Evil eye and magic

Islam overall is not a superstitious religion,as it rejects many types of supersititon, but it does have confirm certain superstitions that people believed were real.  The big problems are the concepts of magic, evil eye., and jinns  Prophet Muhammad used to believe in magic and evil eye before Islam.

Evil Eye

An example of evil eye is intense jealousy or envy towards a person such that this gets converted into physical harm.  Of course, there is no such thing as evil eye, but Islam teaches you how to protect yourself from it.

The following hadith talks about how a man Sahl who had beautiful skin, and Amir praised him by saying he had skin like a virgin, and then Sahl fell down unconscious.  When they told the Prophet, he reprimanded Amir for what he did to Sahl.

Yahya related to me from Malik that Muhammad ibn Abi Umama ibn Sahl ibn Hunayf heard his father say, “My father, Sahl ibn Hunayf did a ghusl at al-Kharrar. He removed the jubbah he had on while Amir ibn Rabia was watching, and Sahl was a man with beautiful white skin. Amir said to him, ‘I have never seen anything like what I have seen today, not even the skin of a virgin.’ Sahl fell ill on the spot, and his condition grew worse. Somebody went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and told him that Sahl was ill, and could not go with him. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to him, and Sahl told him what had happened with Amir. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Why does one of you kill his brother? Why did you not say, “May Allah bless you?” (ta baraka-llah) The evil eye is true. Do wudu from it.’ Amir did wudu from it and Sahl went with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and there was nothing wrong with him.”

Magic

Back in the 7th century, the world was a scary place.  People used to think there was a force called magic (also called “black magic”) that could be used on you to harm you.  An example of magic is poking needles into a doll, taking a hair of a person, making knots and blowing on it.  All these things are considered haram (forbidden) and are a major sin in Islam.  This is strange, because magic is not real and has no effect in reality!
Magic is confirmed first in the Quran, where Allah says he sent magic with the two angels Harut and Marut.  The angels did not teach anyone magic except by warning them first that the magic is a fitnah and it can cause seperation between husband and wife.
وَاتَّبَعُوا مَا تَتْلُو الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَىٰ مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ ۖ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَلَٰكِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ كَفَرُوا يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَارُوتَ وَمَارُوتَ ۚ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلَا تَكْفُرْ ۖ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِ ۚ وَمَا هُم بِضَارِّينَ بِهِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ ۚ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُوا لَمَنِ اشْتَرَاهُ مَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَاقٍ ۚ وَلَبِئْسَ مَا شَرَوْا بِهِ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ

And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, “We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].” And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah . And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.

 And of course, Surah Falaq and Naas are the most obvious examples of praying for protection against magic and evil eye (hasad).
 بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
 In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
١  قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ
1  Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak
٢  مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
2  From the evil of that which He created
٣  وَمِنْ شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ
3  And from the evil of darkness when it settles
٤  وَمِنْ شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ
4  And from the evil of the blowers in knots
٥  وَمِنْ شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ
5  And from the evil of an envier when he envies. (Quran Surah Falaq, 113)
In the following Hadith we read:
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to seek protection against the evil of jinn and the evil eyes till Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Nas were revealed. After they were revealed, he took to them for seeking Allah’s protection and left everything besides them. (At- Tirmidhi).

Another really strange story… Prophet Muhammad thought he was was affected by magic himself, and Allah told him why, it was because of someone throwing something in a specific well with his hair on it.  Aisha asked him if he removed it from the well (because obviously it must be in the well right?) Nope.. he told Aisha he didn’t take it out but instead “Allah cured him” and he destroyed the evidence and filled up the well because he was scared it would cause fitnah on the earth if he showed them the comb.

Narrated `Aisha:

Magic was worked on Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) so that he began to imagine that he had done something although he had not. One day while he was with me, he invoked Allah and invoked for a long period and then said, “O `Aisha! Do you know that Allah has instructed me regarding the matter I asked Him about?” I asked, “What is that, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” He said, “Two men came to me; one of them sat near my head and the other sat near my feet. One of them asked his companion, ‘What is the disease of this man?’ The other replied, ‘He is under the effect of magic.’ The first one asked, ‘Who has worked magic on him?” The other replied, ‘Labid bin A’sam, a Jew from the tribe of Bani Zuraiq.’ The (first one asked), ‘With what has it been done?’ The other replied, ‘With a a comb and the hair stuck to it and a skin of the pollen of a male datepalm tree.’ The first one asked, ‘Where is it?’ The other replied, ‘In the well of Dharwan.’ Then the Prophet (ﷺ) went along with some of his companions to that well and looked at that and there were date palms near to it. Then he returned to me and said, ‘By Allah the water of that well was (red) like the infusion of Henna leaves and its date-palms were like the heads of devils” I said, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Did you take those materials out of the pollen skin?” He said, ‘No! As for me Allah has healed me and cured me and I was afraid that (by Showing that to the people) I would spread evil among them when he ordered that the well be filled up with earth, and it was filled up with earth ” (Bukhari)

Jinns

The word “Genie” comes from Jinn (Arabic), which are magical creatures made of a type of fire that can possess you, they eat your poop, and they can go in your body, eat part of your food, harm your child, etc… They can appear sometimes to people or in the form of animals (black dog, snakes, etc). They also have religions – they can be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and they even have riding animals like we do!
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Angels were created from light, jinns were created from a smokeless flame of fire, and ‘Adam was created from that which you have been told (i.e., sounding clay like the clay of pottery). (Muslim)
There we have it. Jinns are real.
The companions asked Prophet Muhammad, how does fortune telling work? Because they were confused. Muhammad told them that devils try to go up to hear Allah’s decree, and when they do, they are chased by a shooting star.  They get some true details and mix it with lies:
And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with stars and have made [from] them what is thrown at the devils and have prepared for them the punishment of the Blaze. (Quran 67:5)
And He completed them as seven heavens within two days and inspired in each heaven its command. And We adorned the nearest heaven with lamps and as protection. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing. (Quran 41:12)
In these hadith we get a clear explanation of what Muhammad was trying to say in his verses of the Quran above:

Narrated `Aisha:

I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “The angels descend, the clouds and mention this or that matter decreed in the Heaven. The devils listen stealthily to such a matter, come down to inspire the soothsayers with it, and the latter would add to it one-hundred lies of their own.” (Bukhari)

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that:
The Prophet said: “When Allah decrees a matter in heaven, the angels beat their wings in submission to his decree (with a sound) like a chain beating a rock. Then “When fear is banished from their hearts, they say: ‘What is it that your Lord has said?’ They say: ‘The truth. And He is The Most High, The Most Great.” He said: ‘Then the eavesdroppers (from among the jinn) listen out for that, one above the other, so (one of them) hears the words and passes it on to the one beneath him. The Shihab (shooting star) may strike him before he can pass it on to the one beneath him and the latter can pass it on to the soothsayer or sorcerer, or it may not strike him until he has passed it on. And he ads one hundred lies to it, and only that word which was overheard from the heavens is true.” (Ibn Majah)

It seems Muhammad thought that Allah was above in the sky and the devils were astronauts flying in space!  (See Islam’s Geocentric View of the Universe post)

And what do these creatures eat for dinner, you might ask?  Well, toilet paper and poop! Bones actually, which was 7th century toilet paper.

Allah’s Messenger said: “Do not perform Istinja (cleaning yourself after urinating or defecating), with dung, nor with bones. For indeed it is provisions for your brothers among the Jinn.  (Tirmidhi)

These creatures, do they have religions?  Why yes, they are Muslims, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist jinns too!

Narrated `Abdullah:
Regarding the explanation of the Verse: ‘Those whom they call upon (worship) (like Jesus the Son of Mary, angels etc.) desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allah) as to which of them should be the nearer and they hope for His Mercy and fear His torment.’ (17.57) They themselves (e.g. Angels, saints, Apostles, Jesus, etc.,) worshipped Allah, Those Jinns who were worshipped by some Arabs became Muslims (embraced Islam), but those human beings stuck to their (old) religion. Al- A`mash said extra: ‘Say, (O Muhammad): Call unto those besides Him whom you assume (to be gods).’ (17.56)   (Bukhari)

Not only that, but snakes and other animals can be jinns too! So make sure you warn them before killing any snakes (Long hadith in Muwatta Malik)
More hadith:
  • 7 dates available from Madinah will cure you from magic (Abu Dawud)

More reading:

10 thoughts on “Evil eye and magic

    1. I am not Sameer but I opened your link out of curiosity and stopped reading after I stumbled upon this sentence, “Déjà vu are actually true dreams (dreams from Allah) of things from the future which we forget upon waking up but when we encounter that incident in real life, we get a strong feeling as if it has happened before”.

      Really??!!
      Yeah, right.

    2. It’s not about ‘liking’ the concept of invisible beings. As Sameer noted in another post here, he doesn’t like cancer, but readily admits that it exists.

      The question is whether invisible beings have ever been demonstrated to exist. This has never been done (and not for lack of trying).

      1. Dark matter is believed to exist. There is no way that it can be detected but that is the only way scientists can explain away all the gravity in the universe. Since scientists have not yet been able to detect it, are you saying that it doesn’t exist? Just because something has not been able to be demonstrated to exist, yet, doesn’t negate its existence.

        1. Brother Qasim, thank you for your excellent comments. Yes, dark matter is believed to exist based on the fact that we have observed it acting on the world in a way and we are able to measure and understand that there is a force here. Magic and evil eye is not proven or demonstrable in any way but the only reason to believe it is myth and superstition passed on from generation to generation

  1. // Of course, there is no such thing as magic, and there is no such thing as evil eye, // What makes you so sure that these things do not exist ?

  2. Abd, you don’t seem so rational so much as materialist/ reductionist. If all you take to be real is physicality, well then that’s your definition of reality, but I would submit to you that that seems like a limited definition. May God guide you.

    1. Whatever the case. I will believe in magic and jinns if there is some real evidence for it. I don’t think there is. So no need to believe in such silly things.

  3. Scientific research are given us more reasonable and feasible answers for it.The above subject can be seen by different perceptions. Jinn means in simple terms other species a parallel one according to Quran and Sunaa. its like explaining a same subject with different language which are religion and science . If we speak same subject with the help of science it can be expressed as ALIEN (By definitions) and Parallel dimension.

    My Point is in different time same subject can be expressed in different language and expression. Such as JINN (religious term) of 14th century can be ALIEN (logical term) of 21st century. Magic of 14th century can super natural or paranormal act of 21st century.

    If you are any one saw chapter Surah -Jinn. If you look in to translation is clearly matching with alien concept or near match , but I must say lot of research has to done ,before jumping to Any conclusion.

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