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A. Haroun (Abu Imran)

*Magic and Sorcery; performing related actions or believing in it*

For the sake of convenience I will stick with the arabic word 'sihr' for a while which can accomodate the words magic,sorcery and witchcraft. Scholars divide Sihr into two;

Sihr al Haqeeqiy: this is a kind of sihr that employs occultic actions that either affects the body or the mind; the body is affected in the form of sicknesses which may result in death, while the mind is affected such that he does a thing subconsciously, or may even result in insanity, may Allaah protect us from such an affliction.

The mind may also be affected such that a person is made to hate a person he loves or love a person he never intended to. Allah refers to those learning sorcery thus;
"and they learned from them the means to sow discord between a man and his wife" (Q 2:102). Such is the power of sihr that it can be used to affect the heart of a man so he begins to hate his wife, or cause the wife to disobey her husband, eventually leading to a discord that may end up in divorce!

It is from this forms of sihr that suratul falaq was revealed to warn us of their existence and serve as a weapon against them. 
Allaah says 
"Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn, from the evil of what he has created, From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads, From the mischief of those who blow into knots (sorcerers) and from the mischief of the envious when he envies" (Q 113: 1-5)

It has been authentically narrated that a Jewish sorcerer by the name Labeed ibn Al-aasam had afflicted the prophet (peace be upon him) with sorcery using his comb and dried date as well as other sorcery materials, buried in a well called 'bi'ru dharwaan', and the rasul (peace be upon him) fell sick till two angels were sent to perform ruqyah on him using suratul falaq ( أخرجه البخاري و مسلم من حديث  عائشة  رضي الله عنها). This is a lesson to us all that indeed any one can be afflicted, and Allaah has provided us with sufficient protection from it in the daily adhkaar as well as the Qur'aan, may Allaah protect us from it.

The sorcerer, witch and wizard acquires their powers typicaly by serving shaitaan and his soldiers (jinn). The shaytaan in turn does his bidding, afflicting those whom Allaah permits their affliction. Such affliction may be a consequence of negligence (of adhkaar), purnishment for our sin or a means for Allaah to draw us closer to him, wallaahu a'lam.

The second type is Sihr At-takhyeeliy: This is a type of sihr (Magic) that affects the eyes and a person's sight such that he either sees what isn't there or is made not to see what is there.
A quick example is seen in the story of Musa (alayhis salaam) and Pharaohs Magicians. When Allaah talks about the staff of Musa turning to snake He says 

"Then (Musa) threw his rod, and behold! it was a serpent, plain (for all to see)!" (Q 7:107). Allaah is al muhyi al mumeet (he that gives life and takes it) so he is able to give life to a stick and turn it into a snake. As for the snake of the magicians, Allaah says
 " ....when they (Magician) threw (their staffs) they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them: for they showed a great (feat of) magic" (Q 7:116)

In another verse Allaah says "....  behold (after they threw) their ropes and their rods- it seemed to him (Musa) on account of their magic - as though they were moving" (Q 20:66).

So the magicians do not have such powers to give life to their staffs and ropes, rather, they bewitched the eyes of the people and made them see as though they were moving, and this is the summary of sihr at takhyeeliy!

Having said all these, to practice either sorcery, witchcraft, wizardry or magic, or to believe in it nullifies a person's Islaam.

In the next series we will be looking at sihr as they relate to our local environment and some variant forms of it, some disguised with Islamic regalia. May Allaah spare our lives till then, wallaahu a'lam.


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