top of page

Magic in Islam

Throughout our collective journey as human species, magic has been a component of many different cultures and religious traditions. Different cultures, societies, and religions have seen and treated it differently. Let’s see magic from the lens of Islam.

From the beginning of Islam in the 7th century, magic has been a part of Islamic beliefs and practices. Islam's sacred book, the Holy Quran, cites magic as practiced by the ancient Egyptians who attempted to trick the Prophet Moses with supernatural spells. The Quran forbids the use of magic and declares that it is an act of disbelief and defiance of God’s will.

Despite this, magic has always been a component of Islamic civilizations and a topic of curiosity and mystery. Magic was often equated in Islamic civilizations with spiritual or supernatural powers. It was supposed to have the potential to change the course of events and influence people's attitudes and behavior. It was also used to treat physical and psychological illnesses because it was believed to have therapeutic utility.

The Islamic heritage of knowledge and wisdom, also called the "sciences of the unseen" or the "occult sciences," includes studying and practicing magic. This comprised the study of magic and its related rites and spells, divination, alchemy, and astrology. Muslims were known as "magicians" and held a great deal of respect for their knowledge and proficiency in the forbidden field.

Despite its normalization and widespread use, Magic was a contentious topic in Islamic society. The practice was lambasted by some Islamic scholars and theologians who saw it as a type of superstition and a danger to the rightful practice of Islam. They claimed that magic was incompatible with Islam's strict monotheism because it relied on the invocation of supernatural powers that were beyond human control.

Despite these criticisms, magic was practiced widely throughout Islamic civilizations, and many of the magical ideas and practices created in those times are still prevalent in the Islamic world today. For instance, many Islamic communities still use amulets and talismans to ward off evil spirits or bring good fortune.

The following categories of magic have been practiced in Islamic cultures:

  1. Protective Magic: Protection from harm or evil spirits is achieved through talismans, amulets, or spells in protective magic.

  2. Healing Magic: Using spells, rituals, or herbal medicines to treat mental or physical illnesses is known as healing magic.

  3. Divination Magic: This magic uses astrology, geomancy, or dream interpretation to predict the future or reveal secret information.

  4. Love Magic: Love magic is the practice of using spells, rituals, or amulets to foster romantic relationships, either between two people already in love or between people who haven't yet met.

  5. Curse Magic: This magic uses spells or rituals to hurt people or things, frequently as vengeance or retribution.

  6. Summoning Magic: The use of rituals or spells to conjure spirits, angels, or jinn to learn information or accomplish tasks is called summoning magic.

  7. Alchemy Magic: This kind of magic uses alchemical techniques to change substances, such as turning lead into gold.

  8. Astrological Magic: Using astrological knowledge and forecasts to affect events or people's behavior is known as astrological magic.

These are a few illustrations of Islamic cultures' various kinds of magic. It is important to remember that not all these kinds of magic have received widespread acceptance or use in Islamic societies. There have been differences in how people view and use magic during times and in many places.

Sifli magic is seen as being dark or wicked in nature and is frequently linked to unfavorable outcomes or damaging effects on people or societies. Sifli magic is frequently regarded as black magic in Islamic cultures since it is thought to include using demonic or jinn beings to harm other people.

Sifli magic is often used for bad things like making someone sick, ending a relationship, or creating financial problems. It is strongly condemned in Islamic societies and many other religious and cultural traditions.

Sifli magic practitioners are believed to have entered a Faustian deal with evil forces in exchange for their power. They employ spells, incantations, and other occult techniques to accomplish their objectives. Sifli magic is typically associated with negative connotations and social shame and is widely regarded as haram, or forbidden, in Islam.

It is crucial to remember that the idea of Sifli magic is extremely contentious and has long been the source of discussion and conflict in Islamic societies. Others perceive it as a superstition or a sort of folklore with no basis in reality, while some see it as a real and dangerous form of magic. Sifli magic is widely frowned upon and is not thought to be in keeping with the tenets of the Islamic faith, regardless of one's views.

The following is a list of classic Islamic works on magic:

  1. The classic collection of Middle Eastern folktales "The Book of One Thousand and One Nights" (commonly known as "The Arabian Nights") includes several tales with magical and supernatural aspects.

  2. The medieval Arabic-language grimoire known as "The Picatrix," which includes instructions for astrological magic, talismanic magic, and spirit invocation, is thought to have originated in North Africa.

  3. A treatise on magic called "The Kitab al-Mashobiya," written in medieval Arabic, contains a variety of magical rituals and practices, such as spells for healing, protection, and divination.

  4. It is claimed that the document "The Book of the Secrets of Enoch," which was widely distributed in the Islamic world, contains magical knowledge and teachings from the biblical character Enoch.

  5. "The Kitab al-Tawasin" is a compilation of charms and incantations written in medieval Arabic for various goals, such as money, love, protection, and healing.

  6. "The Kitab al-Asrar" is a treatise on magic and divination written in medieval Arabic that addresses a variety of subjects, such as astrology, geomancy, and dream interpretation.

  7. "The Kitab al-Hikma" is a compilation of magical formulas and incantations used for various reasons, including healing, protection, and summoning spirits. It was written in medieval Arabic.

These are only a few of the numerous historical Islamic writings that discuss magic and the paranormal. Notably, not all of the activities detailed in these writings have been universally accepted or practiced in Islamic cultures, and interpretations and understandings of these texts have changed significantly over time and across geographical boundaries.

These are a few examples of magic in Islamic history:

  1. The Jinn in Islamic Folklore: In Islamic Mythology, Jinn, supernatural entities, are frequently portrayed as having magical powers and being able to communicate with humans. Jinn are key figures in many Islamic folktales, frequently used to explain strange or supernatural occurrences.

  2. The Use of Talismans and Amulets: The Usage of Talismans and Amulets Talismans have been utilized for protection, healing, and good luck throughout Islamic history. These items, which frequently bear Qur'anic passages or other magical symbols, are thought to possess unique abilities that can fend off evil or bring good fortune.

  3. The Practice of Divination: Throughout Islamic history, divination techniques have been employed to predict future events or reveal secret knowledge. Astrology, geomancy, and dream analysis are just a few of the activities widely practiced in Islamic societies and are frequently regarded as acceptable means of gaining access to supernatural knowledge.

  4. The Use of Magic in Warfare: Throughout Islamic history, magic has been employed to one's advantage to defeat one's adversaries. For instance, soldiers might have employed talismans or incantations to damage their adversaries or protect themselves during battle.

  5. The Role of Magic in Folk Medicine: The Function of Magic in Folk Medicine Magic has long played a significant role in folk medicine in many Islamic societies. Folk medicine practitioners, some of whom may have been called "magicians" or "healers," may have invoked spells and incantations or used herbal medicines to treat illnesses.

  6. The Use of Magic in Love and Relationships: The Use of Magic in Love and Relationships Magic has been put to affect love and relationships throughout Islamic history. People might have employed spells, incantations, or amulets, for instance, to foster romantic relationships or to make someone fall in love with someone else.

As a whole, it can be said that the history and use of magic in Islam and the Islamicate world is a complicated and layered issue that, over time, has reflected the various practices, attitudes, and beliefs of various Islamic groups. Islamic philosophers and theologians have rejected some aspects of magic, but others have been accepted and are still prevalent in Islamic communities today.


bottom of page