Muslim Nursing Student Beliefs about Possession States: An Exploratory Survey of Beliefs and Causal Attributions

  • Jan Marie Graham
  • Diana White


This study was undertaken to explore beliefs about Jinn, black magic and evil eye among Muslim nursing students at University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ). The aim was to determine the extent and ways in which Muslim nursing students attribute physical and mental health problems to these perceived possession states. One hundred and twenty eight undergraduate nursing students who self-identified as adherents of the Islamic faith completed a survey concerning their beliefs in Jinn, black magic and evil eye. The sample included two streams of students: Bachelor of Nursing Regular Track (BNRT, N=44) and Post Diploma Bachelor of Nursing students (PDBN, N=75) who had already completed a nursing qualification and were in the process of completing the degree program. Results of the survey showed that 84.1 % of BNRT students and 73% of PDBNs believe that Jinn can possess or take over humans. The vast majority of students (BNRT 90.7%, PDBN 84%) believe in black magic while over 90% of BNRTs and PDBNs believe in the evil eye. This research adds to the limited literature available on beliefs regarding possession states among Muslim nursing students. It also provides information that can be used by faculty to better understand the prevailing beliefs and attitudes of nursing students.