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A. Haroun (Abu Imran)

*Sorcery and Magic....* Cont'd

A little history...

Imam At-tabari reported in his tafseer a narration about what transpired in the life of Prophet Sulaymaan  عليه السلام  (Solomon). It was narrated that while he (prophet Sulaymaan) was alive, shaitaan would rise up to the skies, close to the last heaven and eavesdrop on the discussions of the angels over what has been decreed to happen of death, rainfall and other commands of Allaah, that is yet to reach the humans. So they come down with such and mix with each word seventy lies and share it among the people and soon the children of Isreal began to say the jinns have knowledge of the unseen.

People began to write down such revelations and occultic actions (spells and incantations) to enable one access to such revelations till prophet Sulayman heard of it and ordered that all such writings be seized from everyone who had one, put together in a box and burried under his throne! Thus, whenever shaitaan tried to reach the throne of suleiman he got burnt and could not reach the box.

When sulayman died, and the priests who knew the story died, and generations passed, satan came to the children of Isreal in the form of a man and informed them of a great treasure hidden under the throne of suleiman! Having deceived them to dig the box up, he then told them that the content of the box was what gave Suleiman power to control men, jin and birds so the people started to learn it and practice sorcery! So Allaah defends the integrity of his prophet and says in suratul baqarah verse 102 "And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved....."

Sorcery is a very old practice and today it manifests in many ways that muslims fall prey to it.

From among sorcery are those who blow into knots and uses incantations.
They recite words and mumbo-jumbo by means of which the witches and wizards are able to use the devils and jinns to do what they want of harming the person being bewitched.
But Allah says 

“… but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s leave.” [2:102] 

In Nigeria, the habbit of consulting witches and 'spiritual men' is rife in our various local traditions! Till date, a lot of muslims still rely on, and believein the efficacy of the powers of these occultic persons and seek them out for virtually all their life's affairs! In the North, the tussle between co-wives (Kishiya) has turned many women into apprentices of witchdoctors and the likes (boka, malaman subbu). In the west, the Yoruba traditions itself has strong connections with divinations and powers of gods.

What is even more worrisome are people who practice fortune telling disguised as Muslim clerics. They deceive people by making them believe they are using Islamic methodologies, removing themselves and those who consult them from Islaam. The most common of these are those who draw patterns on a tray of sand. It is no hidden fact that many homes still check the compatibility of suitors before going ahead to accept or reject their proposal!

It was narrated in a saheeh report that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever goes to a fortune-teller and asks him about something, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days.” [Muslim]. 

It was also narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever goes to a soothsayer and believes what he says has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad.” 

There are also those who are tricksters and magicians who deceive people by sleight of hand and the likes. There is a story of some sufi scholars (Rifaa'iyyah) who make people think that they are not affected by fire, when in fact they coat themselves with some fireproof substances. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) challenged them to wash with hot water before entering the fire and they refused because this would have exposed their deceit. 

Whoever believes in or practices any form of witchcraft, sorcery, magic or fortune telling has disbelieved. May we never be among them or fall victim to them.


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