Allah (JAL) says:
“And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Sulaiman (AS) but it was not Sulaiman who disbelieved, but it was the devils who disbelieved; Teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, “We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].” And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.” (Al-Baqarah: 102)
“And they said: ‘No matter what sign you bring us with which to bewitch us, we will not be believers in you.’” (Al-A’raf: 132)
“And when they had thrown, Moses said: ‘What you have brought is [only] magic. Indeed, Allah will expose its worthlessness. Indeed, Allah does not amend the work of corrupters.’” (Yunus: 81)
“Say: ‘I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak. From the evil of that which He created. And from the evil of darkness when it settles. And from the evil of the blowers in knots. And from the evil of an envier when he envies.’” (Al-Falaq: 1-5)
Narrated from Abdullah ibn Umar (RAA); Two men came from the East and addressed the people who wondered at their eloquent speech. On that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “Some eloquent speech is as effective as Magic.” (Bukhari)
Narrated from Aisha (RAA); “A man known as Labid ibn al-A’sam from the tribe of Banu Zurayq performed magic on Allah’s Messenger ﷺ until Allah’s Messenger ﷺ started imagining that he had done something which he had not really done. One day or one night while he was with me, he invoked Allah (SWT) for a long period and then said, ‘O Aisha! Do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I have asked him about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other near my feet. One of them said to his companion, ‘What is it that pains this man?’ The other replied, ‘He is under the effect of Matbob’. The first one asked, ‘Who did it?’ The other replied, ‘Labid Ibn Al-A’sam.’ The first one asked, ‘What material did he use?’ The other replied, ‘A comb and the hairs stuck to it and the pollen of a male date palm.’ The first one asked, ‘Where is that?’ The other replied, ‘That is in the well of Daman!” So Allah’s Messenger ﷺ along with some of his companions went there and returned saying, ‘O Aisha, the colour of its water is like the infusion of henna leaves and the tops of the date-palm trees near it are like the heads of the devils.’ I asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger? Why don’t you show it (to the people)?’ He said, ‘Since Allah (SWT) has cured me, I would not like to let evil spread amongst the people.’ Then he ordered that the well be filled up with earth.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
According to Al Mu’tazilah, they have rejected the above Hadith on the grounds that it would undermine the status of Prophethood and cast doubt over its authenticity. They say accepting this Hadith and the likes of it would weaken the credibility of Islamic Law. They gave as an example that when the Prophet ﷺ said Jibreel (AS) had come to him, they said he had only imagined him coming and that he had only imagined the divine inspiration. According to Al Mazari, this is completely untrue because the proof of the Message which is the miracle of receiving divine Inspiration is indicative of the Prophet’s truthfulness and his infallible character in conveying the message. Therefore, believing in something that has been invalidated by evidence is wrong. (Zaad Al Muslim: 4/221)
According to Abu Al-Janki Al Yousifi, the Prophet’s ﷺ illness which was a result of the effect of sihr done to him, did not affect the status of his Prophethood. This is because illness without any delirious effect in this life befell the Messengers at large and would even increase their status in the next life. Therefore, the fact that Prophet ﷺ imagined, as a result of the illness caused by sihr, that he had done something of life’s daily routine activities which he had not done and the fact that he completely recovered from the illness with the support of Allah (SWT), who revealed the site where the sihr was buried, means the message would not be affected by this at all as it was an illness like any other. In reality, the sihr did not affect his reasoning but only his perception. The Prophet ﷺ imagining touching one of his wives which he didn’t actually do, such acts of imagination are not harmful to a person’s health.
Abu Hurairah (RAA) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Avoid the seven deadly sins.” People asked, ‘What are they?’ The Prophet ﷺ replied, “Shirk (polytheism), Sihr (Magic), unlawful killing of a person, living on money from usury, usurping an orphan’s wealth, retreating at the time of Jihad and accusing an innocent married women of fornication.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
On the basis of the above Hadith, the Prophet ﷺ warned that sihr must be avoided as it is one of the most serious sins, and this is enough of an evidence to prove that it exists.
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RAA) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “A person who has acquired knowledge of one of the sciences of Astrology, has acquired knowledge of one of the branches of sihr. The more his knowledge of Astrology is enriched the more expansive his knowledge of sihr becomes.” (Abu Dawood & Ibn Maajah)
In this Hadith, the Prophet ﷺ refers to Astrology as one of the branches of learning sihr and therefore it is upon the Muslims to shun it. This Hadith is also an evidence to show that sihr is a real science that can be learnt. Further evidence can be seen in the following verse: “And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Sulaiman (AS) but it was not Sulaiman who disbelieved, but it was the devils who disbelieved. Teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, “We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].” And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if only they knew.” (Al-Baqarah: 102)
It is therefore clear from the above verse and Hadith that sihr is a science like other sciences, having its own fundamentals. Nevertheless, the Qur’an and Sunnah condemn the learning of sihr.
Imran ibn Husayn (RAA) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “He is not one of us who practices “Tatayyur” (ominousness) or has it done for him; who practices “Takahhun” (soothsaying) or has it done for him or who practices “Sihr” (magic) or has it done for him. Whosoever has sought the services of a soothsayer and believed in what he has come with has in fact disbelieved in the Message sent upon Muhammad ﷺ.” (Al-Haythami stated in Al-Majma’ (5/20), Al-Bazar and the chain of transmission includes authorities which fulfil the requirements of transmitting authentic traditions)
The Prophet’s ﷺ warning against practicing soothsaying, magic or ominousness is again proof of its existence otherwise the Prophet ﷺ wouldn’t have warned against it.
Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari (RAA) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “He who drinks alcohol regularly, believes that the power of magic to harm an individual is independent of Allah’s intervention or severs relations with one’s kin will not enter Paradise.” (Ibn Hibban)
The evidence for magic existing from the above Hadith again lies in the Prophet’s ﷺ warning against believing in the power of sihr to affect an individual independently of Allah’s intervention.