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Question(40):

What is the legal judgment regarding magic and its learning?

Answer:

Learning magic is forbidden. Rather it is Kufr (unbelief) if it is attained by means of seeking help from the devils. Allaah, The Most Blessed, The Most High, Says:

And they followed what the Shayaateen (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaymaan (Solomon). Sulayman did not disbelieve, but the Shayaateen disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Haaroot and Maaroot, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone such things till they had said: “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).” And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allaah’s Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. [Qur’aan, soorat al-Baqarah (2): 102].

So, learning this kind of magic, and which is accomplished by way of seeking help from the devils, is disbelief (Kufr). Its practice is also Kufr and transgression against creation. And for this reason, the magician is to be killed either due to Riddah (apostasy), or as a legal punishment. If his magic is such that he would become an unbeliever by way of it, then he should be killed for his apostasy and unbelief. If, however, his
magic does not reach the level of unbelief, then he should be killed by virtue of legal punishment in order to repel his evil and harm from the Muslims.