MANY people are aware of popular alternative beliefs such as feng shui and astrology. However, going deeper beyond these practices would take one into the realm of spirituality – and that includes dealings with bomohs, spirit mediums and the like.
“Usually with bomohs, there is some spiritual element involved,” says Dr Amir Farid Isahak, a medical specialist who practises holistic, aesthetic and anti-ageing medicine. He is a qigong master and founder of SuperQigong. He is also a Sufi practitioner and the columnist for Starmag’s Art of Qi.)
Spirituality encompasses religious spirituality, where there is reliance on the “good” elements coupled with a belief in an almighty god. However, it can also be taken to mean practices in which jins (evil spirits) are invoked..
“There is black magic and white magic ... bad spirits and good spirits,” Amir points out. “Similarly, some recite verses from the Quran to invoke God’s intervention, while others may chant non-Quranic verses or mantra to call upon dark forces.”
But how, in today’s day and age, does one explain the prominent role in society of bomohs and such?
“Even now, there are many diseases that cannot be healed, or some areas where science and technology have little relevance. That is why there is alternative medicine and a lot of demand for their services,” says Amir.
So how does one tell the good from the bad?
“If you use Quranic verses and rely on God, it is good. You acknowledge that God is the healer, and everything else you use is a medium to receive healing from God. But using any third party is suspect. If you call upon spirits and are not mindful that the healer is God, you are committing what is called syirik (which in Islam means praying to or worshipping beings other than Allah),” Amir explains.
Ultimately, the safest power to believe in is God himself. However, there is nothing wrong in seeking the guidance of those who are close to God, he says.