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I come from the Balkans and I have been curious about a certain folk practice among the Muslims of that region: it could be translated as "rinsing of fears". It is usually performed on young children under a belief that it dispels general weakness or eliminates psychological trauma. Here is how it goes:

An old woman (has to be a woman, preferably older) takes a few pieces of lead (yes, this could be hazardous for health) and melts it in some form of utensil over flames. Then she takes the molten lead and a small pot of water over the child's head and dumps the molten lead into the water while saying some Quranic verses. Then I think she takes the solidified lead from water and makes some interpretations based on the solid shape it took.

While I do come from a Muslim background, I am not really religious nor knowledgeable about Islam but this somehow seems like a practice syncretically integrated into Islam from the Pagan times, much like the modern Christian tradition of Xmas trees originates from the Pagan times.

My question is whether something like this is actually forbidden by Islam or Islam does leave room for syncretic folk practices based on the local heritage.

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Islam came to remove the evil of superstition and practices associated with superstition. When it comes to matters of the Unseen, we have only one authentic source: Allah and His Messenger (saws). Further, the Prophet (saws) said in a hadith that he has told us everything we need to know of benefit and harm and he hasn't left anything out. "Rinsing of fears" with lead is not something he told us about, as far as I know.

In short, syncretism in religious matters is not OK, but in cultural matters as long as there is no conflict with the principles of Islam, it is fine.

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Surah Maida , Cahpter 5 , Verse 3 :

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion

So Allah(SWT) has perfected the religion and any inclusion after that could be a sin. We should try to avoid that.

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