Saudi Arabia authorizes clinic to treat people with Koranic incantations...
Cutting edge medicine...
For some people, alternative medicine means acupuncture, for others it's macrobiotics. But now, in Saudi Arabia, Islamic holy scripture is now among a patient’s legally sanctioned therapeutic options.
This week, the government awarded a license to a clinic treating the ill with Koranic incantations. The permit for The Center for Treatment through Ruqiya (Incantation) in the coastal city of Jedda was given by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, which also oversees the center's activities.
"You sit with the patient for three to four minutes and begin with general questions like the patient's name, what he likes, his age and weight, all as a kind of mental preparation for the patient," Tawfiq Al-Hashimi, a Koran therapist who won the license for the Jedda clinic, told the Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat.
Until now, regulations have been designed to eliminate the practice of sorcery, which is illegal in Saudi Arabia and punishable by death. Two men were sentenced to death last October following charges of practicing witchcraft in the kingdom. But Saudi practitioners insisted that ruqiya should not be confused with sorcery.
Al-Hashimi told A-Sharq Al-Awsat that half of all diseases are treatable by using the Koran because they are "Satanic afflictions" that disappear following prolonged verse incantation. Al-Hashimi added that 80% of cancer cases in the kingdom are caused by the evil eye, which is treatable by the Koran as well.