Sorry for the extremely long delay in continuing this topic; mommy had this book I wanted to refer to, and I would only remember to retrieve it from her after she had gone to bed…and since she has a tendency to place things in the most unobvious places, it was useless to actually look for it 😆 .
In my time on this planet, so far, I have come across people who say witchcraft is not possible, that the sihr referred to in the Qur’aan is misunderstood, and that inexplicable events cannot be attributed to black magic…things just happen, it’s by the will of Allah, and you don’t have proof that it’s magic, so forget about it. It used to confuse me terribly, because I know of people (in my immediate family) who are still ill, 30 years after they became ill, and yet the doctors still do not know what to call the illness or, of course, how to treat it. And who can deny that it’s by the will of Allah that such things happen? Certainly not I. So recently, when my mother purchased this book called “The Jinn and Human Sickness: Remedies in the light of Qur’aan and the Sunnah,” we naturally devoured this book, grabbed it like a life-line, and hoped to Allah that it would have some clear-cut explanations and answers…and alhamdulillah it did. What follows is mostly snippets from this book.
What is Sihr? The definitions that are simplest and most direct are in the words of Abu ‘Ubayd: “The meaning of Sihr is to show something other than what it is or should be” and Al-Layth: “Sihr is an action by means of which a person draws closer to the Shaytaan, and with his help.” This is not to say that the word sihr can’t be used as a description for something permissible; it can be as narrated in Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Dalaa’il,
Amr ibn al-Ahtam radiAllahu Anh said that Rasullullah Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said concerning Al-Zabarqaan ibn Badr radiAllahu Anh “Some eloquent speech may be as effective as magic.”
But such charisma is not what is generally referred to in the general sense of the word…wish that it were so!
What evidence is there from the Qur’aan on the existence of this evilness? Surah al-Baqarah, ayah 102, says:
They followed what the Shayaateen (devils) gave out falsely of the magic in the lifetime of Sulaymaan. Sulaymaan did not disbelieve, but the Shayaateen disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Haaroot and Maaroot, but neither of these two angels taught anyone such things till they had said, ‘We are for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).’ And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed wass that for which they sold their ownselves, if they but knew.
Surah Yunus, ayahs 81-82 say: Then when they had cast down, Moosa said: ‘What you have brought is sorcery, Allah will surely make it of no effect. Verily, Allah does not set right the work of Al Mufsidoon. And Allah will establish and make apparent the truth by His Words, however much the Mujrimoon may hate (it).’
And of course, there is surah Al-Falaq, which sums up the whole concept of sihr:
Say: “I seek refuge with Allah the Lord of the daybreak. From the evil of what He has created. And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away). And from the evil of those who practise witchcraft when they blow in the knows. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.”
How serious is it to disbelieve in the possibility that witchcraft exists? Well, clearly Muslims who do believe in the Qur’aan as a literal document, would follow the principle of “We hear and we obey.” Al Qurtubi in “Sharh Al-Qurtubi ‘Ala Saheeh Muslim” says,
The Qur’aan…and the Sunnah…indicate that witchcraft exists and that it has an effect on the one who is bewitched. Whoever denies that is a Kaafir who rejects what Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) say and denies something that is well-known. Moreover, if he denies witchcraft in secret, he is a heretic and if he denies it openly he is an apostate. Then he said: It cannot be denied that witchraft has an effect on people’s hearts, creatin love and hatred and instillin evil ideas, causing separation between man and wife, coming between a man and his mental faculties and causing pain and sickness. All of that is known from real life and denying it is stubbornness.
Does this mean we can/should attribute every event to witchcraft? No, of course not. The jinn and witches can’t be responsible every single time I lose my car keys, every time that I cough, every time that something goes wrong. But when something feels “not quite right,” be on guard, and do what you can to find answers/solutions. I can give you countless accounts of devilish trickery that anyone in my immediate circle of acquaintances has experienced…but I won’t, because you have probably heard and/or experienced them all yourself. In more than one hadith, there is reference to how the Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was a victim of witchcraft…if there were people who could do it him (SAW), then what chance do you or I have to be free of this vile practice?
We have to be very careful to not give such people any power over our actions. They will certainly do whatever they need to in order to cause mayhem and destruction…but keeping our hearts and minds in the constant rememberance of Allah is the best weapon we have. Allah is the Ultimate Decider of our fates, and He has given us the tools to fight back. Such events are a test, they can separate those who believe firmly from those who believe not-so-firmly. May you and I be of those who believe steadfastly. InshaAllah, in the next two posts I will outline some details about the “healers,” whom many people turn to in their utter frustration and fear, and then the Adhkaar we have at our own disposal to inshaAllah eliminate (or reduce our dependence on) these middle men.