In the name of Allah ,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful



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Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 23

Clarification of a Number of Types of Sorcery

Imam Ahmad narrates, on the authority of Muhammad Ibn J'afar, on the authority of `Awf Ibn Hayyaan Ibn Al-'Alaa`, who said: "Qutun Ibn Qabeesah informed us from his father that he heard the Prophet (saas ) say: "Verily, al-'iyaafah,1 at-tarq2 and at-tiyarah3 are all acts of sorcery.

Because the Muslims at the beginning of Islam had recently come from the Jahiliyyah (Days of Ignorance), they still carried with them many of the customs and superstitions of that time; Islam ordained for them freedom from such ignorant superstition which Revelation and common sense reject and for which no practical evidence can be produced. Such beliefs and practices include: Al-'iyaafah, which is the belief that one's fortune is affected by the flights of birds, their species or their cries; at-tarq, which is to draw lines in the soil or sand and throwing stones in order to supposedly reveal secrets of the unseen; and at-tiyarah, which is to believe in omens and portents. The Messenger of Allah (saas ) has made plain that these three are acts of sorcery and it is confirmed that practising magic, learning it and teaching it are all prohibited and it is incumbent upon every Muslim to avoid it and to declare his innocence of any such beliefs and practices and their adherents.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. Evidence that al-'iyaafah, at-tarq and at-tiyaarah.

2. The prohibition of magic.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves that the three above-mentioned practices are acts of sorcery.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That it proves that these three practices are acts of magic, and magic is built upon a foundation of Shirk.

..ooOOoo..

It is reported on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (ra ) that he said: "Allah's Messenger (saas ) said:

"Whoever learns a part of astrology, has learnt a part of magic. Those who learn more accumulate more (sin)."

Because knowledge of the unseen is for Allah (swt ) Alone, the Prophet (saas ) negated all attempts to uncover it, including astrology, according to which belief, one may know the future by understanding the supposed influence produced by the movement of the stars and the planets on peoples' lives. And He (saas ) has made clear that learning such things is an act of sorcery, and that the more a person learns, the more he is guilty of sin.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. Evidence that the study of astrology is a kind of magic.

2. That magic is of more than one kind.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves that the study of astrology is a kind of magic.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that the study of astrology is a type of sorcery and sorcery is founded upon Shirk.

Important Note

Attempting to uncover the secrets of the physical unknown using practical methods such as the working of the Universe, biology, physics etc. are not considered acts of magic; rather, they are a fulfillment of the Command of Allah (swt ) and His Prophet (saas ) to seek knowledge.

..ooOOoo..

An-Nasaa`i reports on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra ) that he said:

"Whoever tied a knot and blew on it has committed an act of sorcery, and whoever commits an act of sorcery has committed an act of Shirk, and whoever wore an amulet will be left to its control."

The Prophet (saas ) tells us in this Hadith that anyone who makes knots in ropes and then blows upon them is guilty of practising magic; and He (saas ) makes it clear that he who practises magic has committed Shirk; likewise, anyone who wears an amulet or talisman, believing that it will protect him from harm, he will be abandoned to its protection, which is, of course, non-existent; whereas he who gives his heart to Allah (swt ) and is filled with confidence in Him, Most High, and depends upon Him Alone, this will suffice him. And whoever depended upon Allah's creatures - sorcerors and others - he will attain only evil - in this life and in the Hereafter because he has placed his faith in other than Allah (swt ), while Allah (swt ) is Sufficient for His slaves.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The forbiddance of practising magic.

2. That blowing on knots is a form of magic.

3. Evidence that the sorceror is a mushrik.

4. The prohibition of wearing anything as a means of protection, or a provider, or a granter of wishes, etc.

5. That whoever depends upon other than Allah (swt ) is abandoned.

6. That whoever depends upon Allah (swt ), this will suffice him.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves that the wearing of amulets or the like and blowing upon knots are acts of sorcery.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that magic is Shirk.

..ooOOoo..

It is reported on the authority of Ibn Mas'ood (ra ) that the Messenger of Allah (saas ) said:

"Shall I not tell you what al-'adhdhah4 is? It is an-nameemah." 5 (Narrated by Muslim)

In order to focus the attention of his Companions on what he was saying, because of the great love and affection that he had for them, he used the form of a question, which he then proceeded to answer himself: He (saas ) asked them about al-'adhdhah; then he explained to them that it is an-nameemah, which means to carry tales about someone behind his back by quoting something he said about a person to that person, the result of which is to sow discord between those two people and to fill their hearts with enmity.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. That asking questions is a part of the Islamic way of teaching.

2. The prohibition of an-nameemah, and that it is a major sin.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves that an-nameemah is a kind of sorcery, because it produces the same effect as magic, or worse causing division among the people.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that an-nameemah is a kind of sorcery, and, as we have seen, sorcery is a form of Shirk.

Important Note

The person who is guilty of an-nameemah is not considered a disbeliever, nor is it ordered that he be killed, but the sorceror is guilty of kufr because he is depending upon other than Allah (swt ) to supply his wants and needs, while the tale-bearer is not, but because of its similarity in some respects to sorcery, it is incumbent upon every Muslim to avoid it.

..ooOOoo..

It is reported by Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Ibn `Umar (ra ) that the Messenger of Allah (saas ) said:

"Verily, some eloquence (can be so beautiful); it constitutes sorcery.

In this Hadith, the Prophet (saas ) has compared excessive eloquence and expressiveness with words to magic, for the eloquent man may on occasions succeed in making the false appear true or vice versa. He (saas ) distorts the truth by throwing dust in peoples' eyes, robbing some of their rights by deception and falsehood. The truth of this may be seen by anyone who visits a court of law and watches a lawyer at work.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The forbiddance of some eloquence, i.e. that which attempts to make truth appear as falsehood and vice versa.

2. The derogatory comparison of some eloquence with magic.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it defines some eloquence as comparable to sorcery because it deflects the heart as does sorcery.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That it compares excessive eloquence to sorcery, and as we have seen, sorcery is an act of Shirk.

Important Note

It is not to be understood from this Hadith that the capacity of expressiveness with words constitutes kufr, but that since some forms of eloquence result in corruption and usurpation of rights, they are in some ways comparable to sorcery, and therefore it is incumbent upon us to abstain from them.

Footnotes

1. Al-'Iyaafah: Foretelling events by the flight of birds.
2. At-Tarq: Drawing lines in the earth to predict events.
3. At-Tiyarah: Omens and portents.
4. Al-'Adhdhah: Literally, biting.
5. An-Nameemah: Tale-bearing, such as one's saying: "Such-and-such a person says you are untruthful." - even though what that person says may be true, it is still considered to be carrying tales.

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