Nash Blog

Reflections on Nash, nothing serious to write.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

 

Mughayyab - Helps coping with bereavement?

We live in a world full of unexplained mysteries. For example, no matter how much you know the person next to you, there will be things we cannot comprehend about that person.

If you live in Oman, the word mughayyab (walking dead, or zombie) will not be a new addition to your vocabulary. Previous studies on the subject has shown that mughayyab is an exaggerated form of denial of reality of the death. People believe that a mughayyab is a person by which a magician has cast a spell on him, appears dead, but is actually alive in a different form, thus making him a 'walking dead'. The family grieve for the deceased but at the same time believe he is out there somewhere and might return home.

In a movie 'The Serpent and the Rainbow' which was shot in Haiti, the stories are quite similar but take a different form. The magicians have a powerful poison which when administered to the individual that person will appear dead. They have another medicine to counter the poison and bring a person back to life. Now, after a person is buried, the magicians will go at night and dig him out of the grave, making him sniff the medicine and bring him back to life. Timing is quite important here, because the medicine will counter poison in speficied time only.

Two me, the second scenario looks more convincing, but what has led us believe in Mughayyab in the first place? Dr Samir Al-Adawi from SQU suggests that "... the Mughayyab belief or the denial of the reality of death in the Omani society may be mainly related to culture-specific stressors."

During Oman's shipping industries and sea faring adventures there were a number of tragedies where young lives were lost. Since there was no communication, there was no way of knowing the fate. Occasionally a survivor might return home to his family giving hope to others. This was perceived as mughyyab, a family member abducted by some sort of witchcraft and later escaped and returned home.

In its present form, the belief of mughyyab maybe tied with a sudden death. Thereby the grieving family live in a hope that their loved one might return home someday.

In a traditional Omani family, mughayyab must have brought some hope, helped in reducing stress, and facilitated in a long but painful transition of bereavement.

Dr Samir concludes that: ... mughayyab’s prolonged denial of death did (and does) have an adaptive function, and therefore, in a way, is beneficial.

Comments:
nash this is so strange and it seems stranger that ppl in oman believe that ...did u believe that 2 ???
 
hey nash,

Mughayyab sounds similar to an idea posited in our culture. The psychiatrists call it the five stages of dying. You may have heard of this.
First you have denial, then comes anger, third is barganing, after that you have grief, and finally acceptance.
The idea is that you will see each of these things during the death or mourning process, not in any particular order.
I can see a similarity in the concept of Mughayyab( a denial of the reality of death) and the stages of dying.
Of course I could have totally misunderstood your point and could just be an idiot. You decide.
Thank you for this, I love learning.
David.
 
WOW!
I am thinking the family members have got to be so brave for not being scared to see someone come back from the dead. I would certainly be scared to see someone come back alive. We have certain stories similar to this in Pakistan, where people in villages claim to see ghosts or undead spirits. This post has certainly been an interesting one to read.

mansur
 
Intresting Study ..

as much as I found Mghayab stroy extraorionary and not true, but its very well beleived in the Omani society .. People would tell you stories that would make you beleive they do exist ..

I really dont know, but magic and whitch craft is really a scary area that I dont understand at all and I dont think I would ever do!!
 
jawaher:
No way, I dont believe in Mughayyab, but I know people who really do.

dave:
Interesting observation, as I said, its quite an old belief, which must have stem from certain events linked in the past, but yea, I can see the similarities.


mansur:
sometimes it could be just an illusion, the dead person will appear to be around somewhere, especially if that person is so dear.

arabian princess:
whenever I come to oman, i hear a lot of these stories, maybe some a are told just to scare people, nothing serious.

Talking about magic, witchcraft or sorcery, i can suggest a good book titled: "As'9arim AlBattaar", by a Saudi author. It covers the origins of magic, plus a lot of first hand cases on possession, Jinns, etc. After reading this book, I got a real good understanding of the unknown world. A word of caution (to anyone attempting to read): Do not read it late at night, especially if you are light hearted and alone :)
 
Nash, I think you might be intrested in this blog ..
http://ramadhanreading.blogspot.com
 
Rhodiola Rosea is the latest natural remedy to join the arsenal of natural anxiety and stress (dealing with stress) reducers.

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The generally recommended dose is 200-600mg/day. The active properties should be a minimum 0.8 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin.

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dealing with stress
 
It’s 11:00 in the morning and your energy is waning. Minutes seem to tick by like hours and your mind feels foggy. You’ve still got six more hours to look alert and act productive and get over test anxiety, so how do you cope with the afternoon blahs? Follow these six tips!

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Cool blog, interesting information... Keep it UP » »
 
Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! »
 
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