Saturday, 9 April 2011

spell on the aggrieved

Black magic casts its spell on the aggrieved

By Amir Nafees

LAHORE: On the upper floor of the Mairaj building on Lytton Road, Haji Abdul Razzaq sits on the floor scribbling on a piece of paper. This is his office, from where he has dispensed amulets to ward off evil spells for the last 14 years.

“Even the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) was once a victim of black magic,” said Mr Razzaq, holding up a copy of the Tahfim-ul-Bukhari, a collection of Hadith or the sayings of the Prophet (peace). “By the grace of Allah, he recovered,” he said, “but if even the Prophet (peace) can be targeted, you must realise anyone can.”

This realisation is perhaps what takes many to the some 200 houses of magic or talisam kadas in the city. And most are doing well, charging up to Rs 500 for the first of many sessions, which pretend to be solutions to everything from a broken heart to a bad career.

Many of those who come to Mr Razzaq, also known as Diwan Bawa, are coping with disease or financial crisis. Mr Razzaq says he only uses his knowledge of black magic to save people from evil, though he could make a lot more money if he acceded to the demands of the disgruntled and put curses and vexes on their perceived tormentors.

“Only 20 percent of the people who visit us do so for a positive purpose,” said Mr Razzaq. “The other 80 wish ill on others.” He said most of those claiming to have the gift of black magic actually do not. “Maybe one in every 100 people who claim to have it, do. The rest are charlatans in it for the money and to harass women.”

Akmal Raza Mir, a trained homeopathic, learned the art through his elder brothers. He runs an office on Ferozepur Road near Shama Chowk. “You have to be very skilful in manipulating the psychology of the target,” said Mr Mir. “The basic aim is to agitate him to such an extent that the required objective is achieved.”

Mr Mir puts curses on people through non-human agents known as moakals, whose services are acquired by reading scripture in a prescribed way.

It is not an easy job. “Catching a moakal takes three or four months and if not done properly, these moakals can turn against you,” he said. “To get the attention of a moakal, you chant mantras, to get him to do your bidding you must use perfume essence or blood, usually from an owl,” he said, adding that he did not use his powers to hurt others.

Mr Mir says specific information is required from his clients for the spell to be more effective. At a minimum, Mr Mir requires the name of the person who is to be vexed, his date and place of birth and, preferably, personal items of his. “The magic,” said Mr Mir, “affects the mind and cannot be detected by any medical gadgets.”

Syed Abdul Ahad, another practitioner of black magic, takes a dim view of some of his colleagues whose amulets can kill. “They write something on a piece of paper with poisoned ink and ask the client to put this in the drink of their tormentor,” said Mr Ahad, “the person will obviously die, there’s no magic here, just murder.”

Mr Ahad said black magic was a lucrative profession because it preyed on “ignorant and backward” women from rural climes. “Very few people have the gift,” he said. “All the rest are charlatans and tricksters duping the aggrieved.”

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