THE PRACTICE OF EXORCISM IN KEFFI TOWN
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page – – – – i
Approval Page – – – – – ii
Dedication – – – – – – iii
Acknowledgement – – – – iv
Table of Content – – – – vi
CHAPTER ONE: Introduction
- Background of the Study
- Statement of the Problem
- Aims and Objective of the Study
- Significance of the study
- Scope of the Study
- Methodology of the Study
- Literature Review
CONCEPT OF EXORCISM IN ISLAM
2.1 Definition of Exorcism
2.2 Reality of Demonic Possession
2.3 Legality of Exorcism
2.4 Methods of Exorcism
2.5 Ethics of Exorcism
2.5.1 The Exorcist
2.5.2 Patient and Relations
2.5.3 The Environment
2.5.4 The Dosage and Prescription
EXORCISM IN KEFFI
3.1 A brief Historical Background of Keffi
3.2 Demonic Possession in Keffi
3.3 Position of Keffi Muslim Scholars on Exorcism
3.4 Exorcism Centre’s and their Practices in Keffi
3.5 Exorcist and their Qualification in Keffi
3.6 Types and Method of Exorcism in Keffi
A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF EXORCISM IN KEFFI
4.1 Position of Keffi Scholars on Exorcism
4.2 Exorcist and Exorcism Centre’s
4.3 Method of Exorcism
4.4 Patrons of Exorcism
5.1 Summary of Findings
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUTION
Background of the Study
The prophet Explain that when Allah Created Adam he took from him a covenant at a place called Na’mean of the 9th day of the 12th month. He then extracted from Adam all of his descendants who would be born until the end of the world generation after generation, and spread them out before Him to take a covenant from them. He spoke to them, making them bear witness that He was thin Lord.
Consequently, every human being is responsible for belief in God, which is imprinted on each and every soul. It is base on this inbourn belief that define the purpose of human Creation in Suratul. Zariyat. Where Allah says: “I have only created jinn and men that they may serve me” (Q51:56).
Therefore, the primary assignment of mankind in this world is to worship his creator (S.W.T). And as a Muslim one should always expect a testimony from Allah at any time, as Allah says in the glorious Qur’an: “Do men think that they will be left alone
On saying “we believe” and that they will not be tested”
And also in the verse of the same surah Allah explain the reason for His testing His servants where He says: “And Allah will certainly know those who are true in their faith from those who are false.
Allah (S) also said He has afflicted many nations before the nation of the prophet (SAW) Allah Says’ before thee we sent (messengers) to many nations and we afflicted the nations’ with suffering and adversity that they call (Allah) In humanity (Q6:42) Allah who made His worship obligatory upon His servant also create obstacle that can equally prevent them from discharging their obligation, this obstacles include Illness, Allah tries His servant with different illness so as to enable them to submit and repent to Him as cited above.
The prophet (SAW) was sent as a mercy to mankind, and hence he worked for the peace, safely and welfare of humanity he took care of the physical mental and spiritual health of humans. Therefore promotion of people’s health, properties and preventing them health hazards are the objectives of Islam.
Illness on the understanding of Islam could be either physically or spiritually; physical Illness includes headache stomach, Backache e.t.c which spiritual ailment refers to Demonic affliction or insanity caused by the demons Islam recognizes both ailments and has provided remedies for both. The prophet (SAW) was qouted to says: “Allah has not sent down any disease except with its remedy (Bukhari: 5678) the cure of spiritual ailment in Islam is received through a process called “Ruquyah” Exorcism. The practice which is common among the Muslims in Keffi town with different perspective from different background. This research is therefore, embarked to evaluate critically, base on Islamic perspectives.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The practice of exorcism is not a deviation in Islam since its origin can be traced down to the prophet (SAW). However Islam guides it with a set of regulations to prevent it against any abuse by unscrupulous exorcist. This study is therefore, embarked solely to evaluate and correct the problems attached therewith.
AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This study is embarked to achieve the following objectives.
- Safeguarding people’s spiritual health through approved means in Islam.
- Creating awareness on sound practice of exorcism as a way of curing spiritual ailment in Islam.
- Correcting the erroneous practices associated to exorcism, particularly in Keffi Town of Nasarawa State.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will hopefully serve as a guard to those who practice exorcism in general and particularly in Keffi. It will also help in identifying the correct way to practice it. It will also guide against the intrudes who are not properly trained to undertake it. It would also guide the patient of demonic affliction to the rightful centers they should patronize. This work will serve as a relevant material for any researcher who wants to embark on a research concerning Islamic exorcism.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will not extend beyond Keffi Town in Nasarawa State, and it will only focus on exorcism and a critical evaluation of its practice based on the light of Islam and its principles.
METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
This study is a critical evaluation of exorcism in Keffi Town. The researcher relies on the primary and secondary sources. The primary sources include the Qur’an and Sunnah, personal observation and interview while the secondary sources include the related literature on the topic?
Many Books and articles have being writing exorcism by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. Jimoh submitted that a situation in which the jinn assistance is sought to bring about some seemingly prodigious feats is in Islam theology considered “Sihr” or “Istidraj” (Ad-Dirayah129) Adul-Raziq Nawfal states in his book Alam Aljinn wal-malaa’ikah, that in many western scientist acknowledge this (Demonic possession) among whom he mentioned Carrington, a member of the American Association for psychological Research.
In his book Modern Spiritual Phenomenon, Carrington mentions the case of possession and said: “It is clear that the case of science is, at the very least, a real phenomenon and science cannot ignore the matter so long as those are many astonishing facts which support it” (Ibrahim 285)
Bell in his book Analysis of unusual case in the treatment of mental Illness stated that we have many cases where we could lift the evil (i.e discuss them frankly and openly) especially with regards to matters of spirit possession….(Ibrahim285)
The researcher after viewing the related literature and the opinions of these were the scholars have not writing on? These areas include the practice of exorcism by some Muslim women who were long time possessed by demon and later became exorcist in Keffi.
The use of herbs for exorcism in Keffi, which are wrongly prescribed in patients without considering their physical health status. The use of cupping for exorcism or to exorcise a victim of demonic afflictions. It was as a result of this findings that there researcher developed this topic erroneous practices that has engulf the practices particularly here in Keffi, where no Scholars has specifically writing on.
CONCEPT OF EXORCISM
2.1 Definition of Exorcism.
Exorcism in Islam is called “RUQAYYAH” it is the plural form of Ruqah from the verb رقية = يرقى = رقى” “and رقيا it is referred to the invocation or prayer permitted by the Shari’ah said on the patient for heeling. (Abdullah 147)1
In other word, exorcism may be defined as driving out or ridding somebody of an evil spirit by means of prayer or magic.
In another opinion exorcism is seen as the invocation of a higher authority to bind the entity in order to control it and command it to act contrary to its own will.
2.2 REALITY OF DEMONIC POSSESSION
Ibn Taimiyyah was ones asked concerning the possibility of a demon afflicting human and ridding him to insanity and he responds thus:“The fact that the jinn exist is confirm by the Qur’an and Sunnah, Moreover, that they can penetrate the human body is also confirm by the consensus of the scholars.
Al-Asha’ari said in his book “Maqalat. Ahlus- Sunnah” The articles of Ahlus- Sunnah and Jama’a “It is said that the jinn enters the body of epileptic in a similar way to what Allah says: in the glorious Qur’an. (Q2:275) (Ibin Taimiyah 20)
Some non-Muslim scholars confirmed the reality of Demonic possion. Carl wakeland stated that; Insanity could be caused by an evil spirit possessing the patient leading him to behave abnormally (Bali)5 Bell says; the possessing spirit use three major areas in the brain from which the control the possessed victim (Bali 60)6 Demonic Possession is therefore, a concept shared by all the revealed religion and tribal cultures. Experiences of people have also confirmed its possibility.
2.3 LEGALITY OF EXORCISM
Just as every revealed and traditional religion has elaborated concept of demon, the same is true of exorcism. Its practice is worldwide and it is present in both archaic as well as modern societies. The method and item used by exorcist in their operations diverse.
Exorcism is not only allowed but highly recommended that the oppressed must be help and the evil defeated. Helping the oppressed to be victorious over evil is an obligation on Muslims whenever possible (Bali 63)7
Bin Hajar, As-Suyuti and others, unanimously agreed that exorcism is lawful if three conditions can be fulfill
- It must be with the names of Allah and His attribute
- And must in Arabic language, or understandable words
- And that the exorcism itself can not cure except with the will of Allah (Al-Tahawee 21)8
Al-Qurtubi also said: “exorcism is categorized into three: The exorcism of the Jahiliyah which its meaning cannot be comprehended, such type should be refrained from.
Secondly, the exorcism by invoking the names and attributes of Allah, such as Angels, pious men, Jinns e.t.c such is “Kufur” (Abdullahi 160)
Treating sickness by means of the noble Qur’an and other permissible invocations from the revival of the prophetic Sunnah that had been abandoned.
The practice of exorcism is as old as Islam itself. The prophet was reported (SAW) to have treated victims afflicted by demons, the Angel of Allah Jibril also treated the noble prophet (SAW), some companions of the prophet also treated victims by the means of exorcism. In Hadith of the prophet, there are quite number a number of references of insanity treated by the prophet (SAW) e.g
From Ibn Abbas who said: A woman came to with a son of has to the messenger of Allah said: “O Allah’s messenger he (the boy) is certainly insane. He is seized by fits whenever we want to eat and as such spoil our food” Allah’s messenger then vomited a black puppy came out of his mouth, which ran away (As-shakaw. 49)10
Abu-Sa’eed Al-Khudree (R.A), also reported that: “So men among the companions of the prophet were on journey, and they pass-bye some Arabs and they seek for shelter and they denied them and they said to them, is there exorcist among you? Certainly, the head of this community is sting, or afflicted, and a man among them respond yes, and he exorcised him with Fatiha………” (Fatawah-Ullama’a 80)11”
Yusuf in his book Ar-Ruqyatus-shariyyu, on the above Hadith commented thus: “The above Hadith is a clear prove on the lawfulness of exorcising with book of Allah……..”
It was also reported that a caliph known as Al-Mutawakkil among the caliphs of Umayyad dynastic send his guard to Ahmad Bin Hanbal, that he has a daughter who is epileptic, asking him to supplicate Allah (SWT) for her health. Ahmad gave the guard a wooden pair of sandals with shoe case that is normally used in the Mosque ablution area. He told the little gill and tell the jinn insist her that Ahmad tells him to leave the girl alone or else he would beat him (Jinn) seventy times with those shoes…..(Bali 61)13
Uthaimin, Bin Baz, Al-Albani and others are unanimous on the lawfulness of exorcism citing the following Hadith where the prophet said: “Whoever among you can benefit his brother let him do so” (Muslim 2199)14
The above scholars agreed that the hadith quoted above is a clear fact that exorcism is lawful, if only it does not involve shrik (Fatawah 61)15
2.4 TYPES AND METHODS OF EXORCISM
Just as every revealed and traditional religion has alaborated the concept of demonic possession the same is there of exorcism…….” (Jimoh 118)16
In Christianity, exorcism is the practices of casting out demons using the power of Jesus Christ Jesus Christ is believed to have cast out demons where the Bible says: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave the power against unclean spirits, to cast them out………” (Mt 10:1)17 the Bible also said in the Book of Mark:“ And unclean spirit, when they saw him fell down before him, And died saying you are the son of God (Mk 3:11)18
Also in the Book of luke 4:33-36, Mk 9:38 and Lk 8:2 prophet Isah (A.S) is believed by the Christians to have casted demons. In the Traditional religion exorcism is practiced by dancing, invocation of a stronger Jinn or seeking the help of the stronger Jinn to cast out the Possessed one but in Islam is practiced by using the names of Allah His attributes and words as well. Instances of demonic possession exorcism embarked by the prophet could be found in the Al-hadith of the prophet and some are cited earlier above, those instances revealed four difference ways and manners of exorcism.
The first manner of prophetic exorcism of victims of demonic possession is the use of prayer,
Another way is by using word of command such word include: “In the name of Allah, I am the servant of Allah go away, O enemy of Allah.”
Thirdly, the prophet some time back up his word and some actions such as opening the mouth of the victim and spiting into it.
Sometimes he combines all the all the three ways mentioned above.
As a matter of fact, the Hadith cited above of (Muslim 2199) and going by the commentary of the orthodox on the hadith, the researcher was able to identify some steps to be taken before dwelling into exorcism, which be discussed later in chapter four.
2.5 ETHICS OF EXORCISM
Although, this ethics are not considered as the conditions for the authenticity of exorcism and its acceptance. But only recommended by the orthodox among the Muslim exorcists so as to prepare himself and the patient for the operation, according to Adamardash in his book, Faidul-Rahman fi’ilaji min massil-ja’an the major ethics are as follows
- Both the exorcist and the patient should be in ablution before starting.
- If the patient is a female she should not exorcist her except in the present of her husband or relative.
- The victim must dress up properly before embracing on the operation especially if the patient is a female.
- The exorcist, prior to embracing on exorcism should himself and the patient by seeking Allah’s refuge
2.5.1 THE EXORCIST
An exorcist is one who employ’s a formula of conjuration for expelling demons, or invocation and also uses the stronger demons to expel cast out the possessed demon, in Islam, the formula employed is what known as “Ruquyyah”. The practice that embarks on such activity is called “Raqee” or the exorcist. Audhi submitted that an exorcist must be one with the following Qualities.
- He should be of monotheistic both in speech and deeds
- He should be of sound creed.
- He should have firm conviction that the words of Allah are capable in having efforts on Jinns and demons.
- He should be knowledgeable about the feature of Jin Ameen in his work added that: he must also have the experience which qualities
(i) Him to treat people, this include knowledge of the Jin and devils and their ways.
(ii) Confidentially, he should be able to keep secret because this matter involves leaning people’s secrets and private matters. (Ameen 90)
2.5.2 THE PATIENT AND RELATIONS
Both patient and relations should believe that whatever befalls them happens with the will of Allah and his degree therefore they must be patient and ready to accept and submit to the will of Allah. And as Muslims they should always prepare and ready for the test of Allah. Allah says: “Do men think that they will be left along on his saying “We believe” and that they will not be tested” (Q29:2)21
The patient and the relatives should be certain that no calamity occurs in the absence of Allah and Allah test his servants in many ways, some through health, wealth and children. Allah says: “No kind of calamity can occur except by the of way Allah and if anyone be haves in Allah will head for Allah knows all things (Q64:11)22 In one of the Hadith related by Tirmidhi the prophet was reported to have said to Abdullahi Bin Abbas where he says: “If the nation has assembled together on doing some benefit to you they cannot do benefit to you what Allah had written for you and if they assemble together on doing some harm to you they cannot do harm to you except what Allah had written for you….(Al-Nawawi 19) 23 The patient and the relations should bear in mind that not only when the Jinn speaks that the patient can gain back his health, the patient can be healed or gain back his health even without speaking with the possessed Jinn or if the Jinn refuses to speak.
2.5.3. THE ENVIRONMENT
The environment where the exorcising practice must be purified from anything that will attract the wrath of Allah, like a woman wearing indecent dress, on the environment where drums and other musicals instrument are been beating. The environment should also be purified from Najasah, and all kinds of pictures should be removed.
2.5.4 THE DOSSAGE AND PRESCRIBTIONS
No any legal fact from the book of Allah (Qur’an) neither the hadith where a victim of demonic of possession after or before exorcising him where the prophet as him or her to take drugs, such as Zaitun, Habbatus-sauda’a e.t.c The use of drugs was just analogical deduction of the scholars of exorcism, base on the hadith of the prophet which says: Habbatus-sauda’a is a remedy for all kinds of diseases except death… (Bukhari 5678) 24 and also the saying of the prophet: “Every sickness has remedy except death”
But one other important note to be taking is that the practitioner should know the condition of a patient before prescribing any drug. This is because, some of this drugs, such as Zaitun, Habbah, are not the original Zaitun and Habba described by the prophet most of these drugs are adulterated missed with groundnut oil and other substance. And if the victim has asthma, or pregnant the fractional should not prescribe some of this drugs for her due to her condition. Therefore, the patient who is asthmatic should refrain from any drugs that have to do with inhaling or smoking. The prescribe dosage depend on the gravity and the type of demons that possessed the victim.
CHAPTER THREE: EXORCISM IN KEFFI
3.1 A Brief History of Keffi
Geographically, Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State shares a common Boundary with the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. It is situated 237km south west of Jos the Capital of plateau State.
It is bounded to the North by the former Jama’a Emirate in the present Kaduna State. And on the Eastern boundary is conterminous with the Western part of Akwanga Local Government. To the South, it is bounded by the Nasarawa State Local Government Area. Where as to the west. Keffi, the headquarter of former Nasarawa State division, dates only from about 1800, when a Fulani headsman named Abdu-Zanga, also known as Abdullahi built a stockade village of the Area where the town is now situated. Keffi simply means a “stockade” or fortified place. The fortified place of Abdu-Zanga was built as a permanent settlement for him and his cattle. Abdu-Zanga’s father Muhammad Gani carried out as his pet occupation the transhumance of the heads from Yan-tumaki in Katsina province each dry season to graze on the greener grass land of the South. This annual pasturing habit of Muhammad Gani influences his son’s decision to settle permanently when the stockade was build.
(Aisha 13)’ It is believed that Abdu-Zanga arrived the present Area of Keffi a mere waste land inhabited only by wild animals, most tribes of this Area were traditionalist. Most important to note is that the founding father of Keffi was a re-known scholar of Islamic jihad who first received the flag sheik Uthman Dan Fodio as an “Ijaza” for him to establish Islamic empire Abdu-Zanga migrated from a small domain “Katsina” state called “Yan-Tumaki” to his cattle where it called Zanga (Keffi 13)”
3.2 Demonic possession in Keffi
The most serious and rampant ailment today in Keffi town is the case of demonic possession. Some of its symptom is yet to be gentrified. Some of this symptom includes bet-wetting, a lady of about twenty years was brought and was serious shy to table her problem and the mother spoke un-behave of her that she has problem of bed-wetting, and we told her it is as a result of a demon that has afflicted her and she denied of being possessed by a demon.
The mother now said what is the way out, and how can she be convinced that is true and we told her very simple, after laying hand on her for just five minute the Jin in her began to confess, and said: “stop, stop that, she is my wife, I cause her bed-wetting so that no man will come to seek her hand in managed and even to the parent, they will not give her out with such condition.
Another common case of demonic possession which is rampant also in Keffi, is the case of sexual impotency, this case has lead the separation of many couples in Keffi town particularly and among Muslim general. However there are two kinds of sexual impotency, the total impotency and partial impotency they are different ways of identifying them.
Another common type of demonic possession in Keffi town which is not yet recognized by many Keffian and which has lead many youths astray is homosexuality, use or consumption of hand drugs, such as inhailing the toilets e.t.c all those are symptoms of demonic Possession. This is manifested in the glorious Qur’an where Allah says: “If anyone withdraw himself from remembrance of Allah (S.W.A) most gracious we appoint for him an evil one to be an intimate companion to him (Q 43:36)” Yusuf Ali in his commentary on this verse commented thus: if men deliberately put away the remembrance of Allah from their minds, the natural consequence, under Allah degree is that they joint on with evil (Satan)” “He that is mindless from the guidance we appointed for him the evil ones that guides him astray to the hellfire” (Bin khatheer vol. 7 pg 152) 4 Allah the most high also said: “Those who far Allah, when a thought of evil from Satan assault them bring God to remembrance when lo! They see (aught) (Q 7:201) Ibn khatheer commented on this verse where he say: a man was worshiping in the mosque a woman took him away because of her attractive appearance, to her room, when the young man try to have an affair with this prostitute he remembered this verse, and fall on the ground unconsciously, and later gain back his senses, and this lady tried him for the second time and this gentle man died…..(vol. 3 pg 314) 5 From the above commentary one could understand that, the young man was already possessed by the evil one (Satan) and that was why he falls down unconsciously after invocating the name of Allah, and later gain back with his senses, since the demons are no more with him.
This kind of demon affliction is referred to as “Massu A’aridh Kulli” Usama Audhi in his book minhajul Qur’an says: this kind of mass is also referred to as “Massu Ta’if” (Audhi 94) 6
That is, short time demonic possession, which has to do with the whole body of the victim some of such victims later regard their actions after all and ever shed tears.
3.6 Types and Methods of Exorcism in Keffi
The most popular type of exorcism in Keffi is the use of Allah’s words, names and attributes of Allah, this kind of practice is only employed the Muslims Sunni scholars. Some of these scholars also employed the method of combining both exorcism and the use of drugs. The established their facts with traditions of the prophet cited in chapter two of this work, where the prophet (S.AW) was quoted to have said: “Habbatus-sauda’a is a remedy for all kind of ailment except Death……..” (Abdullahi 4) 6
The prophet (S.A.W) said, as reported by Abu-hurairah that the prophet (S.A.W) said:“Eat the bil (zaitun) and rub on your body because it is from a bless tree (Tirmidhi 1853) 7
The practice of exorcism using herbs and other items such as radio, speaker e.t.c is just an analogical deduction of scholar’s base on the saying of the prophet (S.A.W): Whenever among you can benefit his brother let him do so …..
Ibn Taimiyah describe the above as sharing in the sake of Allah, and said: whoever follows the path of fairness, as en-joint by Allah and his messenger in warding off the hostility (of the Jin), he is not wronging them rather obeying Allah and his messenger
(Ibrahim 154) 9
Some scholar among the Tijaniyyah or the non-sunni scholars, commented the patient to recite a verse or a certain invocation numbers of times, such as 366 or tell the patient they will recite Yasin 41 time and a certain animal will be slaughter some said the verse of the Qur’an should be written and bound the victim in inhales the smoke of the paper.
Some recite the glorious in a revised way that is, for example, from “minal Jinnati wan nas” to Qul-auzu birabil nas, instead of Qul-aouzu birabil nas till the end.
Another type of exorcism practice that is also common in Keffi, is the exorcism practice of some who are not scholars but they are Muslims. This is common among some Muslim women in Keffi. This women, are some of the women who were longtime afflicted by demons, and nobody to rescue them, this women later become exorcist. The possessed demon used them to cast out demons and prescribe medicines.
The common type of such exorcism of these people is the invocation of the possessed Jin and sacrifice. When a victim is brought to them they called on their Jin using languages, or invocations when the Jin supersedes that of the victim it is been cast away, and when it cannot cast that of the victim, they agreed on a certain sacrifice, and after the sacrifice the victims sometimes regain their health.
Musa Muhammad Dan Baiwa is an exorcist in Yara sheet Keffi, on an interview held with him said: I am an exorcist many victims of demons possession have being brought here, the way I use to treat my patient is, I first of all store by “Istikhara” to very verify whether it is a demonic problem or not and if it appear to me as a demonic problem, I use “Hayaki” and if the Jin revolt, I invite any Jinns, I have some Jin whom I work with some of them are Christian while some are Muslims. My Jinns will talk to the Jin that has possessed the patient to vacate and if the Jin still rebel, they also them what kind of sacrifice do they want and if the sacrifice is done they vacate, and if they still persist in their rebellion we pet them.
And I ask him do you see these Jinns you work with? And he said yes, they normally come to me during “Subh” early morning and sometimes appear to me in the dreams.
Do you prescribe any drugs for your patients apart from the Hayaki you mentioned earlier? Yes, my demons sometimes tell me the kind of drugs is to give them. (Sani)
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