Is It Black Magic on My Family?

18 May, 2021
Q As-Salamu Aleikom. My family has a bunch of problems for long time. For example, my eldest brother wasn't getting a job here, so he went to the Golf and now hamdulillah he has been working. But last year, he had a surgery. Meanwhile, I started having seizures and suffering from extreme low confidence and fears. At the same time, my mum was diagnosed with diabetes and now, 2 months later, my dad has been getting fever and neck pains. I have sudden fears of parents’ death and I don't have confidence leaving the home. In 2003, my dad had a fight with his brother and sister, and my grandpa tried to kill us. They were threading my dad to give them money which my dad refused. Then they attacked our home. Please tell me, is it black magic on my family? Can duas or talisman help? I can't live with this pain anymore. Please help us dear counselor. Thank you.

Answer

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum brother,

Thank you for writing to us. I am sorry to hear of all of the difficulties you and your family is going through. It seems that it has been one thing after another concerning health issues, as well as lack of support from family, even abuse and cruelty from your father’s brother and sister. The fact that your grandfather tried to kill your family in 2003 is a very disturbing one, indeed, and I hope that in sha’ Allah your parents took actions to protect the family from further attempts.

While you did not say whether your family ever had good relations, it seems that the issue of money has caused, or at least perpetuated, these attacks and arguments. This is very sad, indeed, dear brother, as money is such a fleeting commodity in this temporary life and yet, it is one of the sources for conflicts between family members. Sadly, this is apparent as well when a family member dies and families are torn apart fighting over inheritances.

With all the stress and traumatic events going on in your family brother, it is no surprise that you and your family members are more susceptible to illnesses, both physically and mentally. It sounds as if, at least in your case, your anxiety, low confidence (self esteem), fear and possibly even the seizures could be a result of the intense stress and trauma. PsychCentral discusses seizures in relationship to stress and poor coping skills, and through research found that pseudo-seizures (not true seizures) were found to be prevalent. They state that “Johns Hopkins researchers say the signs are not the result of the abnormal electrical discharges in the brain that characterize epilepsy, but instead appear to be stress-related behaviors that mimic and are misdiagnosed as the neurological disorder.” While I cannot say whether your seizures are true seizures or a response to anxiety and severe stress, as only you doctor can determine this, I can say that there is a correlation between stress, trauma and seizure-like episodes.

Based on your home situation and what you are experiencing physically and emotionally brother, I would suggest that you get counseling from a professional in your area to help you learn how to manage your anxiety, fears and family situation.

As far as your mom, diabetes is a common disorder, and has to do with foods consumed, lifestyle and heredity factors. Studies have also shown that stress raises blood glucose levels and can exasperate existing diabetes or increase symptoms to the point where in a pre-existing mild form of diabetes is discovered. While this does not relate to your question directly, I am sharing this with you dear brother so you may be aware of the effects of stress and trauma upon the body and mind. Also, it is no surprise that under such duress, your family members’ immune system wear down under prolonged stress and traumatic events and illness can set in.

Under the circumstances, it is normal brother that you feel a need to stay at home and “protect” your family; or fear someone will die while you are gone. It is a part of what appears to be anxiety (and possibly panic disorder) that you are experiencing. I ask you dear brother to make a list of all the symptoms you are having, both physically and emotionally, and write them down. Also, please make note of when they occur, and what, if any thoughts or trauma happened before these feelings come. This will help you organize your thoughts, help define your triggers, and see your symptoms as they relate to your responses in the environment. Also, I ask that you read Qur’an for direction and comfort, and know that Allah (SWT) is our protector. Make du’aa’ for your family that Allah (SWT) grants mercy, ease and protection. I am not an Islamic scholar; therefore, I kindly ask you to seek help from our “Ask the Scholar” section.

While the existence of black magic does exist, many people attribute hardships, calamities, illnesses and family problems to black magic, when in reality, it is just the occurrence of peoples situations. People do get sick, families do fight, and in your case your relatives greed and haram behavior has led to great stress and fitnah in your family, affecting not only your feelings of security and safety, but has also manifested in physical symptoms as well. Please see the links on anxiety screening as well as stress self screening. Also dear brother, I suggest that you talk with your parents about what you are feeling. Parents can offer much insight and clarification to what we are feeling as they may have other knowledge and perspectives of the situation that we are unaware of.

Lastly, I encourage you to try to keep a balance in your life by focusing on your studies, engage in social activities with your friends, attend events at your masjid, and try to enjoy fun family times rather than focusing on all of the negative trauma. I know this will be hard, but the more we give power to the negative events in our lives, the harder it will be to heal from them.

You and your family are in our prayers brother. Please let us know how you are doing.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.