Sihr in detail

Am I really affected by Sihr?

Dear reader, before we explore this topic in detail, please remember the fundamentals of Tawheed; that Islam came to get rid of superstitious beliefs, not allow them to gain ground via so-called Ruqyah.

Reacting to hearing the Quran

Please bear in mind that a reaction to a Ruqyah / Quranic recitation is not proof that you have been afflicted by Jinn, Sihr (magic), Evil eye etc.

About Raaqis

We advise you that today there are many Raaqis who make money from reciting by giving undue significance, to the abilities of the magician. We would encourage you to read the Ruqyah myths page first, so you can protect yourself from being taken advantage of. We hope our site will provide some context on the current alleged epidemic of Sihr of separation, being fuelled by the Ruqyah business.

Magicians & overstated powers

Many Muslims unfortunately are quick to attribute great power to Magicians of paranormal ability, unfortunately confusing their abilities with the miraculous events that were exclusive to the realm of noble Prophets, such as Sulaiman (as). Not even the Prophet (saws) could control Jinn for service, as mentioned in the Hadith.

Narrated by Abu Huraira: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, 'Last night a big demon (efreet) from the Jinns came to me and wanted to interrupt my prayers (or said something similar) but Allah enabled me to overpower him. I wanted to fasten him to one of the pillars of the mosque so that all of you could see him in the morning but I remembered the statement of my brother Sulaiman (as stated in Quran): My Lord! Forgive me and bestow on me a kingdom such as shall not belong to anybody after me (38.35).' The sub narrator Rauh said, 'He (the demon) was dismissed humiliated.' [Sahih Bukhari - 5701]

But listening to a Ruqyah talk by some Raaqis today and they might have you believe that suddenly the laws of physics and natural science that Allah (swt) set in place, can all go into suspension - and everything becomes about the ability of Jinns and magicians. Simply consider, if these magicians were as immensely powerful as some claim, why do they not simply kill whoever they wish at any given time? Surely it would nullify the need of guns, bombs and nuclear weapons? One could simply hire a few magicians to defeat ones enemies. For example, some African countries claim to have some very accomplished magicians and at times, the government hires them to win the world cup! To curse the opposite team and grant their team success, yet none of those teams have ever won the world cup. We would encourage you to research the James Randi foundation which offers a million dollars to anyone who can demonstrate any kind of paranormal activity and this challenge is still standing since 1968.

Human imagination vs Human logic

Although we would like to think of ourselves as logical, straight-thinking human beings, the existence of human imagination show that this is not always the case. Take for example the phobia of small spiders or mice. Although your logic might tell you these things cannot do you any harm whatsoever, your imagination, can lead you to an irrational and unexplainable fear of them. And some of the human reactions to these things can be quite profound, including screaming, panicking and sweating. So we should acknowledge that humans can have a very illogical way of expressing themselves, when emotion circuits are overloaded - human imagination beats human logic each and every time.

Now consider that most of the times that people seek Ruqyah treatment, are when things are not going well physically or psychologically for them - and sometimes both. So then an already anxious person is taken to a spiritual healer, who may diagnose them as being affected by 'the devil' or something similar, you can appreciate why this persons imagination can go into serious overdrive. And their reactions will naturally be very upsetting, such as crying, anxiety, hysteria and even vomiting. To make matters worse, those reactions themselves are then suggested as 'evidence' by Raaqis, of a Sihr issue. When in reality those reactions are very similar to phobia reactions.

In many cases, we find a person who has reportedly had a 'reaction' to a Ruqyah recitation in their first session. We simply took a break and had a chat with the patient and their family and spent time uncovering some underlying issues with them. We then repeated the Ruqyah recitation process a second time...and unsurprisingly there was no 'reaction' at all. So all of a sudden the alleged black magic or Ayn or Sihr or Jinn, seems to have been removed with a simple family chat?

Ruqyah for Rizq issues?

We often receive calls from people who believe that someone has done Sihr on them to cause their 'Rizq', (their wealth, job or business) to decline. Today 'Ruqyah' is fast becoming the new magic word, for everything illogical and superstitious.

Islamically speaking no one or thing can restrict your 'Rizq' (wealth / provision), it's a false belief. To put this issue into context, the most calls we received for Ruqyah for cases of 'Rizq', was during the 2009 financial crises. Where there was an increase in unemployment in the UK. People were calling and saying they could not find a job, or their business was down - and so they suspected someone had done magic on them. This kind of mentality is unfortunately being encouraged by Raaqis who offer to cure you of your financial woes, whilst taking your money from you

The Ayats below clearly show that Allah (swt) is the Razzaq (Provider) and that Rizq is ascribed to Him alone. He provides to whom He wills, and this authority of provision is reserved for Him alone. Lo! Allah (swt) is that who gives livelihood, the Lord of unbreakable might. [Surah Adh-Dhariyat:58]

So we must try our best to remain objective when it comes to difficult times. And not allow superstition to creep in. Allah (swt) says in the Quran: And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allaah has set a measure for all things [Surah Al-Talaaq 65:2-3]

Al-Hasan al Basri (rh) was also asked a similar question A man once came to Al-Hasan al-Basri and complained to him: 'The sky does not shower us with rain.' He replied: 'Seek Allah's forgiveness (i.e. say Astaghfirullah ).' Then another person came to him and said, 'I complain of poverty.' He replied: 'Seek Allah’s forgiveness.' Then another person came to him and complained, 'My wife is barren; she cannot bear children.' He replied: 'Seek Allah’s forgiveness.' The people who were present, said to Al-Hasan: 'Every time a person came to you complaining, you instructed them to seek Allah’s forgiveness?' Al-Hasan al-Basri said, 'Have you not read the statement of Allah? I said Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance; increase you in wealth and children; grant you gardens and bestow on you rivers.' [Taken from: 'Fath al-Bari' Chapter: the Best Method of Seeking forgiveness] &
[Surah Nuh (71):10-12]

As you can see, Al-Hasan Al Basri did not advise anyone to go to a Raaqi, to have some kind of black magic removed.

'What else could it be?' rationale

We have found many Raaqis claim 'this is Sihr' or 'that is Jinn' etc and the proof being offered by them is 'How else did that happen then?'

Unfortunately, it has become a common factor in Muslim psychology. Whenever something unusual happens, without an easy explanation, we start saying, it must be Jinn or magic and attributing a supernatural cause to the event.

To make things worse, the Raaqis are the ones who quite often promote this type of mentality. But when later the event is shown to be a trick, or a rational explanation is given - they backtrack as if they didn't say anything!

This mentality can even be found amongst some people who might watch magic 'tricks' on television or YouTube and being unable to explain how the are performed, they claim the magician must be using a Jinn. We must be careful of making such statements on behalf of Islam because if they are discredited, then by extension we are discrediting Islam and so this should be seen as a serious matter and not taken lightly. We must remember the burden of proof is upon the one who makes the claim, so if you say it's a Jinn then, you have to prove it's a Jinn. Saying 'how else did that happen then?' is not a proof.



Wahid Abdussalam Bali

Common views regarding Sihr

Br. Wahid Abdussalam Bali is a popular authour of books on the subject of Sihr magic. His work and understandings have shaped today's perceptions of Sihr amongst Muslims today. Although a lot has been suggested by our Br. Abdussalam Bali, we have to be cautious as much of it reflects his own interpretations of texts and does not actually define a method to prove possession or magic upon a person. Certainly all these categories of Sihr did not exist in the books of the early generations of Islam (first, second and third) but lets take a closer look at what is suggested then we can anaylse it.

We have used extractions from his books to examine the issue of Sihr below:

(BLUE text indicates extracted text from Wahid Abdussalam Bali's books.)

  1. Sihr of Separation
  2. Sihr Al-Mahabba / At-Tiwala (Love)
  3. Sihr At-Takhyil (False Appearance of Objects)
  4. Sihr Al-Junun (Lunacy)
  5. Sihr Al-Khumul (Lethargy)
  6. Sihr Al-Hawatif (Bad Dreams & Hearing Voices)
  7. Sihr Al-Maradh (Illness)
  8. Sihr An-Nazif (Bleeding Following Menses)
  9. Sihr of Impeding Marriage

The first thing to mention regarding the above list is that there is no evidence provided by Wahid Abdussalam Bali from Islam, that these 'types' of magic exist. But people have interpreted them as being 'types' of magic that a magician has the power to invoke.

Wahid Abdussalam Bali also has given symptoms for each of these types, which have also led to a lot of confusion on the matter. Take for example 4. Sihr Al-Junun (Lunacy). The given symptoms for Sihr Al-Junun are:

  • Severe absent-mindedness and forgetfulness
  • Confused speech
  • Bulging eyes and deviation of sight
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to do a task regularly
  • Disinterest in one's appearance

As you can see from the above list, many of these symptoms are quite broad and could have an alternate cause. Such as mental illness, depression, anxiety or allergies. And almost everyone has experienced a few of these issues at some point in their life, for a variety of reasons. It did not mean that we were suffering from a Sihr issue. So we should avoid the tendency to look at a list of symptoms and draw a conclusion from them about ourselves or others.


1. Sihr of Separation

Below we will look at how the 'Sihr of Separation' issue, is commonly understood, or rather misunderstood today.

a) The definition of this Sihr is given as: '...a Sihr which aims to separate between two spouses, or stir up hatred between two friends or two partners.'

b) The given symptoms of Sihr of Separation include:
1. A sudden change in attitude from love to hate.
2. Exaggerating the causes of disputes between two people, even though they may be trivial.
3. Changing the mental image that a woman may have of her husband, or changing the mental image that a man may have of his wife; so that the man would see his wife in an ugly way, even though she were beautiful. In reality, it is the demon who is entrusted with the task of performing this type of Sihr is the one who would appear to the husband in her person, but in an ugly way. By the same token, the woman would see her husband in a horrible way.
4. The person affected by Sihr hates anything the other party does.
5. The person affected by Sihr hates the place in which the other party stays. For instance, a husband may be in good mood when he is outdoors, but when he returns home, he feels quiet depressed.

c) The Hadith provided with regards to this Sihr are:

Jabir (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) said: Iblis would lay his throne on water and would send his brigade of demons. The lowest among them in rank is the one who is most notorious in stirring up fitna. One of the demons would, after a mission, come and say to Iblis, 'I have done so and so.' Iblis would reply, 'You have not done anything.' Another one would come and say: 'I have not left such and such person until I separated him from his wife.' Iblis would come closer to his demon and say, 'How good you are.'[Muslim in An-Nawawi : 17/157]

d) Many Raaqis today also quote the following Ayat to support their views on Sihr: Allah (swt) says: (...and they follow what the Shayateens recited over Sulaiman's Kingdom. Sulaiman disbelieved not but the Shayateens disbelieved, teaching the people sorcery, and that which was sent down upon Babylon's two angels, Harut and Marut; they taught not any man, without they said, 'We are but a temptation; do not disbelieve.' From them they learned how they might divide a man and his wife, yet they did not hurt any man thereby, save by the leave of Allah (swt), and they learnt what hurt them and did not profit them, knowing well that whosoever buys it shall have no share in the world to come; evil then was that they sold themselves for; if they had but known.) [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:102]

Comments:

The Raaqis have popularised this Ayat in today's society yet we do not find a single example of this so called Sihr of separation in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generations of Islam, nor do we find any companions or the following generations reporting divorce due to Sihr of separation, even though during the reign of Umar (ra) he did execute people for witchcraft.

It is also clear from reading the verse that Allah (swt) is emphasising that they did NOT manage to harm anyone! A more literal translation of wama hum bidarreenabihi min ahadin would be: they did NOT MANAGE TO HARM A SINGLE PERSON. Yet after listening to some Ruqyah talks, you end up understanding that they caused separation left right and centre - and all that was with Allah's permission. When the verse is actually emphasising the opposite that in fact they did NOT manage to harm anyone.


2. Sihr Al-Mahabba / At-Tiwala (Love)

The Prophet (saw) said: " Ar-ruqa, at-tama'im and at-tiwala are acts of polytheism. " - (Imam Ahmad) (1/381)

According to Ibn Al-Athir, At-Tiwala is a type of Sihr which makes a man love his wife. The reason why this type of Sihr is classed by the Prophet (saw) as an act of polytheism is because those who have it done for them believe that it has an effect and does the opposite of what Allah (swt) has prescribed. - (An-Nihaya: 1/200)

Comments:

Unfortunately this is what can happen when we blindly follow interpretations. In one instance the magic is claimed to separate a husband and wife - and then all of a sudden it is claimed to do the exact opposite and make a husband and wife love each other!


3. Sihr At-Takhyil (False Appearance of Objects)

Allah (swt) says: They said, "Moses, will you throw something down or shall we be the ones to throw." He said, "You throw!" So when, they charmed people's eyes and overawed them. They produced a splendid Sihr. And We revealed to Moses: 'Cast thy staff.' And lo, it forthwith swallowed up their lying invention. So the truth came to pass, and false was proved what they were doing. So they were vanquished there, and they turned about, humbled. And the sorcerers were cast down, bowing themselves. They said, 'We believe in the Lord of al-'Alamin (Jinn and mankind), the Lord of Moses and Harun. (7:117-122) They said, 'Moses, either you will cast (something) or shall we be the first to cast (a spell)?'. It seemed to him under the effect of their Sihr that their ropes and stuff were sliding. (17:65-66)

Symptoms

1. A fixed object would appear to be mobile, while a mobile object would appear to be fixed for the viewer.
2. A small object would appear large, while a large object would appear small for the viewer.
3. The false appearance of objects: Under the effect of the magic of Pharaoh's sorcerers, ropes and rods appeared to viewers as real snakes.

Comments:

Many people assume that magic is done with the use of Jinn. However none of the Ayats in the Quran actually mention that Jinn were used. What is agreed by the scholars is that the magic was of an illusory nature. And we know illusions can be created without the use of Jinn.


4. Sihr Al-Junun (Lunacy)

Kharija Ibn Salat reported that his paternal uncle went to the Prophet (saw) and declared his conversion to Islam. On his way back, his uncle passed by a people who had fettered a lunatic in chains. They said: "We were told that your companion (the Prophet (saw)) has brought good with him. Do you have anything with which to cure our lunatic?" I recited al-Fatiha and he was cured. They gave me one hundred sheep and then approached the Prophet (saw) to inform him of it. He asked: "Did you say anything other than this?" I replied: "No." He said: "Take it, for by my life, some would accept in return for a false Ruqyah, but you have done this with a genuine one." According to another narration, "the man cured him by reciting al-Fatiha for three days, day and night; whenever he finished reciting it, he would gather his saliva and spit."

Symptoms

1. Severe absent-mindedness and forgetfulness
2. Confused speech
3. Bulging eyes and deviation of sight
4. Restlessness
5. Inability to do a task regularly
6. Disinterest in one's appearance
7. ln severe cases, one can tell from a lunatic's face that he does not know where he is going and he would probably sleep in derelict places

Comments:

Please note, although the author Abdussalam Bali has put this under the category of Sihr magic, you can see from the narration itself there is no evidence to suggest it was actually due to any form of spiritual illness. The person suffered from insanity which could have been due to normal mental illness.


5: Sihr Al-Khumul (Lethargy)

How this happens

A sahir would send a Jinn to the targeted person, instructing him to settle in his brain and make him introverted and lonely. The Jinn would do his best to carry out the mission, and the symptoms of this Sihr would appear, according to the strength and weakness of the Jinn entrusted with the task.

Symptoms

1. Love of seclusion
2. Absolute introversion
3. Constant silence
4. Anti-sociability
5. Absent-mindedness
6. Frequent headaches
7. Quietness and constant lethargy

Comments:

Once again there is no evidence provided by Br Abdussalam Bali from Islam, for this kind or magic. However it is assumed a Magician has such abilities.


6: Sihr Al-Hawatif (Bad Dreams & Hearing Voices)

Symptoms

1. The patient experiences nightmares
2. The patient sees in a dream as if someone were calling him
3. The patient hears voices talking to him when awake, but cannot see where these voices are coming from
4. The patient hears much whispering (Al-Waswas)
5. The patient is very suspicious of his/her friends and relatives
6. The patient dreams of seeing himself/herself falling from a high place
7. The patient dreams of seeing himself/herself being chased by animals

Comments:

Once again there is no evidence provided by Br Abdussalam Bali from Islam, for this kind or magic. However it is assumed a Magician has such abilities.


7: Sihr Al-Maradh (Illness)

Symptoms

1. Constant pain in one part of the body
2. Epilepsy
3. Paralysis of one area of the patient's body
4. Total paralysis of the body
5. Disability in one of the sense organs

Comments:

Once again there is no evidence provided by Br Abdussalam Bali from Islam, for this kind or magic. However it is assumed a Magician has such abilities.


8: Sihr An-Nazif (Bleeding Following Menses)

Please note Br Abdussalam Bali has categorised this as Sihr however it can occur normally as is reported from the authentic haidth below.

How it is achieved

This type of Sihr affects women only. A sahir sends a Jinn to the targeted woman and instructs him to cause her to bleed. To do so, the Jinn enters the woman's body and circulates in her veins and arteries with the blood. This notion of circulation has long been warned about by the Prophet (saw) in the following tradition: "Shaytaan circulates in man's body like blood." - (Al-Bukharee: Fath Al-Bari: 4/282)

When the Jinn reaches a known vein in the woman's womb, he stomps it so that the vein bleeds. This fact was also pointed out by the Prophet (saw) when Hamna bint Jahsh asked his opinion on the issue of bleeding outside the period of menses, and he said: "Such bleeding is but one of Shaytaan's stomping." - (At-Tirmidhi)

According to another tradition, the bleeding "is the result of Shaytaan's stomping on a vein rather than from a normal menses." - (Imam Ahmad and An-Nasai)

Therefore, according to both traditions, a menstruation that occurs outside its normal period is one of the Shaytaan's stomps on one of the womb's veins.

According to scholars of Fiqh (jurisprudence), an-nazif refers to al-istihadha (continuous menstruation), and according to doctors, it refers to bleeding.

According to Ibn Al-Athir, al-istihadha means bleeding following a normal menses. This bleeding may last for months, and the amount of blood could be little or large.

Comments:

Once again there is no evidence provided by Br Abdussalam Bali from Islam, for this kind or magic. However it is assumed a Magician has such abilities.


9: Sihr of Impeding Marriage

The Jinn has two options

1. If he can enter the girl, then he would cause her to feel uncomfortable with any prospective husband and; thus, turn him down.
2. If he cannot enter the girl, then he would use the Sihr of imagination, from outside. As a result, a suitor would see the girl in an ugly image under the effect of the Jinn's whispering, and so would the girl.

Under the effect of this Sihr and under the Jinn is whispering, a suitor, who would have initially agreed to the marriage, would decline after a few days, without any valid reason.

In cases of a strong Sihr, a suitor would, upon entering the house of his prospective wife, feel very uncomfortable and see darkness before him as if he were in prison, and so would never return. During the period of this Sihr, the Jinn may cause the girl to experience occasional headaches.

Symptoms

1. Occasional headaches, which persist despite medication
2. Severe tightness in the chest, especially between al-'asr and midnight
3. The patient sees the suitor in an ugly image
4. Absent-mindedness
5. Anxiety during sleep
6. Occasional constant stomach-aches
7. Pain in the lower part of the back

Comments:

Option 2 above, is probably the most common type of "Sihr" promoted to people who are struggling to get married. Yet there is no real basis for this type of belief.

We have had many patients come to us saying they cannot get married or get a job etc, because they suspect, or were told by a 'Raaqi', that someone has done something to them. We have a simple challenge to test this claim, we are happy to risk our life and health etc and we can arrange to meet the prospective person in the masjid and marry the person unconditionally and we will see if any Jinn can stop us from completing the marriage. So far we have not lost this challenge on a single occasion.

To clarify the example, we had an alleged 'serious' case of Sihr where a brother said he could not get married as he was being turned down by everyone. Our challenge was simple, if we paid a woman to marry you could the Jinn stop the marriage? His answer was: 'but you have paid her!'. So the question is, is the money now deemed stronger than the Sihr? It's very important that Muslims do not just believe any statement by the Raaqis, as we have warned before. Ruqyah is as much a lucrative business as Sihr. If the Raaqis stopped talking about the alleged power of the Magicians and Sihr, perhaps it may not be as profitable for them. It's in their interest to continue promoting Magical abilities, that not even the Magician's are aware of !


Final notes

Dear reader, we are seriously requesting you to question the 'everything is Sihr' attitude that is being promoted nowadays. Again, remember that Islam came to get rid of superstitious beliefs, not allow them to gain ground via so called Ruqyah.

We recommend you visit the Ruqyah Myths page to learn more about the common misconceptions that are being promoted today.

If you have a confirmed Ruqyah issue and wish help, then you may find the Ruqyah resources page useful.

You can also contact us for further support.

May Allah (swt) grant everyone Shifaa.

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