Answered by Ustadh Tariq Abdul-Rasheed
Question: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
My young son and I were recently on holiday. While we were there, we experienced a frightening thing that happened to him and is still happening after we have returned to our home. Western minds call it night terrors but I am convinced it is jinn possession and I would like an Islamic point of view.
It started late on night when we took him to the toilet. He started fidgeting in my arms and then crying, followed by screaming and extreme body stiffness and flailing. He then started holding his head and shaking it from side to side with more blood curling screaming. He was so strong my husband could not hold him. It lasted for maybe 15 mins on and off. In between his body would go limp and exhausted and then back with the rigid and strong flailing action. The whites of his eyes were red, his heart was beating so fast, he was sweating and his face looked panicked and terrorised. We recited the 3 quls over and over upon him, ayat al-kursi repeatedly, and the adhan in his ear. He would lie still and look at us almost as if he didn’t recognize us and then it would repeat.
In the morning, he told me that he saw the shaytan in his mind and that he was red and black and he was trying to hurt him. I told him if it happened again, that he must try to fight it and not to scream and to recite Qur’an with me. The next two nights it happened again. The same pattern, at the same time triggered by waking him to take him to the bathroom. I ordered him to say Qur’an with me but he either couldn’t or was saying it incorrectly (saying awa instead of Allah) (this is primarily why I think its a jinn attack along with the incredible strength as well as keeping on asking to go to the toilet).
We then decided to stop taking him to the bathroom at night and put on night diapers and he awoke from sleep at 6am with the same episode the next time and the time after that he was having an afternoon nap and he awoke 5 minutes before maghrib in the same state and it stopped as soon as the adhan went off. One time during this episode he put his little hands around my neck and he squeezed me so hard..it felt very malicious..astagfirAllah such a horrible experience.
We consulted a religious friend of the family and he said the place we vacationed in was full of jinns and gave me a series of duas and Ayah’s to read as well as the shahada and salawat on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and told me to perform it firstly for 40 days in a row but to continue all the days of my life. When it continued he came back and taught me how to spray the house with Qur’an water and then prepared limes and asked me to bath my son for 3 days in a row with them.
This seemed to abate for a week and we finished off our holiday and came back home and on our second night back (last night) it happened again. It only lasted 5 minutes this time and alhamdolilah I had some zamzam water with me. As soon as he drank it and I washed his face with it, it stopped. I asked him this morning how his night was and he said he slept well and didn’t have any nightmares (this is a first as he always knows the next day that he has had an attack). I have also noticed that his mannerisms are a little different, skipping and strutting and a little disobedient/defiant. Whereas before he was always sweet and happy to help. Or perhaps now he is growing up…I don’t know. I pray to Allah (swt) to help us through this.
Any advice, suggestions, or du’as you may have would be so very much appreciated.
Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, and all blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad, his Folk, Companions and those who follow their noble way.
Wa laikum salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barkatuh,
May Allah (Most High) protect you and your family and make a way for you all out of this trial. Your actions are commendable and you have taken steps in the right direction in caring for your sons well-being.
Know that all trials are from Allah (Most High) and are means for gaining closeness and nearness to Him. Also know that since they are from Him only He is the One that can remove it. Allah (The Exalted) says in Surah Baqarah, “Those who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.”
We thank you for placing such confidence in our service and ask Allah (Most High) that He accepts from us and from you. We have sought the advice of a leading scholar and mufti in Jordan regarding your case. In addition to his experience as a mufti he has an extensive background working with children and families. After explaining the situation to him he said that in general Jinn possession is usually a last resort in dealing with such issues. He advised taking the following steps and if in the end no other cause is found then Jinn possession might be a consideration.
1. Consult with a reliable and trustworthy Muslim psychologist. Discuss your sons case with a reliable psychologist as often family conditions may effect a child’s psychological state. Have there been changes in family life? Are there conditions of stress or difficulty amongst family members? Are you or your husband experiencing personal stress from work etc.? Are there other siblings or new siblings that may be having an effect on your 6 year-old? If he attends school how is his school environment?
2. Consult a trustworthy and experienced doctor. Perhaps your son may be experiencing a physical ailment.
3. Continue with the duas, dhikr and rukya that were recommended as this is a good practice in general and its effects are apparent.
The shaykh stressed the importance of ruling out the psychological, emotional and physical factors several times and also stressed the importance of seeking out experienced and reliable medical professionals. He said that in his experience that most issues are typically family related and should be the first place to look when dealing with changes such as this in children.
Finally, I asked him if he thought that television, films and video games might have an impact on your son. He concurred and said that the effects of these media sources should be considered. Reflect on the time during your trip. Was your son exposed to films or other media that may have left a negative impression? (Ex. In-flight movies that are shown on airplanes may have an impact on children that are not typically exposed to TV and films.)
The Strong Believer
Allah (The Exalted) says, “Indeed, there is for him (Shaytan) no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord.” [Nahl: 99]
This is a time for strength as you and your husband have demonstrated by taking spiritual means to treat your son and being immediately concerned for the health of his soul. The Prophet (peace be upon him said, “The strong believer is better than the weak believer and in both is good”.
However, consider the advice mentioned previously and look at your sons condition from multiple perspectives. Remember that a parents’ prayers for their children are answered. Stand in the night and beg your Lord (Most High) to provide a way out of this difficulty for you and your family.
We ask Allah (Most High) to preserve your sons health and well-being and that He bring about ease and comfort to your family. Ameen!
Allah (Most High) knows best.