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According to the Encyclopedia of Britannica hypnosis means:

hypnosis, special psychological state with certain physiological attributes, resembling sleep only superficially and marked by a functioning of the individual at a level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state. This state is characterized by a degree of increased receptiveness and responsiveness in which inner experiential perceptions are given as much significance as is generally given only to external reality

I have never heard of it being forbidden, but I have also never heard of it being allowed either. To me, it looks like its affects resembles to two different haraam things,

  • Alcohol: As alcohol, it affects your natural way of thinking. It alternate the way of your thinking superficially.
  • Music: I don't remember the exact reference, but I remember it is being argued that one can get influenced greatly with the message delivered by music without giving much thought about it, or it might evoke superficial emotional state. it resembles the way how delivering a message is easy with hypnosis and how it might evoke superficial emotional state.

Considering this, how should a Muslim approach the practice of hypnosis?

Edit: I am not talking about self-hypnosis, which resembles more to meditation, since there can be many differences in rulings between hypnosis made by one person to the other and self-hypnosis. This question is focused about hypnosis made by one person and affecting the other.

  • The power of hypnosis comes from the ability of the subject to focus his mind. – user4702 Mar 14 '14 at 18:22
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Hypnosis seems to be a good tool for curing psychological problems wherein the hypnotist can have the patient regress into his past (not "past life") to find the root cause of his psychological disturbance.

The human psyche (as created by Allah) has the ability to store practically all the information received from the five senses without any conscious effort on the part of the person. These are stored as "impressions" so to speak within the neural storage mechanism and if the person does not make a conscious effort to recall these scenarios, they tend to remain dormant in memory unless stimulated using either psychological or physiological means. I recall having read a case several years back where a certain part of the brain was stimulated using minute electrical impulses and the patient recalled a particularly obscure incident from when he was a kid.

Of course, there is no such thing as a "past life"; it's only the jinns and demons who play around with the human mind. So going into some supposed past life or trying to predict the future are both haraam, since the future is part of the ghayb and is known only to Allah.

Insofar as the question of being under the hypnotist's control is concerned, the hypnotist cannot make the subject do anything that he or she considers morally incorrect or wrong. For example, if the hypnotist were to tell the subject to take a knife and stab another person and the subject considers this to be ethically wrong, the "moral part" of the brain will kick in and prevent him or her from doing this.

All in all, hypnosis is a psychological means among so many means available to us. So I don't think it's haraam. Of course, this is just my understanding of the matter and I am not a scholar.

HTH.

4

According to Fiqh of Shia Islam using hypnosis for medical purposes is permitted but for discovering hidden information or for getting news from past or future is not permitted.


References:

Official website of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

1

According to this it has been ruled haram. Islamic scholars are convinced that Hypnosis has something to do with using the help of Jinns which is haram - for any goal (whether medical or otherwise).

  • I don't think it involves Jins. Human mind has many secrets. – goto Jun 16 '13 at 2:18
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You cannot be hypnotised if you don't want to be. You have to intentionally want to be subconsciously suggested by the person, therefore in my opinion it isn't shirk because Allah can make you do whatever he deems even if you don't want to but hypnotism you have the choice.

Hypnotism has such a bad stigma which is not always the case as it helps those who have psychological problems. You may say that they can change if they want to by telling themselves to stop but most of the time that isn't the case.

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I really was going to go for a hypnosis in harley street London for a psychological problem. However just being impatient i tried a self hypnotising video. It took me to a strange but aware sort of state. It felt like floating above a sea. However I stopped the video after 10 mins and searched for a fatwa on it as at the back of my mind there was a constant uncomfortable feeling about it. This fatwa did not convince me as it sounded absurd that there was a jinn evolved or even intoxication or unconsciousness as I was fully awake and in control. However in an other fatwa a sister had commented about waswassa and it straight away clicked to me that hypnotism talks about mere suggestions in a relaxed state.. and that is exactly what surah Al-NAS is about. To seek refuge from the whisperers that whisper to your heart from among jinn or amongst men.i had never understood the meaning of the ayah (alazi uwaswisu fe sudur-in nas) like now. May Allah bless us with hidayah... Ameen

  • I sounded a bit stupid that a video on my phone had the power to call a jinn. However the man in the video did tell me to relax for quite some time and when I was in the floating state he in a very low voice whispered... whispered that I should be strong and courageous.. It might have been for a good cause however it has the power to alter your mind and view. Better not be in this vulnerable state. – Sana Jan 9 '16 at 2:15

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