Question: In our society, a
person who is supposed to be under the influence of magic is taken to so
called ‘amil's who recite certain
words and then discover whether the person is really a victim of black
magic or not. Please note that I am not talking about hysteria patients.
I am also not talking about witch doctors when I use the word ‘amil's.
These ‘amil's are pious
people who have spent their lives in finding the effects of various Qur’anic
verses. My questions are:
1. How do we come to know that a person
is a victim of black magic?
2. Should we consult ‘amil's?
3. Do verses have mystical effects?
A common example is the recitation of ‘Ayah-i-Karimah to ask Allah to rescue one out of a bad patch in life?
Answers: As far as magic is
concerned, one cannot deny its existence. The Qur’an specifically mentions it as an evil discipline (sifli
`ilm) practiced by the devils from both among the men and the jinn-folk:
And they followed what the devils used to enchant in
the reign of Solomon; Solomon did not commit kufr but these devils
did: they used to teach magic to people and they followed such things as
were revealed at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut.
But neither of these taught anyone [such things] without saying: We are
only for trial; so do not commit kufr. These people used to learn
from them that which could sow discord between a man and his wife whereas
these things cannot harm anyone without Allah’s permission. (2:102)
As specified by this verse, this magic
is actually kufr (denial of faith), and therefore people should
keep away from it. The question arises as to how should a person secure
himself from becoming a victim to it. The answer is that, as a principle,
in all things which can harm a person and which by nature are scientifically
or medically explicable, help should be sought from the appropriate quarters.
For example, if a person has an ulcer he should consult a gastroenterologist
and if he has a bone fracture he should be shown to a specialist of orthopaedics.
But if a person feels that he is the victim of some ailment which is not
scientifically explicable, then the Qur’an teaches him to put all his trust in Allah and pray to Him. The most
appropriate thing to do in such cases is to recite the last two surahs
of the Qur’an and spend as
much time as possible in remembering the Almighty. For, as the Qur’an says in (2:102) nothing can harm a person unless it is the will of
In contrast to magic, which is kufr
as declared by the Qur’an,
there seems to be another discipline (`ilm) which was revealed to
the angels Harut and Marut;
this was something of a defence against black magic so in vogue in the
times of the Prophet Solomon (sws) in Babylon. Though it was not at all
an evil `ilm, yet it was called a fitnah (test) which could
be used the wrong way as well. This particular `ilm may be the one
which lies with some of the ‘amils of today; but then, nothing can be said with certainty.
Now these `amil's are generally of two types in our society. The first category which
constitutes almost 95% of them are those who generally fool the innocent
masses by their buffoonery and by dramatic displays of wordplay. People
end up losing lots of money and valuable time while getting "cured" from
these fraudulent elements and sometimes pay the heaviest of prices for
this -- they lose their relationship with Allah and become superstitious.
To the second category belong those `amil's which are actually psychologists,
who handle patients purely through psychotherapy by suggesting them various
mental and physical exercises. However, they too are not entirely free
from practices such as waza’if (incantations) which seem to have no basis in our religion. For example
they will recite a verse of the Qur’an and contend that it creates such and such effect on the person who
recites it. This is something which finds no mention in the Qur’an.
Nowhere does Qur’an specify
that words or verses have mystical effects. Therefore, they should not
be used for this purpose.
Consequently, my opinion in this regard
is that one should stay away from these `amil's as far as possible and spend one's time in remembering the Almighty
and in seeking His protection by reciting the last two surahs of the Qur’an. Also, there
are many supplications (ad`iyah) mentioned various Ahadith
which serve the same purpose and can be recited.
The answer to your last question is
that whenever a person is in difficulty, he should ask for Allah’s help
in the very manner that has been prescribed in his Book. The Qur’an says:
All other ways lead us astray.