Updated: Apr 5
A British imam has opened his doors to cameras to show what happens during an Islamic exorcism. He allowed himself to be filmed performing a ‘ruqyah’ ritual on an unmarried woman at a mosque in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, to dispel myths about the practice.
The ceremony was one of thousands carried out every year in the UK where imams rid men and women of evil spirits or ‘jinni’ which they believe live inside them.
In the video a Muslim woman dressed in abaya and with her face covered with a niqab, is seeking help to rid her of spirits which she believes are caused by black magic.
The 29-year-old woman sought help claiming the curse was causing her a range of medical problems which she said conventional doctors could not cure. She said her symptoms included vomiting, pain in the womb, insomnia, headaches and back-pain, and poor memory.
She also said she was easily angered and would scream for no reason. In the video the woman dressed in an abaya can be seen rocking backwards and forwards as Imam Ayoub Tayeb chants verses from the Quran to banish the demonic entity.
She can be heard panting and retching as the imam at the Masjid Mohammed mosque shouts deafeningly into a microphone at the jinni.
He can be heard repeating ‘can you find Allah, can you find him?’ As Imam Ayoub shouts verses more aggressively at the jinni the woman, from Bradford, is seen fleeing to the other side of the couch – seeking to escape. She then screams out uncontrollably while thrashing around on a couch before picking up a nearby table.
At which point the imam spit spits holy water in her face to bring the jinni under control. Imam Ayoub, originally from Kurdistan, said: ‘She has black magic and the jinni that brought the magic is also in love with her.
Ruqya | Islamic Exorcism in the United Kingdom
‘But this is not real love as love does not cause pain and this Jinn has caused many ailments. ‘The information about the magic was given by the Jinni when I was speaking to it but it did not say who caused the magic.’
‘We only operate in the healing and helping to cure them from these evil practices – but magic practicing is widespread. ‘A simple Google search would reveal how easy it is to buy or find a spell.’
The patient in this video is now following a home treatment plan and said to be feeling better – with many of her symptoms having disappeared. The exorcism is one of around 3,000 performed by 42-year-old Imam Ayoub during the last three years.
As well as serving the community in Sheffield patients come from far afield as Germany, Norway, USA, Sweden and Iraq. The imam said: ‘Most of our patients come from the Islamic faith. However we have also helped Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and atheists – we do not differentiate between religions or non-religion. ‘I treat unexplained illnesses that doctors cannot explain or cure such as period or menstrual issues or excessive behaviours such as gambling, drugs or alcohol.
‘We use a diagnosis in a way similar to what you may find at a doctor’s surgery. We list listing common symptoms in either jinn possession or magic and through those answers we can diagnose the problem by Allah’s will.’ Imam Ayoub learned his skills by watching others perform ruqyah and through reading.
He said: ‘I enjoy helping people – it is my passion and I enjoying serving Allah in this way. ‘I like using the Quran to heal and witnessing the power of the Quran gives me satisfaction – to heal and see people healed.
‘It can make me tired at times and very busy – continuous recitation can give me a sore throat.’ However the healer insists he has nothing to fear from the jinn. He said: ‘I only fear Allah and Allah is more powerful than the jinni he created so I believe Allah will protect me.
‘Jinn like to incite fear in humans buy they cannot attack me because I am not scared of them and Allah is on my side. ‘I protect myself by reading morning and evening supplications.
‘I pray five times a day with obligatory prayers and supplementary prayer and I also pray in the night when the world sleeps for Allah to protect me.’
An exorcism takes roughly an hour to perform – with Imam Ayoub charging a £60 fee which is used to fund the mosque. However he insists no-one is turned away as the service is often provided for free to help people.