What is the Difference Between Miracles and Magic?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


It is known that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) performed miracles, such as splitting the moon, having water spring from his hands, healing people, etc. However, magicians and non-Muslims, mainly Christians, are also able to perform some feats, such as healing people or reading people’s minds. Magicians also make things appear when they are not, such as removing a bird’s wings and putting them back or making someone’s head fall, when all of it was because the magician made it appear as such to the audience.

My question is, how can we prove that the miracles of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace are not magic or, in other words, the difference between miracles and magic?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

The difference between a miracle and magic is that a miracle is when Allah intervenes to change the normal course of events through the hands of a Prophet. On the other hand, magic is simply a trick that deceives people into thinking that something is happening when, in reality, it is not.

Miracle (Mu’jiza)

Whatever exists is a wave in continuous motion from Allah Most High. All of these and other laws make human life possible. However, Allah Most High has determined them, so He is not bound by them. Therefore, He may sometimes change the normal flow of events to allow a Prophet to perform what we call a prophetic miracle (mujiza), which is an extraordinary event that Allah Most High brings about at the hands of a Prophet to prove his Prophethood, strengthen the believer’s faith, and break the unbelievers’ stubbornness’. Read this link for a detailed understanding of the difference between a miracle and magic.


Magic, witchcraft, and charlatanry (sha`badha) are sleight of hand, suggesting that something is taking place in reality when, in fact, it is not, as in the case of the snakes of the magicians.

Supernatural Events Are of a Few Types

We cannot ask or expect miracles of the magnitude of the Prophets (peace be upon them all). However, an honorary miracle (karama) can occur by the righteous, or a helping miracle (ma’una) can appear through an ordinary Muslim, and this is what is meant when scholars say we can ask for miracles. Those who say we are not allowed refer to the former as a supernatural occurrence befitting the prophets. Listed below are various types of supernatural occurrences:

A Prophetic Miracle (mujiza) is the change of the normal flow of events to allow a Prophet to perform what we call an extraordinary event that Allah Most High brings to prove his Prophethood, strengthen the believer’s faith, and break the unbelievers’ stubbornness.

Honoring Miracle (karama) is a saintly miracle that occurs and is performed by the righteous (Awliya).

Helping Miracle [ma’una] is a miracle that appears upon an ordinary Muslim.

Exposing Miracles [‘Ihana]are those types that break conventional norms and appear to others as a divine sign of grace and support to its opposite, as a mark of humiliation. These supernatural events reveal humiliation.

Misleading Miracle [‘istidraj] is the continuation of favors, health, etc., given to the corrupt and oppressors using respite given to them by Allah, but in fact, they are nearer to their punishment by degrees.

[Sawi, Hashiya al-Sawi’ Ala Jawhara al-Tahwhid]

I would like you to go through the valuable answers and links below. You will receive guidance and direction in sha Allah.


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I pray this helps answer your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.