If you have watched Nollywood movies (Nigerian, mostly home videos), you would have observed a recurring act: the native/witch doctor. It is why I rarely watch them.

From the movies I have seen, and stories I have heard, it is inevitable that the outcome of such visits to the land of idolatry will be dismal. Even those that end up happily ever after are only happy shortly after. That’s why it boggles my mind why people still patronise these practitioners.

Allah has recorded in His Book that our properties and children are but a trial but it seems we do not quite ‘get’ it sometimes.

In most movies, the protagonist doesn’t mind being killed; afterall, (s)he must have had many near-death experiences to take death too seriously. The antagonist understands this hence attention is often shifted to a cherished person or innocent bystander. For the safety of this person, the hero would jump through hoops for the antagonist just to ensure peace.

Why do desperate people approach native/witch doctors/devil worshippers etc? Majority do so for the sake of their loved ones.

I am not here to sound sanctimonious because I do not know what I would be capable of in such a situation where my loved ones’ lives are at stake but right now, I do know that asking for Shaytan’s help and welcoming him into my home will only spell doom and I am counting on you to remind me if ever (audhubillah) such an opportunity arises.

Life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, zeniths and nadirs. These opposites help us to better appreciate our situations. It gives us a scale with which to evaluate our success or failure. Challenges do not always mean our ancestors or the people in the village are after us. No one lives a rosy enchanted life. It doesn’t exist. Not in this world. All the wealthy people and celebrities we envy have their challenges too. No one is exempt.

We will all face challenges at various points in our lives. Just because we are Muslims who pray regularly and punctually, and fast and give charity doesn’t mean we are exempt from trials. These trials help to chisel away the irrelevant pieces that constitute us, bringing forth the masterpiece we were created to be. We should allow Allah show us what we need to learn to move to the next stage and pray for patience and iman, instead of throwing all our lives away by committing the one unpardonable sin of shirk.

Do not kid yourself. There are many masquerading as religious scholars who will tell you to perform acts that sound contrary to Islam’s teachings. Do not attempt to eat a meal made of a black cockerel killed by twisting its neck at dawn or justify drinking an alcoholic concoction at the stroke midnight while standing naked in a river/stream or your bedroom just because an ‘Alfa/Mallam/Ustadh’ told you so. That is not Islam and deep inside, you know it . Do not do it and don’t have anyone do such for you. Even the Rukia that is supposedly acceptable also comes with a caveat.

Ibn Abbas quoted the Prophet (SAW) said, ‘70,000 people of my followers will enter Paradise without account. And they are those who do not practice Ruqya and do not see an evil omen in things, and put their trust in their Lord.’- Sahih Al-Bukhari Book 81, Hadith 61

Please, for Allah’s sake and for yours too, make only authentic du’a that have Quranic or ‘Sunnatic’ backing. It’s easier these days to simply google strange du’a you are told to make to find out if they exist in the Qur’an or the Ahadith. The onus is on us to learn to communicate with Allah and seek knowledge to get closer to Him.

Don’t throw away all your struggles so far only to end up facing Allah’s Wrath in the hereafter which is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than our brief sojourn on Earth.

A word is enough for the wise.

May Allah keep our hearts steadfast. May we not deviate after we have been guided.

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