Understanding Witchcraft among the Digo Muslims on the Coast of Kenya: Implications for Mission (Published)
This paper is about understanding Witchcraft among Digo Muslims on the Coast of Kenya. The question of whether witchcraft is real or not has been a concern to many people Worldwide. It is true sometimes that innocent people are accused of witchcraft, but among the people living along the coastal regions, witchcraft is a common practice. They have reasons why they practise witchcraft, the types and forms of witchcraft they practise and how they practise them. This paper seeks to examine witchcraft practice among the Digo people, who are believed to have been the first to convert to Islam in the coast of Kenya, and that over 90% of them are Muslims. The study reveals that despite being over 90% Muslims, Digo people still associate most calamities and problems with witchcraft and they also seek traditional methods of solving socio-economic problems. It also establishes that the Islamic religion does not provide solutions to problems faced by the Digo Muslims, forcing them to ‘Digonize’ the religion and become ‘dual’ Muslims, mostly known as “folk” Muslims. The study therefore suggests ways through which Christianity can be used by Digo Muslims to seek for solutions to their problems without resorting to witchcraft. Since this research needed interaction with people in order to get the information that led to understanding witchcraft among the Digo Muslims of the Coast of Kenya, an ethnographic research design was employed within the context of qualitative research methodology. The researcher went to the field to seek the information that led to the understanding of Witchcraft among the Digo Muslims on the Coast of Kenya. The research was conducted on the South Coast of Kenya among the Digo Muslims. In order to understand Witchcraft among the Digo on the South Coast of Kenya, the researcher analized the ethnographic data and interpreted the findings.
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”
This study attempts to understand how the aesthetic aspects of the Qur’an are translated into or accommodated in English. It clarifies slightly challenges in translating the Qur’an, a text believed by Moslems to be the word of God and as such beautiful beyond imagination. To get a feel of its poetic essence, particularly in its rhythmic verses, and the task that lies ahead for translators, three short “surahs” (verses) and seven well-known translations of each were analysed. The theory of equivalence was used to measure. It was found that all surahs showed rhythmic patterns (sound) that are distinctive, even to the untrained eye/ear. Readers who might not understand its meaning can still appreciate its poetry. None of the translations, however, could reproduce these rhythmic patterns that help memorization of the surahs. In summary, the pervasiveness of rhythmic elements is clear and a real challenge awaits the translator of this text.