Empowering Women across Afghanistan 

My First and Last Visit to the Mullah’s…

Shabnam Parwani

First published here: http://ahuraparwani.blogspot.ca/2013/06/my-first-and-last-visit-to-mullahs_15.html?spref=tw&m=1
The night before I had mentioned to my mother that I wanted to go see a mullah for personal reasons. People in Afghanistan hold strong beliefs when it comes to black magic or “taweez”. A “taweez” is something given by the mullah, it’s supposed to protect you from harm and from people’s evil wishes. I strongly believed in black magic because there are people out there that are evil enough to wish bad things for others. It was on May 30th, a Thursday that we got out. We were on our way to go see him. We had no idea what his name was, my aunt only knew his location but even then the taxi driver confused us. When he was driving he heard us talk about the mullah. Then he knew exactly where to drop us, the mullah was really popular. The taxi driver also mentioned to us that his brother was better. A voice deep down told me to go to the brother instead, because we had gotten a rating from the taxi driver himself. I shut the voice inside me and kept quiet.
We got there. We got in and there was a small room filled with a couple of women. Each woman was there for either personal or health reasons. It occurred to me that maybe the one for health reasons should go see a doctor instead of seeing a mullah. It made sense but there she was thinking that black magic is the reason why she was sick. She came from a very far place. The mullah kept us waiting. His first customer was a woman with a young daughter. The daughter was about 10 years old. The mullah asked the mother if she was married (I don’t know in what world he thinks it’s right to marry a 10 year old kid off). He even told my mother that I should get married off. Girls would come see him, kiss his hands out of respect and he’d kiss their faces. I just knew deep down that something was wrong with him. I didn’t like the way he was behaving with young girls. No one saw anything wrong with him except me. We waited till it was our turn. I sat in front of him. He started telling me things about my past, he got most of it right. Tears starting flowing, I didn’t know why but I couldn’t stop myself from crying. He took my hand and said “jaan-e padar, let me take you somewhere”. To be honest, it didn’t feel right to hear about my past in front of so many people.
He took me to his office. There were four doors around which I thought were open. I sat in his office, poured all my problems out and he promised to help. He gave me a stone to put in my hands. The stone became hot and he took a sword to do whatever he does to take the black magic off. After he was done. He started showing me his phone collections. He had five phones. He had a chandelier and a swing in his office. He had an amazing office. I kept thinking where does he get the money for all that. I honestly thought mullahs weren’t rich because they don’t make money off people. After showing me his phones, his Facebook profile, his weber, and giving me his phone number, he started scrolling through his channels. His TV was set on Mecca, God’s house. I kept thinking why is he going through his channels. I didn’t understand what was really going on. After putting TOLO and Ariana, he put another channel. At first glance I didn’t make out what it was because it was a bit blurry. Then I realized that it was porn. I was shocked. I couldn’t put any words in my mouth. I looked away and after a couple of seconds he said; looks like you didn’t like it. He changed the channel back to Mecca. I was in a state of shock I didn’t know what to do. The last thing anyone expects going to the mullah for healing is to get sexually assaulted. After he changed the channel, I got up. I was ready to just run away. I couldn’t believe that this happened to me. For a split second, thoughts took over me. Thoughts of how many girls did he take advantage of. I wanted to scream, go to the room where his customers were and tell them that this is all just a set up. I wanted to tell them that the mullah they believe is a healer is actually a pervert and pedophile. I wanted to tell them to keep their daughters away. I couldn’t do anything because I was still in a state of shock. When we were getting out of his office, the four doors that were around us were all closed. It occurred to me that if he had tried anything at all, no one would have heard anything. No one would have rescued me. He had a sword and God knows maybe even a gun. The moment we got back in the room where everyone was, I just wanted to go. He took $100.00 dollars from me for just a taweez. I didn’t want to tell him that I didn’t want it at the time. He told us to come on Saturday to pick it up. I wanted to go again and take my anger out.
The moment we got out of there, I kept thinking to myself that no one would ever know about this. This will be kept a secret. After all I was in Kabul where anyone and everyone would believe a mullah over me. I couldn’t say anything at all while I was there because who knows, maybe he was linked to the mafia. But I refuse to stay quiet over this matter, I can’t let other girls be vulnerable and be one of his victims. I don’t doubt for a second that him putting that channel was a mistake. It was all well planned. I fight for Women’s Rights so it would have been a shame for me to stay quiet over this matter and let it slide. I have to speak out so my voice can reach all of his customers that go to him. His name is Agha Sahab Taymani. He is an old man with white hair and beard. He wears a turban and Afghan traditional clothes. His Facebook profile is wide open for anyone that wants to see who he is. No mother or father should ever trust their daughters with this kind of person. I can speak out about it because he can’t get to me, but I can only imagine how many girls that wanted to speak out but couldn’t because just like my mother, their mothers also told them to be quiet. This kind of behavior happens everywhere. Whether it’s a pandit, a priest or a mullah. Parents have to be careful about not trusting their kids with just anyone.

I couldn’t speak about this matter there because he might have had contacts or even be a member of the mafia. Which would explain why he is rich. Though half of the money is from people believe who believe in these kinds of people. Some of his customers were regular. I couldn’t believe that people would come to him even once, let alone for years. That was the moment where my belief in black magic and taweez ended. I understood that you have control over whatever happens in your life. If no one ever tries and keeps going to these kinds of people then they’ll never be happy. Your destiny and fate is in your hand.  No one is greater then God.  It took me this long to understand it. I hope that this story has opened your eyes. I hope that your belief, after knowing what kind of people make taweez and protect you from evil eyes has also come to an end. Frankly these people get richer by abusing their authority. By people giving them importance, which they don’t deserve. Hope you now know that all this is a plot to get rich. No one in this world can save you from what’s meant to happen to you. These mullahs aren’t God yet people treat them that way…


Any views or opinions presented in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the YWC.

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