0804-Superstition in Seeking Cure

Background material for Year 1 Semester 2 PPSD Session on 9th April 2008 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.


Superstition arises when humans seek and expect cure of disease from anything other than Allah. Manifestations of superstition practices in disease treatment include: amulets, divinations,and worshipping or asking cure from humans called saints by visiting their graves. Other superstitious practices are: claiming knowledge of the unseen and claiming supernatural powers by any human. Many people with disease conditions resort to superstition practices due to misguidance by shaitan. These practices distract from seeking true treatment based on rational scientific medicine. Patients delay coming to hospital and by the time they come the disease is too advanced for easy cure.



A fortuneteller is a liar who pretends to know the future or the unseen and provides information to the gullible clients.. Fortunetellers are able to convince their clients about supernatural knowledge because of assistance by shaitan that listens to people’s secrets and informs the fortuneteller.


Astrology is the belief that movement of planets, stars, the sun, and the moon can affect peoples’ lives. The astrologer uses these phenomena to make predictions about disease or its cure. The astrologer is a liar because he or she is trying to appropriate Allah’s prerogative of knowing the unseen.


Divination is foretelling the future using several techniques such as horoscopes, astrology, geomancy (use of figures or lines), crystal gazing, possession by a spirit that answers specific questions, pyromamcy (divination by fire), hydromancy (divination by water), cleromancy (divination by lots), somatomancy (divination based on body appearance), phenology (divination by features of the head), and oneiromancy (interpretation of dreams). Augury is divination of the future by observation of natural phenomena in plants, animals, or inanimate objects to see omens (divinatory signs). Augury is divination of the future by observation of natural phenomena in plants, animals, or inanimate objects to see omens (divinatory signs). What is surprising is that spread of modern science based on empiricism has not done away with the superstition of divination. It is also surprising that those who consult diviners do not test the predictions of the diviners but just believe them or ignore them and never reach the conclusion that diviners do not know or just guess.



Amulets / talisman are objects thought to bring good fortune or to prevent disease. They may be natural or man-made. They may be of plant or animal origin. Some are made of stone or metals. They are thought to have magical powers. Talismans are forms of superstition and it is offensive to carry them. There are people who hang amulets on their body for protection instead of relying on Allah. Such actions are very demeaning to humans. How can a human who possesses an intellect rely for protection on a small object that he manufactures himself and hangs around his neck?



Sorcery has many forms. The prophet was a victim of sorcery. Sorcery is one the greatest sins. It is condemned and forbidden in all its forms and manifestations.



Dreams and their interpretation could lead to superstition. Some forms of dream interpretation are forms of superstition. It is true that humans dream. Most dreams are related to the daily human experiences. Sometimes because of the state of sleep the facts become distorted such that a person cannot relate the dream or understand it. Limited ability to interpret dreams was given to some prophets. Other humans do not this ability. Therefore dreams of ordinary humans should have no role in the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of disease.

ŠProfessor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. April, 2008