Muslim Healers and Healing: An Ethnographic Study of Aboabo Community of Ghana
Societies that have accepted Islam have blended their native culture with what was, rightly and wrongly, linked to Islam. Here, we present an example of this combination concerning traditional healing processes in Muslim societies. Focusing on the Aboabo community, we did an ethnographic study of healing processes and rites used by healers and further discussed the rites, practices, contributions and challenges of Muslim traditional healing in the community. Based on a qualitative research approach, the current study uses both theories of diffusionism and syncretism and empirical evidence to highlight the mode of treating some diseases using medicinal plants and rituals including prayers and Qur‟an verses recommended in ancient narrations received from earlier Muslim societies (particularly Arab societies). Although Muslim traditional healers are nearly disappearing from many contemporary Muslim societies, the continuation of their presence in some societies such as Aboabo is partly related to the standard of living of the people. The know-how of these healers is mainly limited to their native traditions, some principles of Islam and related questionable narrations. The activities of Muslim traditional practice have remained archaic, often questionable and/or unhygienic despite Islam‟s exhortation of its believers to respect, among other things, cleanliness and hygiene, and especially to increasingly develop their knowledge in major areas such as those concerning medicine and anthropology. Finally, we realized that although the idea of modernization of Muslim traditional healing in Ghana is expressed in some local discourses, it remains at the periphery.
Keyword: Muslim, Islam, Aboabo community, Healing, Muslim healers, Traditional Medicine, Cultures
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