Part Eight: Magic & Magicians

As for magic, you need to first understand its essence. Magic is a contract between the magician and the shaytān. The magician agrees to do something for the shaytān and in return the shaytān agrees to do something for the magician. This is the essence of magic. The best way to explain magic is to study Allāh’s statement:

"And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Sulaymān. It was not Sulaymān who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, "We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic]." And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allāh . And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But they certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew."

This āyah explains the foundations of magic and can be summarised briefly in five points:

  1. Magic is a type of knowledge that can be learned. The proof: "teaching people magic"; "And [yet] they learn from them"
  2. Magic cannot be learned without disbelieving in Allāh The Most High. In fact it cannot be learned without going to an extreme level of disbelief. The proof: "so do not disbelieve";"would not have in the Hereafter any share"and in the next āyah:"And if they had believed and feared Allāh, then the reward from Allāh would have been [far] better, if they only knew." One of the scholars who works in Saudi Arabia capturing magicians told an audience that he found a magician who had repented to Allāh – and how few they are! He asked him what he had to do to learn magic. He said that his teacher told him to go to a dark, far away place. Then he sat in a circle and he was not allowed to get up for any reason. He had to make the condition that he would go to the toilet in this circle and then sleep in the same place. He said that he never prayed even a single prayer. On top of that the shaytān ordered him to disgrace the Qur’ān – the shaykh said that this takes many forms, including using the Qur’ān for toilet paper, putting it under shoes, and writing āyāt in blood – and I have seem some examples of this – may Allāh disgrace them! The shaytān did not stop there. He told this magician that he had to commit zinā with one of his mahārim (i.e., His mother, sister, aunt etc). The magician said that he could not do that but the shaytān told him it was a condition. The magician finished by saying that when he did that, he became the biggest magician in the region. This story is not something rare or unusual. Rather, this is the condition of all of the magicians; you find them covered in every kind of impurity and performing actions that even animals would not do. The more they do, the more the shaytān does for them. This also makes it clear to you how ignorant the people are who say there is such a thing as "white magic" or "good magic". Rather, every form of magic is disbelief and every magician is a disbeliever. Some people say that Imām Ash-Shāfi’ee – may Allāh have mercy on him – said that not every type of magic is disbelief. This is not true. The imām was referring to making potions and performing tricks, which are not considered as proper magic by anyone (even though they are harām because they lead to magic). In terms of proper magic he was with the rest of the ummah in declaring all magic to be disbelief.
  3. Magic has a real effect on people. It is not just an illusion as some of the misguided people said. In reality magic can kill, it can make people sick, it can separate between husband and wife and it can break up families. The proof: "And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife."
  4. No matter how strong the magic is: "they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allāh" and this returns you back to the principle that the plot of the shaytān is weak, no matter how strong the magic is.
  5. Magic is something that harms and never benefits. The proof: "And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them." It harms the person who magic has been done to, it harms their families, it harms the community and it even harms the magician. It harms the soul and it harms the body. And we have heard of many magicians who were forced to do magic upon themselves to please the shaytān.

As for protection from magic; the previously mentioned points about protection from the shaytān apply and in addition to them:

  1. Ruqyah. The important thing is that the effect of ruqyah is not from the recitation of the reader – it is from the speech of the Most High.
  2. Eating seven dates in the morning when you wake up. The Messenger of Allāh – may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him – said that whoever does that will not be harmed by magic on that day. There is some difference of opinion about the type of date. In some opinions ‘’Ajwah dates from ‘Aaliyat-ul-Madinah’ are mentioned, in others ‘Madinah dates’ and in others ‘dates’. It seems that the best opinion is to use ‘Ajwah dates from specific area of Madinah called ‘Aaliyat-ul-Madinah.If they are not available, then any ‘Ajwah dates. If they are not available, then any Madinah dates, and if not then any dates which are available, and Allāh knows best. It is very important that when doing this the person trusts in Allāh and believes what the Messenger of Allāh said – may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him.Allāh said about His Messenger,"Nor does he speak from [his own] desire. It is not but a revelation that is revealed."

There are some other issues with regard to magic.

  1. You can never cure magic using magic. This is something that has become famous amongst the general population and it is the basis of many so-called ‘religious people’ who remove magic. They do so by making a counter agreement with the shaytān to remove the first magic. Anyone who Allāh has given the blessing of intelligence would realise that this is replying to disbelief with disbelief as Allāh says, "And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them."
  2. The ruling of watching magic, reading horoscopes, tarot cards, fortune-tellers etc. The Messenger of Allāh – may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him – said,"Whoever goes to a fortune-teller and asks him about something, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days; and if he believes him then he has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad." Therefore, the ruling is as follows; whoever watches magic (including TV), reads a horoscope, goes to a fortune-teller, even out of curiosity, but does not believe in them, their prayer is not accepted for forty days – and it is still obligatory for them to pray. If they believe or are pleased with even a single word, they have committed disbelief; if they die upon that then they die as a non-Muslim and will not ever leave the hellfire. But what about magic on TV? Magic on TV is of two types: that which is known to be done by camera tricks, and that which is doubtful or believed to be real magic. As for the second type, the ruling is the same as going to a magician. As for magic that is known to be camera tricks, watching it is harām. This is because it leads to a love of magic and may even make a person think lightly of magic, or consider learning magic in the future. The general rule is that whatever leads to something takes the same ruling as the thing which it leads to – and therefore there is no doubt that it is harām.

As for distinguishing a magician from an honest person who performs ruqyah, there are many signs – although they are not always easy to see and the best way is to avoid going to these people at all, or if you must do so, going to the people who are known for their love of the sunnah. From the signs of a magician are: • Asking names, especially the name of the sick person’s mother • Asking for huge amounts of money in order to cure • Giving charms, potions, and speaking words which are not understood • Asking for animals to be slaughtered, often in particular places • Asking for an item of the sick person or their family, such as clothes, hair etc. However, you must bear in mind that many magicians conceal these signs, and many of them are from the most ‘religious’ of people in their appearance. One of our teachers told us that there was a magician who used to pray five times every day in the Mosque. He used to come even before the mu’addhin. When he was caught they asked him about it and he replied that the shaytān ordered him to go and pray – but without wudoo’. In this way people are fooled into thinking these so called ‘healers’ are the friends of Allāh, when in fact they are from His greatest enemies.

This is what Allāh has made easy for me to mention. I ask Him by every one of His Names; which He named Himself, or sent down in His book, or taught any of His servants, or kept concealed in the knowledge of the unseen which is with Him, to grant us the highest level of His paradise and to allow us to enter it without any punishment or reckoning. And I ask Him by the fact that His mercy encompasses every thing, to cure us all of our sicknesses – those in our bodies and those in our hearts – and to make our path easy for us, and to give us the strength to fight against magic and the evil magicians who practice it. He is able to do all things. May peace and blessings upon our Messenger Muhammad, and upon his family and his companions and all those who follow them until the Last Day.

"Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honour and Power! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him! And peace be upon the messengers. And praise to Allāh, Lord of the worlds."

Muhammad Tim Humble

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