Belief in Witchcraft, Spells, the Occult and Protective Charms Widespread in the Middle East
Revelation 9:21, “Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
I had generally understood the Greek word for “magic arts” (pharmakeia) metaphorically, referring to idolatry instead of actual “sorcery” or “witchcraft” since the immediate context dealt explicitly with the worship of idols (cf Revelation 9:20). But in light of this article, it could very possibly be referring to actual witchcraft as well …
When Tara Umm Omar was a young bride in her first marriage, she and her Moroccan husband took the youngest sister of a family friend into their home. On the day the young Moroccan woman arrived, she gave Umm Omar a doll, which Umm Omar promptly placed in a dresser drawer.
When Umm Omar told a friend of the doll, the friend suspected it was an item for black magic and suggested the doll be destroyed. Instead, Umm Omar tossed it in the garbage. That’s when household items disappeared, the family dog barked incessantly, Umm Omar started fighting with her husband and she began seeing strange insects in the house. When the guest finally moved out, the couple found their bed sheets and an identical doll to Umm Omar’s among the woman’s discarded belongings.
The message to Umm Omar was clear: The woman she invited into her home sought to destroy her happiness through black magic.
Umm Omar is since remarried to a Saudi and now lives in Riyadh. She runs the popular blog, Future Husbands and Wives of Saudis, a help website for non-Saudis marrying Saudis. As a quasi-marriage counselor for brides and grooms nervously entering Saudi society, Umm Omar dispenses religious and practical advice to help ease the cultural shock. That includes providing insight to the real world concerns of black magic and the evil eye.
‘The truth is that all magic is haram [prohibited] and only leads to bad ends,’ Umm Omar told The Media Line.
Belief in black magic runs deep in Saudi society. The issue was raised last month when the quasi-legislative body Shoura Council granted permission for Moroccan women to work as maids in Saudi households. Hundreds of Saudi women complained to the Council that granting Moroccan maids permission to work was tantamount to allowing the use of black magic in their homes to steal their husbands. Saudi wives complained the issue was not lacking trust in their husbands, but their men were powerless to ward off spells.
While greeted with skepticism in western societies, Saudis would no more question the existence of black magic than they would Islam. Two surahs (chapters) in the Qur’an under Al Mi’wadhatyan address black magic and are often recited during or after prayer. Simply, part of being a Muslim is believing in the existence of magic.” Read more.