Call for Research

When asked the question, Can Jinn posses human beings and if so does this contribute or cause psychological/spiritual illness?  generally the consensus amongst muslim cultures* is to agree with the possibility . Whilst most mental health practitioners and Islamic teachers discuss the importance of seeking professional psychological or medical  help for psychological symptoms, some muslim cultures still prefer to self diagnose their condition as Jinn possession and consult with rogue practitioners who practice innovated treatments, outside of the practices of the Sunnah (teachings based on the Quran and Prophetic practices).

However the question, can Jinn actually possess human beings? seems to be buried with the scholars of the past and not open for discussion between professionals, scholars and the general public. Exploration of the question if left un-researched could lead to heresy, negative innovation or indifference.  As we see a global misinterpretation of Islamic teachings personified in acts of terrorism, it is essential that philosophies and interpretations of Islamic texts such as this question is researched, translated and presented to all Muslims and non in order to improve  knowledge and rectify possible misunderstandings and more seriously, corruption of sacred teachings. At present there is a great shortage of academic research that looks at Jinn possession . The majority of books available to the Muslim public and translated into English, contain small chapters on Jinn possession and these chapters repeat the same rhetoric that was assumed over 8 centuries ago . The author calls for a more informed interpretation of the ambiguous verses relating to Jinn and possession and open the debate with contemporary Islamic Scholars. The researcher  welcomes  debate and discourse  based on academic, medical/scientific or professional evidence to enrich the study.

Below is a short introduction to the research, to be published in due course. comments can be made on the page below or via email to

(*muslim culture referes to person(s) who claim Islam as their religion but may not necessarily practice the teachings of Islam)


How does the assumption of possession by supernatural beings affect the access, diagnosis and efficacy of psychological services?


Research which explores disadvantages for BME client groups in accessing psychological services highlights  barriers such as; education, language, trust, and stigmatisation (Cinnirella & Loewenthal 1999; Gilbert et al 2007; Haque 2004; Rethink 2007; Weatherhead & Daiches 2010; Youssef & Deane 2006; Pilkington et al 2011). Within these barriers, such as stigmatisation, it was generally reported that Muslims (amongst the BME groups discussed) hold the view that mental and some physical illnesses are caused by possession of supernatural beings referred to as Jinn. These assumptions could be an additional or contributory factor to the reason why Muslims reluctantly access Western mental health services? (Ally & Laher 2008; Haque 2004;Islam & Campbell, 2012; Weatherhead & Daiches 2010).  It is further noted that there is also a disadvantage for muslims in accessing the guidance  offered in the Quran as guidance and healing of spiritual, psychological ailments. This could be why  Muslim cultures often refer to culturally influenced diagnosis of Jinn possession and innovated treatment methods outside of the teachings of the Quran? (Ally & Laher 2008; Haque 2004;Islam & Campbell, 2012; Weatherhead & Daiches 2010).  The author of this  research intends to examine the origins of these assumptions in more detail and examine the interpretations supporting mental illness as Jinn possession whilst also exploring in more depth why Muslims rely on cultural and/or invented interpretations and practices of religious guidance (Utz 2011, Khaleel 2005, Phillips, 1989).