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Moroccans use magic on Ramadan's holiest night

Indian flies, chameleon eggs used to charm husbands

The holiest night of Ramadan falls during the last ten days of the month, Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammad received revelation of the Quran on this night and many believe that this is the night wishes come true.

The Night of Power known as 'Laylat al-Qadr' is one of the most special nights of the Muslim calendar and in Morocco women have already begun preparing for the night their wishes come true.

Women visit spice stores lined with many strange substances, from Indians flies and chameleon eggs the nails, skin, and heads of a variety of birds and animals, in search of spells that promise to subdue their husbands or increase their love or solve any other of a myriad of marital problems.

Some light incense or candles in their houses so the spirits released on this holy night will find the place warm and inviting and will expel its demons.

Sociologists explain that women resort to spells because they believe their demands will be fulfilled, although some warn that the phenomenon is a dangerous tradition since it encourages belief in magic, which is forbidden in Islam.

"Usually spells are used to tame a wayward husband, bring a husband back home, make the relationship more passionate, or sometimes to settle scores amongst women," Dr. Abdul-Rahman Enabi told AlArabiya.net.

Sheikh Abdul-Bari al-Zamzami, member of the Moroccan Scholars Association, said the Laylat al-Qadr tradition was pernicious because vendors take advantage of women and deceive them into believing that magic is the answer to their problems.

Spell-casting and magic are also flagrant violations of the true spirit of Ramadan, a holy month that should be dedicated to prayer and worship, Zamzami added.

Sheikh Mohamed al-Sahabi, chairman of al-Tawheed Institute for Quran studies in the city of Chellah, said that Satan takes advantage of the weaknesses of human beings to seduce them to commit sins and that this is what happens with those women who resort to magic.

"Instead of going to mosques, those women spend their time preparing spells and engaging in meaningless superstition," Sahabi told AlArabiya.net.

Sahabi attributed this phenomenon to ignorance of the Quran and lack of proper knowledge of religion, which paves the way for swindlers to take their money and delude them into making their dreams come true.


(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid.)