Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
A brother went to a magician on my behalf to cast a love spell for me to marry a girl. What is the ruling on black magic (sihr) when someone has that done on your behalf, but without you asking for it? Are we both guilty, and is this shirk (polytheism)?
I sent him some money for charity and to seek the prayers of the pious. He later told me to leave the matter to him.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah protect us from all forms of evil and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him.
Black magic, witchcraft, and sorcery are major sins (kaba’ir). Anyone who indulges in these or related practices should immediately repent (make tawba) to Allah.
Ruling on Sorcery
Sorcery is a major sin (kabira) because the sorcerer must necessarily do an act of disbelief. The accursed Devil has no other motive for teaching a person witchcraft than that he might thereby ascribe associates to Allah (shirk).
Allah (The Most High and The Majestic) says: “A sorcerer will never prosper wherever he goes” [Qur’an 20:69] “… But the devils disbelieved, teaching people sorcery.” [Qur’an 2:102]
And Allah Most High says, concerning Harut and Marut: “The two do not teach anyone before telling them, ‘We are only a temptation (fitna), so be not unbelievers,’ but they learn from these two that which they use to separate a man from his wife.” [Qur’an 2:102]
[Dhahabi, Kitab Al-Kaba’ir]
Resorting to Sorcery to Attain Positive Objectives
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Avoid the seven sins which doom a person to Hell.” They asked, “What are they?” He said, “Associating anything with Allah; witchcraft; killing a soul whom Allah has forbidden us to kill unlawfully; consuming riba (usury, interest); consuming the orphan’s wealth; fleeing the battlefield, and slandering chaste but innocent believing women.” [Agreed Upon]
And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “He is not one of us who practices witchcraft or has it done for him.” [Bazzar, Al-Bahr Al-Zakhar]
One should never resort to using witchcraft for any purpose whatsoever. Witchcraft or magic is an unlawful major sin (kabira) and a form of disbelief. Evil is never a legitimate means of achieving something positive. One should pursue beneficial matters with the prescribed lawful means which involve no sin, and Allah knows best.
Responsibility for Sinning
Allah does not hold us accountable for that which we have no control over. If you had no role in or knowledge about what your brother did, you are not responsible for the sin. Allah says: “Say, “Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.” [Qur’an 6:164]
Based on the fact that you now know about it, you now have the responsibility to instruct your brother to turn to Allah in repentance (tawba) and assist him to undo what he did with lawful means. If the girl in question was affected in any way, then you should assist in rectifying this with lawful means, and Allah knows best.
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. He served as the resident Imam of Masjid al-Munowar in Retreat, Cape Town, for several years.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.