Top 5′ Algerian Superstitions – Khorafa

I always wanted to be an actor, but I just never told anyone. I had this superstition that if I said it out loud, it wouldn’t come true.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau


Superstitions are  irrational beliefs in supernatural influences, leading to good or bad luck. In Europe, we have general superstitions such as “a black cat crossing our way brings unluck” or “a raven or owl appearing at the house may bring someone’s death”, but every country and culture has its own superstitions based on the simple layman’s logic. Logic?! Indeed… as every beliefs of people come from experience and common sense, superstitions also may come from some strange logic of the mind: just as, “hmm there has been no raven here, but there is now.. surely something will happen…” and surely it’s bad since we’re all pessimists deeply in ourselves.

In Algeria, superstitions are called as Khorafa or bid3a…
Khorafa has the simple meaning of superstition with a strong connotation of that it is “not real”. Futhermore, bida3 is an Islamic expression that means “innovation out of religion” that is forbidden since Allah has created everything in its way and organized everything as He wills… So, if it is already made up what should one say during prayer or in some situation, he shouldn’t say more or less, because it will be a forbidden innovation.

As Muslims, we hold that whatever befalls us comes from God. That is why we always say Insha Allah (God Willing) when we express a desire for the future. It is God alone who can bring about good or prevent harm, for He Himself tells us:

And if God touches you with harm, none can remove it but Him, and if He touches you with good, then He is able to do all things

(Quran, The Cattle:17)

His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also denounced the very idea of a bad omen, describing it as a form of polytheism. He very clearly told his followers:

(Believing in) bad omen is (a form of) polytheism.

(Aboo Dawood)


However, as every country… Algeria, too, has its own superstitions just as one of them coming from religion… “After maghreb prayer every kid should be at home; otherwise, the demons take them.”
As I told you, it comes from religion… Isn’t it contradictory that religion forbids bida3, but it creates many? No, it isn’t. Since, the former superstition is a kind of “a poetic forewarning”… Anywhere you live, the night means “danger” that children shouldn’t meet, so they must go home. Therefore, the demons here can be human-demons who bring trouble just as drunkards or jinn-demons who can make the kid doing trouble under the camouflage of the night…
Thus, the superstition above is rather a religious proverb, but let’s see what we have in Algeria as real superfictions:

TOP 5 Algerian Superstitions

1. When one cuts his nails, the cut-offs should be thrown out; otherwise, the Jinns are coming for them.


Personally, I many times heard this superstition that is based on religion also… The purpose of the superstition is that one should throw out his biological discharge as hair or bone into the earth because it causes illnesses = Jinns will come to eat it.


2. One should not put his shoes or flip-flop reverse to its top; otherwise, bad luck or death comes to its owner.


I can only guess that the purpose of this ridiculous superstition is to set the home organized… No one should put backward his shoes.. HAHA


4. One should not step over a lying person; otherwise, the person on the ground will die… BUT, if you repeat the stepping over action BACKWARDS, the curse will not work…


I guess, it is funny itself without any comment… However, I think its purpose is the respect of the sleeping man, avoiding to wake him up by an accidental kick. HAHA


5. One should not eat from the bread prepared for another food; otherwise, it causes dusty wind on his marriage.


Well, well well…. I think this superstition aims the children who are looking for little pieces from the FTIR (disc of bread)… so to keep the bread in disc form, the old people scare the kid with the most Algerian topic that is MARRIAGE.


+1. The word-wide facebook applications influenced negatively Algeria too… bringing its superstitious saying that makes up or breaks up couples.


As a general comment… I don’t believe in any of these “beliefs”, indeed, I consider them as bida3 and HARAM; however, I can get along with them… they won’t drive me crazy. :3



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s