Magic (Sihr), Possession (Masaha) and evil eye (Ayn)
When speaking about Ruqyah, these 3 terms Sihr, Masaha and evil eye are quite often used interchangeably by people but in fact they are 3 very different things.
Below is a brief outline of the three terms and their differences.
Sihr: Refers to magic involving a human who engages into a contract with a Jinn, to affect a victim. This is a criminal act.
Possession: Is when a Jinn is acting of its own accord. For example a person may have accidently harmed a Jinn and so the Jinn has possessed them to get revenge. Or the Jinn may have been offered a sacrifice by a magician to harm someone.
Evil Eye: In the case of evil eye, there is no established hadith which indicates the involvment of Jinn in this issue. It is simply caused by jealousy or envy between humans. A person can become suddenly ill with no real medical explanation via evil eye. A known solution is to have a bath with recited water, which can clear the symptoms. Please note, nowadays people often confuse Evil Eye with bad luck and in Islam there is no such thing as bad luck.
Magic / Sihr
It is important to note is that there is no such thing as black magic or white magic or even red, yellow or blue. The Quran and Sunnah do not mention colours of magic but mentions it as shirk. Magic and Jinn both exist in Islam and have been proven by the Quran and Hadith. It is evident from the Quran and the Hadith that Jinn are the creations of Allah and are made from Fire. Like Angels they cannot be seen by the normal human eye. Evil Jinn are also referred to as Shayteen. Jinn can commit havoc if interfered with but generally keep themselves to themselves. They live in the world and take their place where it suits them, usually areas remote from humans. Magic Sihr is something which condemned in the strongest of terms in the Quran and Sunnah.
They followed what the Shayaateen (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaymaan (Solomon). Sulaymaan did not disbelieve, but the Shayaateen (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic[Surah Al-Baqarah - verse 102]
Allah informs us that they (the shayaateen) committed kufr by teaching men magic. Then He says :
...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).'[Surah Al-Baqarah - verse 102]
" And from the evil of those who practise witchcraft when they blow in the knots" [Surah Al-Falaq - verse 4]
Magic was performed on the Prophet of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). A Jew by the name of Labid ibn Asim who outwardly posed to be a believer (Munafiq) carried out black magic on the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). He took the hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and made eleven knots and placed it under a rock in a well called Zarwan.
The effect of this was that it created uncertainty in the mind of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) as to whether he had done or not done certain things (although this had no effect on his religious and prophetic obligations) i.e he forgot - and this can happen normally too. However the Angel Jibra'il informed the Messenger of Allah (saw) as to what had occurred and The Messenger of Allah (saw) sent the Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) to the well to removed the knotted hair. As they recited each verse they undone the knots, thus elimnating the attempt upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace).
There are numerous things which magicians can manage to do through the shayateen (devils). Such as affecting a man's reason or making him sick. However magic too, has a process with rules and regulations. What we know from the Quran is that magic is done via committing Shirk with Allah (swt). Magic Sihr is kufr and one should avoid anyone involved in such matters.
Possession / Masaha
Possession is where a Jinn enters a human to cause mischief. Many people believe that just because they are possessed it must be sihr Magic which actually is not the case. Usually in cases of possession the Jinn is simply a deputy of shaytaan trying to cause mischief
There is clear evidence of Jinn possession from the Sunnah are in a number of authentic tradition, one of which is related by, Ya'la Ibn Murah (ra), who says: "I saw Allah's Messenger (saw) do three things which no one before or after me saw. I went with him on a trip. On the way, we passed by a woman sitting at the roadside with a young boy. She called out, 'O Messenger of Allah, this boy is afflicted with a trial, and from him we have also been afflicted with a trial. I don't know how many times per day he is seized by fits.' He (saw) said: 'Give him to me.' So she lifted him up to the Prophet (saw).
He (saw) then placed the boy between himself and the middle of the saddle, opened the boy's mouth and blew in it three times, saying, 'In the name of Allah, I am the slave of Allah, get out, enemy of Allah!' Then he gave the boy back to her and said: 'Meet us on our return at this same place and inform us how he has fared.' We then went. On our return, we found her in the same place with three sheep. When he said to her, 'How has your son fared?' She replied: 'By the One who sent you with the truth, we have not detected anything (unusual) in his behavior up to this time' [Musnad Ahmad (vol: 4, p. 170), and al-Haakim, who declared it Sahih]
This authentic narration describes how Allah's Messenger (saw) commanded the Jinn possessing the boy, to leave.
Evil Eye / Ayn
Evil Eye / Ayn, is something between humans and does not involve Jinn. evil eye is due to jealousy and envy and causes a person to fall ill. The treatment for evil eye differs from Magic and Possession. The treatment for evil eye is bathing with wudhu water of the one who afflicted you. See the hadith below. The word haasid (envier) is more general in meaning than the word 'ayn' (one who puts the evil eye on another), so seeking refuge with Allah from the one who envies includes seeking refuge with Him from the one who puts the evil eye on another. The exact mechanisim of the evil eye is unknown however is has been mentioned in the Quran.
And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes through hatredness when they hear the Reminder (the Quran) and they say: 'verily, he (Muhammad (saw)) is a madman! [Surah Al-Qalam - verse 51]
Ibn 'Abbaas and others said, commenting on this verse: this means, they put the evil eye on you with their glances. The Prophet (saw) said: "The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye. When you are asked to take a bath (to provide a cure) from the influence of the evil eye, you should take a bath." Narrated by Muslim. Al-Nasaa'i and Ibn Maajah narrated that 'Aamir ibn Rabee'ah passed by Sahl ibn Haneef when he was bathing and he quoted the hadith.
Jibreel used to do Ruqyah for the Prophet (saw) and say: "Bismillaahi arqeeka min kulli shay'in yu'dheeka, min sharri kulli nafsin aw 'aynin haasid Allaahu yashfeek, bismillaahi arqeek (In the name of Allah I perform Ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allah heal you, in the name of Allah I perform Ruqyah for you)."
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet (saw) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and say:
Your forefather (i.e. Abraham) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Ishmael and Isaac by reciting the following: 'O Allah! I seek Refuge with Your Perfect Words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.' Bukhari
Abu Dawood narrated that 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
The person who had put the evil eye on another would be ordered to do wudoo', then the person who had been afflicted would wash himself (with that water). [Sahih Abu Dawood]
If it is known or suspected that a person has been afflicted by the evil eye, then the one who put the evil eye on him should be ordered to wash himself for his brother. Ibn Shihaab Az-Zuhree said: The method of washing as described by our scholars is as follows: the person with the evil eye should be given a vessel of water and told to wash his body with the same water in the following order, without placing the vessel on the floor:
- To rinse one's mouth, then spit the wasted water back into the vessel,
- To wash one's face with the water in the vessel,
- To wash one's right arm with one's left hand and one's left arm with one's right hand,
- To wash one's right elbow with one's left hand and one's left elbow with one's right hand,
- To wash one's right foot with one's right hand and one's left foot with one's right hand,
- To wash one's right knee with one's left hand and one's left knee with one's right hand
- To wash the parts under the sheet.
According to Al-Qaazii ibn Al-'Arab, the parts under the sheet refers to whatever parts of the body are covered by the sheet.
Afterwards, the wasted water in vessel should be poured on the affected person's head and back, in one go. It will, by Allah's leave, cure the affected person almost instantly.
Dear reader, we think its best mentioned that in these day of ignorance if someone was to request another person to do wudu because of evil eye either the person would laugh at them or you may end up in a fist fight as they may feel insulted so we would advise please do try to fulfil the Sunnah but keep in mind in trying to do some good you should not cause more harm! So it maybe better to cure oneself with one of the reciting Ruyahs mentioned above.