Tuesday, November 11, 2008

" Al Zaar" The Egyptian Exorcism Ritual

There are many things we encounter everyday that is utterly unexplainable, but we manage to pour the blame on the lack of will, karma or even a hidden sense of self-destruction. Others or the majority, for the sake of precision, won’t buy such non-materialistic reasons, thus a totally different set of reasons had to be created…
Since as far as humanity remembers, jealousy and magic played the leading roles as the only acceptable reasons for all the things we can’t control like delayed marriage age, inability to bare children, sexual incompetence, limited income and many more…
Call it lack of faith, stupidity or even unconditional weakness, for in the end it’s only the absurd kindness and the absolute belief that evil comes only from people that lead them to Al Zaar, the only place where those forces people employ can be put to stop and consequently set their humble lives back on track…

Al Zaar as an event never failed change; descending from the Atheist African tribes as a way to heal bizarre cureless diseases, it ended up as a widely practiced ritual to release jinn from the humanly bodies!
Since its early use in Egypt in the 1870’s, Al Zaar has been surrounded by this alluring mystery that left almost everyone enticed and eager for a quick try. We’ve earned our modest knowledge of Al zaar from the screen but actually there’s much more to it than the smoky room and the blood smearing fiesta…

To be able to comprehend all the unfamiliar actions performed during the ceremony, you have to know that the entire thing is based upon blind trust and inherited beliefs. Like the reason behind all the deafening noise is an ancient principle, that a jinn is merely weak and defeatable when forced to spell out his name, and accordingly loses his power over the invaded person. Only then a deal can be made with the jinn, either to leave the person peacefully- as in without harming any of his interior or exterior organs- or stays in helplessly with no power or affect what so ever!

Giving that Al Zaar is defined as mainly a womanly event where tambourines are hit and oblations are presented, thus it’s only natural for its leader to be a woman usually called the “Koddeya”.
Al Koddeya carries the responsibility of Al Zaar on her shoulders, as she plays the medium’s role between the patient and the jinn. Usually she inherited such profession from her mother and accordingly is expected to pass it on to her daughter or one of her helpers if she didn’t have any.
To perform such communication with the jinn she to first categorizes him in terms of the region of his origin, religion, sex and language. Because if, for example, the jinn was Arabian, then the entire theme of Al Zaar turns Arabian, the clothes, the music, the amulets and the songs all are said in Arabic and so on… After the communication starts, Al Koddeya has to know the purpose of the haunting, whether its jealousy, magic, lust, accommodation or sometimes it’s the fear of the jinn for the person’s well fair that moves him to the invasion! It happens more like a race where instead of having an evil spirit haunting the body, a religious peaceful one jumps in to the rescue!

After the most important info has been gathered about the Jinn, Al Zaar begins with the Tambourine group playing the right tone for “Al 2syad” (the lords) to provide the necessary aid for Al Koddeya to eject the Jinn. Added to the specific clothes and the oblations that “the lord” asked specifically for, there’s the amulets that is required to have certain shapes, writings and are worn by Al Koddeya as accessories over her head and for the helpers each to wear that of “the lord” haunting her!

Al Koddeya, regularly performs three types of Zaars:
1. A weekly Zaar intended for showing respect to “Al 2syad” (the lords) and it’s mainly attended by Al Zaar addicts who can’t survive life without the relieving feeling brought by such ritual.
2. A massive Zaar, dedicated to healing all incurable diseases with the help of “the lords”. Thus “the lords” have to be pleased and begged for such great favor with all the different kinds of rituals the music and tremendous amounts of oblations and sacrifice are presented.
3. A yearly Zaar, which usually takes place during Ragab of each year as all Zaars are put to stop during Ramadan with no exception what so ever. This Zaar is exclusively performed for certain “lords” Al Koddeya knows and asks for help regularly.

The undeniable believe in the effects of Al Zaar, transformed the once known as an ancient ritual for completely different reasons to a merciless profitable business spreading faster than fire. And regardless of the reason why people head to such forgeries, it still is what it is, an eternal phenomena that is now available on CDs and cassette tapes!


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Cialis said...

Exorcisms are scary!