Changing names to improve health

The people of Pakistan and India are very superstitious, perhaps because of the high poverty and illiteracy in the two countries. I have met many people who think a black cat crossing your path means that you will probably have a very bad day. As for superstitions about the solar and lunar eclipses, the less said the better. Normally, women who belong to superstitious families are not allowed to go out of their houses unless they require urgent immediate medical treatment. When there is a solar or lunar eclipse, even a woman who is in a critical condition is locked up even if she’s in danger of dying.

But there is one piece of superstition which I can’t understand. Why do some mullahs and scholars advise people to change the names of children who’re not well or who’re hyperactive? I remember a little girl years ago (the daughter of distant relatives) whose name was changed so that she’d get better. Of course the name change had no effect on her health. Then there was a certain scholar associated with the Binnoria mosque in Karachi who advised his followers not to give the name “Aasia” to their daughters. He said families who named their daughters Aasia were always unlucky.

I wonder if those who regularly comment on black magic can say something about changing names to make people lucky or healthy.

30 thoughts on “Changing names to improve health”

  1. @ Shakir

    M F Hussain fled India to avoid the threat of Hindu extremists…true…but his crime was not that he was a muslim…his offence was that he painted naked pictures of Hindu goddesses (I think you should do ur research)….and India is not the only place where religious intolerance is so high….remember what was the reaction after the Danish newspaper cartoon???…obviously, no one would like their religious figures to be ridiculed…

    “A hundred million Indian Muslims have simply disappeared”
    That’s just under 10% of India’s population…that would be some phenomenon!!!

    1 out of every 10 persons in India “suddenly disappears”…..WHOOOP…..gone!

    I’m interested in knowing where you got that number from….Did you read it somewhere, or Is it a figment of your imagination, or Is this another one of those things that your so called relatives or friends or friend’s relatives or relative’s friends, who apparently used to travel a lot between Bombay and Karachi (it’s a short stroll anyways), told you???

    And you still haven’t told me why do you think that Muslims in India are killed as if it’s no big deal or that they do odd jobs or are self-employed? I’m interested in knowing where you get these negative thoughts from?

  2. @ Maddie: heard of M. F. Hussain, the famous Indian painter? His only crime is that he’s a Muslim. To avoid being killed by Hindu extremists, he fled to Dubai and has now been given honorary citizenship by the government of Qatar. Millions of Muslims are under threat of extinction in India. A hundred million Indian Muslims have simply disappeared: either killed or forcibly converted. If there were any justice in this world, Muslim killers like Narendra Modi and Bal Thackeray would have been tried and sentenced for genocide long ago. I don’t think Shahrukh Khan will be able to survive. He’ll either be killed or he’ll flee to another country to save himself.

  3. @ Shakir

    I did not ask you about the number of missing muslims in India. And neither does your article provide any support to your thinking of the way muslims live in India. In fact, the article does not have anything about the muslims in India. All it says is that India ranks 2nd in terms of social hostility and Pak ranks 3rd.

    So, once again, would please kindly let me know why do you think that Muslims in India are killed as if it’s no big deal or that they do odd jobs or are self-employed? I’m interested in knowing where you get these negative thoughts from?

  4. Maddie: I’m working on the number of missiing Muslims in India, and will soon write a post on it. In the meantime, to find out about discrimination against Muslims and other minorities in India, visit “”
    You will get a good idea of how “secular” Indians really are!

  5. @ Shakir

    Do you mind if I ask as to why do you think that Muslims in India are killed as if it’s no big deal or that they do odd jobs or are self-employed? I’m interested in knowing where you get these negative thoughts from?

  6. @ Hend: 300 years ago my ancestors moved from Sindh (Pakistan) to Gujrat (India), so when my parents fled to Pakistan from India they went back to their roots. And I don’t see how you can detect any pain in me for living in Pakistan. I know that Pakistan is the best thing that happened, at least for the Muslims of India. Had I been brought up in India, I’d probably have been killed before the age of 30 by the Shiv Sena or Mr. Modi’s goons or the police. Even if I’d survived upto 60, I’d have spent my life doing odd jobs or being self-employed.

  7. shakir

    i am absolutely not against muslims…i love them and have many muslims friends…from my childhood. i can assure you that i hold no grudge. i dont think i have made adverse comments about muslims or islam the way you do about hindus…if i wrote any criticism of your religion in my responses then that was purely in response to your specific points or in order to draw comparisons with islam to prove your arguments wrong.

    i have nothing but the highest respect for all religions. BUT that does not take away my right to criticise when i see something wrong…agreed?

    i stand by my comment about mnik because tha is what it is. it represents america in a totally incorrect way…it adds to the argument of the likes of osama who want to portray america as a bad country and americans as bad people. the fact that it is running to packed houses in pakistan vindicates my point. thanks for that.

    since you asked..i did actually have beautiful experiences with three muslim girls in my neighborhood in my childhood. i spend some childhood in kashmir before moving to mumbai and then to usa.

    i do see some hurt or pain in your it due to the feeling of being a refugee in pakistan?…stop punishing yourself for the wrong decision which your parents took…you cannot do anything about it…sorry about that.

  8. Hend: I’m inclined to believe that you had a very bad physical experience with a Muslim man in your childhood. That’s the only way to explain your paranoia about Muslims and Islam. I haven’t seen MNIK although it’s running to packed houses here (as did “3 Idiots”, which also I didn’t see). I don’t like Hindi movies anyway, I’m a fan of Pakistani TV plays. But do consult a psychiatrist to find out why you have this ‘thing” about Muslims (assuming that you weren’t “manhandled” by a Muslim when you were five).

  9. mnik is a movie basically made for pakistani or other asian ignorant muslims. i live in the USA and can say with full conviction that this country does not mistreat muslims or discriminate against them. very few countries offer the kind of integration which usa offers. whatever shown in the movie is rubbish. such movies are just the type of argument which osama makes. i would rather make movie about the way sikhs are being harrassed and beheaded in pakistan.


    you dont have to mention identity if not wanting to…no need to be defensive…knowing or mentioning one’s identity does not mean you are less indian…this is some weird doctrine which the media seems to peddle when it suits them…the meaning of unity in diversity or being indian does not mean not being anything else. i dont think people should launch into lectures about indianness…everyone and every indian is proud of their identity and country…so it becomes a bit tedious

  10. @ Hend

    Yup I’m neither a Tamilian nor a Maharashtrian…and in India if you start guessing that ways, then hopefully by this year-end one should be able to zero-in on my religion, caste and creed…Man, do I love the Unity in Diversity of this country!!! Let’s just say that I am an Indian and a very proud one at that.

    @ Shakir

    The incident that you are talking about is news to me. Yes, the state of Bombay was divided between Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1960 and there were skirmishes but not to the extent that you have mentioned (at least I have never heard about it nor have I been able to find any info about it).

    As for your question, I think the people of Maharashtra in general and Bombay in particular have given a fitting reply to Shiv Sena not just in the elections but even after that (recently by not adhering to protest calls on Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the city or freely going to watch MNIK {even though I’ve heard its a crappy movie} when SS tried to ban it). In fact in the elections, some of the seats which were considered to be SS safe houses were won by the Congress the results prompted Bal Thackeray to come back into active politics. However, seems the city holds no fear of him anymore.


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