My brother has recently developed some mental problems. He exhibits signs of paranoia. His wife has kicked him out of the house and turned his young children; 2 boys and 1 girl against him. They do not want to know him anymore. I took him in to my house. Although he exhibits signs of eccentricity and paranoia he is not violent. In fact he suspects that someone may have done sihr (blackmagic) to him and his family. Although he has these suspicions, in his state of depression, he refuses to receive any help for his condition. He even argues that it is a test and that he must wait for Allah to lift this suffering. My question is if he does not want to see anybody about his condition, how can I tell if he has been affected by sihr?.
Yes, what your brother is going through, whether it is a physical disease or sihr (witchcraft), or it is a case of mental illness, or anything else, is indeed a test from Allah, may He be exalted, to His slave. Every test that a person goes through in this life happens by the decree of Allah, and it is good that your brother realises and understands this.
But what is not good and is not correct is for him to think that he has to wait until Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, lifts this suffering from him. Belief in the divine will and decree does not mean that one should not take appropriate measures. Rather when Allah, may He be exalted, decrees some thing He also decrees the measures that could lead to it; feeling full happens by the decree of Allah but the hungry person should eat (to reach the state of feeling full); and having children comes by the decree of Allah, but the one who wants to have children should get married, and so on.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has not sent down any disease but He has sent down a cure for it.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5678.
Thus it becomes clear that as Allah decrees illnesses, He has decreed remedies for them that are appropriate; those who know them know them and those who do not know them do not know them.
So what you have to do is to treat your brother kindly according to his situation, and convince him to seek a remedy for his sickness. It is good to use both ways together, the usual medical remedy for the one who is in such a situation and looking into the matter of sihr (witchcraft), which is by his going to a raaqi (one who recites incantations) who can treat him with ruqya by reciting Qur’aan and proper, well known shar‘i (Islamically accepted) ruqyahs (incantations).
We ask Allah to heal your brother for you and to help you in dealing with him, and to give you the best of rewards.
And Allah knows best.