September 16, 2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 15: With a number of fake "Amils" (spiritual physicians) on the prowl cheating thousands of gullible people "possessed by spirits", an Islamic scholar has launched a nation-wide campaign against exorcism and witch doctors.
Moulana Hasanul Hashmi, who edits Tilismati Duniya, a Urdu monthly from Deoband popular for its fight against witchcraft and sorcery, is currently in Hyderabad to free city Muslims from the clutches of fake Amils. Witch doctors, who are growing in number by the day, have made old city and other parts of the State their base to mint money by misleading gullible people. Many lanes and bylanes in old city are dotted with "Amil clinics" claiming treatment for everything related to the supernatural or the evil.
"A number of witch doctors or fake Amils have been arrested in different parts of the country. These people misuse the provisions of Islam for their selfish ends and in the process bring bad name to the religion. It's high time we put an end to the menace," Moulana Hasanul Hashmi, who himself practices Islamic spiritual treatment, told this correspondent. The Moulana serves as a "spiritual doctor" for thousands of people in the country including senior politicians like CM Ibrahim, Jafar Sharief and Union Minister Praful Patel. "Former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao used to consult me quite often for spiritual solace," he said.
Fake Amils have become a major nuisance in the city as their "spiritual prescriptions" quite often lead to marital discord, breaking up of families and enmity among friends and relatives. "What they utter is quite nonsense. Though they claim that their practice is based on Islamic doctrine, these fake Amils do not follow Islam. In fact, they do not know anything about the religion or spiritual treatment of patients," he observed.
While fake Amils practice what is called "sifli amal" (satanic practices), the genuine ones base their work on "Rahmaniyat" or the spiritual teachings of Islam. He said 70 per cent of the "possessed" cases are fake as they are more to do with one's psychological condition. Only in 10 per cent of the cases do the Jinn (genie) create trouble. The genuine Amil drives away the spirits using the Quranic verses.
The Moulana plans to set up a college of spiritual sciences to drive away illiterates from the net of fake Amils and sorcerers.
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