I enjoy Helen Walne’s “Human League” which I find uplifting after reading the many issues regarding crime and violence. However, her article on Tuesday April 16th interested me for a different reason.

After the advent of democracy, in my opinion, border control buckled and anyone capable of dragging themselves across the border headed south towards the mountain and the sea. With this influx, came foreign ideas and practices which were an anathema to Capetonians. One of these abominations was the presence and massive increase of imposters and charlatans operating as “spiritual healers”.

While there are many dimensions and great depth to the issue of Islamic, Christian and Jewish spiritualism, those who advertise and apply the street trade in my opinion are really fraudsters and tricksters and have little to do with Abrahamic ideals.

Since many “spiritual healers” are primarily swindlers, some are known to practice the occult. Had this been an Islamic state they would have been beheaded. In Islam there is no place for the occult or those who indulge in such activities. Muslims are instructed by the Quran and the practice of all the Prophets throughout history to avoid any connection with occult activities. Those who visit or recommend these “healers” should know that their behaviour is detrimental and contrary to Islam.

That the charlatans advertise as Professor / Doctor / Sheikh / Mufti is an immediate indication of misrepresentation. Muslim scholars are universally discouraged from advertising or from profiting from their position. That many of the charlatans are unfortunately named Muhammed, Ismail, Mariam or Fatima is part of the deception and should be considered insulting to any rational Muslim.

Islam encourages people who have medical problems to visit qualified and appropriate medical practitioners; this includes plastic surgeons, psychologists and urologists etc. Problems of a spiritual nature should be referred to reputable bodies like the Muslim Judicial Council etc. that have qualified people to advice and manage issues. If a person has a marital problem there are programs in the community to educate. For example, on a Monday night at the Turf hall Stadium complex near the Crawford area, Imam A.M Saban a national marriage expert hosts classes. His program is for singles and couples who are contemplating marriage or who have marriage issues that require mediation.

Capetonians in general should therefore not associate these “spiritual healers” with the Muslims community since they do not form any part of our traditions, culture or religious practices.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress