A Muslim leader in Britain who claims to have carried out more than 3,000 exorcisms recently released video of one particular episode with a woman in a full burqa (body veil). The woman moves back and forth, and at one point even lifts up a table in an effort to seemingly hit the exorcist. At that point, he simply spits in her face. [Video below]
It may seem odd to modern Westerners, but the idea of evil spirits or “jinns” possessing people or being trapped inside their bodies is common in Islam. The practice of removing jinns, called Ruqyah, is rare in Britain but common in Islamic countries across Africa and Asia. The exorcism consists of chanting verses from the Quran and using holy water.
In this case, 42-year-old Kurdistani Imam Ayoub Tayeb charged £60 for the exorcism at his mosque, the Masjid Mohammed, in Sheffield, England. The video showed a 29-year-old woman in a full black burqa, who said she was possessed by a jinn who caused her a long list of medical problems, including vomiting, pain in her womb, insomnia, headaches, back pain, and poor memory, which she said could not be cured by doctors.
Tayeb put the woman on a sofa, and moved around her, chanting verses of the Quran into a microphone, drowning out the woman’s screams. The woman screamed uncontrollably while thrashing around on the sofa and picking up a table. Tayeb stopped her from slamming the table on his head, and immediately spat holy water in her face. He sat the woman on the couch and stood around her in various poses, chanting the Quran to her.
“She has black magic and the jinn that brought the black magic is also in love with her,” Tayeb told the Daily Mail. Some women have claimed jinn fall in love with them and even have sexual relations with them from inside their bodies. “But this is not real love as love does not cause pain and this jinn has caused many ailments.”
The imam explained that the information about the magic was given to him by the jinn when he spoke to it. He suggested that “magic practicing is widespread. A simple Google search would reveal how easy it is to buy or find a spell.”
Tayeb said the woman from the video is following a home treatment plan and feeling better, with many symptoms having disappeared.
The imam claimed to have performed 3,000 exorcisms during the past three years. He said patients traveled from Germany, Norway, the United States, Sweden, and Iraq in order to be treated by him.
“Most of our patients come from the Islamic faith. However, we also have helped Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and atheists — we do not differentiate between religions or non-religion,” Tayeb said. “I treat unexplained illnesses that doctors cannot explain or cure such things as period or menstrual issues or excessive behaviors such as gambling, drugs or alcohol.”
The imam compared his process to that of a doctor diagnosing a patient. “We use a diagnosis in a way similar to what you may find at a doctor’s surgery. We list common symptoms in either jinn possession or magic and through those answers we can diagnose the problem by Allah’s will.”
He insisted that the Quran has spiritual power to heal and cast out demons. “I like using the Quran to heal and witnessing the power of the Quran gives me satisfaction — to heal and see people healed,” Tayeb said. “It can make me tired at times and very busy — continuous recitation can give me a sore throat.”
The imam compared exorcism to a battle, but insisted that God will always prevail. “I only fear God and God is more powerful than the jinn he created so I believe God will protect me,” he said. “Jinn like to incite fear in humans, but they cannot attack me because I am not scared of them and God is on my side.”
While many Westerners may rush to dismiss the idea of jinn out of hand, Christianity recognizes demon possession, recording many times when Jesus drove demons out of people. Jesus also warned that false Christs would perform many signs and wonders (Matthew 24:24). At one point, Jesus told his disciples that people casting out demons in his name, even if they did not believe in him, are “with him.”
Tayeb may be a charlatan, or there might be something else going on.
Watch the exorcism below.