St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia
Cemetery Sorcery in the Maghrib: the Revealing of One Newspaper Article
Abstract. The main question of the current research is what place the modern Algerian society spares to sorcery and witchcraft. The author explores two dimensions the problem exists in: the written and oral ones. The author analyses the phenomenon on the basis of a leading article of an everyday Algerian newspaper dedicated to a case of well‑known in Maghrib cemetery sorcery and the material of her personal field research. The results of the analysis allow drawing some conclusions. Among those: the definition of magic given by Al‑Qurtubi in the 7th/13th century, as something that “everyone may learn and practice”, is still accurate in the modern Maghrib. The wide‑spread oral tradition to transfer sorcery knowledge is reinforced by highly popular books of the so‑called folk medicine. These practices concern nearly all aspects of everyday culture. Broad circulation of the topic in Mass and Social Media proves its urgent and vital character for the most population. Strong belief in sorcery and its wide distribution remains one of the main cultural peculiarities of the Maghribian society, even in the conditions of living outside the original area. It shows quite a potential for resistance to the different environment by surviving in the migrants' societies through generations.
Keywords: Maghrib, magic, sorcery, jinn, cemetery, folk culture, talisman
- ‘Abd al‑Wahab, K. (2017), “La‘ibu al‑butula fi muwajahat al‑shu‘uda wa al‑kadinat!” [“The players of the championship in the face of magic and sorcery!”], Al‑Nahar al‑Jadid, 13 May, p. 14.
- Al‑Qurtubi, J. (1967), Al‑Jami‘ li ahkam al‑Qur’an [The Whole Provisions of the Qur’an], Cairo: Dar al‑kitab al-̒arabi li al‑tiba‘a wa al‑nashr.
- Cooperman, A., Hamar Martinez, J., Mohamed, B., Robbins, M., Sahgal, N., Simmons, K., Kuriakose, N., Sciupac, E. (2012), “The world's Muslims: unity and diversity”, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, [Online] Available from: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/08/09/the‑worlds‑muslims‑unity‑and‑diversity‑4‑other‑beliefs‑and‑practices/ [Accessed: 29.04.2018].
- El‑Jozeyah, I. (2003), The Prophetic Medicine, Al‑Mansura: Dar al‑ghadd al‑jadid.
- Haikal, F. (2010), “The mothers heart, the hidden name, and true identity paternal / maternal descent and gender dichotomy”, in: Echoes of Eternity. Studies Presented to Gaballa Aly Gaballa, O. El-Aguizy & M. S. Ali (eds.), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp. 195—199.
- Jankowsky, R. (2010), Music, Trance, and Alterity in Tunisia, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Kilito, A. (1985), L'auteur et ses doubles: Essai sur la culture arabe classique, Paris: Editions du Seuil.
- Lizoul, R. (2012), ‘Alam al‑sihr. ‘Ahkam wa ‘alaqa bi al‑jinn fi daw’ al‑shar‘ [The World of Sorcery. Rules and Connection to Jinn in the Light of Shari‘a], Beirut: Dar al‑kutub al‑‘ilmiya.
- Mernissi, F. (1994), Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood, New York: Basic Books.
- Muslim b. al‑Hajjaj, Sahih, vol. 5: Book of Greetings, Hadith 5448, [Online] Available from: https://muflihun.com/muslim/26/5448 [Accessed: 29.05.2018].
- Naser, I. (2020), “Hal ta‘lam limadha yastakhdim al‑sahir aw al‑kahin ism al‑‘umm fi ‘amal al‑sihr” [“Do you know why a sorcerer or a fortuneteller uses a mother's name for magic practices?”], Nujum Misriyya, 16 May, [Online] Available from: https://www.nmisr.com/arab‑news/opinion/لماذا‑يستخدم‑الساحر‑أو‑الكاهن‑إسم‑الأم [Accessed: 14.06.2020].
- Ruska, J., Carra de Vaux, B. & Bosworth, C. E. (2012), “Tilsam”, EI2, [Online] Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_7553 [Accessed: 29.05.2018].
Received by the Editorial Board: 16.07.2018