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Meet Kano clan with gift of healing burns

Sharifai Quarters, situated behind Murtala Muhammad Hospital in the heart of Kano city, is occupied by a clan popularly known by the people of Kano,…

Sharifai Quarters, situated behind Murtala Muhammad Hospital in the heart of Kano city, is occupied by a clan popularly known by the people of Kano, for their exceptional techniques of healing burns. Daily Trust visited the clan.

Hassan Sharif Abdu Fari, popularly known as Sharu Chawai, is the ward head of Sharifai Quarters. He told Daily Trust that they got their healing powers from their forefathers.

“Well, our ability to heal wounds as a result of fire burn or combustion is hereditary. This practice has been in existence for years – right from our ancestors down to our era and now our children have taken over.

“We are able to heal fire burns with nothing but some herbal and traditional medicines, recitation of some prayers and applying ointment to the affected area. Sometimes, people may spend months in the hospital and yet come back to us because of our ability to heal burns. With the help of God, no matter how bad the burn looks, we are able to heal it,” he said.

Explaining how they conduct the practice, Sharif Chawai said they recite some prayers on the affected areas and spread a powdered-traditional medicine on it.

“When a patient is brought to us, we first, of peel off the burnt skin with cotton wool or scissors, then recite some prayers and apply some herbal medications, ointment and recite some prayers,” he said.

He added that after doing that, the person will heal in a very short period of time.

“It doesn’t take much time. Within a period of two to three weeks, the areas would be healed,” he said.

On how often people patronise them, the Ward Head said “Now, the cases of fire burn are less compared to the dry season where we receive at least 3 to 5 patients every day.”

“Sometimes, even hospital attendants send their patients to us, especially when the wounds take a long period of time without healing. When their situation gets worse, they usually come to us and within a short period of time(maximum two weeks), they will heal unless in some rare circumstances where the patient has cancer, then we must attend to that first before healing the affected area of the fire burn.”

He also revealed that they keep the practice through teaching their wards.

“The practice is hereditary and we teach our children just like how we were taught so that we keep the practice, which is our identity,” he said.

Tracing the history of the practice, Shariff Hassan said that “Initially, one of our forefathers who initiated the practice never collected anything. He always says he did it for God, and for the people. He uses his money to purchase the herbal medicines, and everything needed for that healing process. But nowadays, our younger ones who have taken this practice as a means of earning a living depend on it and therefore collect some amount. They sometimes use it for transport when the patient is in a critical condition that he can’t be brought to our place. We go there and do everything at their homes.”

Narrating some of the success stories of healing burnt patients, Sharif Chawai said “There was an affluent man who spent more than five months in a hospital, and the treatment process was not encouraging so he was referred to us. Fortunately, within a very short period of time he got healed and now we have become more like a family with him.

“There was also a woman whose child spent months in the hospital but when they came here and we did it in our own way, the boy got healed in few days and the mother was extremely happy.”

‘We also get burnt’

Rebutting the rumour that they do not get burnt, Shariff Hassan said “It is not true that we cannot get burnt by fire or we are fire resistant. It is not true. We are also normal human beings like any other person and we can get burnt by fire.  We only heal fire burns with our herbal, traditional medicines and prayers because that ability is imbued in us. But we can be burnt by fire too.”


He described lack of a well design centre to admit patients as their major challenge, calling on the government to come to their aid as they are also contributing immensely to the health sector.

Another person, who is also into the practice, Sidiya Malama Aishatu Sahrif Lawal, told Daily Trust on Sunday that though she inherited the healing powers from her parents as Sharifai, her husband was the one who encouraged her to practice it.

“Though my parents are from Sharifai’s lineage, I didn’t practice it until my husband who is also Shariff put me through. He does for the male and I do for my fellow women,” she said.

On the charges for the healing, Sidiya Aishatu said that there is no specific amount they collect for the service as they leave it open to the patient’s wish and ability.

“You know we are doing this for the sake of Allah. But people do give us gifts ranging from money, soaps, detergents, to other things,” she said.

She added that when she started newly, she couldn’t eat but with time she became used to it.

“Honestly at the beginning, whenever I attended to a patient, I would not be able to eat throughout the day. But with time, I became used to it. Even if I finish attending to a patient now, I will just wash my hands and eat my food.”

According to her, even though she sympathizes with her patients but she has never allowed sympathy to prevent her from doing what she is supposed to do on a patient.

She added that they offer home services when the patient’s condition worsens.

“You know burns depends on the degrees, so if the entire person’s body is burnt severely, we go and attend to him/her in his/her house,” she said.

She also said that their patients are not Kano indigenes and residents only, as many come from different parts of the country.

“We attend to so many people who come from states like Kaduna, Gombe, Jigawa Borno etc. Recently, I got a patient from Plateau State. She came and stayed in her relative’s house. When she was healed, she went back to Jos.”

Sidiya Aishatu revealed that her children are also into the practice.

“My children – both men and women, also do it. Sometimes, if people come from Rimin Auzinawa where one of my daughters live, I refer them to her. I give them her address and she takes care of them.”

She added that the main challenge she faces in the practice is when a patient also has cancer.

Among beneficiaries of the healing power of the Sharifai is Malama Umma Umar who said her daughter’s burnt hand healed from Sharifai’s power.

“When my daughter’s hand was burnt by fire, I took her to these Sharifai and she was healed. I always appreciate their efforts,” she said.

Another beneficiary, Amina Ado, who suffered burns on her body as a result of gas explosion, said that after spending resources in accessing medicare in a hospital, at last she was healed by Sharifai’s technique.

She added that since then, her family members prefer Sharifai to going to hospitals when there is a case of fire burn.


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