These are taken from the Appendix of a highly informative book “The Exorcist Tradition in Islaam” © 1997 Dar Al Fatah, written By Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. If you wish to read more, you will have to buy the book.
Location: Madina, Saudi Arabia
Name: ‘Ali Mushrif al-‘Amree
Education: Teacher at Islâmic University of Madeenah
Q. When and why did you practice exorcism?
A. This situation whereby people came to me for ailments caused by the jinn began quite recently. When I was appointed as imaam of Masjid Qubaa – and my Qur’ânic recitation was good, praise be to Allaah – I was afflicted by the evil eye in my throat. When I got down off of the podium after delivering the Friday sermon and wanted to recite the Qur’aan for the prayer, I was totally unable to recite the opening chapter, al-Faatihah, In fact, I could not even say, “Allaahu akbar” (Allaah is the greatest.) in order to begin the prayer. Some of those behind me realized that I had been affected with the evil eye, and one of them stepped forward and led the prayer for me. When the prayer was over, people came and greeted and wished me well and cursed whoever put the evil eye on me. They all knew it was caused by the evil eye, but there was no way to identify the person because of the large number of people who prayed in the mosque. I was forced to resign from leading prayer in the mosque due to inability to recite or lead the prayer. It even reached the level that I was unable to teach at the University of Madeenah, and I asked to be released from my post. Some of my friends and close relatives suggested that I go to see some magicians. But how could I do that when I was a teacher of tawheed at the university, teaching that it was prohibited to go to fortunetellers and magicians? I refused to go to a magician even if it meant my death. Then I recalled that the Prophet (pbuh) said,
“Incantation is not allowed, except for the evil eye or the sting of a scorpion.”
I reflected that this text explicitly allows the believers to use permissible incantations – and the greatest would be for the evil eye. So I began to research this issue by gathering together books of prophetic traditions, commentaries on the Qur’aan, writings of the scholars about the use of verses and prophetic supplications. I found that these scholars said that when some Jews wanted to affect the Prophet (pbuh ) with the evil eye, the following verse was revealed:
“And surely those who disbelieve will almost make you slip with their eyes when they hear the Reminder (i.e., the Qur’aan), and they say, ‘Surely, he is a madman.’ But it is only a reminder to all of the worlds.”
The scholars say that whenever this verse is recited on someone afflicted with the evil eye, it cures him by the permission of Allaah. They mentioned their experience in using this verse and its results. Almighty Allaah stated that He revealed in the Qur’aan a verse which is a cure and a mercy for the believers. I found in authentic traditions that the Prophet ( pbuh) said,
“Verily, in the Qur’aan is a cure for your sicknesses.”
And I found that other chapters like the mu‘awwidhataan and al-Faatihah were used for various spiritual ailments, So I gathered these verses, chapters and prophetic supplications and recited them upon myself. In addition, I noticed that the commentaries written about them usually spoke of the jinn. So, not only did I personally benefit from this research concerning the evil eye, but I also learned about the world of the jinn. I discovered what may be recited as protection against them or for relief for those possessed, and I discovered the effects of magic and its Qur’ânic cures. Reading upon myself cured most of the effects of the evil eye. Although I am still unable to raise my voice in recitation between maghrib and ‘ishaa’, I have begun to give lectures again and have returned to teaching.
Shortly after this, I came across an article in the newspaper about a man from the Mutayree clan in Hadbaan (about 300 km from Madeenah) whose place was being burned by fire, and he was forced to leave his place because of it. The papers mentioned that after investigation some geologists and other scientists concluded that the area was flammable due to gas leaks, while others claimed that it was caused by bacteria. In the end, they wrote that the scientists were unable to solve the problem. So I contacted the civil defense administration and informed them that the cause was jinn. The man or a member of his family had harmed the jinn, so they were taking revenge by hurting the family. I told the administration that with Qur’ânic recitation it would go away. The civil defense contacted the Emirate and informed them of what I had said. They in turn contacted the Director of the University, who summoned me and told me that I would be sent by car to Hadbaan, so I went.
When I met the man, I greeted him and asked him what had happened. He said that he built a seven room residence and dug a well there. He placed his camel-hair tent next to his house. While he and his family were sitting in the house after zuhr, they noticed a fire had started in the tent. They put it out, assuming that someone passing by had inadvertently thrown a cigarette into the tent and caused the fire. So they began to curse the one who did it. When they sat back down in the living room, they noticed the smell of smoke and thought that the tent had reignited, but they did not find it on fire. They began to search in the other rooms for the source. They discovered that the room next to them was on fire, and they thought that perhaps someone had deliberately thrown another lit cigarette through one of the open windows of the room. Again, they cursed the perpetrator. However, while they were putting out this fire, they found that the room in which they had previously sitting was now on fire. So they realized that it was not as they suspected. They collected some of their belongings and gathered in one of the bedrooms. There was a metal wardrobe in this bedroom along with a metal trunk containing some valuables. They suddenly noticed smoke coming from inside the metal trunk. When they opened it, they found their belongings burned to ashes. So they collected their remaining belongings, left the house, went to the head of the tribe in the region, and informed him of what had occurred. While the tribal leader was debating whether the information was true or false, their car ignited. The leader told them to leave the house and to stay in two tents which he would set up outside the house. At the time of ‘asr prayer, a tent was set up for the women and another for the men. When maghrib came and they left the tents to perform their prayers, the two tents burst into flames.
Subsequently, every time they set up new tents, they also went up in flames. They sent a telegram to the King asking him to save them from the fire. The governorate was contacted, and the civil defense was sent. Another tent was set up for the family, and two officers from the civil defense sat with al-Mutayree inside the tent. When they all got up and went outside, the tent ignited and burned to the ground. The civil defense apologized that they were unable to do anything further in this case. Next the geologists came and said that the land was subject to spontaneous ignition due to gas seepage, so the man and his family were taken to a town 30 kilometers away, but things kept bursting into flames around them. The other scientists, who said that the combustion was due to bacteria, were just as wrong, because the combustion would only occur when they left a place. In fact, whenever someone from the family remained behind in a place, the fires stopped. Then other problems began. If they were in front of food, nothing would happen, but if they left, salt would spill in the food or soap powder would be found all over it. Sometimes they would find cow dung or goat droppings in their food when they left it alone for a moment.
During my first night there I recited in all seven rooms of the house, then everyone left. We ate at the leader of the tribe’s house which was many kilometers away. When we returned that night, nothing was burned. So we spent the night there without an incident. I also spent the next night there, and again we left and returned without any fires igniting. After that I returned to Madeenah. The newspapers, which like to exaggerate every¬thing, wrote a number of lengthy articles on the incident and how a hadeeth scholar from the Islâmic University had driven away the jinn. Within three days, people came in droves outside my door, informing me that they were afflicted with jinn, etc. I told them that I was myself afflicted and I only wanted to help the family in Hadbaan. I informed them that I had never read over anyone before, but they insisted that I recite anyway. I felt that if I recited and nothing happened, it would convince them and they would leave. So I recited over the first case, a woman, and to my surprise the jinn left her immediately. That only increased the problem and the crowds got bigger and bigger. Even now, sometimes nights pass and I am unable to sleep due to the many cases which are brought to me.
Q. How long have you been exorcising people?
A. I have been exorcising people for two years.
Q. What are the main signs of possession?
A. There are many. For instance, a man may come to me complaining that he feels as though chains are tied to his body between his stomach and his neck and at times something seems to suffocate him. When I recite over him for a while, he begins to take deep breaths and his body begins to shake. If I grab him by the neck and speak to the jinn in him, it begins to speak. When I ask the jinn its name, it gives a name different from that of the man, or the jinn may say that she is a woman. Once I recited over a brother and ordered the possessing spirit, “Get out you evil, male jinn,” and it replied, “I am a woman and not a man.” When I asked her, “Why did you take him?” she replied, “I did not come to him, he came to me. I was in a well along with my children and he climbed down the well and hurt us.” When the man regained consciousness, he confirmed her story, saying that he had a well and when he had climbed down into it, he felt something enter his stomach like an arrow.
One possessed by a jinn exhibits some strange movements and speaks without realizing it. People will inform the person after regaining consciousness about the things he had said.
If a person experiences nightmares or a state of immobility at the time of going to sleep or between the state of wakefulness and sleep, these are among the beginning signs of possession. They must be treated immediately, otherwise they will lead to major problems later. If Aayah al-Kursee is recited repeatedly, the jinn will go away and not return.
Q. How do you distinguish between a possessed person and one who is bewitched?
A. These two states are quite similar and can easily be mistaken for each other. When researching these cases, one finds that magic operates by way of the jinn. The magician is not able to affect the one on whom he casts the spell except with the help of the jinn. I am able to tell the difference during treatment. Treating jinn-possession is much easier than breaking a magic spell. The companions of the Prophet (pbuh ) recited over a possessed person three times and he got well. The Prophet addressed a possessed person on one occasion and he was cured. However, the spell which was cast upon the Prophet ( pbuh) lasted for six months. It was not broken until he was informed where the charm was and it was dismantled. This tells us that complete cure will usually only take place when the charm has been destroyed. Finding the charm is not easy unless one discovers the one who cast the spell and forces him to destroy it. If the charm is not found, it is very difficult to cure. The spell can be broken without the charm, but it requires continuous treatment and patience. I have treated a few cases successfully, so it can be done, but it requires long, continuous treatment. When verses are read over a possessed person, he becomes uneasy and begins to make many unnecessary movements. This tells you that the cause is jinn. If the verses of magic (aayaat as-sihr) are read over a bewitched person, he will also exhibit additional movements. One knows by experience the difference between the two. In the beginning it is not easy to tell. Now when a patient comes and I recite over him some verses I am able to tell his relatives if he is under a spell or possessed. Because of that, some people say that I am a magician. Some tell me that I am dealing with magic because they went to magicians who confirmed what I said. However, it is only coincidence. If the patient’s movements are strange or unusual, it may be due to jinn-possession. If not, it is probably be due to magic. Spells often affect only one particular characteristic of the person. If the person develops a phobia about something, it is probably due to a magical spell. For example, a person suddenly develops an intense dislike for his job. If you take him anywhere else he is fine, but if you take him to his job he refuses to go. His supervisor would then terminate him because he does not wish to work. This is probably due to magic. However, it might be mixed with the evil eye. The difference is that the person under the spell will act crazily when taken to something he dislikes. Those affected by the jinn will develop a dislike of filthy things. For example, he may refuse to enter a bathroom. He may dislike entering a number of places and he develops a fear of them. Also, he will begin to like being alone, avoiding people. The jinn want to be secluded with the one possessed.
Q. Do only non-Muslim jinn possess?
A. No, the possessing spirit could be Muslim, but a corrupt one, like corrupt Muslim humans.
Q. Can righteous jinn possess humans for their benefit?
A. No, the act of possession is an act of oppression. However, if a human develops a habit of doing a righteous act, like prayer at a particular time, and he oversleeps or forgets, a righteous jinn [or angel, according to some scholars] will sometimes remind him. He may hear a voice calling him to get up, and when he awakens, no one is there.
Q. Are people possessed by only one jinn at a time?
A. There are no limitations for the jinn in this regard. It is not a case where one enters and the host is full.
Q. How do the jinn possess humans?
A. They enter most often from the feet. One feels as though an ant is crawling on one’s foot and then up one’s leg. This continues until it occupies the whole body. Or it may come feeling like a sharp arrow piercing one’s stomach. Then it seems to enter the throat. A third way is that one experiences a very severe headache which temporarily causes a complete loss of consciousness, then it descends on the remainder of the body. Or one may suffer from an extreme bout of depression.
Ibn Taymeeyah divided the jinn with regard to their affecting humans into three groups: 1) a group which attacks humans and may even kill them. 2) a group which possesses humans without killing or harming them, but it is difficult to get them to leave, and 3) a group which harms them slightly and leaves quickly. The third group is the most common. They are the mischievous type which will possess without any logical cause. They possess just to do harm, and they only control humans whose hearts are empty, vacant of the remembrance of Allaah. Jinn usually occupy filthy, vacant and deserted places. If the Qur’aan is recited over someone possessed by this type of jinn, it leaves quickly because it had no real purpose besides mischief. The second group consists of jinn who possess humans out of passionate love, and they usually cause epileptic fits. This type requires long treatment because it is the most difficult to remove. The first group is the worst and most dangerous. They harm humans according to the level of harm which humans did to them. If someone threw a stone and killed one of them, they may kill him or one of his children. If part of the body was paralyzed from human harm, the jinn will cause the paralysis of a part of the person who harmed them. This is the type that the Prophet (pbuh ) warned us about, and he gave us prayers to protect ourselves from them. Muslims are instructed to mention the name of Allaah before entering the toilets, when leaving and entering their homes, when eating, when discharging a weapon during hunting, when throwing anything or when pouring hot water. The last two are the most common causes for the possession of women. I will cite three cases of this type.
A woman was brought to me unconscious and, when I recited over her, the spirit left and she regained her consciousness. I asked her what had happened. She replied that she had left her house after maghrib – and this is when possession most often takes place, which is why the Prophet (pbuh ) said in an authentic tradition: “When night falls, keep your children in your homes because the devils spread out in that hour,” – and saw a black cat which ran into her apartment. She chased it from room to room, trying to expel it, until she cornered it in the bedroom. There she took her nightgown from a chair and hit it, and it ran under the bed. She looked under the bed but did not see it. So she assumed that it must have left without her realizing it. When her husband returned later on that night and she put on the nightgown, it possessed her from her nightgown. However, because her harm to it was slight, it readily left after a single recitation over her and did not return.
Another unconscious woman was brought to me, and after I recited over her and grasped her throat, the jinn began to speak, because it suffered from this. Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah and other scholars used to beat their patients, but I found that beating sometimes hurts the person. The jinn spoke, saying, “My name is Saalih.” Then I said, “Saalih is a Muslim name,” and he replied, “I am a Muslim,” I scolded him, saying, “Since you are a Muslim, why are you hurting this Muslim woman?” He said, “She hurt me. Why did she hurt me?” I asked how she hurt him and he replied, “She poured hot water on me in the toilet and wounded me. She did not even warn me.” I questioned, “How could she have heard warned you?” He said, “By saying bismillaah (In the name of Allaah). I would have heard that and left,” When the woman regained consciousness, I asked her if she poured hot water in the toilet, and she confirmed that she had. So I told her to mention Allaah’s name before doing so in the future. As for the possessing. jinn, he left and did not return again.
Q. Are there other circumstances when the jinn may possess humans?
A. The weapons are in one’s hands to protect oneself from falling into their evil. Whenever a Muslim leaves or enters his home, he should mention the name of Allaah. When he goes to sleep, he should recite Aayah al-Kursee. One should try not to leave any opportunities for them to attack. The Prophet (pbuh ) mentioned certain circumstances which should be avoided:
1) Do not sleep by yourself in an empty house or in the desert. The Prophet ( pbuh) prohibited people from sleeping alone because the devil may gain control over them.
2) Do not travel alone. He named the one who travels alone “satan,” two who travel together “two devils” (shaytaanaan), and three “a caravan” (rakb).
Most people who are possessed either forgot to mention Allaah’s name before pouring hot water or throwing something, or they slept or traveled alone.
The jinn usually possess people when they are in a state of either extreme fear or excessive frivolity. For example, there is a type of jinn called jinn az-zaar which possesses people during musical parties. It can be treated. When the participants of such gatherings are filled with the spirits, the exorcist grasps them by the throat and recites over them until the jinn leave.
Q. What are the Qur’ânic verses which you read over the possessed?
A. Most of them can be found in Sunan Abee Daawood, al-Adhkaar by an¬-Nawawee. Tadhkirah adh-Dhaakireen by ash-Shawkaanee, Sharh al-Hirz al-¬Haseen and at-Tibb an-Nabawee. It is good to read Soorah al-Jinn, Soorah al-Kafiroon, Soorah al-Ikhlaas, Soorah al-Falaq and Soorah an-Naas. These last four may be read three times each or seven times each. There are also prophetic prayers which have been used successfully by some scholars, as well as supplications used by early scholars which are mentioned by Ibn al-Qayyim in his book, Zaad al-Ma‘aad. That is from the point of the exorcist. The possessed is recommended to recite the seven verses on magic, among them are the following verses: Qur’aan, 10:81, 20:69 and 7:117-121. These three soorahs contain seven verses which have been tried and tested by scholars with very good results.
Q. Is it necessary to take an oath from the jinn before they depart?
A. It is necessary in order to discourage them from returning. Sometimes I will grasp the patients neck and say, “I ask you by the One besides whom there is no god, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, to speak on her tongue without hurting her,” and it will begin to talk. It may say, “What do you want?” or “This is none of your business.”
Q. Do the jinn speak in the voice of the possessed?
A. Yes, the jinn speak in the same dialect and with the same voice. But I did have a case where a common, uneducated person recited the Qur’aan better than I could. If I recited over him Aayah al-Kursee, he would say, “I have learned it better than you.” And he would proceed to recite it.
Q. What is the role of the qareen in possession?
A. The jinn assigned to a person may inform the magician or fortuneteller’s jinn all about you. So they appear capable of knowing the unseen. There was a case in the time of Caliph al-Mahdee (ruled 775-785 CE) in which a man entered his court and claimed that he was a prophet receiving revelation. He was asked for proof and he said, “Everyone put in his hand a specific number of items. I will leave and come back and inform you of what you have in your hands. This will prove what I say because it could only take place by revelation.” They did as he asked and he informed them of the exact amounts in their hands. They were amazed until a scholar came and told them that the man was lying to them. The scholar said that the man was really a magician. They asked how he knew that and he told them that he would demonstrate. He said, “If he is able to tell what is in my hand, then is a true prophet.” Then he told the man to leave. He then took out a number of dirhams and held some in his hand. When the man returned, the scholar asked him to inform them. The man lowered his head for a moment then raised it up and said, “Thirty.” The scholar opened his band and showed he had over one hundred. When asked how the impostor did it the first time, he told them that they counted what was in their hands and their jinn counted along with them and informed the impostor’s jinn. However, the scholar grasped a quantity without counting them, so his jinn was unable to count them; therefore, the magician could not find out what he had. The man was beaten and he admitted the truth.
There is a popular school of thought spreading in these times called mediumship. It is all lies and involves magic. If someone says, “But I heard my father’s voice,” the answer should be “No, you heard your father’s jinn.” The qareen may not die when the man dies. It may live for some time. So if the person’s father’s jinn is still around, it is able to talk in his dialect, just as jinn often speak in the exact same voice of the humans they possess. Their voices are indistinguishable from their hosts, whether male or female. The jinn, through the medium, will inform a person of things only known to him and his father, because he was with him. The ignorant believe that it is the spirit of the dead communicating. However, it is impossible, because the Qur’aan and the Sunnah clearly state that the souls of the dead cannot return to this life.
 Qubaa is a place three miles from Madeenah where Prophet Muhammad (pbuh ) laid the foundations of the first place for public worship in Islaam. It is esteemed as the fourth mosque in rank, being next to that of Makkah, Madeenah and Jerusalem. (Dictionary of Islam, p. 482.)
 Reported by Buraydah ibn Husayb al-Aslamee and collected by Muslim (Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, pp. 141-142, no. 625) and Ibn Maajah (Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah, vol. 2, p. 266, no. 2832). A similar statement was also reported by ‘Imraan ibn Husayn and collected by Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmidhee and Ahmad (Saheeh al-Jaami‘ as-Sagheer, vol. 6, p. 191, no. 7373).
 Qur’aan, 68:51-52.
 See Qur’aan, 17:82.
 I could not find any tradition with this wording in the reference books on prophetic traditions. The wording, “The best medicine is the Qur’aan,” is not authentic (Da‘eef Sunan Ibn Maajah, p. 287, no. 774 and p. 284, no. 767) and neither is the wording, “Use two cures – honey and the Qur’aan.” (Da‘eef Sunan Ibn Maajah, p. 280, no. 756). There is a narration with the wording, “Surely, this Qur’aan is the rope of Allaah, light and a beneficial cure,” collected by ad-Daarimee (Sunan ad-Daarimee, vol. 2, p. 431), however, it is also not authentic due to the presence of the unreliable narrator, Ibraaheem ibn Muslim al-Hajaree (Taqreeb at-Tahdheeb, p. 93, no. 252).
 Reported by Jaabir and collected by al-Bukhaaree (Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 4, p. 321, no. 500) and Muslim (Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, p.1113, no. 4995-8).
 Collected by at-Tirmidhee, Ahmad, Maalik and Aboo Daawood (Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 2, p. 721, no. 2601), and authenticated (hasan) by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood, vol. 2, p. 494, no. 2271.