Umar Stambuli – Cii News | 22 Sha’ban 1436/10 June 2015

The saying, desperate times call for desperate measures seems to have been misinterpreted by some Muslims. Desperation is rendering many in this community of faith gullible and weak.

A look at community newspapers published on a weekly and monthly basis testifies to this. Full page adverts bearing the testimonies of Muslim women claiming to have overcome some financial and personal problems with the intervention of certain self-styled “doctors” are a permanent feature in these tabloids.

These adverts, supposedly designed and targeted to Muslim clients, who have unending problems, have pictures of Muslim women donning hijab. The testimonies of these ladies testify how they were helped by these doctors to turn their fortunes around.

Pictures of people bearing Islamic names claim to offer better solutions and eradicate predicaments.

Encounter with healers

The names of these herbalists which are usually Islamic sounding prompted Cii News to conduct an investigation. This reporter called one Mama Aisha and pretended to seek her services. She asked which work the reporter was doing and when told of his journalistic credentials, the apprehension was palpable.

However, when this reporter told her that he had a problem at work, the Mackenzie Park based herbalist became attentive again and requested this reporter to come to her place for further consultations.

The lady who has an East African accent was resolute that she was a Muslim.

“Yes I am a Muslim,” she said before seeking to explain pictures, mainly of Muslim women on her adverts.

“Those are testimonies, I am black not Indian”, Mama Aisha responded, adding that the pictures were of ladies who have consulted her.

Cii News then followed up on another advert which was posted by a Mama Fatima. The call was answered by a male voice who demanded to know where this reporter got the numbers from.

He was told to visit Mama Fatima after work but when told the reporter was willing to come on a weekend, he said the healed even offered a service to pick clients up.

“If you are in Lenasia, (a town in South of Johannesburg) she will come pick you up. Just stand by Mercedes Benz and call her, she will be there,” said the voice on the other end.

“You can call on any of the numbers on the advert, she will answer the phone because on weekends she’s very busy,” he said.

Duped by fake healers

For many who have consulted these healers, the consequences have been dire. Usually it ends with tears and regrets as in the case of Capetonian Muslim woman who allegedly lost R121 400, which she paid was paid as consultation and “sacrificial” fees three herbalists based in Grassy Park and Cape Town.

In a story that was published by IOL News, the mother of three, is now facing eviction from her rented home after she was left penniless. Not only was she in debt, she said, but she had also lost friends and relatives from whom she had borrowed money.

“They’ve left me with absolutely nothing,” she’s was quoted saying.

“I have lost everything… friends, family members and my job. My home is standing empty as I had to sell all my furniture to repay the money I owed them.”

“I still can’t believe how I was duped and fell for the theories. I was just beside myself.”

She not only approached one herbalist Dr Sheila who promised her heavens on earth but had to approach two more herbalists, a Dr Allie who “specialised” in “unresolved traditional healing” and a Dr Rashid.

From her visits to the three herbalists she was left counting losses as nothing materialised after being duped.

“By the time I saw Dr Rashid I was penniless… I had no money to buy food. I had sold everything in the house just to get the millions that were promised to me.

“I felt like the herbalists were sucking blood out of me… the more they sucked, the more I believed in them even though I wasn’t going anywhere.

Pure magic

Commenting on these healers, who have duped many Muslims of their hard earned cash and rendered their faith weak, renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdurauf bin Halima said that their offerings were no doubt unIslamic.

“This is magic and the problem with magic is that when it enters your system it will spread and lead you to drugs, alcohol, prostitution and corruption. This is something very dangerous because many people that are weak in faith and have no knowledge in deen.

“They spend hours in trying to control their husbands and trying to make money. They get into this magic that destroys your faith, your religion, and your worldly life as there are no benefits inside,” he warned Muslims.

For desperate Muslims who are about to engage in desperate actions by seeking magic powers from these healers, words from Marala Scott should ring a bell,

“Desperation sells you to weak people that use weaker people. Exercise patience and faith along with Gods timing,” wrote the award-winning author and motivational speaker.