Does the Koran permit magic?

KoramBMWikipediaIn my novel Evil Eye, one of the main characters uses passages from the Koran to try to perform magic. This practise is old-fashioned and unusual in Turkey, but it does still happen.

Many Muslims believe words from the Koran can be used to perform magic. Many seek the help of the Jinn in magic. There is a common belief that jinn can possess a human, thus requiring Exorcism. Another type of illness considered by some to require Koranic magic as a cure rather than conventional medicine is a curse by the Evil Eye.

There is a differentiation between practising light and dark magic. Sihr is regarded as ‘dark magic’ and is forbidden, but the practise of ‘light magic’ is seen as a somewhat pious act, since light magic uses prayers and verses from the Quran to achieve results with Allah’s permission.

An example of this ‘light magic’ would be writing verses from the Koran with ink on a porcelain plate, washing the ink off with water and having the “patient” drink the water-ink mixture. The knowledge of which verses of the Quran to use in what way is what is considered “magic knowledge”. There are three conditions which must be followed by the healer: no polytheism or anything else that is forbidden; incantations must be in Arabic or another comprehensible language; belief that in themselves the incantations do not heal except by God’s will – they must only use Allah’s words or his names and attributes.

Most people believe that light magic is permitted by the Koran.

Asma Bint ’Umais relates that she said, “O Prophet, the family of Ja’far are affected by the baneful influences of an evil eye; may I use spells for them or not?” The Prophet said, “Yes, for if there were anything in the world which would overcome fate, it would be an evil eye”
(Mishkat, 21, C.I., part 2)
“Anas says: ‘the Prophet permitted a spell to be used to counteract the ill effects of the evil eye; and on those bitten by snakes or scorpions.’”
(Sahih Muslim – p.233.)

Dark magic is forbidden in the Koran.

‘The devils were disbelievers. They taught the people sorcery, and that which was sent down through the two angels of Babel, Haroot and Maroot. These two did not divulge such knowledge without pointing out: “This is a test. You shall not abuse such knowledge.” But the people used it for evil schemes such as the breaking up of marriages. They can never harm anyone against the will of God. They thus learn what hurts them, not what benefits them, and they know full well that whoever practices witchcraft will have no share in the Hereafter. Miserable indeed is what they sell their souls for, if they only knew.’
The Koran [2:102]

So, whilst some types of “magic” are allowed by the Koran, the kinds of things Leman gets up to in my novel Evil Eye are definitely not permitted!

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