The practices of a raqi (Islamic exorcist) in Stockholm

Michael Marlow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This article investigates in depth the practices of a Stockholm-based raqi. In the first section, the principles and methods of his version of ruqya (Islamic exorcism) are described: which Qur’anic passages he perceives as being most suitable to read in the cases of different afflictions, how he complement his reading with the use of his right palm to detect the possession, and his use of the “satanic meridians,” i.e., pressure points to use to facilitate the eviction of stubborn djinns. Later, the cases of five patients are discussed in order to shed light upon those who seek out his services. One particularly interesting example concerns a patient who regularly takes ruqya against sorcery. Despite the fact that she does not believe in sorcery herself, she considers ruqya more beneficial for her well-being than Western treatments. Next, the raqi’s perspective on psychotherapy and on mental illness in general are then presented. Finally, the problems of non-contextualized interviews versus ethnographic observations carried out as part of fieldwork for the purposes of gathering information are illustrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-294
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Islam
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Djinn
  • Exorcism
  • Islamic healing
  • Jinn
  • Muslim mental health
  • Ruqya


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