SIHR OR SAHR
(MAGIC, SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT)
Sihr is among the occult sciences.
DEFINITION OF SIHR
Literally, the definition of sihr is: “Every effect whose cause or origin is subtle, mysterious or supernatural, is sihr.”
(Lisaanul Arab and Qaamoos)
In the literal sense of the term, sihr will apply to all things and effects whose cause and origin are unknown, subtle, mysterious, supernatural and incomprehensive, irrespective of whether the causes of the effects and manifestations are tangible, visible or invisible, material or immaterial, natural or supernatural. As long as the causes or the relationship between the cause and effect remain concealed, the circumstances will be literally described as sihr. Examples of such hidden and mysterious causes are:
* Incantations, words uttered or recited.
* Special formulae and potions prepared. Jinn and shayaateen. Power of the mind.
* Stars, planets and other heavenly bodies.
* A concealed magnet.
The above are merely some hidden causes of events which come within the literal definition of the word, sihr.
Besides these, there is a great variety of effects in nature, the causes of which are hidden, subtle or mysterious. Such effects of obscure causes can all be described as sihr in the literal sense of the term.
Sihr in the terminology of the Shariah does not cover all effects with hidden causes.
The definition of sihr in Shar’i terms is:
“Sihr is an act in which proximity to shaitaan is gained and by virtue of shaitaan’s aid, the act becomes sihr (magic).” (Lisaanul Arab)
Sihr in the Shar’i sense, thus, refers to all such acts, manifestations, effects and demonstrations achieved by means of satanic influence and aid. The aid, influence and proximity of the shayaateen are obtained by pleasing them. Obtainal of the pleasure of the shayaateen can be in several ways:
a) Uttering incantations of kufr and shirk.
b) Lauding praise on shaitaan.
c) Worshipping the stars and planets.
d) Murdering an innocent person and drinking his blood.
e) Remaining perpetually in the state of ceremonial impurity (janaabat).
These are some of the ways of gaining the pleasure, proximity and aid of the shayaateen. There are other means as well, which generally consist of the aforementioned acts.
Explaining the methods which are adopted to gain the pleasure and proximity of the shayaateen, Tafseer Roohul Ma’aani states:
“Aid in the acquisition of sihr is sought by way of gaining proximity to shaitaan. Such proximity is achieved by the perpetration of evil. Such evil is by way of statement, action and belief. Examples of verbal evils are ta’weez in which are written words of shirk; praising shaitaan, etc. Examples of evil actions are worshipping of stars, resolving to commit sins and all sorts of immorality. Examples of evil beliefs are to regard as virtuous the means which are employed to attain satanic proximity, and to love shaitaan.”
Proximity to shaitaan is attainable by only those who possess a inclination to Satanism in their natures. An affinity for evil, mischief and filth is a strong resemblance with shaitaan. Such persons pursuing sihr are successful in achieving satanic aid in the same way as pious and pure persons gain proximity and aid from the Malaaikah (angels) by virtue of their constancy in acts of ibaadat, thikr, and purity. The celestial angels are pure and holy, hence there exists affinity between them and holy people. In contrast, the shayaateen are filthy, impure and evil, hence there is an affinity between them and immoral people. It is thus essential for the saahir (magician, sorcerer or the witch) to:
1. Remain constantly in the state of janaabat and filth.
2. Abstain totally from mentioning the Name of Allah Ta’ala.
3. Be habitual in the commission of evil and immorality.
Minus these essential ingredients of filth and satanism, one cannot be a saahir (sorcerer). Success in black magic (sihr and jadoo) is dependent on these factors.
THE REALITY AND EXISTENCE OF SIHR
Sihr is among the occult sciences, the existence of which cannot be rationally refuted. To deny it is to deny reality and the Shariah’s attestation. The Shariah bears testimony to the real existence of sihr. The following are some Shar’i narrations which testify to the reality and validity of sihr:
1) The Qur’aan Shareef: “And, they followed the (knowledge) which the shayaateen recited during the reign of Sulaimaan. Sulaimaan did not commit kufr, but the shayaateen committed kufr, for they taught people sihr (magic). And, they followed the knowledge which was revealed to the two Angels, Haarut and Maarut in Baabil. Both (i.e. the two Angels) never taught anyone (the knowledge of sihr) until they (first) said: ‘Verily, we are a trial, therefore, do not commit kufr (by sihr).’ They (the people) then learnt from them (Haarut and Maarut) that (magic) by means of which they caused separation between a man and his wife…” (Surah Baqarah, aayat 103)
The episode of Haarut and Maarut in relation to their duty of teaching sihr shall, Insha’Allah, be explained further on in this article.
2) The two Surahs known as Muawwathatain, i.e. Surah Falaq and Surah Naas, were revealed specifically to counter the effect of sihr which the Yahood had perpetrated on Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This incident is mentioned in Bukhaari Shareef and other books of Hadith and tafseer.
3) In Surah Falaq, aayat 4, specific reference is made to witches who were employed to bewitch and perpetrate magic on Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):
“Say: I seek the protection of the Rabb of the Dawn from the evil of the naffaathat (women who blow) on the knots.”
Tafseerul Mazhari explains naffaathaat as follows:
“i.e. the breaths of sorcerers and women of magic (witches) who blew on the knots in the cotton when they incantated and perpetrated magic on Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).”
4) The magic and the magicians of the time of Fir’oun are mentioned in a number of aayaat of the Qur’aan Shareef.
5) Other Qur’aanic verses also make mention of sihr.
6) Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Refrain from the two destroyers (of Imaan), viz., shirk and sihr.” (Bukhaari)
7) “Whoever acquired anything of astrology, has acquired a branch of sihr.” (Lisaanul Arab)
8) Imaam Al-Maarzi (rahmatullah alayh) says:
“The opinion of the Ahle Sunnah and the Jamhur Ulama is that sihr is an established fact. It has reality like all other real things. In the unanimous opinion of the Muslimeen sihr is demonstrated by only a faasiq.” (Sharhul Muslim)
9) Tafseer Roohul Ma’aani states: “According to the Jamhur (the majority of the authorities of the Shariah), sihr is a reality.”
The aforegoing is sufficient proof for the existence of sihr.
WAYS AND METHODS OF SIHR
In Mufradaatul Qur’aan, Imaam Raaghib Isfahani (rahmatullah alayh) says that there is a variety of ways and means in which the effects and manifestations of sihr are demonstrated by the saahireen (magicians or sorcerers and witches). Among these methods are hypnotism, mesmerism, incantations, formulae, transformations, etc.
Transformation or transfiguration is a method by which an object is transformed into a different object, e.g. a human being or an animal is transformed into a stone, etc.
Imaam Raaghib, Abu Bakr Jassaas and other authorities, however, refute the validity and reality of the method of transformation employed by the saahireen. They attribute such magical transformation to methods in which the power of the mind is utilized with satanic aid to produce illusions. But, the Jamhur Ulama contend that transformation by sihr is a reality. Rationally it is not impossible nor does the Shariah negate its existence and reality. Tafseer Roohul Ma’aani states: “A magician is able to achieve feats such as flying in the air, walking on water, killing a person, transforming a human being into a donkey, etc. But the Actual Cause in all these acts is Allah Ta’ala.”
Sihr is employed to produce harmful effects in a great variety of ways and affairs. Deception, sickness, death, ill-feeling, disruption of marriage, fostering illicit relationship, etc., are among the harmful effects of sihr.
The aforegoing discussion thus shows that sihr is a science which is acquired by study and practise. The ways and means employed by sihr are all natural although hidden and subtle. The objects utilized by sihr, e.g. the mind, incantations, jinn and shayaateen are among the forces of nature which Allah Ta’ala has created. All such natural forces have been divinely endowed with certain properties, peculiarities and attributes. Like in the physical sciences, knowledge of the properties of the elements is utilized to achieve certain results and uses, so too in the occult science of which sihr is a branch. The saahireen (sorcerers) acquire the knowledge of this branch of the occult sciences and employ these forces in accordance with their natural laws. In reality, therefore, the demonstrations of magicians and witches are not supernatural. They are regarded as supernatural by those who are unaware of the concealed causes of the manifestations of sihr. A person who has never seen a magnet and who is unaware of the properties of a magnet will believe the effect produced by a magnet to be supernatural. Taseer Roohul Ma’aani states:
“Magic is a marvellous demonstration which resembles a supernatural act while in fact it is not supernatural because it is acquired by means of study.”
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SIHR AND MU’JIZAH
Mu’jizah in the terminology of the Shariah is a supernatural act demonstrated by a Nabi. Karaamat is a supernatural demonstration by a Wali. Such marvellous feats demonstrated by Ambiya and Auliya are called kharqul aadat (contrary to natural rules). Ostensibly such supernatural acts are demonstrated also by those who practise sihr. The ignorant and the unwary are therefore thrown into confusion by the similarity between the supernatural feats of the Ambiya and those of the saahireen. They are deceived by the demonstrations of the magicians and are therefore led to revere even the saahireen. It is therefore imperative to understand the difference between sihr and Mu’jizah.
1) The effects of sihr are controlled and directed by natural causes – by worldly agencies and means. The effects of magic are not self-subsisting entities independent of external influences and control. The only difference between the effects of sihr and other natural events is that the former appear mysterious because their causes remain hidden from general gaze and knowledge. Hence, such mystical effects are not considered normal by most people. If the cause becomes known the element of surprise will be eliminated, since the effects will then be attributed to known causes. People not aware of the causes, consider the feats of the magicians to be supernatural demonstrations while in reality such manifestations of sihr are normal effects and influences of jinn and shayaateen. Allah Ta’ala bestowed such powers to such beings.
In contrast, Mu’jizah is a direct act of Allah Ta’ala. There is no intervention of natural causes. Mu’jizah is the effect of Allah’s direct Command. At the command of Allah Ta’ala a created object subject to its inherent and intrinsic natural properties and peculiarities, acts in direct conflict with its properties and peculiarities and an effect incompatible with its natural properties is manifested. Example: The fire of Namrood became peaceful and cool and a garden for Nabi Ibraahim (alayhis salaam) at the Command of Allah Ta’ala. The Staff of Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) was transformed into an actual serpent of monstrous proportion by the Command of Allah Ta’ala. It was not a trick in which the power of the mind was made use of to create an illusion. The Qur’aan Shareef refers to this optical illusion produced by the mesmerising acts of the saahireen of Fir’oun, in the following aayat:
“By means of their sihr it was made to appear to him (Nabi Musa) that the ropes (of the magicians) were slithering (like snakes).”
In all Mu’jizaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam), the laws of nature and created agencies and means play no role whatever. The Qur’aan Shareef explicitly asserts that Mu’jizah is the direct effect of the Command of Allah Ta’ala.
Regarding a Mu’jizah shown by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) during the Battle of Badr, the Qur’aan Shareef says:
“And, when you flung the pebbles, it was not (in actual fact) you who flung the pebbles. But, it was Allah Who flung the pebbles.”
A handful of pebbles and sand grains was flung by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the direction of the kuffaar army. These pebbles and sand grains went into the eyes of every soldier in the kuffaar camp.
2) Mu’jizah and Karamat are demonstrated by men whose characters are imbued with piety and uprighteousness. Their piety is a well-established fact. On the contrary, sihr is practised by irreligious people who remain in perpetual impurity, filth and sin. Their statements, acts and beliefs are evil. They have no affinity with ibaadat. Every person is thus able to witness their irreligious conduct. This is the simplest way of differentiating between a Nabi / Wali and a saahir.
Imaam Al-Maazari (rahmatullah alayh) says: “It is a fact of Ijma’ (consensus of opinion of the Ummah) that sihr is the manifestation of only a faasiq (flagrant violator of Allah’s Laws).” (Sharhul Muslim of Imaam Nawawi)
Regarding the evil character of the sorcerer, it is said in Roohul Ma’aani:
“And, by means of this (i.e. the evil character of the magician) the saahir is distinguished from the Nabi and Wali.”
3) A Nabi’s Mu’jizah is accompanied by the claim and challenge of Nubuwwah. Should a saahir claim nubuwwah, he will discover his sihr becoming ineffective. If a saahir lays claim to nubuwwah and desires to deceive people by demonstrations of sihr, his magic is rendered ineffective by Allah Ta’ala. The following appears in Tafseer Roohul Ma’aani in this regard:
“Among the authorities (of the Shariah) are those who distinguish between sihr and Mu’jizah by the factor of challenge (claim of Nubuwwah) which accompanies Mu’jizah. On the contrary, a false claimant of Nubuwwah is unable to display acts of sihr. This has been the Way of Allah Ta’ala always so as to guard the glorious rank of Nubuwwah against the intrusions of the liars.”
4) Certain demonstrations belong exclusively to the office of Nubuwwah. Examples: raising the dead, granting speech to those born dumb and splitting of the seas. Allah Ta’ala does not grant the saahir the power to manifest such effects by means of his sihr. These are exclusive signs of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam).
THE AHKAAM OF THE SHARIAH ON SIHR
It has already been explained that in the language of the Shariah, sihr refers to all astonishing acts and effects exhibited by means of satanic influence and aid by resorting to incantations, etc. of kufr, shirk and sin. Such sihr is branded as kufr in the Qur’aan Shareef. Hadhrat Abu Mansur (rahmatullah alayh) is of the opinion that astonishing demonstrations and effects which are not rendered by the perpetration of anything evil or sinful and which do not contradict Imaan, are not kufr.
Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) states in his Sharhul Muslim:
“The practice of sihr is haraam. In the unanimous opinion of Shar’i authorities, it is among the kabaa-ir (major sins). At times it is kufr and at times it is not kufr, but a major sin. If in sihr there is a statement or an act of kufr, the saahir will be declared a kaafir, otherwise not. Teaching sihr is haraam. If the sihr which is being taught contains kufr, the teacher will be branded a kaafir, otherwise not.
Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh) said that a saahir is a kaafir. He will be executed because of his sihr. His taubah is not acceptable and the only option is to execute him. Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal (rahmatullah alayh) concurs with Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh). A similar opinion has also been attributed to Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh).
Roohul Ma’aani also states: “It is well known that practising sihr is kufr, so much so, that Allaamah Taftaazaani said: ‘No contrary opinion has been narrated’.”
From the statements of the various authorities, the following emerges:
1) Sihr (i.e. in the Shar’i sense) is evil and haraam. It is a major sin.
2) If kufr is involved, the saahir will become kaafir.
3) If kufr is not resorted to in the sihr, the saahir although a heinous and a major sinner, does not become kaafir.
4) In the Fatwa of some authorities, e.g. Imaam Maalik and Imaam Hambal, all forms of sihr, kufr or otherwise, are kufr which render the saahir a kaafir and liable for execution. Even his taubah is not acceptable.
JADOO OR BLACK MAGIC
Should Muslims believe in jadoo? If so, what is the Shariah authority for it?
Yes, Muslims should believe that sihr (magic, jadoo) is a reality. This reality is confirmed by the Qur’aan Shareef. To deny the existence of sihr will be to deny the Qur’aan Shareef. The Qur’aan and the Ahadith are the Shar’i proofs for the existence of sihr (jadoo).
Islamically how does one cope with jadoo??
Sihr can affect anyone. There is no specific way of ensuring protection against sihr. We are living in a material world in which agencies operate and produce their effects which all operate under the decree and control of Allah Ta’ala. At times the holiest people are also affected by sihr. However, one can take certain precautions against sihr like one takes against diseases and other calamities. But such precautions do not assure absolute protection. Precautions which one should take against sihr and evil influences are:
• Remaining constantly in the state of wudhu.
• Purifying oneself as quickly as possible from the state of janaabat.
• Reciting certain Qur’aanic Surahs and Aayat.
• Eliminating pictures of humans and animals from the home. Such pictures banish the Malaaikh of Rahmat from the house. Shayaateen may thus enter the unprotected home.
• Not allowing dogs into the home.
• Never venture unnecessarily out of the home after Maghrib, i.e. the time between Maghrib and Isha is very delicate. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) warned that even domestic animals should be closed up in their enclosures during this time since the shayaateen are out in profusion.
• Hairs and nails should not be strewn around. These are favourite items on which sihr is practised.
• Women should ensure that their heads are properly covered especially during the night time and when entering the toilet.
How can we diagnose jadoo?
This is the profession of an Aamil. An expert Aamil will be able to diagnose jadoo, not others. An expert Aamil can diagnose whether a person is afflicted with sihr or some other evil force.
How can we remove the effects of jadoo?
The evil effects of jadoo can be removed by means of dua, ta’weez, reciting certain Surahs or Aayats of the Qur’aan and by the remedies of expert Aamils.
HAARUT AND MAARUT
At the time when the episode of Haarut and Maarut was enacted, sihr was a popular science and was on the ascendancy like today physical science is regarded with awe. The prevalence and dominance of sihr were of special importance in the city of Baabil which was the seat of this science at the time. The public was thrown into confusion and deception by the manifestations of sihr. The layman was unable to differentiate between sihr and the Mu’jizah of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam). As a result people revered and honoured the magicians and regarded magic as a noble science.
Allah Ta’ala sent two Angels, Haarut and Maarut, to the city of Baabil (Babylon) to eliminate the confusion and separate falsehood from truth. It was the function of Haarut and Maarut to inform the people of the reality and nature of sihr. They had to expound the principles, ways and methods of sihr so that the dimension of mystery is eliminated and the truth thereby manifested. Once people come to know that the manifestations of sihr are in fact subject to natural laws and agencies, their wonder, amazement and awe will cease. They will then realise that the saahireen are not demonstrators of supernatural effects and they have no comparison with the Ambiya and Auliya whose supernatural demonstrations do not follow natural laws, but are the pure manifestations of Allah’s Direct Command. By expounding the science of sihr, Haarut and Maarut had to bring to an end the domination and sway which the saahireen held over the masses.
There was a special reason for appointing Angels and not Ambiya to execute this function. Firstly, the aim was to differentiate between the Ambiya and the saahireen. A third party had therefore to interpose to decide the issue. Secondly, sihr being a science controlled by natural laws and agencies occasioned the employment of certain incantations and formulae of magic to demonstrate what was contended in regard to its nature and reality. Since Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) are the beacons of Hidaayah and virtue, it was unbecoming of their lofty status of truth, purity and guidance to dabble in a science of such low quality. Angels were therefore chosen for this task.
Malaaikah (Angels) are involved in all the variegated affairs of the universe. Allah Ta’ala imposes various duties, both good and evil, on them. Allah Ta’ala is the Creator of both good and evil – harm and benefit. It is not within the scope of the office of Nubuwwah to execute functions of evil or harm. Only what is praiseworthy is effected by the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam). Thus, the two Angels came to Baabil and commenced their duties. They explained the principles and the details of sihr and warned people of dabbling in this occult science. They induced in people detestation for magic and magicians.
People of ulterior motives also visited Haarut and Maarut and requested to be instructed in the science of sihr. Before imparting this knowledge, the Angels would explain the harms and dangers of sihr and that they (Angels) have been sent by Allah Ta’ala as a trial. Acquisition of the knowledge of sihr was, therefore, a grave fitnah (trial) which would lead to the greatest of disaster, i.e. annihilation of Imaan. Thus, people were admonished and given good naseehat. This science may be acquired with a sincere intention and not be misused for indulgence in evil and worldly gain, for this would lead to the annihilation of Imaan. This permission has been abrogated by Islam. It is no longer permissible to pursue the knowledge of this evil science. After taking a pledge of sincerity and rectitude, the Angels expounded the science of sihr, for this was the function entrusted to them by Allah Ta’ala. Some people failed to honour their pledges and misused sihr for evil purposes and ends. They thus committed kufr. Instead of utilising their knowledge gained from the two Angels in defence of the truth, some people employed it practically for evil ends. The blame therefore lies squarely on their shoulders and the Angels are in no way responsible for their failure to uphold the pledge and the resultant destruction of Imaan.
The acquisition of the knowledge of sihr can be compared to the acquisition of logic and Hellenic philosophy. The theories of Hellenic philosophy based on the principles of logic were used in the early history of Islam by Muslim philosophers to negate many of the beliefs of Islam. Rejection of the temporal origin of the world, rejection of the Islamic conception of heaven, hell, resurrection, the rooh, etc., were propagated by philosophers influenced by Greek philosophy. The Ulama-e-Haqq thereupon formulated a science on the very principles of Greek logic to refute the fallacious arguments raised against Islamic beliefs. This science formulated by the Ulama is known as Ilmul Kalaam. Greek philosophy in itself is evil and baatil. However, if it is pursued in order to negate its fallacies and defend Islamic beliefs, its acquisition will be permissible. On the other hand, if it is acquired with ulterior motives and utilized in opposition to Islam, it will lead to the annihilation of Imaan. Similarly, during the era of Haarut and Maarut, acquisition of the theoretical knowledge of sihr was lawful for the sake of defending the truth. But, people acquired its knowledge to pursue evil aims and in this way destroyed their Imaan. This, then was the great fitnah attached to acquisition of the science of sihr.
The permissibility of acquiring the knowledge of sihr has been abrogated and its acquisition now is haraam and kufr.
RUQAA OR TA’WEEZ
Ruqaa is the plural of ruqyah which means an amulet, talisman or ta’weez. Ta’weez literally means to seek protection. The object on which the words are written is therefore also described as ta’weez. Protection of Allah Ta’ala is sought by means of words of the Qur’aan and Hadith. Lisaanul Arab defines ruqyah (ta’weez) as follows: “Ruqyah is the popular ta’weez.” Lisaanul Arab elaborates further:
“Ibn Atheer said: ‘Ruqyah is a ta’weez which is prepared for curing one afflicted with some calamity, e.g. fever, epilepsy, etc.’”
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullah alayh) said in Hujjatul Laahil Baalighah:
“The reality (or nature) of ruqaa (ta’weez) is the employment of words which have real effects and influence in the metaphysical (or spiritual) realm. The principles of the Shariah do not refute ruqaa as long as shirk is not employed therein, especially when the ta’weez is of the Qur’aan, Sunnah or that which resembles the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and such words which induce humility and submission to Allah Ta’ala.”
Ibn Atheer (rahmatullah alayh) says: “According to some ahaadith, ta’weez is lawful while again according to other ahadith it is unlawful. Unlawful ta’weez (referred to in the Hadith) are such ta’weez which: a) Are written in incomprehensible language.
b) Contain names, words and statements other than those of Allah and the Revealed Books (words of kufr, shirk and sin).
c) Are accompanied by the belief that the ta’weez by themselves are efficacious and not by the act of Allah Ta’ala. Ta’weez which do not contain any of these unlawful factors are permissible. Ta’weez in which the Qur’aan, the Names of Allah Ta’ala and narrated words are employed are permissible.” (Lisaanul Arab)
Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) states in Sharhul Muslim: “Ruqaa consisting of the statements of the kuffaar and ruqaa in non-Arabic, the meaning of which is not understood, are reprehensible because of the possibility of such ta’weez having meanings of kufr and evil. However, ruqaa by means of Qur’aanic aayaat and athkaar are not prohibited. In fact, such ta’weez are Sunnat. The authorities (of the Shariah) have narrated Ijma’ regarding the permissibility of ruqaa employing Qur’aanic aayaat, athkaar (plural of thikr) of Allah Ta’ala.”
“Al-Marazi (rahmatullah alayh) said: ‘All ruqaa with the Qur’aan of Allah and His Thikr are permissible. Ta’weez in a non-Arabic language, the meaning of which is not understood, are prohibited because of the possibility of kufr in such a ta’weez.’”
“According to Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh), the ta’weez of the Jews and Christians are not permissible because of the danger of them having altered the words of the Kitaab (Taurah and Injeel). I prohibit the ruqaa of the Ahle Kitaab because we do not know if they prepare ta’weez from the Book of Allah or from abominable things resembling sihr (magic). – (Aini)
TA’WEEZ IN THE LIGHT OF THE AHADITH
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There is nothing wrong with ruqaa as long as there is no shirk in it.” (Saheeh Muslim)
Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) narrates: “When a member of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) family became ill, he would recite Surah Falaq and Surah Naas and blow on the sick one. When he was in the sickness of his death, I would blow on him (after reciting the two Surahs). I would place his hand (on his body) instead of mine because of the greater barkat in his hand.” (Saheeh Bukhaari and Muslim)
An ailing woman was brought to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He said: “An evil gaze (nathr) has afflicted her. Search for one who can prepare ruqyah for her.” (Bukhaari)
Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instructed her to resort to ruqyah (ta’weez) to combat the affliction of an evil gaze (nathr). (Bukhaari)
Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) narrates: “When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would retire to bed (at night) he would recite Qul Huwallaah and the Muawwathatain, blow into the palms of his hands and rub them on his face and as far as his hands could reach on his body. When he became very ill, he ordered me to do like that.” (Bukhaari)
The above are just a few ahaadith which explicitly advocate ta’weez by the employment of Qur’aanic aayaat. The Hadith books make mention of many such instances which conclusively establish the validity, lawfulness and efficacy of ta’weez.
Once Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) prepared a ta’weez in which was written, Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem. This was prepared for a non-Muslim king who suffered from migraine. The ta’weez was sewn into a topee (hat) which the king wore.
According to the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) it is permissible to accept fees for preparing ta’weez. Once a Sahaabi recited Surah Faatihah and blew on a chieftain who was bitten by a poisonous scorpion. The chief remunerated the Sahaabi with some goats. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explicitly legalised this remuneration.
Commenting on this Hadith, Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) said: “This emphatically establishes the permissibility to accept remuneration for ruqyah in which Surah Faatihah and Thikr was made use of. Verily, it is lawful. There is no prohibition in it.” (Sharhul Muslim)
The aforementioned ahaadith and statements of the authorities of the Shariah establish that:
1) Ruqaa (ta’weez) is permissible provided that words of kufr and shirk are not employed.
2) Permissibility of Ta’weez is based on the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
3) Ta’weez of non-Muslims are not permissible because of the danger of kufr, shirk and sihr being employed.
4) Ta’weez written in a language or style which is not understood is not permissible since such ta’weez may contain kufr, shirk or sihr.
5) The ahaadith which prohibit ta’weez pertain to such ruqaa which make use of the abominable factors of kufr, shirk and sihr. Thus, the prohibition is not general and does not apply to all ruqaa. The ahaadith and Sunnah explicitly countenance and even recommend the employment of ta’weez based on Qur’aanic aayaat and words of Thikrullah.
6) Fees for ta’weez are permissible. However, it should be observed that in our day there exist many frauds who are ignorant of the knowledge of ruqaa. They deceive and mislead people. They write out anything and prepare many a hotch-potch of potions for various purposes, including haraam ends. Such practices by frauds are undoubtedly unlawful. The concern of such ignorant ones is merely to fleece the public for their own personal gain.
7) The claims and arguments of those who refute the Shar’i validity of ruqaa are fallacious and are tendered in direct opposition to a practice established on the basis of Shar’i Proofs. Denial of the validity, utility and legality of ruqaa is tantamount to finding fault with a practise which was resorted to by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), himself.
8) There exists Ijma’ (consensus of opinion of the Shar’i authorities) on the validity, utility and legality of ruqaa. He who denies this unanimous fact, departs from the way of the Ahle Sunnah.
PROTECTION AGAINST SIHR
Sihr or evil magic / sorcery / witchcraft is a satanic practice which does cause harm. However, in this age it has been observed that every difficulty, sickness, mishap and peculiar occurrence are summarily attributed to Sihr. A glut of quacks and impostor aamils has played a very prominent role in entrenching this perception in the minds of people.
When the diagnosis of the medical fraternity fails to detect the cause or root of the physical illness, the malady is immediately attributed to Sihr. Frequently, and this is incremental by the day, medical practitioners lack adequate medical expertise. Everything nowadays is mass production, whether the products are doctors, lawyers or molvis. The wisdom and expertise of the olden days no longer exist today. So when the doctor tells a patient truly suffering from a physical ailment that medically there is nothing wrong with him because the scans, x-rays and the plethora of new confounded tests fail to make any detections, the ‘logical’ conclusion which is nowadays drawn is Sihr.
Even if one is genuinely affected with Sihr, it is nowadays a near impossibility to locate a genuine aamil who is an expert in the science of combating Sihr and its effects. While there are some genuine aamils, most of them are adept at only diagnosing Sihr – that the patient is affected by sihr. Seldom does one find an aamil who can effectively combat and eliminate the effects of Sihr.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan Shareef about the Sihr which the shayaateen and their cohorts perpetrate: “And they (those who perpetrate magic) are unable to harm anyone with it (i.e. with sihr) except with the permission of Allah. And they learn that (evil sihr) which harms them and which does not benefit then…..” (Aayat 102, Surah Baqarah)
It is necessary to believe that whatever good or harm befalls one is in reality in accordance with the decree of Allah Ta’ala. Only that measure of harm which Allah Ta’ala has decreed, will befall us. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that if all mankind and jinnkind unite to benefit or harm a person, they will be able to cause only that measure of benefit or harm which Allah Ta’ala has decreed for a person.
While every occurrence is attributed to some worldly or material cause, it is in fact the decree of Allah Ta’ala. Everything happens according to the predetermined decree and command of Allah Ta’ala. Therefore, when something detestable, untoward and unexpected happens despite having taken all precautions and having adopted the correct means, there should be no frustration. It should be assigned to Allah’s decree. Patience and Dua should be adopted. This is our belief in Taqdeer.
A physically ailing person submits to medical treatment regardless of the ineffectiveness of the medicine. He continues taking the medicine even if he does not recover. Allah Ta’ala creates sickness as well as the cure. The cure is not in the power of man. Similarly, if a person has become the victim of Sihr, he should resort much to dua, tilaawat and thikr in addition to treatment by a genuine aamil. If Allah Ta’ala wills, he can be cured of the satanic effects of Sihr.
Some precautions against Sihr are:
• Try to always be with Wudhu. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Wudhu is the weapon of the Mu’min.”
• When entering the toilet, always recite the relevant Masnoon Dua, and enter with the left leg. According to the Hadith, a toilet is an abode of evil jinns (shayaateen).
• Always keep the head covered in the toilet – both men and women.
• Don’t allow children to venture outside after Maghrib. The Hadith prohibits this and mentions that at this time the shayaateen emerge in force and interfere especially with children.
• Females should ensure that their hair is always covered thoroughly. Not a hair should be exposed. Careless parents allow their little girls with uncovered heads outside the home after Maghrib. When they are afflicted by satanic manipulations, then grief and consternation are of no avail.
• Whenever entering the home, do so with the right leg and compulsorily recite Bismillaahi Rahmaanir Raheem. There is also a Masnoon Dua for this occasion. According to the Hadith, shaitaan enters the home together with the person who enters without reciting Bismillaah. Shaitaan then finds a place in the house to spend the night.
• When closing doors at night, recite Bismillaah.
• After every Salaat recite Aayatul Kursi.
• At night recite the last Ruku’ of Surah Baqarah.
• Every morning and every evening recite Surah Ikhlaas, Surah Falaq and Surah Naas. Each Surah three times.
• Never eat the food, even the halaal food, which comes from the homes of mushrikeen and idolaters.
• Ensure that there are no pictures of people or animals in the home.
“And if an act from shaitaan afflicts you, then seek the protection of Allah. Verily, He is the One Who Hears and Who Knows. Verily, those who fear (Allah), when a group from the shaitaan assaults them, they lapse into thikr. Then verily, their eyes open (and they can see and understand the evil plots).” (Surah A’raaf, Aayats 200 and 201)
Shaitaan is man’s invisible enemy. Man can see his physical enemies such as human beings and animals as well as other physical dangers. But he appears helpless against invisible shaitaan and his evil science of Sihr. It is therefore, essential to seek Allah’s protection against the wiles and manipulations of shaitaan. The aforementioned aayat instructs us to recite Ta-awwuz (Authubillaah…) whenever an evil thought assaults our mind.
Similarly, recitation of Allah’s Name, seeking His protection, Tilaawat of the Qur’aan and Thikr are protective formulae against Sihr