The Muslim Scholars Regarding the “Bewitchment” of the Prophet Muhammad

The Muslim scholars hold three views with regard to this incident:

The first view: The sorcery whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) was exposed to is merely a usual disease and a transient illness, this is possible in regard to the Prophets as is to any human being. It does not disprove prophethood or disturb the message or revelation. God the Exalted protected His Prophet from whatever interferes with the mission of conveying the message and from being killed, not from transient physical diseases.

This is the view of Al-Maziri1, Ibn Al-Qayyim, Al-?Aini2, As-Sindi3 and Ibn Bazz45.

Al-Qadi Iyyad explained it saying:

In regard to what was reported that he used to think that he did a thing while he did not, it does not interfere with his delivery of the Message or the Law nor does it undermine his truthfulness due to the evident proof and consensus of his protection from this. This was merely a worldly matter that has nothing to do with his Mission or rank, and he is exposed to it as any other human being. So, it is not impossible for him to imagine unreal things, then find out what they really are. It is not reported regarding this event anything other than what he said about doing something that he really did not. It was merely imagination.6

Ibn-ul-Qayyim said:

Sorcery that affected the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a transient disease that Allah cured him from. There is nothing defective about it for all Prophets are exposed to illness as well as fainting; he (peace be upon him) fainted during his illness7, fell down when his leg loosened and was bruised8. This is affliction by which Prophets increase in rank and degree. Most afflicted people are the Prophets; they were afflicted with killing, hurt, abuse and imprisonment, so it is not new for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to be afflicted with some sorcery from his enemies as he was bruised when someone stoned him and as animal bowels were thrown on him during his prostration9 and other incidents. There is nothing undermining or disgraceful about it, on the contrary, it indicates their perfection and high rank before God.10

The second view: Sorcery merely affected his externals and organs, not his heart, mind or intellect. The meaning of the verse is protection of heart and belief, not protection of the body from worldly accidents.

This is the preference of Al-Qadi Iyyad11 and Ibn Hajar al-Haythami12.

The third view: what was reported – that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was charmed – is unacceptable forgery, it is rather fabricated by disbelievers.

This is the position of Mu’tazalites13.

It is the preference of al-Jassas, the Sunni scholar, he said:

They alleged that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was charmed and sorcery worked upon him — such reports are fabricated by atheists to mock inferior people and to lead them to reject miracles of the Prophets and criticize them, and that there is no difference between miracles of Prophets and works of sorcerers and that they are the same. It is indeed strange that some combine belief in Prophets (peace be upon them) and their miracles and belief in works of sorcerers despite His saying, “And the magician thrives not (no matter) where he goes” (Holy Qur’an 20:69). So they believe the one whom God has belied and told about his forgery and incoherence of his claims.

It is possible that the Jewish woman did this – out of ignorance – thinking that it works upon bodies and targeted the Prophet (peace be upon him). So God informed His Prophet about her secret and exposed her ignorance about what she believed and imagined in order for this to be one of proofs of his prophethood, not that it has hurt and confused him. Not all reporters said that he was confused; it was merely a baseless addition.14

Their evidence is that saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was charmed, necessitates the following:

    1. Degradation and criticism of miracles of Prophets (peace be upon them).
    2. Confusion of miracles of Prophets (peace be upon them) with works of sorcerers.
    3. Affirmation of the disbelievers’ claim : “Ye follow none other than a man bewitched” (Holy Qur’an 25:8). People of Saleh said to him “Thou art only one of those bewitched” (Holy Qur’an 26:153) and people of Shu’aib said the same to him.
    4. Prophets are not susceptible to sorcery because it contradicts God?s protection and immunity of them.15

They responded to the hadith of “Aisha” in which it is mentioned that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was charmed — that it is solely reported by Hisham ibn ‘Urwah16 on authority of his father from ‘Aisha, and that he was confused about it.17

Our Objections:

1. His Saying : “Ye follow none other than a man bewitched” (Holy Qur’an 25:8) and “Thou art only one of those bewitched” (Holy Qur’an 26:153) is a reference to the one who is bewitched till he gets lunatic and loses his mind. The charmed one who is not to be followed is the one who has gone so crazy that he cannot realize what he says; that is why they accused him and said “Tutored (by others), a man possessed” (Holy Qur’an 44:14). As for the one who is bodily affected with some sort of a disease, following him is not prevented. Enemies of Prophets did not accuse them of bodily illness, rather of what prevents their followers from following them: that they were so bewitched that they could not realize what they say, just like lunatics. This is why God, the Exalted, says “See what similes they strike for thee : but they have gone astray, and never can they find a way” (Holy Qur’an 17:48).

2. As for their saying that bewitchment of the Prophets contradicts their divine protection, we say that as God protects, saves and keeps them, He also tests them with whatever he likes of disbelievers? harm, for them to deserve the highest ranks of nobility and patience, and to be as examples to their followers and nations who are afflicted by people. So, when they see what happened to Prophets, they become patient and accepting, and follow the example of their Prophets.18

3. As for their saying that the hadith was solely reported by Hesham Ibn ?Urwah, the answer is that their claim is rejected for Hesham is one of the most trustworthy and knowledgeable reporters, no Imam has ever criticized him to the degree that justifies rejection of his report. Compilers of both Sahihs agreed on authenticity of this hadith and none of Hadith scholars has ever uttered a word against it. The incident is well known to scholars of Tafsir, Sunan and Hadith and to Jurists, these people are most oriented with conditions of God?s Messenger (peace be upon him) than others.

Moreover, the hadith was not solely reported by Hesham; it was also related by Al-A?mash from Yazid Ibn Hayyan from Zaid ibn Arqam who said:

“A Jewish man charmed the Prophet (peace be upon him), he complained for some days. Gabriel (peace be upon him) came and said: a Jewish man has charmed you; he made for you a knob in such-and-such well. God?s Messenger (peace be upon him) some people to get it. Once they brought it to him, he got up actively. He (peace be upon him) never mentioned this to the Jewish man, nor expressed it”.1920

Footnotes

  1. Al-Mu?lem be Fawa’id Muslim, vol. 3, p. 93 []
  2. ?Umdat-ul-Qari, vol. 15, p. 98 []
  3. As-Sindi?s footnotes on Sunan At-Tirmithi vol. 7, p. 113 []
  4. Majmu’ Fatawa Ibn Baz []
  5. Cf. Fath-ul-Bari, vol. 10, p. 237 and Nail-ul-Awtar, vol. 17, p. 211 []
  6. Ash-Shifa bi Ta?rif Huqouq Al-Mustafa, vol. 2, p. 113 []
  7. Related by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih, book of ?Azan?, hadith no. 687 and by Muslim in his Sahih, book of “Salat”, hadith no. 418 []
  8. It is related by Anas ibn Malik that he said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) fell down from a horse, so his right side was bruised”. Related by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih, book of ?Salat?, hadith no. 378. and Muslim in his Sahih, book of ?Salat?, hadith no. 411 []
  9. Related by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih, book of ?Wudu?, hadith n., 240. and Muslim in his Sahih, book of ?Jihad and Sayr?, hadith no. 1794 []
  10. Bada’il-ul-Fawa’id, vol. 2, p. 192; cf. Zad-ul-Ma’ad, vol. 4. p. 124 []
  11. As-Shifa, vol. 2, p. 113 []
  12. Az-Zawajir, vol. 2, pp. 163-164 []
  13. Cf. Mafatih-ul-Ghaib, vol. 23, p. 172; ?Umdat-ul-Qari, vol. 21, p. 280 []
  14. Al-Jassas, Ahkam-ul-Qur?an, vol. 1, pp. 58-59 []
  15. Cf. Al-Jassas, Ahkam-ul-Qur?an, vol. 1, p. 59; Mafatih-ul-Ghaib, 32, p. 172;Bada?i?-ul-Fawa?id, vol. 2, p. 191 []
  16. He is Hisham ibn ‘Urwah ibn Az-Zubair Ibn Al-‘Awwam ibn Khuwalid ibn Asad ibn ?Abdul-?Uzza ibn Qusay ibn Kilab, the trustworthy Imam, Sheikh-ul-Islam, Abul-Munzir al-Quraisi al-Asadi Az-Zubairi al-Madani, Ibn Sa?ad said: “he was trustworthy, reliable, rich in Hadith and and authority”. Abu Hatem Ar-Razi said: “trustworthy Imam in Hadith”.Yahya Ibn Ma?een and others said: “trustworthy”. Died 146 A.H. cf. Syar A’lam-un-Nubala’, vol. 6, p. 34. []
  17. Cf. Bada’i-ul-Fawa’id, vol. 2, p. 191. []
  18. Cf. Bada’i-ul-Fawa’id, vol. 2, pp. 192-193; Mafatih-ul-Ghaib, vol. 32, p. 172. []
  19. Related by Ibn Abi Shaiba in his Musannaf, vol. 5, p. 40. and Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, vol. 4, p. 367. and An-Nisa’i in his Sunan, book of “Tahrim-ul-Damm”, hadith n., 4080. all on authority of Al-A’mash and authenticated by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan An-Nisa’i, vol. 3, p. 98, hadith n., 4091. []
  20. Cf. Bada?i?-ul-Fawa?id, vol. 2, p. 191. []

5 Comments

  1. (Source: Ibn Ishaq’s Biography of the Prophet quoted in Faisal Siddiqui, The Bible’s Last Prophet, pp. 104-105)

  2. as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatu allahi wa barakatu

    brother huss gunda, although i agree that the atonement by blood is a pagan and satanic doctrine (according to the encyclopedia britannica, the pagan mesopotamian gods consume the sacrifices through olfaction. kind like YHWH when he smelled the scent of the sacrifices prophet noah made. pagan gods need blood, because in reality they are shayatin posing as gods. Iblis’ favorite cult is “the passion of baal”, the demonic god who took human form, died, harrowed hell, and was ressurected on the third day. Christians will most certainly say that part of these beliefs is a belief the Muslims accept, that of the virgin birth. But the virgin birth is not paganistic. it is the doctrine of God siring a son,and not a virgin bearing a son, which is paganistic. dionysus was not virgin-born; he was the son of a god and a mortal woman), please try to tame your tongue. please do not judge who will go to hell. you are correct, if they persist in their belief, it is to their own harm. but we are not saved because of anything we do. we will be saved if Allah’s infinite Rahma, the Rahma of the God who does not need the blood of Abraham’s son to forgive the greatest sin, the God who does not need the massacre of innocent Amalekite infants and sucklings, dawns upon us. what im trying to tell you is to follow Imam al-Ghazzali’s example of tolerance and open-mindedness. please dont condemn all of them, as some may become sincere muslims, insha’llah, maybe better muslims than you and me.

  3. sham shomouns god had a plan from the beggining.this plan was about allowing judas to betray him so that he can joyfully like a sadist commit suicide by allowing people to crucify him.the truth was that it wasn’t god but satan who died for christians on the cross.if satan’s plan is a success then millions of pagans like shamoun will join him in hell.

  4. In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful
    Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatuhu

    Bewitchment of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
    ————————————————

    Magic effected prophet peace be upon him ,only as a husband,that too only on part of sexual relations.

    Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 7.660 Narrated byAisha
    Magic was worked on Allah’s Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not (Sufyan said: That
    is the hardest kind of magic as it has such an effect). Then one day he said, “O ‘Aisha do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the
    matter I asked Him about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other sat near my feet. The one near my head asked the other,
    ‘What is wrong with this man?’ The latter replied ‘He is under the effect of magic.’ The first one asked, ‘Who has worked magic on him?’ The other
    replied, ‘Labid bin Al-A’sam, a man from Bani Zuraiq who was an ally of the Jews and was a hypocrite.’ The first one asked, ‘What material did he use?’
    The other replied, ‘A comb and the hair stuck to it.’ The first one asked, ‘Where (is that)?’ The other replied, ‘In a skin of pollen of a male date
    palm tree kept under a stone in the well of Dharwan.’ ” So the Prophet went to that well and took out those things and said, “That was the well which
    was shown to me (in a dream). Its water looked like the infusion of Henna leaves and its date-palm trees looked like the heads of devils.” The Prophet
    added, “Then that thing was taken out.” I said (to the Prophet), “Why do you not treat yourself with Nashra?” He said, “Allah has cured me; I dislike to
    let evil spread among my people.”

    He was informed in dream about magic.
    ————————————————–
    Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 4.490 Narrated byAisha
    Magic was worked on the Prophet so that he began to fancy that he was doing a thing which he was not actually doing. One day he invoked (Allah) for a long period and then said, “I feel that Allah has inspired me as how to cure myself. Two persons came to me (in my dream) and sat, one by my head and the other by my feet. One of them asked the other, ‘What is the ailment of this man?’ The other replied, ‘He has been bewitched.’ The first asked, ‘Who has bewitched him?’ The other replied, ‘Lubaid bin Al-A’sam.’ The first one asked, ‘What material has he used?’ The other replied, ‘A comb, the hair gathered on it, and the outer skin of the pollen of the male date-palm.’ The first asked, ‘Where is that?’ The other replied, ‘It is in the well of Dharwan.’ ” So, the Prophet went out towards the well and then returned and said to me on his return, “Its date-palms (the date-palms near the well) are like the heads of the devils.” I asked, “Did you take out those things with which the magic was worked?” He said, “No, for I have been cured by Allah and I am afraid that this action may spread evil amongst the people.” Later on the well was filled up with earth.

    Allah subhanawatala protected Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him from magic in his duty as prophet i.e conveying divine message & also on practising it.
    ———————————————
    52:29 Therefore proclaim thou the praises (of thy Lord): For by the Grace of thy Lord thou art no (vulgar) soothsayer nor art thou one possessed.
    68:2 Thou art not by the grace of thy Lord mad or possessed.
    81:22 And (O people!) your companion is not one possessed;
    34:46 Say: “I do admonish you on one point: that ye do stand up before Allah–(it may be) in pairs or (it may be) singly and reflect (within yourselves): your Companion is not possessed: he is no less than a Warner to you in face of a terrible Penalty.”
    23:70 Or do they say “He is possessed”? Nay he has brought them the Truth but most of them hate the Truth.

    There are various types of magic.
    ———————————
    [a]To sow discord between man and wife.
    2:102 They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon; the blasphemers were not Solomon but the evil ones teaching men magic and such things as came down 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 blaspheme.” They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s permission. And they learned what harmed them not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls if they but knew!
    [b]Magic which was done on ropes & rods.
    20:66 He said “Nay throw ye first!” Then behold their ropes and their rods so it seemed to him on account of their magic began to be in lively motion!

    *Note:Hence there are different types of magic ,the magic which affected Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was only on the basis of his duty as a husband.

    The surah as prevention & cure from magic
    ——————————————
    113:1 Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn
    2 From the mischief of created things;
    3 From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads;
    4 From the mischief of those who practice Secret Arts;
    5 And from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy.

    Allah knows best.

  5. Good site brother. Good site.
    May Allah reward you with a thousand houris, no man or Jinn has touched before.

    Ameen.

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