THE INFLUENCE OF ANIMISM ON ISLAM
THE FAMILIAR SPIRIT OR QARINA
AMONG all the superstitions in Islam there is none more curious in its origin and character than the belief in the Qarin or Qarina. It probably goes back to the ancient religion of Egypt, or to the animistic beliefs common in Arabia as well as in Egypt, at the time of Mohammed. By Qarin or Qarina the Moslem understands the double of the individual, his companion, his mate, his familiar demon. In the case of males a female mate, and in the case of females a male.
This double is generally understood to be a devil, shaitan or jinn, born at the time of the individual s birth and his constant companion throughout life. The Qarina is, therefore, of the progeny of Satan.
The conception of the soul and the belief in a double among Moslems closely resembles the idea of the Malays and other animists. "The Malay conception of the human soul," we read, "is that of a species of thumbling, a thin unsubstantial human image, or mannikin, which is temporarily absent from the body in sleep, trance, disease, and permanently absent after death. This mannikin, which is usually invisible but is supposed to be about as big as the thumb, corresponds exactly in shape, proportion and even complexion, to its embodiment or casing, i. e., the body in which it has its residence. It is of a vapory, shadowy, or filmy essence, though not so impalpable, but that it may cause displacement on entering a physical object. . . . The soul appears to men (both waking and sleeping) as a phantom separate from the body, of which it bears the likeness, manifests physical power, and walks, sits, and sleeps."
1 What this concept has become in Islam we shall see in a moment.
That the shadow is a second soul, or a semblance of the soul, is also an animistic idea. The same thing appears in Islam, for the shadow of a dog defiles the one who prays as much as does the dog himself. 2 The Javanese believe that
black chickens and black cats do not cast a shadow because they come from the underworld. When one reads of this
one cannot help comparing with it the Moslem belief in the Qarina.
There are many passages in the Koran in which this doctrine is plainly taught, and by reading the commentaries on
these texts, a world of superstition, groveling, coarse, and, to the last degree, incredible, is opened to the reader. The
Koran passages read as follows: 3 (Chapter of the Cave, verse 48), "And when we said to the angels, Adore Adam, they adored him, save only Iblis, who was of the jinn, who revolted from the bidding of his Lord. What! will ye then take him and his seed as patrons, rather than me, when they are foes of yours? bad for the wrong-doers is the exchange!
The reference here is to the words, "Satan and his seed."
(See especially the Commentary of Fahr al Din al Razi, margin, Vol. VI, p. 75.)
In speaking of the resurrection when the trumpet is blown and the day of judgment comes, we read: (Chapter Kaf,
verses 2030), "And every soul shall come with it a driver and a witness! Thou wert heedless of this, and we withdrew thy veil from thee, and to-day is thine eyesight keen! And his mate (qarina] shall say, This is what is ready for me (to attest). Throw into hell every stubborn
1 "Malay Magic," by W. W. Skeat, London, 1900.
2 I have not found this stated in the Traditions, but it is a well known belief in Egypt and in Arabia.
3 Palmer s translation is used throughout.
misbeliever! who forbids good, a transgressor, a doubter! who sets other gods with God and throw him, ye twain, into fierce torment! His mate shall say, (Our Lord! I seduced him not, but he was in a remote error. He shall say,
Wrangle not before me; for I sent the threat to you before.
The sentence is not changed with me, nor am I unjust to my servants. On the day we will say to hell, Art thou full? and it will say, Are there any more?
And again we read: (Chapter of Women, verses 41, 42), "And those who expend their wealth in alms for appearance
sake before men, and who believe not in God nor in the last day; but whosoever has Satan for his mate, (qarina) an
evil mate has he."
Again: (Chapter of the Ranged, verses 47-54),". . . and with them damsels, restraining their looks, large eyed; as though they were a sheltered egg; and some shall come forward to ask others ; and a speaker amongst them shall say,
Verily, I had a mate (qarina) who used to say, "Art thou verily of those who credit? What! when we are dead, and have become earth and bones, shall we be surely judged?"
He will say, Are ye looking down? and he shall look down and see him in the midst of hell. He shall say, By God,
thou didst nearly ruin me!
(Chapter "Detailed," verse 24), "We will allot to them mates, for they have made seemly to them what was before
them and what was behind them; and due against them was the sentence on the nations who passed away before them;
both of jinns and of mankind; verily, they were the losers!"
(Chapter of Gilding, verses 35-37), "And whosoever turns from the reminder of the Merciful One, we will chain to him a devil, who shall be his mate; and verily, these shall turn them from the path while they reckon they are guided; until when he comes to us he shall say, O, would that between me and thee there were the distance of the two orients, for an evil mate (art thou) ! But it shall not avail you on that day, since ye were unjust; verily, in the torment shall ye share!
"To speak of only one of these passages, what Baidhawi says in regard to the Chapter of the Ranged, verse 49, leaves no doubt that the qarina, which has been the mate of the believer all through life, is cast into hell on the day of judgment, and that this evil spirit, which is born with every man, is determined to ruin him, but that the favor of God saves the believer, and that one of the special mercies of heaven for the believer is to behold his companion devil forever in torment.
Before we deal further with the comment as given on these verses, and the teaching in Moslem books, we consider the
possible origin of this belief in teaching found in the "Book of the Dead" of ancient Egypt.
"In addition to the Natural-body and Spirit-body," writes E. A. Wallis Budge ("Book of the Dead," Vol. I, p. 73), "man also had an abstract individuality or personality endowed with all his characteristic attributes. This abstract personality had an absolutely independent existence. It could move freely fromplace to place, separating itself from, or uniting itself to, the body at will, and also enjoying life with the gods in heaven.
This was the ka, a word which at times conveys the meaning of its Coptic equivalent KW, and of elowAov, image, genius, double, character, disposition, and mental attributes. What the lea really was has not yet been decided, and Egyptologists have not yet come to an agreement in their views on the subject. Mr. Griffith thinks (Hieroglyphs, p. 15), that it was from one point of view regarded as the source of muscular movement and power, as opposed to ba, the will or soul which set it in motion. In September, 1878, M. Maspero explained to the Members of the Congress of Lyons the views which he held concerning this word, and which he had for the past five years been teaching in the College of France, and said, "le ka est une sorte de double de la personne humaine d une matiere moins grossiere que la matiere dont est forme le corps, mais qu il fallait nourrir et entretenir comme le corps lui-meme; ce double vivait dans le tombeau des offrandes qu on faisait aux fetes canoniques, et aujourd hui encore un grand nombre des genies de la tradition populaire egyptienne ne sont que des doubles, devenus demons au moment de la conversion des fellahs au christianisme, puis a I islamisme." 4
Other authorities whom Mr. Budge quotes think that the Ka was a genius and not a double. Mr. Breasted thinks that
the ka was the superior genius intended to guide the fortunes of the individual in the hereafter. But Mr. Budge goes on
to say: "The relation of the ka to the funerary offerings has been ably discussed by Baron Fr. W. v. Bissing (Versuch
einer neuen Erklarung des Ka i der alten Aegypter in the Sitzungsberichte der Kgl. Bayer. Akad., Munich, 1911), and it seems as if the true solution of the mystery may be found by working on the lines of his idea, (which was published in
the Recueil, 1903, p. 182), and by comparing the views about the double held by African peoples throughout the Sudan.
The funeral offerings of meat, cakes, aje, wine, unguents, etc., were intended for the ka; the scent of the burnt incense was grateful for it (sic). The ka dwelt in the man s statue just as the ka of a god inhabited the statue of the god. In the
remotest times the tombs had special chambers wherein the ka was worshiped and received offerings. The priesthood
numbered among its body an order of men who bore the name of priests of the ka and who performed services of honor of the ka in the "Ka chapel!"
Although not in any sense
4 The Qarina. The belief in the Qarina shows itself in the common speech of the people. When an Egyptian wishes to send some one away he always uses the expression Rukh-anta-wa-hunca, i.e., Go thou and he.
The latter pronoun refers to the man s demon mate or Qarina.
an Egyptologist, I believe further light may be thrown on the real significance of ka by what popular Islam teaches today.
Whatever may be the significance of ka in Egyptology, we are not in doubt as to what Mohammed himself thought of his
ka or qarina. In the most famous volume of all Moslem books on the doctrine of jinn, called "Kitab akam al marj an
fi Ahkam al Jan" by Abdullah-esh-Shabli (769 A. H.) we read in chapter five as follows: "It is related by Muslim and others from Ayesha that the Apostle of God left her one night and that she said, I was jealous of him. Then she said, Mohammed saw me and came for me and said, "What s the matter with you, Ayesha? are you jealous?"
And I replied, Why should one like me not be jealous of one like you? Then the apostle of God said, Has your devil spirit got hold of you? Then I said, O Apostle of God, is there a devil with me? Said he, Yes, and with every person. Said I, And with you also, Apostle of God? Said he, Yes, but my Lord Most Glorious and Powerful has assisted me against him, so that he became a Moslem. Another Tradition is given in the same chapter on the authority of Ibn Hanbal as follows: "Said the Apostle of God, There is not a single one of you but has his qarina of the jinn and his qarina of the angels. They said, And thou also, O Apostle of God? Yes, he replied, I also, but God has helped her so that she does not command me except in that which is true and good. The Tradition here given occurs in many forms in the same chapter, so that there can be no doubt of its being well-known and, in the Moslem sense, authentic.
Here is another curious form of the same Tradition.
"Said the Apostle of God, I was superior to Adam in two particulars, for my devil (qarina), although an unbeliever,
became through God's help a Moslem and my wives were a help to me, but Adam s devil remained an infidel and his wife led him into temptation. We also find an evening prayer recorded of Mohammed as follows:
"Whenever the Apostle of God went to his bed to sleep at night he said, In the name of God I now lay myself down and seek protection from him against the evil influence of my devil (qarin, shaitan), and from the burden of my sin and the weight of my iniquity.
O God, make me to receive the highest decree.
"As regards the number of these companion devils and their origin, Tradition is not silent." It is said that there are
males and females among the devils, out of whom they procreate; but as to Iblis, God has created. . . . (The significance of this passage, which is not fit for translation, is that Iblis is an hermaphrodite) . . . there come forth out of him every day ten eggs, out of each of which are born seventy male and female devils. (Ibn Khallikan, quoted in Hayat al-IIawayan, article jinn.)
In another tradition also found in the standard collections it is said that Iblis laid thirty eggs "ten in the west, ten in the east, and ten in the middle of the earth and that out of every one of those eggs came forth a species of devils, such as al-Gilan, al- Akarib, al-Katarib, al-Jann, and others bearing diverse names. They are all enemies of men according to the words of God. What! will ye then take him and his seed as patrons, rather than we, when they are foes of yours? with the exception of the believing ones among them."
Al-Tabari, in his great commentary, vol. 26, p. 104, says the qarin or qarina is each man s shaitan (devil), who was appointed to have charge of him in the world. He then proves his statement by a series of traditions similar to those
already quoted: "his qarin is his devil (shaitan)"; or, according to another authority there quoted, "his qarina is his
jinn." (The second form of the word is feminine, the first masculine.)
According to Moslem Tradition, not only Mohammed but even Jesus the Prophet had a qarin. As He was sinless, and
because, in accordance with the well-known tradition, Satan was unable to touch Him at His birth, His qarin like that of
Mohammed was a good one. " On the authority of Ka'ab the Holy Spirit, Gabriel, strengthened Jesus because He was His qarin and his constant companion, and went with Him wherever He went until the day when He was taken up to
heaven. "(Qusus al Anbiya," by Al Tha alabi.)
Now while in the case of Mohammed and Jesus and perhaps also in the case of other prophets, the qarin or qarina was or became a good spirit, the general teaching is that all human beings, non-Moslems as well as Moslems, have their
familiar spirit, who is in every case jealous, malignant, and the cause of physical and moral ill, save in as far as his
influence is warded off by magic or religion. It is just here that the belief exercises a dominating place in popular Islam.
It is against this spirit of jealousy, this other-self, that children wear beads, amulets, talismans, etc. It is this other-self
that through jealousy, hatred and envy prevents love between husband and wife, produces sterility and barrenness, kills the unborn child, and in the case of children as well as of adults is the cause of untold misery.
The qarina is believed often to assume the shape of a cat or dog or other household animal. So common is the belief
that the qarina dwells in the body of a cat at night-time, that neither Copts nor Moslems would dare to beat or injure a
cat after dark. 5
Many precautions are taken to defend the unborn child against its mate, or perhaps it is rather against the mate of the mother, who is jealous of the future child. Major Tremearne, who studied the subject in North Africa, says
5 Many stories are related of the terrible consequences that follow beating a cat. These stories are credited even by the educated.
("Ban of the Bori," p. 97): the qarin "does not come until after the child has been actually born, for the sex is not known before that time." And again (p. 131) : "All human beings, animals, plants and big rocks, have a permanent soul
(quruwa) and a familiar bori of the same sex, and, in addition, young people have a temporary bori of the opposite sex, while all living things have two angels (mala'ika) in attendance. Small stones are soulless, and so are those large ones which are deep in the earth, for they are evidently dead, else they would not have been buried. The soul has a shape like that of the body which it inhabits, and it dwells in the heart, but where it comes in and out of the body is not known. It is not the shadow (ennuwa), for it cannot be seen, and in fact the ennuwa is the shadow both of the body and of the soul. Yet the word quruwa is sometimes loosely used for shadow, and there is evidently some connection, for a wizard
can pick the soul out of it. Neither is it the breath, for when a person sleeps his soul wanders about ; in fact, it does so even when a person is day-dreaming."
All this, which is descriptive of conditions among the Hausa Moslems of North Africa, closely resembles the belief
in Egypt. The jinn of the opposite sex, that is the soul-mate, generally dwells underground. It does not wish its particular mortal to get married. For, again I quote from Major Tremearne, "It sleeps with the person and has relations during sleep as is known by the dreams." This invisible companion of the opposite sex is generally spoken of in Egypt as
"sister "or "brother." His or her abode is in quiet shady places, especially under the threshold of the house. The death of one or more children in the family is often attributed to their mother s mate, and therefore, the mother and the surviving children wear iron anklets to ward off this danger.
Most people believe that the qarina dies with the individual; others that it enters the grave with the body. Although generally invisible there are those who have second sight and can see the qarina. It wanders about at night in the shape
of a cat.
I have recently taken down verbatim from Sheikh Ahmed Muharram of Daghestan and later from Smyrna an account
of the popular belief. He says that his statement represents the belief of all Turkish and Russian Mohammedans. The
qurana (plural of qarina) come into the world from the Alalam ul Barzakhiya at the time the child is conceived, before it is born; therefore during the act of coition, Moslems are told by their Prophet to pronounce the word "bismillah."
This will prevent the child from being overcome by its devil and turned into an infidel or rascal. The qarina exists with
the fetus in the womb. When the child is born the ceremony of pronouncing the creed in its right ear and the call to prayer in the left is to protect the child from its mate. Among the charms used against qurana are portions of the Koran written on leaden-images of fish or on leaden discs. The qurana are invisible except to people who are idiots and to the
prophets. These often have second vision. The qurana do not die with their human mates, but exist in the grave until
the day of the resurrection, when they testify for or against the human being. The reason that young children die is because Um es Subyan (the child-witch) is jealous of the mother, and she then uses the qarina of the child to put an end to it.
"The way I overcome my qarina" said Ahmed Muharram, "is by prayer and fasting." It is when a man is overcome with sleep that his qarina gets the better of him. "When I omit a prayer through carelessness or forgetfulness, it is my
qarina and not myself. The qarina, is not a spirit merely but has a spiritual body, and all of them differ in their bodily
appearance, although invisible to us. The qarina does not
6 The unseen world, Hades, the abode of souls after death and before birth.
increase in size, however, as does the child." The Sheikh seemed to be in doubt in regard to the sex of the qarina. At
first he would not admit that the sex relation was as indicated, thinking it improper for a man to have a female mate, but
after discussion he said he was mistaken. He admitted also that all these popular beliefs were based upon the Koran and Tradition, although superstitious practice had crept in among the masses.
A learned Sheikh at Caliub, a Moslem village near Cairo, was also consulted on the subject. At first he tried to explain
away the idea of popular Islam by saying that the qarina only referred to the evil conscience or a man s evil nature, but after a few questions he became quite garrulous, and gave the following particulars : The expectant mother, in fear of the qarina, visits the sheikha (learned woman) three months before the birth of the child, and does whatever she indicates as a remedy. These sheikhas exercise great influence over the women, and batten on their superstitious beliefs, often impersonating the qarina and frightening the ignorant. The Moslem mother often denies the real sex of
her babe for seven days after it is born in order to protect its life from the qarina. During these seven days she must not
strike a cat or she and the child will both die. Candles are lighted on the seventh day and placed in a jug of water near
the head of the child, to guard it against the qarina. Before the child is born a special amulet is prepared, consisting of seven grains each of seven different kinds of cereal.
These are sewn up in a bag, and when the infant is born it is made to wear it. The mother also has certain verses of the
Koran written with musk water or ink on the inside of a white dish. This is then filled with water and the ink washed off
and the contents taken as a potion. The Sheikh told me that the last two chapters of the Koran and also Surat Al Mujadala were most commonly used for this purpose. One of the most common amulets against the qarina or the child-witch is that called the "Seven Covenants of Solomon."
In Upper Egypt the bride wears a special amulet against the qarina fastened to her hair at the back or elsewhere on
her person. It consists of a triangular bag an inch long of colored cloth containing seeds. The tongue of a donkey dried
is considered a most powerful charm against the qarina and is used as an amulet on the house or the person.
A third amulet against the qarina of which I have a specimen from the village of Sirakna consists of a flat bronze ring
three quarters of an inch in diameter. On this they tie threads of yellow, red, and blue silk. It is then hung in the armpit of a little child to protect it from the qarina.
Charms and amulets against the qarina abound. Books on the subject are printed by the thousands of copies. Here, for
example, are the directions given for writing an amulet in the celebrated book called "Kitab Mujaribat" by Sheikh
Ahmed Al Dirbi (p. 105):
This (twenty-fourth) chapter gives an account of an amulet to be used against qarina and against miscarriage. This is the blessed amulet prepared to guard against all bodily and spiritual evils and against harm and sorcery and demons and fear and terror and jinn and the qarina and familiar spirits and ghosts and fever and all manner of illness and wetting the bed, and against the child-witch (Um es Subyan) and whirlwinds and devils and poisonous insects and the evil eye and pestilence and plague and to guard the child against weeping while it sleeps and the mystery of this writing is great for those children who have fits every month or every week or who cannot cease from crying or to the woman who is liable to miscarriage. And it is said that this amulet contains the great and powerful name of God in short, it is useful for all evils. It must be
7 A translation of this is given in the chapter on amulets, charms and knots.
written the first hour of the first day of the week, and reads as follows:
"In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate, there is no God but He, the Living, the Eternal, etc.
(to the end of the verse on the throne). In the name of God and to God and upon God, and there is no one victorious save God and no one can deliver him who flees from God, for He is the Living, the Self-subsisting, whom slumber seizes not nor sleep, etc. I place in the safe keeping of God him who carries this amulet, the God than whom there is no other,
who knows the secret and the open. He is the Merciful, the Compassionate. I protect the bearer by the words of God
Most Perfect and by His glorious names from evil that approaches and the eyes that flash and the souls of the wicked
and from the evil of the father of wickedness and his descendants and from the evil of those that blow upon knots and
from the evil of the envier when he envies, and I put him under the protection of God the Most Holy, King of the
Angels and of the Spirits, Lord of the worlds, the Lord of the great throne, Ihyashur, Ihyabur, Ihya-Adoni, Sabaoth Al
Shaddai; 8 and I put the bearer under the keeping of God by the light of the face of God which does not change and by
His eye which does not sleep nor slumber and His protection which can never be imagined nor escaped and His assistance which needs no help and His independence which has no equal and His eternity without end, His deity which cannot be overcome and His omnipresence which cannot be escaped, and I put him under the protection of the Lord of Gabriel and Michael and Israfil and Izrail and of Mohammed, the seal of the Prophets, and of all the prophets and apostles, and in the name of Him who created the angels and established their footsteps by His majesty to hold up His throne when it was borne on the face of the waters, and by the eight names written
8 This portion shows Jewish origin and gives some of the Hebrew names of God Jehovah.
upon the throne of God. I also give the bearer the pro tection of K.H.T.S. and the seven H.W.M. s and H.M.S.K. s,
and by the talisman of M.S. and M.R. and R. and H.W.M. and S. and K. and N. and T.H. and Y.S.9 and the learned
Koran and by the name of God Most Hidden and His noble book and by Him who is light upon lights, by His name who
flashed into the night of darkness and destroyed by his blaze every rebellious devil and made those that feared trust Him; and by the name by which man can walk upon water and make it as dry land; and by the name by which Thou didst
call thyself in the book which came down and which Thou didst not reveal to any but by whose power Thou didst return
to Thy throne after the creation; and by the name by which Thou didst raise up the heavens and spread out the earth and Greatest paradise and the fire; the name by which Thou didst part the sea for Moses and sent the flood to the people of Noah, the name written on Moses rod and by which Thou didst raise up Jesus, the name written on the leaves of the olive trees and upon the foreheads of the noble angels. And I put the one who wears this amulet under the protection of Him who existed before all and who will outlast all and who has created all, God, than whom there is no other, the Living, He is the Knowing and the Wise; and I put the bearer under the protection of the name of God by which He placed the seven heavens firmly and the earth upon its mountains and the waters so that they flowed and the fountains so that they burst forth and the rivers so that they watered the earth, and the trees brought forth their fruit and the clouds gave rain and night became dark and the day dawned and the moon game his light and the sun his splendor and the stars went in their course and the winds who carried His messages; and I put the bearer under the protection of the name by which Jesus spoke in the cradle and by which He raised the dead
9 These are the mystical letters which occur in the Koran text.
from the grave, and by which He opened the eyes of those born blind and cured the lepers, the name by which He
made the dumb to speak. And I protect him by the Merciful God and His great name and His perfect words, which neither riches nor the sinner can resist, from the evil which comes down from heaven or the evil that ascends to heaven and from the evil which is found upon the earth or which comes out of the earth, and from the terror of the night and of the day and from the oppression of the night and of the day; and I protect him from all powerful influences of evil and from the cursed devil and from envious men and from the wicked infidel; and I protect him by the Lord of Abraham, the friend of God, and Moses, the spokesman of God, and Jesus and Jacob and Isaac and Ishmael and David and Solomon and Job and Yunas and Aaron and Seth and Abel and Enoch and Noah and Elijah and Zecahriah and John and Hud and
Elisha and Zu Kifl and Daniel and Jeremiah and Shu aib and Ilyas and Salih and Ezra and Saul and the Prophet-of the-
fish and Lokman and Adam and Eve and Alexander the Great and Mary and Asiah (Pharaoh s wife) and Bilkis and Kharkil and Saf the son of Berachiah and Mohammed the seal of the prophets; and I protect him by God than whom there is no other, who will remain after all things have perished, and by His power and by His might and by His exaltation above all creatures and above all devils male and female, and all manner of jinn, male and female, and familiar spirits of both sexes, and wizards and witches, and deceivers male and female, and infidels male and female, and enemies male and female, and ghoul and demons, and from the evil eye and the envious, from the evil in things of ear and eye and tongue and hand and foot and heart and conscience, secret or open.
And I protect the wearer from everything that goes out and comes in, from every breath that stirs of evil or of movement of man or beasts, whether he be sick or well, awake or sleeping, and from the evil of that which dwells in the earth or in the clouds or in the mountains or in the air or the dust or the vapor or the caves or the wells or the mines, and from the devil himself, and from the flying demons, and from those who work sorcery and from the evil of the whirlwind caused by the chief of the jinn, and from the evil of those who dwell in tombs and in secret places, in pools and in wells and from him who is with the wild beasts or within the wombs, and from him who is an eavesdropper of the secrets of the angels, etc., etc. (After this the amulet closes with the words of the Moslem creed written three times, the call to prayer twice and) "May God s blessing and peace be upon the Prophet and upon his companions forever until the day of judgment. Praise be to God the Lord of the worlds."
All this seems the height of folly to the educated Moslem. Yet it is taken from one of the best selling books on popular magic and medicine, printed in Cairo, third edition, 1328 A.H. (six years ago) 192 pages, fine print, and sold for ten cents!
No one can read of these superstitious practices and beliefs, which are inseparable from the Koran and Tradition, without realizing that the belief in the qarina is a terror by night and by day to pious Moslem mothers and their children. For fear of these familiar spirits and demons they are all their life time subject to bondage. A mother never dares to leave her infant child alone in Egypt for fear of the qarina. The growing child must not tramp on the ground heavily for fear he may hurt his qarina. It is dangerous to cast water on the fire lest it vex the qarina. On no account must the child
be allowed to go asleep while weeping. Its every whim must be satisfied for fear of its evil mate. It is the firm belief in Egypt that when a mother has a boy her qarin (masculine) has also married a qarina (feminine), who at that time gives birth to a girl. This demon-child and its mother are jealous of the human mother and her child. To pacify the qarina they sacrifice a chicken, which must be absolutely black and sacrificed with the proper ceremonies. It is impossible to see the qarina except in one way.
Following a Jewish superstition (Jewish Encyclopedia, art. demonology), a man may see evil spirits by casting the -ashes of the foetus of a black cat about his eyes or by sprinkling these ashes around his bed he can trace their footsteps in the morning.
When we remember that only one-third of one per cent, of the women in Egypt are able to read, we can imagine the
power that is exercised over them by the lords of this superstition, who sell amulets and prescribe treatment for the expectant mother and her child. Pitiful stories have come to me from those who were eye-witnesses of this swindle which is being carried on in every village of the Delta.
Al-Ghazali himself in his great work, "The Revival of the Religious Sciences," in speaking of the virtue of patience,
says: "He who is remiss in remembering the name of God even for the twinkling of an eye, has for that moment no
mate but Satan. For God has said, And whosoever turns from the reminder (remembrance) of the Merciful One, we will chain to him a devil, wrho shall be his mate (qarina).
We may perhaps appropriately close this chapter with what one of the learned men relates regarding the victory of the
believer over his demon and its powers. It may lead us to a new conception of that petition in the Lord s Prayer which
we offer also for our Moslem brothers and sisters:
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the Evil One."
"Verily, the devil is to you a foe, so take him as a foe.
This is an order for us from Him may He be praised! that we may take him as a foe. He was asked, How are we to take him as a foe and to be delivered from him? and he replied, Know, that God has created for every believer seven forts the first fort is of gold and is the knowledge of God; round it is a fort of silver, and it is the faith in Him ; round it is a fort of iron and it is the trust in Him; round it is a fort of stones and consists of thankfulness and being pleased with Him: round it is a fort of clay and consists of ordering to do lawful things, prohibiting to do unlawful things, and acting accordingly; round it is a fort of emerald which consists of truthfulness and sincerity toward Him; and round it is a fort of brilliant pearls, which consists of the discipline of the mind (soul). The believer is inside these forts and Iblis outside them barking like a dog, which the former does not mind, because he is well-fortified (defended) inside these forts. It is necessary for the believer never to leave off the discipline of the mind under any circumstances or to be slack with regard to it in any situation he may be in, for whoever leaves off the discipline of the mind or is slack in it, will meet with disappointment (from God), on account of his leaving off the best kind of discipline in the estimation of God, whilst Iblis is constantly busy in deluding him, in de siring for his company, and in approaching him to take from him all these forts, and to cause him to return to a state of unbelief. We seek refuge with God from that state!" 10
10 "Al Damiri Hayat-ul-Hayawan." Vol. I, p. 470. (English Translation by Jayakar.)