Arabic magic السحر العربي

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Contact with the spirit world is as old as man himself. In all civilizations in the past, without exception, there were mystical rituals for this purpose, which were a privilege of a small group of people, and secret knowledge and wisdom were guarded behind "seven locks". In Bosnia and Herzegovina the most famous way of invoking good or bad demons is called - daira. Little is known about this process since it has been reserved for individuals, usually individual religious teachers or individuals proficient in magic.

Daira is an Arabic word which means circle. Practicing daire would literally mean - gathering Jinn into a circle. This is partially true since the practitioner with the help of a medium and accompanying props establishes communication with the Jinn, in order to discern the reason for the disease of a human, and to free a person from the possession of a demon and to completely cure him or her. The entire ceremony resembles a spiritual summoning of ghosts, but there are a lot of essential differences. While in spiritual séances of ghost summoning, the medium and those present don't have the opportunity to see the ghosts with their eyes, in the daire ritual, no matter how fabulous it may seem, the Jinn are quite visible!

Muhamed Garčević writes about this in his book "Zapisi i hamajlije"(inscriptions and amulets) published in 1942 in Banja Luka - "As different as it is, it is as dangerous. Especially for the ones not capable of such work. Even for people skilled and capable in that magical act, things happened, and the incompetent were hurt in such a manner that they were disfigured both physically and mentally for the rest of their lives. The revenge of the Jinn for the careless and incompetent practitioners would end in one of the following ways: their mouths would move to their ears to the left or right side, their legs or arms would be numb, they would lose their vision, they would be mute or would stutter their entire lives, etc.

According to Muhamed Garčević, persons which desire to invoke the Jinn, i.e. those trying to communicate with them, first must be god fearing, they must not eat food of animal origin (meat, eggs, fat,...), and bring vegetarian cuisine to a minimum; abstain from frequent sexual acts, spend more time in prayer than sleeping, guard oneself from another's hakk (appropriation of another's property), live humbly on one's own salary, respecting all values of the religious codex!

It is not hard to discern that with this way of life one wants to strengthen the spiritual side of the human nature which largely helps when one invokes the Jinn (daire) and authoritative communication with the Jinn, which easily spot the weak, reckless and uncontrolled persons. On the other side, only moral persons strengthened by prayers are capable of making effective talismans and amulets and carry all the risks which bring with themselves contact with evil spiritual beings.

Ritual invocation of the Jinn requires large physical and mental effort and is not practiced often. To minimise the risks, the practitioner with the help of a special astrological system, determines the correct day and hour when he will start the mystical ritual. When that moment arrives, the invoker - as Garčević mentions - takes ablution (washing face and specific body parts, which every Muslim performs before the start of the prayer), acquires sedžada i.e. a clean mat on which the religious ceremony is performed, as well as a smaller dish, in which some hot ember is placed, on which he will burn incense sticks or scented roots while the ritual lasts, and takes a midsized knife with a black handle, as an open threat for the wicked and disobedient Jinn.

The séance is done in a clear and ventilated area, rarely fumigated by pleasant oriental fragrances, on whose walls there cannot be a photograph or a painting of people or animals on which their eyes are evident, and for the failure a medium is necessary. Usually it is a boy or girl aged between ten and twelve years, if possible with green eyes, since people with green eyes, it is believed, establish contact with spiritual beings easier than others. It is usually hard to reach the child, therefore the practitioners of the ritual, as Garčević mentions, usually engage the child with a trick, not explaining to him that he will be an intermediary between him and the Jinn.

When this ritual is organized to cure a mentally ill person, the patient is usually accompanied by his closest kin, cousin or friend, who has a duty to answer instead of the diseased. But, the moment the talk begins, he must pray to Allah and he mustn't show fear, disturbance and react no matter what happens in the room during the ritual. The woman during their menstrual period are not allowed to be present during the ritual, skilled and able practitioners can free the diseased from physical ills and attack from the Jinn even though he owns a personal item of the person that he is representing. One could say, therefore, telepathically, but actually it is not telepathy. We are talking about something else.

There are a dozen ways of attracting Jinn. Some are more and some less complicated, but all carry certain danger and risks and are therefore not recommended to unstable, greedy and religiously uneducated people, especially those who do not follow the values of religious codex. Before this mystical procedure is initiated it is necessary to prostrate the sedžada towards kibla (southeast). The practitioner and his medium (girl or boy) will sit on it on their knees. Their faces must be turned towards each other, and their knees must touch at all times.

After that the practitioner takes the knife with a black handle, with the blade of the knife to his left he begins to draw the circle around himself and the medium. While drawing the circle, in an undertone he utters the 255 chapter of the prayer Bakara. The duration of the drawing should coincide with the duration of the prayer. Then he thrusts the knife to the place where the circle begins and ends and holds it there while the ceremony of invocation is not completed. Close to his hand, in the circle itself, it is mandatory for a bowl with hot embers to be present, in which he will, from time to time, place incense or some other fragranced root.

Arabic magic السحر العربي
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