Magic and divine edicts

October 21, 2019

Today no politics but something about magic and its position according to Shariah. Some time ago I wrote about the two angels – Harut and Marut – who were sent to this world by the...

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Today no politics but something about magic (Jadoo, Sehar) and its position according to Shariah. Some time ago I wrote about the two angels – Harut and Marut – who were sent to this world by the Almighty to test Bani Israel. They were taught magic that could cause dissent between husband and wife leading to divorce.

Many people came to them to learn what their magic was despite the fact that they were married and that it was considered haram and forbidden by the Almighty. All it was meant to do was to test their intentions and lay bare their true character, since it was well known that to practice this kind of magic was a great sin for which punishment was severe.

After having read my column, my pen-friend, Qari Abdul Malik Kakar from Quetta sent me a booklet containing detailed information on magic and Shariah. This booklet was compiled by Mr Tajalli Khan and he has done a great job at putting together divine edicts and, old tales about magic, etc.

On the title page he has quoted Surah Ash-Shura (verses 151-153), which read as follows: “And follow not the bidding of those who are extravagant – who make mischief in the land and mend not their ways.” They said: ‘You are only one of those bewitched.’”

In Surah Nisa, verses 51-52, the Almighty says: “Have you not turned your vision to those who were given a portion of the book? They believe in sorcery (magic) and evil and say to the unbelievers that they are better guided in the right way than the believers. They are people whom Allah has cursed, you will find no one to help.”

The word Jadu (magic) is a Persian word which means cheating, fraud, spell casting. In Arabic, the word Sehar, also used for magic, has been mentioned in the Holy Quran 30 times and it has been termed as shirk (an unpardonable sin), a Satanic game, a lie, cheating and an hallucination. It is also a term used for trying to convert a lie into truth, a lame excuse, etc.

Renowned religious scholar, Qari of Bhopal (Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, Qari from 1948–1952) mentioned in ‘Seeratun Nabi’ that Saheror magic has no reality. The story of Hazrat Musa, Firaun and the magical contest between Firaun’s magicians and Hazrat Musa has been mentioned in Surah Taha. In it Firaun’s magicians make their sticks and ropes look like snakes upon which Hazrat Musa’s stick (upon permission from Allah) turned into a python, eating up all the other snakes. The magicians then prostrated themselves to the ground proclaiming that they believed in Musa’s God and forsook their old beliefs.

When looked at it in this way, there is no such thing as magic. It is simply a learnt power to manipulate an audience to see something different to reality. In modern times it is often used as a ‘show’ and a good source of income for earning a livelihood. In Surah Baqara, verses 102 and 103, the Almighty has explained it in these words: “They followed what the evil ones gave out falsely against the power of Sulaiman: the blasphemers were (not Sulaiman) but the evil ones, teaching people magic and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut, But none of these taught anyone such things without saying: ‘We are only for trial; so do not blaspheme.’

“They learnt from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s permission and they learnt what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of magic would have no share in the happiness of the hereafter. And evil was the price of which they did sell their souls, if they but knew it. If they had kept their faith and guarded themselves from evil, far better would have been the reward from their Lord, if they but knew it.”

The booklet compiled by Mr Tajalli Khan is, in fact, a treasure of information on magic as seen under Shariah. It also contains information on the episode when someone tried to cast magic on our Holy Prophet (pbuh). It can be obtained from Qari Abdul Malik, Teacher Government Shafiq Ahmad Khan Shaheed Middle School, Quetta. All prayers and best wishes for Mr Tajalli Khan and Qari Abdul Malik Kakar.


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