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Question(43):

It was reported from the Prophet () that he was bewitched. So we would like you to talk about the means by which he () was bewitched. Furthermore, is it contradictory to the status of Prophethood that bewitchment of the Prophet () took place?

Answer:

It has been confirmed in the Saheehayn (al- Bukhaaree and Muslim collections of Ahaadeeth) and in other traditions that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) was enchanted. His bewitchment, however, did not affect him from the aspect of Legislation or Revelation.  The utmost thing in this respect is that he () reached a stage whereby he began to fancy that he was doing a thing which he was not actually doing. The magic material intended for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) was the cast of a Jew known by the name Labeed ibn al-A’sam. Allaah, The One free of all imperfection and The Most High, protected the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) from it, until he was informed of what occurred to him by way of inspiration. He used to seek refuge in Allaah against evil by the recitation of al-Mu’awwithatayn, soorat al- Falaq and soorat An-Naas.

And this kind of magic does not influence the state of Prophethood, since it did not affect the behavior of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) regarding the Revelation and acts of worship, as we have mentioned earlier. Some people have denied that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) was bewitched under the pretext that such saying necessisitates believing the unbelievers, and even the wrongdoers who said:  

You follow none but a witched man. [Qur’aan, soorat al-Israa’ (17): 47].

There is no doubt, however, that such saying does not obligate approving those unbelievers and wrongdoers in what they have attributed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Since they claim that the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is bewitched in what he utters from Revelation, and what he has brought is mere hallucination, like the  hallucination of the bewitched. However, the bewitching that occurred to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not affect him in anything of the Revelation whatsoever, or in anything of the acts of worship. And it is forbidden that we deny his enchantment based upon our misunderstanding of the texts.