An Islamic discussion on Magic
…All power belongs to The Most Beneficent & Most Merciful
The physical and the non-physical world:
We have this physical world with all its mysteries in front of us that are possible for us to see. But there is again a whole world, more enormous and much more fantastically mysterious, that is not possible to witness through the eyesight. Lots of things do exist but are not comprehensible through our eyes. One of the aspects of this unseen world is the cause and effect of our actions.
As there is the good and the bad in this physical world so is there the good and the bad in the unseen world. Amongst the good things are Allah (S.W.T.), angels, etc. Amongst the bad things present in the non-physical realm are things that are anti-system to the physically good. They also include the misuse or wrong application of some of the physical and non-physical good.
Definitions Of Certain Haraam Actions:
1. Magic – Indulging in magic, teaching and learning magic, earning out of it is unconditionally and absolutely Haraam. On the basis of obligatory precaution, this is not allowed even for retaliating to magic in general. The exception to this being, when there is no alternate to this and there is a requirement that is of higher significance in nature, like saving a momins life who is being affected by magic. By magic it is meant to influence the mind of a person through influencing of the sight or hearing or similar aspects of a person.
Let us refer to the Holy Quran in this regard:
“They said: O Musa! Will you cast, or shall we be the first to cast? He said: Cast. So when they cast, they deceived the people’s eyes and frightened them, and they produced a mighty enchantment.”
(Araaf 7: 115-116).
“He said: Nay! Cast down. Then lo! Their cords and their rods – it was imaged to him on account of their magic as if they were running.”
(TaHa 20: 66).
This is how we have defined magic in the above point.
2. Soothsaying – Fortune telling, this is defined as informing about the hidden things by maintaining that the information has been received through Jinn. It is haraam to indulge in soothsaying. It is also haraam to earn out of soothsaying. Similarly, it is also haraam to refer to a soothsayer. Furthermore, it is even haraam to believe in what the soothsayer has said as true.
3. Astrology – This is Haraam. It is defined as information regarding events like inflation, deflation, heat, cold and other events relying on the movements of celestial bodies, developments in the state of the stars like the proximity between them or the distancing between them or their timing or other similar things with the faith that these have an effect on the events, an effect that is either autonomous to Allah (S.W.T.) or in sharing with Allah (S.W.T.). It is also to be noted that many claimants do not even have this knowledge of astrology. They claim to have knowledge based on their ulterior motives. Obviously, this is also Haraam.
It is NOT Magic in most cases?
We tend to put all the blame for any misfortune/problem on other people & most convieniently on magic. Instead of looking at our sins & other reasons we immediately accept any suggestion(from anybody at all), that someone has done something to us!.
In 99% of cases we only incorrectly assume that magic has affected us & it may be true in a very rare case.
Magic is evil
Magic is unconditionally & absolutely haram/prohibited .A gunahane Kabira (greater sin) leading to Hell fire. A person who indulges in magic & does not repent is punishable by Death in an Islamic society, as it is equivalent to shirk & severly criticised in many ahadith
At times, the sorcerer discontinues all good actions & concentrates on performing satanic rituals, committing adultery, drinking blood etc. There is an entire cult in magic called as Blood Magic. This is based on the belief that as blood represents life force, and thus can be used to power or augment powerful magic. Use of blood can provide power to humans and also to objects. A more hideous though related cult is Death Magic. In both of these the magician does not fall short of killing ones own wife, kids, etc. Another form is called as Necromancy. This also includes rapes of little girls. In this and most of the forms of magic atrocities of ghastly nature are caused more specifically to women. Then there are other forms of magic like the sympathetic and the contiguous. Contrary to the name, even the sympathetic is very harsh. Both these also involve making idols/dolls and then harming the idol/doll so as to harm any given person with the only difference that contiguous includes something (clothes, shoes, footprints, etc.) related to the target. These acts bring the magician close to Satan so that he is helped in his magic. Obviously the closer to Satan a man is the further he is from any kind of truth & Islam.
A Muslim is one who submits to the All Powerful Allah swt.
If he goes near these things he
demonstrates that he has no faith in Allah swt & Ahlul bayt(as).The Imam of our
time will be saddened to see a believer relying on Magic or soothsaying as he
has abandoned Allah swt,& HIS chosen people.
If someone wishes for something bad to happen to HIS creation especially another Muslim, Allah swt will also hate him for it. Such negative feelings arising out of pride ,jealousy need treatment by consulting knowledgeable people & reading books on Ethics like Greater sins, Self Building*
Pir/ Baba/ Mulla/ Fakir/ Sufi:
It is to be noted that whenever we happen to say that it is haraam to go to a Pir/Baba we always mean along with the associated conditions. This sentence is not absolute in nature. Going to a Pir/Baba or to a mulla/fakir/sufi/scholar etc. for that matter is haraam when it falls under the above-mentioned haraam categories. But if a person goes to another person called as Pir/Baba and he evidently guides through the knowledge of the Holy Quran or the Holy Traditions, then it is absolutely no harm. There may be certain apprehensions here and hence please note that we can divide the actions of Pir/Babas/scholar etc into the following categories for the sake of convenience in particular related to our subject matter herein:
1. Actions that are evidently haraam based on the above-mentioned criterion. Like a person dominates other peoples minds or a person claims that he gets news from the Jinn, etc. Here we need to abhor the action and the person indulging in it and prevent this social bane from spreading wherever possible.
2. Actions that are evidently good or mubah. Like a person informing through the Holy Traditions about the signs of the re-appearance the Imam (A.F.) and also informing that probably now so and so events will take place as is mentioned in the Holy Traditions or a person advising that fornication be totally uprooted from the society because he foresees the punishment of Allah (S.W.T.) in the near future.
3. Based on our limited knowledge that varies from person to person, we are not capable to understand whether the person involved is using the pure knowledge or otherwise. In such case, ethically we should keep aloof from such activities. But here we do not have the responsibility or the right to do Amr Bil Maaroof and Nahi Anil Munkar.
Reference to an important Ayat on this topic:
After the demise of H.Suleiman (A.S.) many people started claiming that he used to indulge in magic to achieve such a huge kingdom. Hence, the Jews in particular claimed that magic is a good action and is not prohibited. The basic motive was to cleanse their own hands and to make their own magic business successful. The following verse of the Holy Quran vouches for this fact and furthermore informs us about some aspects of magic:
“And they followed what the shaitans chanted of sorcery in the reign of Sulaiman, and Suleiman was not an unbeliever, but the shaitans disbelieved, they taught men sorcery and that was sent down to the two angels at Babel, Harut and Marut, yet these two taught no man until they had said, “surely we are only a trial, therefore do not be a disbeliever.” Even then men learned from these two, magic by which they might cause a separation between a man and his wife; and they cannot hurt with it any one except with Allah’s permission, and they learned what harmed them and did not profit them, and certainly they know that he who bought it should have no share of good in the hereafter and evil was the price for which they sold their souls; had they but known this.” Al-Baqarah 2: 102
The Jews were adamant in propagating the thought that H.Suleiman (A.S.) indulged in magic. Hence, the Holy Quran had to clarify distinctly that H.Suleiman (A.S.) was a Prophet of Allah (S.W.T.) he did not commit magic. Here the verse uses the words ‘Unbeliever’ and ‘disbelieved’ for magic! This verily denotes the intensity of this crime. A person becomes a disbeliever in the realm of action once he indulges in magic!
Also Read Ayatullah Makarm Shirazi's Answers on this subject by clicking here
How to protect against Magic
Read Duas from http://www.duas.org/magic.htm
“and they cannot hurt with it any one except with Allah’s permission” 2 :102 “…..and whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him….”65:3
Reliance on Allah (S.W.T.) is definitely a perfect and absolute solution to any kind of problems including magic.
It is related from Abu Abdillah ( Imam Sadiqe – A.S.). He said: Allah Tabarak Wa Ta’ala revealed to Dawood (A.S.): "Whoever, grasps me withdrawing from My creation – I know this from his intentions – then the skies and the earth and those in them conspire against him; but I deliver him from this state of affairs. A servant from my servants does not grasps someone from my creation except that I slash his means from the heavens that is already in his hands and makes this world a difficult place to stay. I do not care where exactly he is ruined.” – Mishkat-ul-Anwar Chapter 4 number 36.
2. Whenever there is a serious need for anything then Allah (S.W.T.) immediately fulfills that need. Even if a kafir has a genuine need then there is a voice raised from the very depth of his heart – “O Allah”. This kind of a voice is always answered even if it comes from a kafirs heart. Being momins such a voice from the depth of the heart coupled with the genuine need will be always answered. If someone faces some problem then he should know that there is some good hidden in it. Accept whatever comes from your Lord and do not be panicky. Your need in itself is a strong dua that will InshaAllah be soon answered.
It is reported from Abi Ja’fer (Imam Baqer A.S.):“The most commendable of the creation of Allah (S.W.T.) is the one who submits to whatever Allah (S.W.T.) has determined for him. A person who recognized Allah (S.W.T.) and is satisfied with the verdict will be rewarded when the verdict overwhelms him. But a person who feels grudge over the verdict will be overwhelmed with the verdict albeit Allah (S.W.T.) will quash the reward.” Mishkat-ul-Anwar Chapter 4: 42
-Special dua for protection (to be written on deerskin & kept )
A person came to Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) and complained that a spell has been cast on him. Ali (a.s.) told him to write the following dua on the skin of deer and keep it with him so that the spell may not affect him:
BISMILLAAHI WA BILLAAHI BISMILLAAHI WA MAA SHAAA-ALLAAHU BISMILLAAHI WA LAA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAAH
QAALA MOOSAA MAA JI-TUM BIHIS SIH'R INNALLAAHA SAYUBT'ILUH INNALLAAHA LAA YUS'LIH'U A'MALAL MUFSIDEEN
FAWAQA-A'L H'AQQU WA BAT'ALA MAA KANOO YA'-MALOON FAGHULIBOO HUNAA LIKA WANQALABOO S'AAGHIREEN
In the Name of Allah and by Allah. (S Yunus 81) In the Name of Allah and as Allah willed. In the Name of Allah. There is no power or might except by Allah. Musa (a.s.) said Allah shall soon falsify the magic of those who have come with magic. Indeed Allah does not improve the affairs of transgressors.(S Araf 118) Then the truth became manifested and falsified what they had done. The truth triumphed and they were disgraced.
Another important dua: He also advised reciting the following dua (verse 35 of Sura al Qasas )seven times to safeguard against magic.It is better to recite it seven times after Namaz-e-Shab and before the morning prayers. It will protect one from the evils of magic
QAALA SANASHUDDU A'Z'UDAKA BI-AKHEEKA WA NAJ-A'LU LAKUMAA SULT'AANAN FALAA YAS'ILOONA ILAYKUMAA BI-AAYAATINAAA ANTUMAA WA MANIT TABA-A'KUMAL GHAALIBOON
… In the Name of Allah and by the help of Allah. Soon We shall strengthen your hand by your brother. And appoint for you a force. By which their mischief would not harm you. Move ahead with our signs. You and your followers shall triumph.
Also Dua e Sabasab can be used to protect oneself from magic and all other evils.
We need to rely on powerful methods at our disposal to change our future for the better instead of such ways Sadqa & observing ties of kinship(selah reham) result in long lives. Dua’a especially with the medium of Ahlulbayt(as) changes fortunes & destiny
An interesting incident
In the book Qasasul Ulama there is an anecdote of the period of Abbas the Safawid. A Christian king sent a messenger to Abbas with the message that he may be given a chance to debate with Muslim scholars and if he defeats the Muslim scholars they must all accept Christianity. Now the person sent by the Christian king had some powers by which he was able to guess accurately what others held in their fists. The scholars were invited to debate with him and they included Mulla Mohsin Faiz. When the debate began Mulla Mohsin remarked that the Christian king has sent an ordinary man instead of a religious scholar for debate. The envoy brushed the remark aside and told him to hide something in his fist so that he can prove his miraculous powers.
Mulla Mohsin kept the tasbih made of dust from Imam Husain (a.s.)’s grave in his fist and challenged him to guess. The man thought for sometime but kept quiet. When Mulla urged him to speak up he said, “According to my knowledge there is a piece of Paradise soil in your hand but I am astonished as to where it was and how it came into your hands.”
Mulla Mohsin said, “You are correct! It is the dust from the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.) who was the grandson of our Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Your statement itself proves that the Imam of Muslims was on the right. Hence, you must accept Islam.”
The Christian followed his conscience and became a Muslim. He had acquired the power by acting in contradiction to all his wishes & desires for which he was being compensated in this world itself as he was not a believer.
Please note that rules discussed herein are quoted from fatwas of Ayatullah Sistani. The translations of M.H. Shakir have been used for the verses of the Holy Quran to avoid confusion. There is neither claim nor the possibility to discuss the entire subject matter in this brief article. For further information/clarifications you may contact us through email.
The Thirty-First Greater Sin- Sorcery