Press "Enter" to skip to content

Black Magic [siḥr] is it a reality?

In this post I wish to share some scholarly statements on the reality or rather, the falsity of black magic.


Shaykh Tusi

وقيل في معنى السحر أربعة أقوال:
أحدها – انه خدع ومخاريق، وتمويهات لا حقيقة لها يخيل إلى المسحور أن لها حقيقة.
والثاني – انه اخذ بالعين على وجه الحيلة.
والثالث – انه قلب الحيوان من صورة إلى صورة، وانشاء الأجسام على وجه الاختراع فيمكن الساحر ان يقلب الانسان حمارا وينشئ أجساما.
والرابع – انه ضرب من خدمة الجن كالذي يمسك له التجدل فيصرع، وأقرب الأقوال الأول، لان كل شئ خرج عن العادة الخارقة، فإنه لايجوز أن يتأتى من الساحر. ومن جوز للساحر شيئا من هذا، فقد كفر لأنه لا يمكنه مع ذلك العلم بصحة المعجزات الدالة على النبوات، لأنه أجاز مثله من جهة الحيلة والسحر

There are (mainly) four views about magic:

1. It is simply deception and childish trickery. It is completely fake and there is no reality to it. It is just that the one being tricked gets deluded into thinking that it is real.

2. It is an optical illusion.

3. It is the transformation of a creature from one form to another, therefore creating a body (seemingly) out of nowhere. So it is possible for the magician to transform a human into a donkey and create a (new) body (i.e. of the donkey, into which the human has been transformed).

4. It is the infliction of a strike with the help of the jinn, such as when the person being possessed is cued, he goes into a fit.

The correct view out of these is the first one (i.e. that magic is just fake trickery and nothing else), because anything that is against the natural order, is beyond the power of a magician. Whoever believes that a magician can perform out of the ordinary acts (such as make someone sick or poor, cause obstacles in a woman getting married or conceiving a child etc) has committed absolute kufr, because with such an assumption it is then not even possible to ascertain the authenticity of the miracles of the prophets as then those miracles could be dismissed as being magic tricks.

Al Tibyan, Vol 1, pg 374

Ibn Idris al Hilli

ولا حقيقة للسحر، وإنما هو تخيل وشعبذة، وعند بعض المخالفين أن له حقيقة

And there is no reality at all of magic, it is just an illusion and trickery, but some mukhalifeen (non shias) believe that it is real.

Al Sarair, Vol 3, pg 533

 Allama Hilli

وتعلم السحر وتعليمه، وهو: كلام يتكلم به أو يكتبه أو رقية، أو يعمل شيئا يؤثر في بدن المسحور أو قلبه أو عقله من غير مباشرة، والأقرب أنه لا حقيقة له وإنما هو تخييل وعلى كل تقدير لو استحله قتل

Teaching or learning magic: Magic can be a spell which is vocalised, written, blown onto knots, or doing something which (supposedly) effects the body, heart or mind of the victim indirectly (i.e. without any direct physical contact). But the correct view is that there is no reality to magic and it is just an illusion. But in any case, if someone considers it (doing idiotic acts like blowing onto knots or reciting a so called spell) halal then he is worthy of death penalty in Islam.

Qawaid al Ahkam, Vol 2, pg 9

Syed Jawad al-Amuli

[في بيان حقيقة السحر] قوله: (والأقرب أنه لا حقيقة له وإنما هو تخييل) كما هو خيرة الأكثر كما في ” الدروس (1) والمسالك (2) ” ومذهب كثير كما في ” الروضة (3) ” وقد يظهر من صاحب ” الخرائج والجرائح (4) ” أنه إجماعي بين المسلمين.
قلت: لعله كذلك، إذ هو صريح الرازي (5) والبيضاوي (6) والآمدي (7) (والواحدي – خ ل) ومولانا الطبرسي (8) والشيخ (9) وفخر الإسلام (10). وهو ظاهر كلام ابن الأثير (11) وابن فارس (12) والجوهري (13) والفيومي (14)وقال في ” الدروس (1) “: قيل أكثره تخاييل وبعضه حقيقي، فظاهره التردد كصريح الكركي (2) والقطيفي وإن كان الكركي قد ذهب إلى أن له تأثيرا من جهة الوهم لا من جهة الحقيقة

Explanation about the reality of magic: Allama Hilli stated about magic that “the correct view is that there is no reality to magic and it is just an illusion”, as is the opinion of the majority of Shia scholars. This is evident from Shahid al Awwal’s book “Al Durus” and Shahid al Thani’s “Masalik al Afham”. It is the view of the great majority (of shia scholars) as seen in Shahid al Thani’s “Sharh Lum’a”, and Shaikh Rawandi stated in “Al Kharaij wal Jaraih” that it is the ijma (consensus) of the Muslims that there is no reality at all of magic.

I [Syed Jawad al Amuli] say: Perhaps it (the claim of ijma’) is correct because Raazi, Bedawi, Al Amdi, Wahidi (all sunni scholars) as well as Shaikh Tabrisi, Shaikh Tusi and Fakhrul Muhaqiqqin dimissed the reality of magic. This is also what is apparent from the words of Ibn al Athir, Ibn Faris, Al Johari and Al Fuyoomi………..And Muhaqqiq Karaki leaned towards the view that magic can have an effect due to imagination (i.e. people deluding themselves into believing in magic and losing peace of mind, which then may indirectly effect them negatively) not because there is an actual reality to it.

Miftah al Karamah, Vol 12, pg 231

Sayed al-Khoei

يقطع بأن السحر ليست له حقيقة واقعية

It is proven without a shadow of doubt that there is no actual reality of magic (it is just childish tricks) 

Misbahul Fuqaha, Vol 1, pg 445

Sayed Fadhlallah

س: هناك مجموعة من الناس تؤمن بالكتيبة والأعمال وما شابه ذلك …. فما رأيك بهذا مع العلم أني لا أؤمن بهذه الأشياء رغم أنها في بعض الأحيان تكون بواسطة القرآن الكريم ؟

ج: ما كان من أعمال السحر والتنجيم والإخبار بالغيب والمداواة بما لا يستند لعلم وواقع فهو باطل لا نعتقد به، والقرآن الكريم كتاب هداية ولا يجوز إستخدامه في تلك الأمور إلا ما ثبت في الأثر الصحيح من التحرز ببعض الآيات في موارد معينة.

Q: Some people believe in Katiba (a kind of black magic) and the like… What is your opinion regarding these issues? I do not believe in such things although it might be sometimes practiced by using the Holy Quran?
 
A: All what is related to magic, fortune-telling and medical treatment that are not based on science or reality, is considered Batil (falsehood) and we do not believe in it. Besides, the Holy Quran is a book for guidance and it is prohibited to use it in such matters except what has been said in certain authentic traditions about the use of some verses as a kind of protection.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.