Magic on the Prophet

 

Sami Zaatari

 

 

 

One hadith that is often used against the prophet Muhammad is that of the one found in Sahih Bukhari, volume 4, book 54, and number 490. The hadith reads as follows:

 

Narrated 'Aisha:

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.

 

Many have tried to use this hadith in a negative manner against the blessed prophet Muhammad.

Some Muslims have also struggled with this hadith, but it must be said that most Muslims who have struggled with this hadith is a result of missionaries holding it against them in a negative fashion.

So the aim of this article is to show that the missionaries have no case, and that the Muslims should feel no harm from this hadith, and that this hadith PROVES Muhammad is a true and blessed prophet.

So with that said let us now examine this hadith.

Now the only reason as to why missionaries bring this hadith up is because of the opening statement of the hadith, which reads:

Magic was worked on the Prophet so that he began to fancy that he was doing a thing which he was not actually doing.

This is the only reason as to why they cite this hadith. So as you can see the magic that was performed on the prophet made him believe he was doing things which he actually wasn't. Now in another hadith we get the specific details of what exactly the prophet thought he was doing, and we read:

Narrated 'Aisha:

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)... (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660)

So the prophet used to think that he was having sex with his wives when he wasn't. The magic did NOT affect the revelations being sent to the prophet from the angel Gabriel.

Secondly, the prophet himself was conscious of the fact that something was wrong, as we read the hadith we see:

One day he invoked (Allah) for a long period and then said, "I feel that Allah has inspired me as how to cure myself

So as you can see the prophet invoked and prayed to God for help and a cure, hence the prophet was aware that there was something wrong, hence he was conscious of the problem.

Now the next parts of the hadith prove that Muhammad is indeed a true prophet, because remember he asks Allah for help and a cure, and Allah hears the prophet's prayer and helps him. We read:

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."

So notice two persons come to the prophet in a dream, two angels. As you can see the angels tell the prophet where the materials for the bewitchment are, and the prophet eventually goes to this location and sees it for himself.

Now one would think that the prophet Muhammad would go and destroy the material to be freed from the bewitchment, yet he does not! We read the most interesting part of the hadith which says:

"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.

So notice the prophet Muhammad did not need to destroy the material, because God himself had cured the prophet!

So let us summarize what we have so far:

-evil magic was worked on the prophet

-the magic did not affect the revelations of the Quran

-the prophet asked Allah for help, which means he was conscious of a problem

-Allah sent two angels to the prophet in a dream

-the angels told Muhammad where to go to find the materials that were used

-the prophet goes to the location, but he does not destroy the materials

-Allah himself has cured the prophet Muhammad

So as you can see this incident in the prophet's lifetime does NOT disprove his prophethood, rather it is a great proof and evidence that he is a prophet! He asks Allah for help, and Allah comes to his aid!

There is a whole moral and wisdom behind this story, and the wisdom behind this story is that if we are afflicted with some sort of evil then we must look and turn to Allah for the help and cure, because Allah is the only one who can protect and save us. This is the entire basis of this incident, that we put all our faith and trust in Allah.

As Allah himself says in the Noble Quran:

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YUSUFALI: And put thy trust in Allah, and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs.

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YUSUFALI: "For my Protector is Allah, Who revealed the Book (from time to time), and He will choose and befriend the righteous.

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YUSUFALI: Nay, Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers.

Lastly, all of us will be tested by God, including the prophet himself, therefore it should not surprise us if harm comes to the prophet, as the Quran says:

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YUSUFALI: Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah?" Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near!

So in conclusion this hadith does not disprove Muhammad as a prophet, nor does it question his credibility. If anyone is honest with themselves they will accept the hadith for what it is, and what it says, that angels came to the prophet, and that Allah cured and healed the prophet Muhammad.

I testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger!

And Allah Knows Best!

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