Rashid Shares Islam’s Take on the Supernatural

My name is Rashid. I’m Muslim, and the occult never really interested me but I believe that I’ve had some experiences that Islam cleared up. I remember when I was (about two), I remember getting picked up (by an adult) and carried over the shoulder and behind, reptilian beings would be running towards me. That’s the earliest I can remember.

They say that kids are a lot more sensitive to these types of things than adults, so I take that as something that’s not imagination. It was there. I just didn’t know how to explain it at that time. Nobody can challenge my experience because that’s mine. I’m just sharing it. They’re iffy because it’s a taboo subject. It’s not something that people want to talk about openly because it’s not a normal occurrence. Who wakes up and, ‘Okay. Today I’m going to meet some ghosts.’ Nobody. It’s usually, ‘What the hell?’ And that’s what happened to me.

I put everything aside until I had a spiritual awakening. I became Muslim. In Islam, we believe that there are three conscious beings created by God. It’s the angels, the djinn, and us.

The angels are made out of pure white light. They have consciousness but they don’t have free will. They just serve God. The djinn, they’re conscious and they have free will.

The Djinn

The djinn belong to the world unseen… They see us but we don’t see them. The good ones leave you alone. The bad ones are there to strike fear and mislead human beings. And when they do that, that’s what you call shayatin, or demons, singular form shaitan, similar to the word satan. Everything that causes you to fear (something) other than God is a shaitan. The sahitan can disguise themselves as dead relatives or people from different periods, so that explains why a lot of people think they saw their dead relatives. It’s not their dead relative. We believe that God doesn’t allow that to happen. When somebody dies, God takes the soul and it doesn’t dwell lost. It’s hhis time. There’s no such thing as he died too early. No. It’s his time.

From what I know, there are three species of djinn. Qareen, which is either assigned to you or born with you, and their job is to whisper bad things. You know how they show you in the cartoons there’s the devil and the angel? It looks like you. It knows all your actions, it basically whispers all the bad thoughts to you.

There’s the ghoul (pronounced hool), where the English language gets the word ghoul from. Usually these are the unexplainable horrid semi-human or not human type of apparitions that they see. Tiyanak, for example, or aswang. If you manage to see something that flies up in the air that’s a mixture of human and not, that’s a ghoul.

The third kind is called the ifreet. They’re strong. These are poltergeists. They carry stuff around. They’re the ones who make it seem that somebody moved something.

The worst kind is the actual shaitan, a demonic entity. The Koran says, ‘and the devil flows though the human being like blood flows through the veins.’ And this is where you get possessions. Some Islamic scholars say that these species could mate and produce offspring that are mix trait. Half ifreet half ghoul, for example. That’s according to some Islamic scholars.

Djinn or No Djinn

There are ways to tell if there’s a djinn in the house. For example, your name is being called and there’s nobody in the house, it means they can replicate sound.

Another thing is if you’re familiar with what shadow people are–they’re djinn. Islamic scholars say djinn don’t usually show themselves but if they were to show themselves, it’s in the form of a black mist. But you see, that’s the worst you’ll ever see of them as Muslims because the one who submits himself to God doesn’t see anything horrible from his creation. So–no offense–it’s usually the non-Muslims who are going to see them… Maybe that explains why before I became Muslim, I would see them vividly, as opposed to now.

Nowadays, my experiences are mostly where places are negative, I can sense the vibe and if somebody hates on me and either they gave me the evil eye or they really mean to harm me using black magic, for example, then it really manifests. You feel really sick, as if something’s coming out of you. You don’t know if you want to throw up or poop and you feel like there’s a crawling ache all over your body and you know right away that it’s not because I tired myself out. It’s like somebody wants me to die. It just feels that way. There’s prayer and verses from the Koran to counter this. That’s how I take it out of me.

They exist and sometimes they can harm you, like really harm you.

The proof of that is the Hadith, the saying of the Prophet Muhammad, ‘When the baby is born, Satan is jealous, so he pinches the kid, that’s why they cry.’ The first cry is because of that.

There was this one night that our yaya dreamt of a man carrying my eldest girl by the leg and my baby girl was drenched and muddy and he was taking her out the window. The yaya dreamt that she leapt up and ‘Hey!’ And he drops my daughter and he jumps out. The next day, my baby’s down with a very bad cold, stuffy nose, I can’t get up type cold as if she was soaked somewhere.

The Evil Eye

What do you know about bati? You don’t know who has the evil eye. (Not everyone knows they have the evil eye.) They could be combing themselves in the mirror and thinking, ‘Ang gwapo mo,’ then uuugh. It happens. You know the biggest cause of that? Jealousy. Ungratefulness. Not to dog on anybody, but it’s a known fact that in this country, a lot of people are like that, so it’s very ripe for it. Thats what bati is.

The Prophet Muhammad says, ‘Verily the eye is real. It can bring a down from on top of a mountain, so always seek refuge from the evil eye.’ What led to him saying this was there was a companion of his, you know back in the day they didn’t really have bathrooms? He was walking down the street. He chanced upon another companion of the prophet Muhammad bathing. Tapos napansin niya macho. He does, ‘What a beautiful body!’ Boom! The guy falls down, convulsing. Is it part of our topic? Absolutely, because it’s part of a world unseen.

You have that gut feel? Maybe I’m afflicted–that’s basically how you tell. Hwag ka namang praning, butt if that’s your gut feel, that’s your gut feel. According to the Hadith, the person (with the evil eye) has to take a shower and the water that he used to take a shower, pour it over you. Or you have to just pray if you don’t know who gave it to you. That’s usually what happens nowadays because even if we knew who, would you like somebody’s soap scum on you?

The beauty of Islam is, to counter that, ‘Ang gwapong bata,’ you have to say, ‘May Allah bless him/ her.’ That counters the evil eye.

(Someone who realizes that he has the evil eye) should always be close to the company of knowledgable people in Islam, people who advise them to do good, people who advise them to pray properly, how to read the Koran properly, might mitigate risks. Basically, you have the magic formula. How many times did God say in the Koran, ‘Those of you who believe, do good and righteous deeds, and those of you who pray, those of you who give charity.’ Basically, he laid down the foundation of somebody who’s upright, that even the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, they were so upright that they would catch the djinn. They move very fast so can you imagine catching something that moves very fast? And these djinn who are so strong would feel helpless against them.

Don’t Poke the Bear

The paranormal is a serious subject in Islam. If you’re going to study it for the sake of knowing, go right ahead because it’s added knowledge, but don’t toy with it. Don’t play with Ouija boards. Don’t do Charlie, Charlie with pencils. Don’t stay in your room at night, lights turned off asking, ‘Is anybody here?’ and try to pick up EVPs. Don’t do that. Don’t download an app like SP7 Spirit Box and start playing with it because people did that and you know what? They started conjuring up other beings, other people aside from the ones they were calling… so I wouldn’t suggest you go that far.

Whatever your religion is, may that serve as a guide and as a shield for you to have clarity regarding this matter because this is actually very dangerous. But if you did have any type of experience of the paranormal… maybe that might shed light on why.

It’s not anything from the past, it’s not somebody’s soul, it’s another realm that if–like us, if we’re negative people, we attract negativity and we express negativity. It’s the same for them. If a place has a negative history to it, they’re attracted to that place. That’s why devils live in garbage heaps and comfort rooms. Negative places, that’s where negative djinns are, and if they want to express themselves, they’ll express themselves in a negative fashion.

And may this be a way for you t be a lot more aware and armed regarding that typeof situation. Know that it’s not anything from the past. It’s just another being trying to play around with you and if you let them, they will.

Islamic Exorcisms

Some djinns do fall in love with people. I’m sure you’ve heard of these stories where they invite you to their kingdom… that might be true, that might not be true. A lot of people get possessed because the djinn fell in love with the girl…

We do perform exorcisms. Our word for exorcism is Ruqya. Ruqya means ‘to get rid of something.’ You’re getting rid of something that latched on to you.

How it goes is you have to identify first if the person is possessed. There could be a hundred of them possessing somebody and that’s a bad bad bad situation.

Two, you encourage them to leave first. Tell them, ‘What you’re doing is wrong.’

Next is the rituals. One is reading from the Koran. There are other techniques like the exorcist takes a stick and hits the victim with it. The victim isn’t supposed to feel it. It’s the demon that feels the pain.

If you’re successful, they leave. Other techniques would be making them smell perfume, but basically, prayer, the Koran, this is what we use to cure the afflicted with these possessions.

Story 1: The Hag

When I was seven, our house in Green Meadows was made out of old houses–my mom had a fascination for old materials so let’s say a beam from an old house, she would get those beams and incorporate it into the house. So you have this different Lego pieces from different eras, I don’t know where they came from. Our front door had a bullet hole, they say from the Revolutionary War in the 1890s.
You know how you take a shower when you’re a kid, after dinner, there’s usually homework then you eat your dinner then you shower then you kissed your parents goodnight… I get out of my room, turn right, and I was heading to my parent’s room, I hear someone go ‘Psst.’
I look back. There’s a haggish lady. She goes, ‘Haaa!’
I run to my parents’ room, scared, accusing everybody, I think si manang Merly, the one who does our laundry is trying to scare me. She swears it wasn’t her. She says, ‘You can kill me right now, it wasn’t me.’
That was the worst one.

Story 2: The Really Fast Smoking Man

A lot of weird things would happen in that neighborhood. There were parts of that neighborhood that were very eerie, dark, moist, musty-smelling and creepy. There were places that were well-lit but as teenagers, you go around and you cause trouble.
My brother was going home one time from a friend’s house. He was smoking a cigarette. A guy comes up to him, ‘Can I borrow a light?’
He lights up, ‘Thank you.’
My brother takes a short cut home. The guy would have to go around two half blocks before he gets to our house. My brother cuts through. When he gets to our house, the guy is there by the gates of our house smoking a cigarette. My brother enters our house like, ‘Oookay.’
Story 3: Haunted Apartment

Our house sits on a property that used to be–you know the Marikina Files movie? The gory dead bodies all chopped up? That’s on our property right now. When it was newly built, some of the old residents in Marikina told me, ‘Your place, you know what? People would knock on the doors randomly. When you open the doors, nobody’s there.’
Or up to now, they’ll say stuff like, ‘Them kids running around.’ Because apparently, in the fifth floor, kids run around when there’s no one there, like late night.
Our unit is kind of like a highway. A sensitive lady that told us that they come in and out and sometimes, if they want to cause trouble, they will cause trouble. I have toddlers in the house–they can see things. My eldest kid woke up pointing at the mirror one night crying. We started reading those verses that are anti-this type of thing. That calmed him down. He went back to sleep.


Photo from Pexels.


Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.

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