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CHAPTER 7 – MAGIC- not permissible and Illusions about jinns.

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1 CHAPTER 7 – MAGIC- not permissible and Illusions about jinns

2 The term “Sihr” is used in the Arabic language to mean magic. Sihr includes all branches of magic i.e. sorcery, witchcraft, divination and necromancy. Sihr is defined in Arabic as whatever is caused by hidden or subtle forces. Islam recognises that some aspects of magic are real as stated in the Quran and Sunnah. Allah in the Quran explains the fundamental Islamic view of magic in the following verse:

3 وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمۡ رَسُولٌ۬ مِّنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ۬ لِّمَا مَعَهُمۡ نَبَذَ فَرِيقٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ ڪِتَـٰبَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَآءَ ظُهُورِهِمۡ كَأَنَّهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ (١٠١) “And when a messenger from Allah (Muhammad) came to them confirming what they had with them (i.e. the prophecies about Muhammad in the Torah), a group from among those who were given the scripture (i.e. Rabbis) cast Allah’s book behind their backs pretending they had no knowledge of it or him.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:101]

4 After pointing out the hypocrisy of the Jews with regards to the prophets sent to them, Allah goes on to take apart a lie which they had invented about Prophet Sulaymaan. وَٱتَّبَعُواْ مَا تَتۡلُواْ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينُ عَلَىٰ مُلۡكِ سُلَيۡمَـٰنَ‌ۖ وَمَا ڪَفَرَ سُلَيۡمَـٰنُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُعَلِّمُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ ٱلسِّحۡرَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَى ٱلۡمَلَڪَيۡنِ بِبَابِلَ هَـٰرُوتَ وَمَـٰرُوتَ‌ۚ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنۡ أَحَدٍ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَآ إِنَّمَا نَحۡنُ فِتۡنَةٌ۬ فَلَا تَكۡفُرۡ‌ۖ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنۡهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِۦ بَيۡنَ ٱلۡمَرۡءِ وَزَوۡجِهِۦ‌ۚ وَمَا هُم بِضَآرِّينَ بِهِۦ مِنۡ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمۡ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمۡ‌ۚ وَلَقَدۡ عَلِمُواْ لَمَنِ ٱشۡتَرَٮٰهُ مَا لَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ مِنۡ خَلَـٰقٍ۬‌ۚ وَلَبِئۡسَ مَا شَرَوۡاْ بِهِۦۤ أَنفُسَهُمۡ‌ۚ لَوۡ ڪَانُواْ يَعۡلَمُونَ ( ١٠٢ )

5 “They follow what the Shayaateen (devil) related concerning Solomon’s kingdom, but it was not Solomon who disbelieved, it was the devils who disbelieved by teaching the people magic and that which was revealed to the angels Haaroot and Maaroot in Babylon. Although the two would not teach anyone anything until after they warned them saying. ‘Verily we are only a test and trial, so do not commit disbelief’. But the people went ahead and learned from the two of them what could cause the separation of a man from his wife. However, they could not harm anyone with it except by Allah’s permission. They (in fact) learned what would only harm their own souls and not benefit them. Verily they knew that whoever purchases it would have no share in the Hereafter. Evil indeed was the price for which they sold their own souls, if they only knew.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:102]

6 Some Jews used to justify their practice of magic within an esoteric mystical system called the Cabala by claiming that they had learned it from Prophet Sulaymaan (as) himself. Allah explains that after tossing the divine scriptures behind their backs and rejecting the last Prophet, some of the Jews chose to follow magical formulas taught to them by devils. These devils already committed disbelief just by teaching it. They also taught an art of sorcery called astrology. Some of the Jews who learned these arts knew well that they were cursed because it was forbidden in their own scriptures. (See Deuteronomy 18:9-12).

7 The previous verses from the Quran clearly indicates that magic is Haraam (forbidden) in the phrase: “Whoever purchases it would have no share of Paradise in the Hereafter.” Eternal residence in the fire could only be a punishment for an extremely haraam action. This phrase also indicates that anyone who acquires wealth from teaching it, whoever pays to learn it or simply whoever has knowledge in it will have eternal residence in the fire. Allah also referred to magic as being Kufr (disbelief) in the phrase: “Verily we are only a test and trial, so do not commit disbelief” and “It was not Solomon who disbelieved, it was the devils who disbelieved by teaching the people magic.”

8 The previously mentioned verse proves without a doubt that some magic has reality to it. There is also a Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari which mentions that the Prophet (pbuh) himself suffered from the effects of magic:

9 Zayd ibn Arqam reported that a Jew by the name of Labeeb ibn A’sam, cast a magical spell on the Prophet (pbuh) and when he began to suffer from it, Jibrel came to him and revealed the Mu’awwadhataan (Surahs al-Falaq and an-Naas) then said to him, “Surely it was a Jew who cast this spell on you and the magical charm is in a certain well.” The Prophet sent Ali ibn Talib to go and fetch the charm. When he returned with it, the Prophet (pbuh) told him to untie the knots in it, one by one, and recite a verse from the Surahs with each. When he did so, the Prophet (pbuh) got up as if he had been released from being tied up. [Bukhari]

10 Behind the phenomena of magic lies the hidden and sinister world of the Jinn. As was mentioned in the previous chapter, the Jinn are essentially invisible except for those in the form of snakes and dogs. However, some of them are able to take any form they wish including human form.

11 For example: Abu Hurayrah said, “Allah’s messenger made me responsible to protect the Zakah of Ramadan. While I was doing so, someone came and began to dig around the food so I caught hold of him. I said, ‘By Allah I am going to take you to Allah’s Messenger!’ The man implored, ‘Verily I am poor and I have dependants. I am in great need.’ So I let him go. The next morning, the Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Oh Abu Hurayrah, what did your captive do last night?’ I said, ‘He complained of being in great need and having a family so I let him go.’

12 The Prophet (pbuh) replied, ‘Surely he lied to you and he will return.’ Since I knew that he was going to return, I laid in wait for him. When he returned and began to dig in the food, I grabbed him and said, ‘I’m definitely going to take you to Allah’s Messenger. He pleaded, ‘Let me go! Verily I’m poor and have a family. I won’t return.’ So I had mercy on him and let him go. The next morning Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Oh Abu Hurayrah, what did your captive do last night?’ I said that he complained of being in great need and of having a family, so I let him go. The Prophet (pbuh) replied, ‘Surely he lied to you and he will return.’

13 So I waited for him and grabbed him when he began to scatter the food around. I said, ‘By Allah, I will take you to Allah’s Messenger. This is the third time, and you promised you would not return. Yet you came back anyway!’ He said, ‘Let me give you some words by which Allah will benefit you.’ I said, ‘What are they?’ He replied, ‘Whenever you go to bed recite Aayatul-Kursi from beginning to end. If you do so, a guardian from Allah will always be with you and Satan will not come near you until the morning.’ Then I let him go. The next morning Allah’s Messenger said, ‘What did your captive do last night?’ I said that he claimed that he would teach me some words by which Allah would benefit me so I let him go. When the Prophet (pbuh) asked me what they were, I told him that they were saying Aayatul-Kursi before going to bed. I also told him that he said that a guardian from Allah would remain with me and Satan would not come near me until I awoke in the morning. The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Surely he has told the truth although he is a compulsive liar. Oh, Abu Hurayrah! Do you know who you have been speaking to these past three nights?’ I replied, ‘No.’ and he said, ‘That was a devil.’” [Bukhari]

14 They are also able to travel over vast distances instantly and enter human bodies prepared for their entry. Allah has seen it fit to give them these extraordinary abilities, as He has given other creatures abilities beyond man. Yet, He has chosen man to be above all creation. If these basic facts about the Jinn’s abilities are kept in mind, all of the supernatural and magical incidents which are not hoaxes can be easily explained. For example, in the case of “haunted” houses, where lights go on and off, pictures fall from the walls, objects fly through the air, floors creak, etc… the Jinns are acting on material objects while remaining in their invisible form. Jinns are also able to imitate the dead person’s voice and relate incidents from the person’s past.

15 There are 3 methods of removing Jinn from a possessed person for those who believe one can be possessed: 1.The Jinn may be removed by summoning another Jinn. This method is forbidden in Islam because calling the Jinn often involves acts of sacrilege. 2. The Jinn may be removed by confirming Shirk in its presence. When the Jinn is pleased by the Kufr of the exorcist he may also leave. 3. The Jinn may be removed by using Quranic recitations and prayers seeking refuge in Allah. The Jinn may then be driven out of the body by commands. But some scholars reject the idea of being possessed because of inadequate evidences.

16 This practice by itself is useless unless the one doing them has firm Emaan (faith) and a good contact with Allah based on righteous deeds. There are a number of traditions in which the Prophet (pbuh) is recorded as having exorcised people but they are all weak. His companions have also done the same with his approval. However, other scholars disagreed about the authenticity. The following hadith shows one such method:

17 Ya’laa ibn Marrah said, “Once I went travelling with the Prophet (pbuh) and we came across a woman sitting with her child in the road. She said, ‘Oh messenger of Allah, this boy has been afflicted and has caused us many trials. I don’t’ know how many times per day he is seized by spells!’ The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Give him to me’. So she raised him up to him and the Prophet (pbuh) put the boy in front of him in the middle of his saddle. Then he opened the boy’s mouth, blew in it thrice and said, ‘Bismillah! I am a slave of Allah, so get away, oh enemy of Allah!’ Then he returned the boy to the woman, and said, ‘Meet us here on our return and tell us what happened.’ Then he went and on our return we found her at our place. She had with her three sheep so the Prophet (pbuh) asked, ‘How is the boy?’ She replied, ‘By the One who has sent you with the truth, we haven’t noticed anything wrong with him since then, so I’ve brought you these sheep.’ The Prophet (pbuh) said to me, ‘Dismount and take one. Then return the rest to her.’” daeef hadith by some [Ahmad]-daeef

18 The Islamic Ruling of Magic Since both the practise and learning of magic is classified in Islam as Kufr (disbelief), the Shari’ah (law) has set aside a very stiff sentence for anyone caught practising it. The penalty for anyone caught practising it, who does not repent and give it up, is death. This law is based on the following Hadith reported by Jundub ibn Ka’b. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The prescribed punishment for the magician is that he be executed by the sword” [Abu Dawud]

19 Muhammad ibn ‘Abdur-Rahman reported that Hafsah, wife of the Prophet (pbuh) and daughter of Umar, had a servant girl of hers killed because she worked some magic on her. [Collected by Maalik]. This punishment is also recorded in the Torah to this day, clearly showing the Jews and Christians that magic is forbidden: “A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned with stones, their blood shall be put upon them.” [Leviticus 20:27].

20 The severity of the ruling on magicians is primarily to protect the weaker elements of society from falling into Shirk in Tawheed al- Asmaa was-Sifaat by attributing to magicians divine qualities belonging to Allah.


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