The Interpretation of Mental Illness as a Supernatural Cause in Muslim Communities

1Alaa Alhumsi, Saddiga Al- Ghalib


Muslims usually believe in supernatural or religious causes as the main reason of most mental illnesses around them due to the classical Islamic teaching. This literature is a scope to look at if perception of supernatural forces (evil eye, possession by jinn, black magic) or religious causes (punishment/blessing from God) is common in Muslims in developing and developed countries or not? Also in comparison to other religions do Muslims consider believing more or less than other religions in those causes? This explanatory literature review aims to search for findings that can give a better understanding to the Islamic and Muslim perception of mental illnesses and their perception of treatment. The databases internet was searched for studies related to the topic. Also, no limitation was placed on years included in the search. Sixty-four relevant publications were read and analyzed closely for findings and treatments. Supernatural and religious causes were more investigated and included in Muslim communities than non-Muslims communities due to Muslims perception of mental illness. This review has shown that due to the high prevalence of populations to consider supernatural and religious believes as a cause of mental illness to follow the trend of using therapeutic and spiritual aspects hand in hand to assure an excellent service for patients.


Black Magic, Evil Eye, Jinn Possession, Mental Illness, Muslims

Paper Details
IssueSpecial Issue 1