Top | Prev | Next

Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 22

What Has Been Said Concerning Sorcery

Allah , says:

" They followed what the devils gave out against the power of Sulaiman: Sulaiman did not blaspheme, but the devils did blaspheme, teaching the people sorcery and such things as came down at Babylon to Haroot and Maroot. But neither of these taught anyone [such things] without saying: "We are but a trial; so do not blaspheme." They learnt from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone 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 Hereafter. And miserable was the price for which they sold their souls, if only they knew!" (Qur'an 2:102)

Allah , Most High, informs us in this verse that the Jews and Christians turned away from the Book of Allah and instead devoted themselves to the study of sorcery which the devils claimed was from the time of Sulaiman (as ) and they further falsely claimed that they had learnt it from Sulaiman (as ) himself; but Allah makes it clear that Prophet Sulaiman (as ) did not commit an act of disbelief as they claimed, but it was the devils who blasphemed by their teaching the people sorcery. Then He says that one of the objects of those who taught magic was to cause discord between men and their wives, but that there can be no result from the machinations of the magician unless Allah permits it and that whoever abandons his Religion in favour of magic will have no reward on the Day of Resurrection and wretched will be the lot which he has purchased for himself by his actions, if only he knew it.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. That sorcery is one of the works of the devils.

2. That Sulaiman was innocent of practising magic.

3. That learning magic and teaching it are acts of disbelief.

4. Proof that magic has no effect unless Allah Wills it.

5. That there is no benefit in magic.

6. The vileness and wretchedness of the sorceror.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of the Chapter

That the verse proves that practising magic is an act of disbelief.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That the verse warns against practising magic which cannot be performed without committing shirk, and shirk is a negation of Tawheed.

Important Note

(a) The Arabic word sihr (سحر) linguistically means: That which its cause is hidden. In Islamic terms, it means: The practice of writing spells on paper, or tying knots which effect the heart and the body until the person becomes ill and dies, or it means to cause a rift between a man and his wife.

(b) According to Imam Ahmad, Malik and Abu Haneefah, magic is an act of disbelief.


Allah says:

" Do you not see those who were given a portion of the Book? They believe in Al-Jibt and At-Taghoot and they say to the unbelievers that they are better guided than the believers!" (Qur'an 4:51)

Allah directs the attention of the Muslims, in particular, the Messenger of Allah (may Peace Be Upon Him) to the practices of some of the People of the Book which deviate from the Truth such as their preferring magic and obedience to Satan to the Book of Allah and the knowledge and guidance it contains, and their lying assertion that the polytheists are better than the Muslims and closer to the Straight Path.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. Evidence that some of the People of the Book were astray.

2. The presence of magic among the People of the Book.

3. That flattery, lies and hypocrisy are among the characteristics of the Jews.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of the Chapter

That the verse proves the forbiddance of practising magic and censures those who do so.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That it proves that engaging in magic is an act of disbelief, because its origin is in shirk.1


Muhammad Ibn `Abdul Wahhab said: "`Umar (ra) said: "Al-Jibt (here) means magic and At-Taaghoot means the devil." Jabir said: "At-Tawagheet2 are fortune-tellers to whom the devils used to descend, one to every neighbourhood."


It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (may Peace Be Upon Him) said:

"Avoid the seven destroyers." They (the Companions) asked: "Oh, Messenger of Allah (may Peace Be Upon Him)! What are they?" He (may Peace Be Upon Him) replied: "Shirk (associating partners) with Allah , sorcery, taking the life which has been prohibited by Allah , except in truth (i.e. in accordance with Islamic Law), devouring usury, consuming the property of the orphans, running away on the day of battle and making false charges against the chaste, unmindful3 women." (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

Because sins are the cause of loss and destruction, the Messenger of Allah (may Peace Be Upon Him) has commanded his Ummah to avoid the following major sins which cause the destruction of their perpetrators in this life and in the Hereafter:

1. Shirk (Associating partners with Allah swt ): This is because it ensnares a person in that which debases him - the worship of other created beings.

2. Magic: This is because it leads to many sicknesses in society such as swindling of gullible people, superstition and ignorance, fraud and cheating people out of their money by lying and deception.

3. Taking the life which Allah has forbidden: This is because willful murder leads to a state of chaos and disorder and breakdown of law and order, causing the people to exist in a state of fear and insecurity.

4. Devouring Usury (Ribaa): This is because the presence of usury, or interest4 in society causes loss of the peoples wealth and property, as greedy and unscupulous money-lenders rook people of their honestly earned money, growing fat at the expense of hard-working people, with no benefit to the society but only to themselves.

5. Usurping the property of the orphan: This is because such behavour constitutes injustice against one who is a minor, without any who can help him or support him except Allah .

6. Running away from the enemy without cause or reason: This is because such an act of betrayal to ones Muslim brothers, weakening their forces and breaking their morale.

7. Unjustly accusing chaste women of adultery: This is because it destroys their reputations and results in loss of trust in them and sows doubts concerning the paternity of their children.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. That sins cause destruction and loss to the perpetrator.

2. The prohibiton of associating partners with Allah, for it is the greatest sin against Allah.

3. The forbiddance of learning and teaching magic.

4. The prohibition of taking a life which has not been sanctioned by Allah.

5. The forbiddance of devouring usury.

6. The prohibition of appropriating the property of the orphan.

7. The forbiddance of running away from the field of battle unless there is a valid reason such as to deceive the enemy, or lend aid on another front etc.

8. The prohibition of slandering chaste women, whether be maidens or married women.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves the prohibition of learning and teaching magic.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That magic is forbidden because it is based upon shirk.


It is reported from Jundub (ra) in a marfoo' 5 form: "The punishment for the magician is that he be struck (i.e. beheaded) by the sword."6

Because magic is such a serious problem for society, indeed a sickness from which results all manner of corruption and evil, such as killing, stealing, cheating, fraud, discord between spouses etc., Allah has provided a drastic cure for it which is the execution by beheading of the magician so that society may be freed from the evil which results from his actions.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The prohibition of learning sorcery and of teaching it.

2. That the punishment for practising magic is death by beheading.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves that the punishment for sorcery is beheading, which shows that it is forbidden.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that learning and teaching magic is forbidden, because it is built upon a foundation of shirk.


It is narrated by Bukhari, on the authority of Bajalah Ibn `Ubadah, that he said: "`Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (ra) wrote: "Execute every sorceror and sorceress." "So, continued Bajalah," we executed three sorcerors."

And it is reported authentically from Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she ordered the execution of her slave for practising magic upon her, and she was executed. Such an event has also been reported from Jundub (ra). According to Imam Ahmad, execution of sorcerors is authentically reported from three Companions (i.e. `Umar, Hafsah and Jundub ra ).

Relevance of These Narration to the Subject of the Chapter

The writer (Muhammad Ibn `Abdul Wahhab) has mentioned these narrations in this chapter in order to make it clear that the opinion of the above-mentioned Companions was that the magician be killed.


1. This is because the magician places his faith not in Allah (swt), but in the devils among the jinn whom he supplicates.
2. At-Tawagheet: Plural of At-Taghoot.
3. Unmindful: Innocent or naive.
4. There is no difference between these two terms; the idea propagated by some Muslim "modernists" that ribaa means excessive interest rates, and that moderate interest is therefore permissible, is totally without foundation and is in contradiction with the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the confirmed practices of the Companions who were the best people after the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) in understanding the Sunnah and who used to avoid even those permissible transactions that in any way resembled ribaa.
5. Marfoo': A report from one of the Companions which suggests, without explicitly saying so, that he heard it from the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him), such as the above report of Jundub (ra), in the which he states the punishment for a certain crime, for it is not possible that he would have used his own judgement in such a matter.
6. Narrated by At-Tirmizi, who said: "The correct saying is that it is mawqoof (i.e. a saying of Jundub)." - and Allah (swt) knows best.

Top | Prev | Next