Magic & The Magician
The History of Magic
- Babylon is an ancient city (now ruined) which sits astride the Euphrates river in Iraq.
- It was inhabited by the neo-Babylonians (al-Kaldaaniyyoon).
- It was well known for the practices of astrology and magic.
- They worshipped the 'seven stars'.
- They sought nearness to their gods through the lighting of incense, the tying of knots, and ritual sacrifice.
- Their books are full of references to magic.
- They used arithmetic equations, symbols, and words.
- They used scrolls and inscriptions written in Hieroglyphics.
- Their men of religion had strong links to magic.
- Some of their kings were magicians (i.e., Nektanebos).
- The magicians inhabited a place (or temple) known as 'al-Baraabi'.
- Fir'aun and his attachment to the magicians is well known, and mentioned throughout the Qur'an.
- In ancient times they were upon tawheed - monotheism.
- Their famous leader Rustam used to practice astrology and stargazing.
- The 'Banner of Khosrau' (also known as 'Zarkash Kaawayaan') was inscribed in gold. It was a square divided into one hundred parts (10 * 10), with each row and column adding to one hundred, intended as a protective amulet, with magical symbols that would be inscribed, according to the instructions of the magicians, at certain times of the zodiac calendar (Pisces and Sagittarius), when the sun was rising.
- The Banner of Khosrau was ripped up by the people of tawheed who fought in the battle of al-Qaadisiyyah.
In the Time of Islam
- Letters, numbers, talismanic symbols, and astrological symbols.
- The Qur'an would be added to them, in order to disgrace the Qur'an and to trick the people into thinking that these letters and symbols are something Islamic.
- The use of the Qur'an in magic - bani israel one letter.
- The use of magic by some of the innovated sects, particularly among their extreme leaders and followers.
The Definition of Magic
- That which is caused by something unseen, hidden, and difficult to perceive.
- Turning something away from how it should be.
Spells, incantations, and knots, that cause an effect on the body and heart; causing sickness, death, the break up of husband and wife, or cause one of the married couple to turn away from the other.
The above definition is an example of defining something by mentioning some of its types, and is not comprehensive.
Something difficult to perceive, that is to a certain extent hidden, that can be learnt, which is similar to the paranormal, without being from those things which people are challenged to produce the like of, or that occur through disguise and trickery, and which come from an evil soul, causing an effect in the material world, indirectly or directly.
The above definition is an attempt to gather together all of the definitions of the scholars of Islam, and includes both real magic and magic intended to cause illusion.
Incantations, talismanic symbols, and ta'weez which contain the exaltation of other than Allah in a way which constitutes disbelief, and that are used by a person to gain a particular ability, which the person themselves gains through a learning process and which has certain specific attributes; all of which is completed by unfamiliar means and by ways that are hidden and difficult to perceive; these actions come from evil souls who seek nearness to the shaytaan in order to achieve that which human beings are not normally able to do; things which have a direct affect in the material world, and through which the heart is affected (such as love, hate, and an attachment to good or evil), and the body is affected (such as pain, illness, and death); all of which happen either to an individual or a group, contrary to their wishes, in order to achieve a particular aim.
This is a comprehensive, modern definition, but note that it is intended to define real magic, and does not contain mention of magic intended to cause illusion.
The Essence of Magic
A contract between the magician and one or more of the jinn; the magician offers to perform certain actions for the jinn, and the jinn offer to perform certain actions for the magician in return.
Types of Magic
Real and Illusionary Magic
Magic can be divided into two main categories:
That which is true magic: i.e., it involves acts of disbelief and seeking nearness to the shaytaan.
This includes magic which has a real effect, and magic that is intended to create an illusion, where that illusion is created through acts of disbelief (like the magicians at the time of Moses).
That which is linguistically termed magic, but does not fall under the ruling: i.e., it is termed 'magic' but does not involve acts of disbelief or seeking nearness to the shaytaan:
- This includes trickery, illusions, sleight of hand, motivational speech, potions, and drugs.
- On the condition that none of the above involve disbelief, or seeking help from the shaytaan.
- They do not have a ruling of disbelief - some are forbidden (e.g., illusions and trickery), and some are permissible if they are used in the right way (e.g., motivational speech).
Therefore, we must understand that illusionary magic may or may not fall under true magic, depending on what the reality of it is, and the method used.
The Purposes of Magic
From the point of view of the purposes of magic, magic can be divided into two types:
- Sarf - separation or turning something away. This includes all magic that is done for 'evil' purposes, such as killing, separating, causing illness, hatred, insanity, ruin etc.
- 'Atf - bringing together. This includes all magic that is done for 'good' purposes (and there is no good in it), such as causing love, bringing together, medicine, healing, etc.
Each of these can be subdivided into categories, such as dividing sarf into:
Magic in the Light of the Qur'an
And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon 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 Allah . And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel 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. [al-Baqarah 2:102 ]
Points of benefit:
- Magic is something that can be learnt
- Magic is an act of disbelief
- Magic causes real harm
- There is no harm without the permission of Allah
- There is no good magic or white magic
Magic in the Sunnah
It was narrated that 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: A spell was put on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) until he imagined that he had done a thing when he had not done it. One day he made du'aa' then he said: "Do you know that Allah has shown me in what lies my cure? Two men came to me and one of them sat at my head and the other at my feet. One of them said to the other, 'What is ailing the man?' He said: 'He has been bewitched.' He said: "Who has bewitched him?' He said: 'Labeed ibn al-A'sam.' He said, 'With what?' He said: 'With a comb, the hair that is stuck to it, and the skin of pollen of a male date palm. He said: 'Where is it?' He said, 'In the well of Dharwaan.'" The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went out to the well, then he came back and said to 'Aa'ishah when he came back: "Its date palms are like the heads of devils." I said: "Did you take it out?" He said: "No. Allah has healed me, and I feared that that might bring evil upon the people." Then the well was filled in."Recorded by al-Bukhaari, 3268; Muslim, 2189.
The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "The prescribed punishment for the magician is that he be executed by the sword""Recorded by at-Tirmidhi with supporting narrations.
The Nature of the Magician
- A person cannot become a magician until they reach the highest form of disbelief, from which there is rarely any return
- The shaytaan lures them with promises of riches and fame, as Allah said, "And the magicians came to Pharaoh. They said, 'Is there for us a reward if we are the victors?' * He said, 'Yes, and, [moreover], you will be among those made near [to me].'" [al-A'raaf 7:113-114 ]
- The shaytaan may begin by asking relatively little, but once the person is hooked, the shaytaan does not let them out of their grip.
- It often begins with 'khalwah' (being alone) and 'dhikr' (e.g., 'huw, huw, huw')
They must perform the most disgusting and evil acts in order to remain as a magician, including:
- Performing acts of shirk, like sacrificing to other than Allah and praying to the jinn.
- Disgracing the Qur'an, putting it under their shoes, using it as toilet paper, putting in the sewers.
- Committing the worst forms of adultery, like incest.
- Carrying out the worst forms of murder, like child killing and cannibalism.
- Using, eating, and living in the most filthy substances, like menstrual blood, faeces, urine, etc.
- Self harm, including burning, whipping, cutting, etc.
The higher and more powerful they become, the more they must do to satisfy their masters amongst the jinn.
- Before long, when they have done everything that they can do, they cannot continue without becoming a caller to the worship of other than Allah, by encouraging other people to do the same, and by engaging the people who come to them in the magic.
- It is not uncommon for them to be ordered to make an open show of religion, but to pray without wudu, or to pray less than five times per day, etc.
Can a Magician Repent?
If a practitioner of witchcraft repents sincerely to Allah, then Allah will accept his repentance. This is between him and his Lord, before the matter reaches the courts. But if the matter reaches the Islamic court, then the judge should execute him without asking him to repent, so as to rid society of his evil. But it is not permissible for any individual to carry out the hadd punishment by himself, rather the matter must be referred to the authorities. Summarised from Majmoo' Fataawaa of Shaykh Ibn Baaz.
If he is executed, the funeral prayer should not be offered for him, and he should not be buried in the graveyard of the Muslims; he should be buried in the graveyard of the disbelievers. He should not be buried in the graveyard of the Muslims, the funeral prayer should not be offered for him, and he should not be washed or shrouded. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound. Majmoo' Fataawaa of Shaykh Ibn Baaz 8/111.
The Nature of the Contract
- The contract is usually written down.
- Destroying this contract is the easiest way to destroy the magic.
- The contract often uses symbols, charts, and tables containing numbers and letters.
- It may be in the form of passages of the Qur'aan, written in filthy substances or with the names of the devils written in between it, often in code.
- The contract is often protected inside of other things. It may be sewn into clothing, tied around the neck or left in the house, buried, placed inside of household objects, etc.
- It is often associated with knots, as Allah said, "and from the evil of the women who blown on knots" [al-Falaq 113:4 ]
The Purposes of Magic
The purposes of magic are defined by both:
- the magician – such as attacking someone for financial gain, or as a request, or to show his or her power – to make someone love someone they hate, and to hate someone they love, etc.
- and by the shaytaan – whose primary aim is for people to disbelieve and to commit acts of polytheism, as well as to break up everything which Allah loves.
Symptoms of Being Afflicted by Magic
- Just as in the case of jinn possession, many of the symptoms are shared with symptoms of natural causes.
Because magic involves the jinn, many of the symptoms are the same as those involving the jinn. However, there are some specific symptoms:
- Sudden love or hate which is against character.
- Incurable sickness which seems to have no cause.
- Things which break up families, especially husband and wife.
- Seeing people in a different light.
- Massive changes in personality which cause harm to the person and those around them.
- Strange behaviour, such as refusing to do certain things, like refusing to leave the house at certain times.
The Difference Between Magic & Possession
- Both involve the jinn.
- However, possession is the act of one or more jinn, acting on their own accord.
- Magic on the other hand is a contract between the jinn and the magician.
- Magic is stronger and more difficult to remove, because the jinn are 'forced' to remain within the person and are 'tied' to the person through the magic. There is some empirical evidence that enforcers are sent among the jinn to scare and intimidate them into remaining inside of the person.
- However, none of the plots of the shaytaan are strong: "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah , and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Taghut. So fight against the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of Satan has ever been weak." [an-Nisaa' 4:76 ]