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Question

I would like to ask about magic (sihr). What do magicians do? What do they want us to do?

Answered by

Sheikh `Abd al-Rahmân al-Barrâk
Magic is prohibited in Islam and the magician is a disbeliever. Allah says: “They followed what the devils attributed to Solomon’s kingdom. Solomon did not disbelieve but the devils disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Hârût and Mârût. But neither of these taught anyone (such things) without saying: ‘We are only for trial; so do not disbelieve’. They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone by it except by Allah’s permission. And they learned 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 vile was the price for which they did sell their souls, if they but knew!” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 102].

Magic is one of the major sins. The Prophet (peace be upon them) ennumerated seven deadly sins and counted magic as one of them [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim].

In another hadîth, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever approaches a soothsayer and believes what he says, disbelieves in what was sent to Muhammad.” A soothsayer is but one type of magician.

We are not allowed to go to magicians for any reason. Learning magic is also prohibited; it is a Satan’s knowledge. Moreover, we are obligated to forbid the existence of magic in our societies and condemn such practices. We should, in fact, report magicians to the authorities where doing so will bring legal action against them.