The Bedouin Shaman's (Fugara) Of Jordan

Most Bedouins use the word ''Fugara'' to refer to their Shamans. Fugara is an aspect of Desert Mysticism. It consists of meditative, mystical and magical practices which were taught from father to son by oral tradition. The Bedouin Fugara maintains a surprising internal coherency of practice and belief.

Fugara is an individual member of a tribe who provides healing, advice, teaching or spiritual meaning through mediation sometimes in altered states of consciousness. Although such states of consciousness may vary from tribe to tribe, they may be achieved by various methods including music, chanting, repeating God's attributes, druming, meditation, solitude, dreaming. 

Fugara means "weak" since most of the bedouin shamans ''Fugara'' abstain from eating hefty meals. Not surprisingly, the result is a skinny look and a weak body, hence the name. "Fugara" are initiated when they are young, sometimes as young as 14 years old. After the initiation, nothing is hidden from them any longer; not only can they see things far, far away, but can also discover souls, stolen souls, stolen objects, hidden treasures, hidden remedies and other intelligence gathering. The Fugara makes a journey during which he is spoken to by the spirits, or they may appear to him in the form of visions or even in physical form. He knows the mystery of the breakthrough in plane. This communication among the cosmic zones is made possible through his training on the techniques, names and functions of spirits, mythology and genealogy of the clan, and secret language. 

The nomadic bedouin Shamans assumes a socio-religious function within the community. The shaman may fill the role of priest or sheik, metaphysician or healer.

Bedouins Shamans use many plants for medical purposes and spiritual rites. Harmala, mixed with incense, is used for curing people possessed by the jinn, a treatment that often includes the beating of drums and the recitation of Koranic verses. 

All shamanic practice aims to give rise to ecstasy. Drumming, manipulating of breath, ordeals, fasting, theatrical illusions, all are time-honored methods for entering into the trance for shamanic work. 

Healing with language: Perhaps no people in the world manifest such enthusiastic admiration for literary expression and are so moved by the word, spoken or written, as the Arabs. Hardly any language seems capable of exercising over the minds of its users such irresistible influence as Arabic. 

Many Shamans view the Koran as the word of God and Arabic as the language of creation. In this view the alphabet and language are divine and have immense magical power. The Bedouin shaman or Fuqara heals his people through transmitting some verses contained in the Koran. Zikr, simply translated as "divine remembrance", is also practiced as a method to cure mental or physical illness. It is performed by repeating holy verses or God's attributes individually. The shaman combines the using of God's attributes and holy verses with prayer in a specific and complex method.

The formulation, called "wifq", may be written on paper, bone, or leather and is placed in a glass of water (to be taken by the patient), buried in the ground, or carried around by the patient. The formulations can also be spoken aloud, in the heart, or using many other ways. This can be applied not only to cure mental or physica illness, but also to solve family, financial, or social problems. This last method uses power from God for constructive purposes only, and is not similar to voodoo, black magic, or witchcraft, which use the power from jinn or evil spirits for destructive purposes.

The Bedouins explained phenomena that affected their life significantly by the intervention of superhuman entities, be they gods or demons. These entities are divided into three categories: ancestors, the gods, and the djin or Jinn.''

''Jinn are said to have come the Earth ages before man existed. They were the first of Earth's masters. They built huge cities whose ruins still stand in forgotten places. Aeons later many Jinn were forced to flee the Earth while other were imprisoned. Still others roam desolate places to this day. The Jinn are said to be invisible to normal men.

The photo of the two men: Howeemel and Eshtaian of Eyal Awwad gave me alote of there privaledged information unfortunatly both Amarin shamans have passed away in 1999.
Interview with a nomadic shaman of Wadi Araba
This is te estate of the renouned shaman "Awwad". Who lived in the early nineteenth century, Awwad, an ancestor of today's Ammarin of the Eyal Awwad. Awwad bought this land in Beidah, close to Petra, for the price of ten goats and a gun. His estate, which was a plateau in the mountains, came to be known as Farsh Eyal Awwad (roughly, the estate of the sons of Awwad).
At some point in the early nineteenth century, Awwad, an ancestor of today's Ammarin of the Eyal Awwad theAmarin Shaman tomb in Wadi Araba - Beir Mathkour. According to tradition, when an Ammarin infant reaches the age of twenty days, he is taken to Beir Mathkour at Wadi Araba to visit the graves of his virtuous ancestors, and gain their blessing. In the ensuing ceremony, also observed by other tribes, animal sacrifices are made at these graves, and firearms are discharged in celebration, gifts of beads are presented to honour the ancestors and specialy Awwad. Awwad ''The big renouned shaman, holy man and Judge.''
The photo of the old lady: Kadra ''meaning Green'', Howeemel and Eshtaian siter of the Ammarin (Died, March 2000)
Interview with a Bedouin Doctor in Wadi Rum

Salem Zae'er is a traditional doctor who lives in Wadi Rum. His family renowned for its ability to exercise the Djin from any person who is possessed. The Djin would be expelled from the interface between the flesh and the fingernail. 
Salem became a practitioner when he was afflicted by a disease which many thought was cancer, whereupon he undertook to cure himself. He followed a strict diet in which he ate nothing but a few herbs, and he started experimenting with assorted recipes of animals and plants which taught him the correct cures for various ailments. In doing so Salem broke the tradition of his ancestors by distancing himself from the spiritual in favour of the material.
Among the medications which he discussed is a green powder called moani which he uses as an anaesthetic when his patients need it, since the treatment often consists of branding with a hot iron or bleeding.
Salem frequently uses snakes in his medicine, and he is renowned for it. One of his recipes includes three snakes and a python ground together into a pulp. This medicament is prescribed along with abstinence from certain foods specified by Salem, and the patient is advised to keep warm.
This practice involves hunting snakes, which are found wherever they can find their food. The best hunting ground is under the Harjala (also known as Harmala) tree in the valleys. There they fed on birds, mice, and other animals of similar size, taking a week or two to digest each meal.
The python, for his part, feeds on snakes. When he sees a snake he stiffens and strikes it with his body as if with a sick. This dazes the snake which gives him the time to swallow it whole and digest it at leisure.
Snakes also play a part in Bedouin magic, since it is believed that, in the days of the Romans, people used to cast a spell to guard buried treasure, which was accompanied by a sacrifice of a human being, or a snake. The spirit of the sacrifice would then stay as guardian to the treasure. This spell can be broken in order retrieve the treasure, but that would require the expertise of a person versed in "the science of the inner world."
Another animal that is used extensively in Salem's practice is the wolf, of which he uses the intestines, the jawbone, and in one prescription the whole body. The entire wolf is placed in a pit full of burning coal and it is buried for three days, at the end of which it is reduced to powder as fine as flour. This powder is mixed with honey into a pomade and smeared on the skin, which makes it soft and bright as that of a new-born baby.
Of the plant kingdom, Salem uses the seeds of the Qesum tree, olive twigs, and pomegranate blossoms. These are ground and cooked in olive oil, and ground rock sugar is added to this mixture, to prepare a medication against fever.
Another all round medicine that is widely used consists of ground harjal(harmala) plant, to which is added a dried dead lizard, the resin of the butom tree and some incense. The mixture is roasted on hot coals and it needs to be used on the last day of the month.
When someone catches a chill, Salem brands parts of his body, particularly the torso. This ailment is called the sickness of the night (probably because temperature drops considerably in the desert during the night). Coughs are treated by a medication consisting of ground ginger and cloves, which are then either swallowed with boiled water, or inhaled through the nose.
The most peculiar prescription known to Salem is for the use of vengeful women against their husbands. According to him if a woman adds some of her menstrual blood to his food she "destroys him completely".
Al-Jailani laments that people now invite the fugara only on occasions, although they exist in every Arab country, and among their traditions is the use of incense. Al-Jailani asserts that there is a difference between mediums, magicians, and the fugara. He maintains that not all mediums are magicians, and often they cannot fulfil all the functions of a magicians. The powers of a medium are generally limited to writing hujub (plural of hijab, generally meaning a spell which is either beneficial or harmful) and such. As for the fugara, they are the group that says "La ilaha illa Allah"( they are true believers).
The four posts:
Al-Jailani spoke also about the four posts or stakes which indicate the gateway to the two orients and two occidents. Each gateway has a power/guardian, and the secret to them are known only to Al Rifai, Al Dasouqi, Al Jailani, and Al Sayyed Ahmad who were entrusted each on a specific shamanistic task. To fulfil their tasks, they spread in the four directions, and since each one has become the patron of his direction.
Angels:
The angels, according the Bedouin shaman, are innumerable, and each one of them has a letter of the alphabet. They include the bearers of the throne, the guardian of the skies, and those that guard humans against sin. People can talk to the angels, but the latter do not talk back. Only the virtuous can speak to the angels, and they can only ask them for good deeds because the angels are only of pacific acts.
Djin (Jinn):
Dwell in the area where he lives (the south of Jordan) in large numbers. he exorcised many people by the grace of God through reciting the names of Gad, which expelled the djin through the fingernails of these people.
The djin, like human beings, are divided into many races and tribes and such, they speak different languages. However, there are no djin in Mecca.
Sukkan al beit (dwellers in the house) are the djin that cohabitant in a house with humans. They do not harm these humans, but they share their food and exist in the same number as their human cohabitants, and they have a normal size. They can also be seen, but only by people with experience in this. It is possible to talk to them in whispers, in course of a Kholwa (isolation). To do this, a person needs to forsake food, drink, and conversation with other until the djin come to him. He then needs to promise not to divulge any of the secrets with which they entrust him. This djin then guards its human interlocutor against any harm or aggression.
When a child cries to the point where it chokes, it means that this infant has a qarin called suwaida (little black one) which raises his temperature until he becomes like a live coal. As for the qarin al tabe'h (the follower twin), she causes the death of the infant before his birth, or sometimes afterwards. If, however, the child dies after he has grown old enough to recognise his father, then the qarin haunts the father rather than the child.
A human can subdue the djin into servitude, but the ability to do so is a gist from God. This is why magicians have a lot of money, because they are served by the djin. Such magicians can be found in Morocco, Yamen, and Sudan. The djin prefer action to thought; when they decide to do something they will do it regardless. But they are always absent minded, and would not come to a human until they are summoned.
The djin according to Al-Jailani are like animals in that they are guided by their appetites, be they for food or sex, unlike humans whom God distinguished with the faculty of thought. The djin dwell in all parts of the Jordan Valley, because this area is a prison for the djin and also the fallen angels. Al-Jailani says that when he receives a person that is haunted by the djin, he makes that person wear a cloak called ghod (word unknown) or dhil (shadow) which the djin cannot bear, so it leaves the body of the afflicted person. Alternatively, Al-Jailani build a huge fire, draws weapons, and threatens the djin with it. If the djin seeks refuge in the fire (from which the djin are made, according to the legend), then the exorcist knows that the djin is afraid of the weapon, and threatens the djin to strike him with it until he leaves the body of the person. Sometimes the djin is not scared by the weapon, then it becomes necessary to give the afflicted person a potion made of herbs called dhid (antidote) which course through the human's veins and attacks the djin to expel it.
Another potion that function in the same way is nushouq al-djin (the snuff of the djin). It is made of herbs mixed with oils extracted from certain trees, and the liver of a wolf. It must be left for a while for the ingredients to mix together well, then it is given to the afflicted person to expel the djin from him. It is also given to people who suffer from chronic headaches, but healing is only achieved by the grace of God (Al- Shafi).
The story of Lot according to Al-Jailani
According to Al-Jailani, a Bedouin Shaman, Lot's people were notorious for their conduct that attracted the wrath of God. For example, they preferred homosexuality to heterosexuality. God sent two handsome angels to punish them. Lot's people sought the angels at Lot's house to have sex with them. Lot chastised them severely for such lasciviousness, and offered them his daughters instead, but they refused and planned perfidious acts that would anger the angels and God.
Lot's people contrived the pretext of a feast, which was in actuality meant as an insult to the angels since the meat was that of a yellow dog. The angels noticed that the meat looked and tasted strange, then, by God's power, they realised that this was the meat of the yellow dog. But Lot's people denied this, so God intervened to reconstitute the dog, revealing the falsehood of their claim to innocence. Angered by this act, and by their proclivity for sodomy, God decided to destroy the land and its people by means of an earthquake . He told Lot to take his family and leave the land without turning to look back. But Lot's wife, carrying an infant, came upon a stream and said: "God, I do not want to drink but this innocent child is thirsty." She drew up to the fountain, but she and the dog that was with them drank before the child, whereupon Lot turned around to warn her against turning to look back. The wife drank unheeding, then turned her head to see what had happened to her people. Consequently, water gushed out of the stream to drown Lot and his family, and it developed into the Dead Sea.
*Written by Rami Sajdi, Copyright © Rami Sajdi 1997 All Rights Reserved
Interview with Hamad the Shaman of the Jordan Valley 

Hamad Issa Al-Ouaini, who lives in the Jordan Valley, Believes that the cure foe epilepsy is the language of the Koran. The patient needs the help of someone who is versed in dealing with the Djin (to which he also refers as spirits).
According to Hamad, there are two sorts of epilepsy: the first one is due to the spirits that take possession of the patient. It cure requires the intervention of a shaman (to perform an exorcism) who is versed in the Koran, the Sunna, as well as herbs. The second type is physical which needs to be treated by a physician. Hamad adds that at times a patient could be suffering from both types simultaneously.
Iblees (Satan) according to Hamad, has many names which he uses interchangebaly. They include Abou Murrah and Maymoun. He also has progeny who include, on the male side, Al Ahmar (The Red), Al Abyad (The White) and Deebad. On the Female side they include Zaytouneh (olive) and Tifleh (Child) who stays a child all her life. The latter has a trick where she projects her voice, crying like a child, to a motorist, who would stop to investigate, but find nothing. Then, when he resumes his journey, he would hear the same crying sound every few miles or so, until he would lose his mind.
The Djin (Jinn) of the Jordan Valley:
In the Jordan valley, there are two tribes that deal with the djin, the Ouaini and the Ujailin. Gypsies also deal with Djin, but only with the dregs of Djin society. Every member of these tribes possesses knowledge which he teaches to his sons, thus keeping the tradition alive. This knowledge may be transmitted to the son while he is still unborn, in his mother's womb, through the intermediary of the djin with whom the father deals.
Incense comprises thousands of types. It includes the incense of the virtuous which has a beautiful smell and which can be used domestically. Reach incense has a specific use in a cure be extracted from it.
The relation between the djin and incense is a direct one. Good djin go with good-smelling incense, and vice verse, since the bad djin live in dirty houses. However, one needs to use the incense that each djin likes, whether it smells good or bad, in order to please him and to extract from him the information needed about the patient.
The djin speak to Hamad in a clear voice and in a clear Arabic. The djin normally speak in the accent of the country that they inhabit; but in China there is a tribe of djin that speak in Arabic. When one of them possesses a Chinese person, the latter begins to speak in Arabic. In Syria there is only one tribe of djin that speaks in the local dialect, and the same in India. But the area most heavily populated with tribes of djin is that from the Jordan Valley to Saudi Arabia.
In the Valley there is one sort of djin; but there is an area called Shatar(Ancient site of Sodom & Gomora), where another type of djin, called Ajam lives. This is a wicked sort of djin it is not Muslim, and they have a lot of hate.
The Angels language, according to Hamad, is the Syriac language as he calls it (Syriac is the same as Aramec). There are some djin who speaks it, and sometimes it is impossible to talk to them except in this language. For instance, if you refer to god, he would not understand, until you pronounce the synonym of the word in Syriac, which is "braikatey". The only difference between this and other djin its language. In order to call the djin for someone, Hamad needs to know the name of the person and that of his mother.
On Petra, Hamad maintains that it was not built by humans, who could never build such a peculiar city, nor reach such high places to carve the decorations. Therefore, he believes that the monuments must have been built by djin. These abound in the Petra area, and their tribes include Muslims, Christians, and Jews, and well as devils.

*Written by Rami Sajdi, Copyright © Rami Sajdi 1997 All Rights Reserved