An unnamed man doubted his maid’s intentions after finding talismans and other magic items in her room.
'Kabar' Arabic language daily, on Tuesday reported the arrest of an Indonesian housemaid and her magic items seized.
Her employer told Saudi authorities that she was planning to harm his family through sorcery.
The employer had since filed charges against his maid.
A 32-year-old Asian housemaid, during the first week of December last year, was caught by her employer adding dirt to the water tank at the house in the eastern town of Tarut, a Saudi newspaper reported.
She was then brought to the police, and she told them that she had done so to make the family love her and make family members love each other more.
She claimed such was the practice in her country.
A week later, Saudi online Arabic language paper Ajel reported that a Saudi employer saw the Indonesian housemaid adding urine to the food she cooked for the family in the central town of Buraida.
She admitted to have adding it to the family’s food with belief that her doing will make the family love her and prevent them from hurting her.
With nearly one million maids from Indonesia and other Asian nations work in Saudi Arabia, some employers, or their family members, especially the females, are “forced” to protect themselves against their maids.
There are cases where maids allegedly put a spell on her employer, usually the husband.
There was a case when the employer's wife suspected witchcraft because her husband kept defending the maid from criticism every time she neglected her work.
But unknown to the wife, the bewitched husband adored the maid, and was carrying out all her wishes.
The maid took refuge in sorcery to make her male employer likes her.
Fear Of Black Magic Forces Maids’ Probe
Fatima Sidiya | Arab News
JEDDAH: Allegations about maids casting spells and being involved in black magic has driven fearful housewives to call on the help of investigators. The main purpose of calling these women is to investigate maids before they go back to their countries.
The majority of investigators are non-Saudis who have lately been joined by some Saudi graduates unable to find proper jobs. The job of the investigators involves checking the personal property of maids in search of sponsors’ photographs, hair or clothes that can then be used for magic when the maid returns home.
Googling “maid investigator” in Arabic brings up over 1,800 results of women looking for maid investigators. Housewives exchange names and contact details on Internet forums, and warn each other about maids who do magic.
Um Muhammad is an Egyptian investigator who followed up on maids for five years but then stopped because her husband expressed concern that she might get attacked.
“I used to receive telephone calls from housewives asking me to investigate their maids before they’re sent home,” said Um Muhammad, who used to check two to three maids of different nationalities each day. One Riyadh-based investigator whose number is widely distributed on Internet forums said she is ready to travel to Jeddah to investigate maids.
“Don’t worry, keep her with you and I’ll investigate her,” she said, adding that housewives who telephone her can watch her do her work as long as they’re not scared.
The investigator explained that in order to do her work properly, she needs the housewife to play along with her and tell the maid that she has been sent by a government body and that her checks are part of the repatriation process.
Investigators also show particular concern in winning over new customers by exaggerating the threat of black magic and slashing fees. The investigation process is normally conducted in two parts — the first involves searching a maid’s belongings, and the second her body and clothes. Investigators usually ask for between SR400 and SR500 for each investigation, which takes about two hours. Some housewives give only SR200 for the internal investigation and carry out the external investigation themselves.
Most Saudis, it seems, are more concerned with maids dabbling in black magic rather than stealing valuables. Suad Afif, a sociologist and professor at King Abdulaziz University, asked why housewives use people who they do not know to investigate their maids, adding that such women are not even specialists in such work.
Afif said that Islamic morals prevent women from checking their maids’ personal stuff and that they look for others to do this. Some also fear their maids may lash out or have little experience in how to check on their maids. Afif said if checking maids before their final exit has become a necessity then there needs to be an official body that can do this job. This would ensure housewives remain safe.
“Black magic and the evil eye are there, but in the end it is as Allah says. Nothing can ever reach us except what Allah has destined for us,” said Afif, adding, “We should not become anxious all the time. Not every maid comes into our homes to perform black magic.”
Afif also warned housewives about investigators who are more concerned with earning money than helping people.