancing career.

She said for a year she was unable to pin-point the reason why she felt continuous fatigue most the time, thus her work suffered. No definite answer by medical professionals, she opted to meet with an Islamic healer who later revealed that a type of santau (curse) was sent to her via food shared at the office.

The curse was aimed at making her lazy and uninterested with work.

"Recalling what had happened over the past one year, the sender claimed she was learning how to cook and asked me to try it. Little did I know..." she said.

According to a report in 2019 by the Pusat Rawatan Darussyifa' Islamic healing centre, thousands of people were believed to have been victims of sorcery.

Its head of research and development Datuk Abdul Rashid Mat Amin was quoted saying that majority of their patients were women who sought spiritual cleansing from 90 of its centres nationwide.

He said there was always a grey area between medical science and sorcery as many are sceptical about black magic, with some saying there is no scientific evidence to prove that sorcery invariably involves mysticism and supernatural beings.

The most important thing above all, he said is firmly believe and trust that no one, however great his powers may be, can benefit or harm you except if Allah SWT wills it.

He said the Quran reminds us repeatedly that a true believer must believe firmly that Allah SWT alone is the One who can give us benefit or harm in an absolute sense; everything that befalls us from humans or other creatures is only secondary and is achieved only through the power derived from Allah SWT; so the best remedy and cure is to continuously seek protection and refuge in Allah SWT.

He added that it was compulsory for Muslims to believe in jinns and other spiritual beings as they are all creations of God. When a person experience demonic possession, it is rarely taken lightly and often the individual would be taken for immediate treatment.

Just earlier this month, a 20-year old woman was rescued by authorities while hiking at Bukit Jugra Trail in Banting. She was reportedly "possessed" as claimed by her family members, who had called the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department for assistance and brought down using a stretcher.

Amidst all this, sorcery has officially been gazzeted as a criminal offence in Kelantan and it is one of the offences listed under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019, which came into force on Nov 1 that year.

The law defines 24 new offences, including falsely claiming to be a prophet, attempting to renounce Islam, necrophilia, bestiality, having tattoos, disobeying parents, gambling, under-weighing of goods, and homosexual activities.

In 2022, Terengganu followed suit with several amendments to the Syariah Criminal Offences (Punishments) Enactment 2022 in order to fortify the implementation of Syariah law in the state. Among the amendments include the addition of four new sections, namely offences for Section 3A (witchcraft and black magic), 29A (pregnancy or giving birth out of wedlock), 33A (manly behavior in women) and 36A (sodomy).

However, there has not been any cases reported just yet.

An Islamic healer who declined to be named told Sinar Daily point blanc that they are just too many “sick people” in these day and age, and he was not talking about the victims but those who indulge in the unseen and with black hearts.

He said Allah (SWT) has given His followers the tools to combat the effects of the evil eye and we should make it a habit to implement those tools in our daily lives in order to prevent the evil eye from affecting us and our families.

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