Understanding Islam

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Magic & Witchcraft


Can u tell me if witchcraft/magic exists in Islam? Whether to believe in it or not??? I have asked many people and some say yes and others say no.  If so can you please give me duaas or the remedy to help this problem.  My family and I have been told that we have a spell on us, by a shayk, I'm not sure if his treatment worked or not. Thank you for your insight on Islam.

Question from Canada

The Holy Qur'an has not talked about magic categorically explaining to mankind that they should believe that it exists. However, there are certain references in the Holy Book from where we can deduce that magic does work. How? To what extent? We cannot say anything for sure. However, keeping in mind the fact that God has declared (Qur'an, 15:42; 34:21) that Satan would have no power to physically influence humans; we can deduce that if we remain steadfast in the way of our Lord and place our trust in Him, He would then save us from all ill-effects of magic or any other such satanic inspirations.

What we know from the Holy Qur'an is that using magic is following an evil path and tantamount to disbelief in God; it is only the devils and the accomplices of Satan who resort to these despicable means of achieving some ends. In Surah Al Baqarah (2:102), the Holy Qur'an absolves the Prophet Solomon (pbuh) from the allegations that he used magic: He did not show disbelief by using magic rather it was some straying people in his times who would cast spells. The Holy Qur'an says that the People of the Book also followed the pattern of these strayed people. They gave up the Word of God and became obsessed with the use of magic. The Qur'an reads:

And when there came to them (the People of the Book) a Messenger from Allah, confirming that which they possessed, a party of those who had received the Scripture flung the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they knew not. And FOLLOWED that which the devils uttered during the reign of Solomon. Solomon disbelieved not; but the devils disbelieved: they would teach mankind MAGIC. (2:101)

Then the Holy Qur'an goes on to explain that something was revealed to two Angels, Harut and Marut, who were sent down to the earth as a trial for a certain people. They would teach 'the revealed matter' to these people after warning them that they had better not misuse it. Manipulating that which was taught to them, they would use it in order to cause separation between wife and husband. The Holy Qur'an has not termed this 'revealed matter' as magic yet we can construe that it was sort of a thing that could be used for good purposes as well as manipulated for evil ends. The people in question would however use it for the aforementioned objective of separation.

In the second last Surah of the Holy Qur'an also, the Almighty instruct us that we had better seek refuge in Him from 'those who blow on knots (to cast spells)' (113:4). This verse is also indicative of the existence of magic. The anecdote of Egyptian magician competing with Moses recorded in the Holy Qur'an (7:113-7) also bears witness to the fact that magic does exist.

As pointed out earlier, the extent and true nature of effects of magic has not been addressed by the divine revelation. However, the Holy Qur'an tells us that magic does not work unless and until a respite is given to its executor by the Almighty (2:102). Therefore the befitting way is to seek refuge in Allah and always invoke His abounding Mercy to protect us. We should continue to pray to Him from the bottom of our hearts that He might shelter us with His never failing shelter. In this regard, the last two Surahs of the Holy Qur'an (Surah Al Falaq, Surah Al Nas) are indeed meaningful supplications to beseech the Lord to take us in His unfailing sanctuaryƒ¢¢â€š¬¢â‚¬a safe-haven where no evil perpetrator can penetrate.

It is hoped that the issue is cleared up.

Jhangeer Hanif
February 1, 2004

Answer published by Jhangeer Hanif