Still on suicide, depression and evil eye

Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak; From the evil of that which He created; And from the evil of darkness when it settles; And from the evil of the blowers in knots and from the evil of an envier when he envies (Quran 113)

Brethren, when the incident of the act of suicide of the medical doctor took place over a week ago, it was explained away as an aftermath of depression. The latter, medical practitioners would argue, is an extremely complex disease. It is complex simply because physicians have been unable to diagnose its cause with clinical exactitude.

Enquiries from bearers of the stethoscope reveal that depression often results as a result physical or emotional abuse. Depression may occur in reaction to the consumption of certain medications, social conflict, death or loss of a beloved person. When a family has a history of depression, then children born into such family would be carriers of certain genes, which would pre-dispose them to the ailment. The genetics of depression, like most psychiatric disorders, are not as simple or straightforward as in purely genetic diseases such as Huntington’s chorea or cystic fibrosis.

But I could not but wonder when I learnt that every ‘good’ or ‘bad’ thing in life could also lead to depression. The demands of a new job, the pressure of marital life, the trauma of separation, all these could predispose humans to depression. Indeed if a medical doctor commits suicide because of depression then the incident is enough an evidence to show how slippery the ailment is and could be.

Treating depression has remained a very knotty experience for most medical practitioners. It has been knotty and difficult simply because the line separating the condition from the attacks of the evil eye very thin indeed. Thus when someone who suffers neither physical nor physiological disorder, when someone suddenly becomes a psychiatric patient or plunges headlong into the lagoon, then men and women of discernment would look for the cause not necessarily in the physical but the spiritual. It is along this line that pondering how to treat the effects of the evil eye becomes a categorical imperative.

First, what are the symptoms of the evil eye? These include feelings of physical and/or emotional tiredness, unexplained bad luck or un-favourable incidences and illness. Someone suffering from the evil eye may experience fatigue, lack of concentration, restlessness, cramps, convulsions, headaches, hiccoughs, clumsiness, stomach aches, the drying up of the milk of nursing mothers and livestock, problems with the blood and eyesight, impairment of sexual activity and impotence. In other words, any ailment could be as a result of the attack of the evil eye.

How then do we treat the evil eye? Known as Sihr in Islamic eschatology, Muslim scholars are imbued with the knowledge of treating this ailment with the recitation of the Quran into the left ear of the sufferer. This is known as al-Ruqyah. Immediately the sound of the recitation begins to impact the body of the sufferer, it is expected that he or she would react negatively. This is because verses of the Quran being read have the power to punish or deter the evil eye or even burn the evil spirit nesting in the bodies or outside of the bodies of the sufferers. In such a situation, the sufferer may begin to cry, shout or demand that the verses of the Quran being recited should be stopped. This process should however be discontinued until all the Jinn’s are forced to leave and once they leave, get burnt or die, there would be visible signs of improvement in the body and in the condition of the victim.

Portions of the Quran that are very efficacious in preventing and treating demonic possession or depression includes Al-Fatihah (Chapter one of the Quran), Ayat-ul-Kursi (Chapter 2 verse 255), the chapter of the Jinn (Chapter 72) and Al-Muawizatayn (Chapter 113 and 114). In addition to recitation of thes portions of the Quran, they may also be recited into some quantities of Olive oil. This may then be rubbed over the body of the sufferer from head to toe. The portions of the Quran may equally be recited either into a cup of water for drinking or into a bucket of water for bathing. Special prayers or supplications for the treatment of the effects of the evil eye abound in the books of Hadith for our consultation.

Since prevention is better than cure, it is better that as a Muslim, we teach members of our family the importance of the basic etiquettes of life and living enshrined in Islamic law. Aside from the recitation of the Quran on a daily basis particularly in the morning, we should cultivate the habit of reading other recommended prayers and supplications known as Adhkar. A Muslim who sleeps at night from 7pm to 6 a.m in the morning without waking at the middle of the night for tahajjud becomes a paper weight in the hands of the evil eye. Such a person may soon begin to nurture evil ideas against himself or others.

Commenting on how the evil eye usually take hold of its victims, al-Ghazalli says: “If the first inward thought is not warded off, it will generate a desire, then the desire will generate a wish, and the wish will generate an intention, and the intention will generate the action, and the action will result in ruin and divine wrath. So evil must be cut off at its root, which is when it is simply a thought that crosses the mind, from which all the other things follow on.” Someone whose heart is empty of the remembrance (Adhkar) of the Almighty becomes a willing tool in the hands of the devil. (08122465111 for texts only)

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