Understanding Witchcraft among the Digo Muslims along South Coast of Kenya

Abstract

The question of whether witchcraft is real or not has proven to concern many people especially in the coastal regions of Kenya. Among the people living along the coastal regions, witchcraft is a common practice. It is not known, however, why the people living in this region practice witchcraft, the types and forms of witchcraft they practise and how they practise them. This paper sought to examine the witchcraft practice among the Digo people, who are believed to have been the first to convert to Islam and that 99.9 % of them are Muslims. The quest revealed that despite being 99.9 % Muslims, Digo people, in part, still seek traditional methods of problem solving. It was also found that the Islamic religion did not provide for giving solutions to the problems faced by the Digo Muslims forcing them to ‘Digonize’ the religion and become Folk Muslims. The study therefore suggests ways through which Christianity can be incorporated so that Digo Muslims may see light and turn to Christ where they will get solutions to their problems without resorting to witchcraft. Sahih Muslim: In-book reference / Book 39, Hadith 56, Ibn’ Abbas reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “The influence of an evil eye is a fact; if anything would precede the destiny it would be the influence of an evil eye, and when you are asked to take bath (as a cure) from the influence of an evil eye, you should take bath”

Keywords: Culture, Digo, Mosque, Muslim, Qur’an, Witchcraft


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 52-65 (Download PDF)

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