Rulings for Practice of Hypnotic


Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh

Ustadz (Mr. Chaplain), lately we see that there are many magicians show broadcasted on TVs, such as The Master, Uya Emang Kuya, Demian Show, etc. Yesterday while I was switching my TV channels, I saw the program of Uya Emang Kuya, where the magician hypnotized a teenager, aged 14 years old, who was shopping in the mall where the program was held with her mother. In a state of trance due to hypnotic, she was asked about various things, and she admitted that she is in a relationship with her male friend, and she ever kissed and hugged him. But when the girl was conscious, and was asked similar things, she denied about the relationship, moreover the kiss and hug.

I remember some times ago that in a discussion about hypnotic science in Metro TV (A Tv station in Indonesia), it is said that hypnotic could be used by the police to force the captured terrorists to confess their plots. Usually, they would be made in trance, then would be asked various questions.

Also I ever I heard about treatment of certain diseases and diet method using hypnotic practice.

Thus, I am curious about several things, such as:

What is the rulings for hypnotic?
What is the ruling if it is used for goodness (such as interrogating terrorists, medication, diet)?

May Allah rewards you, for your kind answer.

Nelly Tsabita Hanifah

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh


Wa’alaikumussalam warohmatullah wabarokatuh

All praises be to Allah, peace and prayer may always be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his devoted companions.

It is true that there are many talks about hypnotic therapy or hypnoses lately. Regarding this matter, our society is divided into two big groups, the pro hypnotic and those who oppose hypnotic.

To shed a light to our readers, I would like to give some clarifications about it hence they wont be confuse on how to deal with this hypnotic therapy.

Brother, it is important for us to know that the practices of hypnotic that are currently spread in our society can be divided in general into two parts:

1. Classic Hypnotic

Classic hypnotic is an ability to penetrate and influence other people or one’s own mind that was acquainted through various methods that are identical to magical ceremonies, such as offerings, cense, certain potions, and so on. Undoubtedly, such practice is illegal in Islamic sharia. Moreover, it can lead to shirk. Since it is possible that among the rituals one’s performed in order to do such hypnotic, exists a ritual done by sacrificing something or giving offerings to satan. And this is evidently a form of shirk that could threaten the Islamic status of one who performed it.

وَيَوْمَ يِحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ قَدِ اسْتَكْثَرْتُم مِّنَ الإِنسِ وَقَالَ أَوْلِيَآؤُهُم مِّنَ الإِنسِ رَبَّنَا اسْتَمْتَعَ بَعْضُنَا بِبَعْضٍ وَبَلَغْنَا أَجَلَنَا الَّذِيَ أَجَّلْتَ لَنَا قَالَ النَّارُ مَثْوَاكُمْ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا إِلاَّ مَا شَاء اللّهُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَليمٌ

“And on the Day when He shall muster them all together, He will say (to the jinn): “O assembly of jinn, you have seduced a good many of mankind.” And their companions from among the humans will say: “Our Lord! We did indeed benefit from one another and now have reached the term which You had set for us.” Thereupon Allah will say: “The Fire is now your abode, and therein you shall abide.” Only those whom Allah wills shall escape the Fire. Surely your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.” (Qs. Al An’am/Ghe Cattle: 128)

The scholars specialized in tafseer explained that jinn and men are making use of each other. Jinn uses men through the offerings that they addressed to the jinn, and men use the jinn to get several ‘special services’ that jinn gives to his worshipper. (See: “At Tamhid Syarah Kitab At Tauhid”, page 374)

But if the potions he used were simply made from combinations of various leaves which scent could affect the sanity of other person, such as cannabis leaves or the like, his action is considered only as forbidden thing, and not a nullifier of his Islamic state.

2. Modern Hypnotic

This is the current type of hypnotic that are developed and being taught in various training institutes in our society. As far as I know, this modern hypnotic is a development and management of functions of the left and right hemispheres of human brain. They named the left hemisphere of the brain by the conscious mind, and the right hemisphere, the unconscious mind, respectively.

through trainings and exercises, one could optimize the function of his right brain, thus it will work in balance with the left, working under our conscious realm.

The scientist today have succeeded to recognize the functional patterns of human brain, that is the left and right brain hemispheres. They explained that the left brain serves to think about logical matters, and it typically works in man’s conscious state. While the right brain serves as the responsible part to anything regarding feelings, arts, and also as a data bank for dozens of datas, events, and feelings ever felt by a man.

The right brain usually works in our unconscious realm. For example, during your school years of elementary, junior high, and high school you had a lot friends. But now, at the time you read this article, if I asked you to recall 50 of your friends’ names in elementary school, 50 of the junior high, and 50 of the senior high friends, I am sure that you’ll be difficult to remind it all. But if you met them directly, you’ll spontaneously remember not just their names, but also your experiences with them, thus you’ll feel like you’re back to the past. Isn’t it?

Where are the datas of your friends stored within you? The experts believe that the datas are stored in your right brain, or, using the terminology of the hypnotic experts, in the unconscious brain.

This pattern that being used by the hypnotherapists. They work by fiddling and exploring the functions of human’s left and right brain, and try to use various bittersweet memories experienced by their patients. That is because sometimes the illness of a person is triggered by a trauma of a perception if an unpleasant thing. A hypnotherapist will try to change the mind map of his patient about that traumatic event or event that caused him or her to get the disease, or probably try to move the working pattern of their brains, that previously focused in the right brain, to the left brain, or vice versa.

For example, If you have a dyspepsia, you’ll probably scare to consume chillies since you believe that chili might trigger your dyspepsia attack. Or, if you are hypertensive, you’ll probably avoid the goat satay, since you believe that goat meat might raise your blood pressure and lethal for you. Isn’t it?

But what do you think and feel, if you knew that the vitamin C content in chili is higher than the yellow colored fruits? And it is believed that the vitamin C helps to boost your immunity. As if you knew that the cholesterol content of goat meats is the lowest compared to the beefs, camels, buffalos, and horses? Will you keep avoiding the goat meat and choose the beefs instead?

That is a brief description and an example about the mechanism of hypnotherapy.

One day I travelled with my family by an inter-city bus. During the journey, my eldest daughter, aged 6,5 years old complained of Light-headedness and nausea. Since our destination was still quite far, I was starting to be panicked. I tried to massage her back and neck, rub some aromatic oils to her body, and give her a medication to drink, but her complaints continued. I got more panicked, since I worried that she had a motion sickness and would vomited; that would be a mess. After several minutes, I remembered that human brain’s function is divided into two; the left and right, and it works in crossing pattern, where the right brain is responsible for the activities of the left part of the body, and vice versa. As explained earlier that the left brain focuses in logic, while the right brain connected to feelings and art.

Using this modern invention about the function of human brain, I tried to relate between the complaints of my daughter to the pattern of human brain’s function. I told my daughter to pinch the left part of her nose by her left fingers, and I asked her to countdown from 30, 29, 28, and so on. Surely this countdown method is quite difficult for a kid, thus if forced her brain to move it’s focus of work, from the right brain responsible of her bad feelings, to the left brain that focuses in logical works.

The result was amazing. She was just reached number 18 in her countdown when she said that her complaints were gone, and her face turned bright and cheerful. Probably this experience could be a simple example on how the modern hypnotic works.

But since this science is the study result of other people and it is still in development, with different methods, and in reality this science often being related to myth, or ideology or local tradition, as a mean to enter the unconscious world of the patient, it is common to find differences in it even probably things that are forbidden in Islam, particularly if it is practiced by disbelievers who are unaware of principles of Islamic creed. This fact makes some scholars to forbid this science. Most of the hypnotherapists do not understand about Islamic creed, thus they often say or practice things that are not in line with Islamic teaching, thus the scholars of our time forbid this hypnotic practice.

Moreover, in hypnotic there is what they called as filter for every suggestion or input that enter one’s brain. This filter take various forms, such as language, ideology, feeling, tradition, mindset, etc. And it is probable that in this phase, a hypnotherapist may change or influence your ideology to place you in a situation that he or she wants.

For example: To be able to enter your unconscious mind (or the right brain), a hypnotherapist might whisper to you that the friday night is a terrifying night, when ghosts and spirits stand everywhere, scary in it’s look, with big fangs and red eyes, hairy, long and sharp nailed, harsh voiced, and foul smelled. These words were intentionally used to open the door to your unconscious mind. If upon hearing these words you looked afraid, it means that the door of your unconscious mind is widely open. Thus, the hypnotherapist might whisper various “suggestions” or words that meant to control your mind and body.

As a faithful believer, you’ll certainly say that such hypnotherapist uses magical tools or pertaining to shirk, thus you’ll decide that his or her action is forbidden, or even included in committing shirk.

But if the hypnotherapist is a faithful one, who understand about tawhees, he would easily change the opening words into such sentences: Imagine the angel of death is just above your head now, his look is horrible, his voice as loud as thunder, and behind him lined the angels who bring fabric from the Hell that is very rough, and foul smelled. The angel barks to you: “O bad soul, out to the resentment and wrath of Allah.”

Hearing such words, as a faithful believer, you’ll say that those words are right, thus the hypnotherapy he or she practices is legal.

The example is like Kung Fu martial arts; some develop it into the mastery of hands, feet, and reflex movements, but some also use magic in it thus the result and rulings regarding it differ. This fact is the reason why some previous experts forbade Kung Fu, but now, the forbidden state is changed together with the better comprehension of the Kung Fu itself.

Brother! Division of hypnotherapy or hypnotic into two parts that I mentioned here often confine in theoretical scope, because in reality probably some hypnotherapists use both techniques or even further, mix these classic and modern types of hypnotics. However, we should not close our eyes from probability that some of them do not mix it, and merely use the modern type which use the work of left and right brain (the conscious and unconscious brains).

Thus, I can’t give a strict answer regarding the practice of hypnotherapy or hypnotic or hypnosis that spread among our society today. But for every occurrence and every hypnotherapist to be studied separately, thus the relevant rulings according to them may be made. If there are illegal practices that are forbidden in our religion, we’ll forbid them according to the level of their transgression. In contrast, if there are nothing wrong with them according to religious perspective, then the status is simply legal.

Hopefully this brief answer may help to unveil the rulings for hypnotherapy practices that start to develop and practiced by our society. And Allah know best.

Ustadz Dr. Muhammad Arifin Badri, M.A.

Editor’s note:
Today, some parties are starting to make this hypnosis/hypnotic as a part of their business. The answer of Ustadz Muhammad above is not a global answer for hypnotic as a whole, nor it serves to justify business practices that use hypnotic in it. To establish the rulings for hypnotic from sharia, must be done by studying each practice of hypnotic in discrete.

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