WITCHCRAFT or SORCERY
Witchcraft is an act or instance of employing sorcery especially with malevolent intent; it is the alleged exercise of supernatural powers or alleged intercourse with the devil. Sorcery or witchcraft is widespread in out country. Sorcery is explained in detail in connection with the incident that took place in the presence of Moses and the Pharaoh. For Islam sorcery is a detestable thing.
In history we come across many varieties of witchcraft; necromancer, magician, diabolist and conjuror are some of the people that deal with these occult sciences. The Qur'an states that unless connived at by the Qur'an no magic can work. The only way to stand against conjurors is to take refuge in God. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn From the mischief of created things; From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads; From the mischief of those who practice secret arts; And from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy. (113/4-5)
INFIDELS THAT TRY TO DERIVE BENEFIT FROM SORCERY
They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon: the blasphemers Were, not Solomon, but the evil ones, teaching men Magic, and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (Such things) without saying: "We are only for trial; so do not blaspheme." They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah's permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls, if they but knew! (2/102)
David, son of Solomon, had been bestowed by God the gift of having sovereignty over the winds, animals and jinns. He was the king of Israel. The temple of Solomon, the most sumptuous structure of the time had been erected in 825 BC. Certain weak minded Jews of the period believed that Solomon had had the power to conjure up occult powers; to summon or constrain (as a spirit or a devil) to appear or to obey one by invoking a spell or a sacred name; to affect or effect by or as if by magic. In actual fact he was a great Prophet and favored by God.
Magic is the use of means (as ceremonies, charms, spells) that are believed to have supernatural power to cause a supernatural being to produce or prevent a particular result (as rain, death, healing) considered not obtainable by natural means and that also include the arts of divination, incantation, sympathetic magic, and thaumaturgy, as well as control of natural forces by the typically direct action of rites, objects, materials, or words considered supernaturally potent. Persons having recourse to magic are not God fearing people. They try to exploit people by their jugglery with giving them false hopes. Their miracle-mongering may have a part of truth in it, while the major part is but wizardry. The Qur'an has categorically prohibited having recourse to such practices.
God wanted that human beings acquire all sorts of knowledge and see whether they would make use of that knowledge for the good of humanity or not. To this end He sent two angels to the earth, namely Harut and Marut who were supposed to teach mankind the said knowledge by divine inspiration. The angels while transmitting the said knowledge to mankind warned them to make use of that knowledge for the benefit of humanity and not their detriment. It is a fact that knowledge is a double-edged sword that can be used for the good or not. For instance electricity which is of greatest use for humanity may well be used to electrocute people. When used for the benefit of humanity, God's blessing will be on the operator of that scientific invention.
The sorcerers had taught the Babylonians how to conjure up devilish forces which they used in addition to the heaven sent knowledge to practice magic. The science they had learned from Harut and Marut was exploited for evil ends. Magic worked mostly for sowing discord between man and wife. This practice addled people, created in their minds strange apprehensions and demoralized the weak minded.
It is stated that unless God permits no magic works. For No kind of calamity can occur, except by the leave of Allah. and if any one believes in Allah, ((Allah)) guides his heart (aright): for Allah knows all things. (64/11) Not a leaf doth fall but with His knowledge: (6/59); And put thy trust in Allah, and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs. (33/3)
The seer does not know the Unseen. Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He Who sends down rain, and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does any one know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: Nor does any one know in what land he is to die. Verily with Allah is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things). (31/34)
In Turkey witchcraft and sorcery are practiced as a lucrative source of income. Innocent and candid people are seduced by so-called hodjas and mediums to have recourse to them. These swindlers earn a good deal of money on credulous people. Had they had access to the unknown, these people would have made fortunes by guessing the result of lotteries, etc. To have recourse to conjurers and lose hope in the good that only God can bestow upon man, means, in a sense, attribution of partners to God. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. (1/5) Allah forgiveth not (The sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this: one who joins other gods with Allah, Hath strayed far, far away (from the right).(The Pagans), leaving Him, call but upon female deities: They call but upon satan the persistent rebel! (4/116-117)
I TAKE REFUGE WITH GOD
Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn From the mischief of created things; From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads; From the mischief of those who practice secret arts; And from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy. (113/1-5)
Sorcerer women used to tie knots to which they whispered secret words. This was practice of manipulating the course of nature by controlling supernatural forces through ritual and spell. The spell or incantation unlocked the full power of the ritual. Black magic was intended to harm or destroy. The protection against such practices is to take refuge with God. Evil eye is another agent of destruction. The glance believed to have the ability to cause injury or death to those on whom it falls; children and animals are thought to be particularly susceptible. Belief in the evil eye is ancient and ubiquitous: it occurred in ancient Greece and Rome; is found in Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions and in folk cultures and preliterate societies.
The story goes that the Jews had cast a spell on the Prophet to harm his mental balance in order to make him incapable of receiving revelations. This is of course an ungrounded assertion since there is no power in the universe that can vie with the power of the Almighty. O Messenger. proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith. (5/67) We know best why it is they listen, when they listen to thee; and when they meet in private conference, behold, the wicked say, "Ye follow none other than a man bewitched!" (17/47) . "Throw that which is in thy right hand: Quickly will it swallow up that which they have faked what they have faked is but a magician's trick: and the magician thrives not, (no matter) where he goes." (20/69) In the light of these verses the assertion remains unsubstantiated.
Scholars agree on the fact that the Prophet used to pray God reciting the Qur'anic verses the sole source of remedies.
DIVINATION AND ASTROMANCY
Divination is the practice of determining the hidden significance or cause of events, sometimes foretelling the future, by various natural, psychological, and other techniques. Found in all civilizations, both ancient and modern, it is encountered most frequently in contemporary mass society in the form of horoscopes, astrology, crystal gazing, tarot cards, and the Ouija board.
Astromancy which is divination by means of the stars were practiced in ancient civilizations. They used amulets or talismans which were objects cut or engraved with a sign or character under various superstitious observances or influences of the heavens and thought to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune. They were objects, either natural or man-made, believed to be endowed with special powers to protect or bring good fortune. Amulets were carried on the person or kept in the place that is the desired sphere of influence. The terms amulet and talisman are often used interchangeably, but a talisman is sometimes defined as an engraved amulet. Natural amulets are of many kinds: precious stones, metals, teeth and claws of animals, bones, plants, and so on. Man-made amulets, equally varied, include religious medallions and small figurines. Among believers amulets are thought to derive power from their connection with natural forces, from religious associations, or from being made in a ritual manner at a favorable time._
They also had recourse to such devices as mesmerism (a spiritlike force held to reside in some individuals by the emanation of which a strong quasi-hypnotic influence can assertedly be exerted over others), hypnotism which were dangerous practices.
Sorcery had also recourse to jinns, one of a class of beneficent or malevolent spirits that inhabit the earth, that are capable of assuming various forms, and that exercise supernatural power. Spiritualists may be classified in this category.
Jugglery was the performance of juggling feasts. Juggler was a person that manipulated or deceived especially for the purpose of achieving a desired end. A like event had occurred in connection with Moses. So Pharaoh withdrew: He concerted his plan, and then came (back). Moses said to him: Woe to you! Forge not ye a lie against Allah, lest He destroy you (at once) utterly by chastisement: the forger must suffer frustration!" So they disputed, one with another, over their affair, but they kept their talk secret. They said: "These two are certainly (expert) magicians: their object is to drive you out from your land with their magic, and to do away with your most cherished institutions. "Therefore concert your plan, and then assemble in (serried) ranks: He wins (all along) today who gains the upper hand." They said: "O Moses! whether wilt thou that thou throw (first) or that we be the first to throw?" He said, "Nay, throw ye first!" Then behold their ropes and their rods-so it seemed to him on account of their magic - began to be in lively motion! So Moses conceived in his mind a (sort of) fear. We said: "Fear not! for thou hast indeed the upper hand: "Throw that which is in thy right hand: Quickly will it swallow up that which they have faked what they have faked is but a magician's trick: and the magician thrives not, (no matter) where he goes." (20/60-69)
Illusionism which is the use of or propensity for the use of often extreme illusionary effects to deceive people was also used along with certain potions including hallucinatory drugs. Use was also made of a person's feces, pieces torn from corpses, blood, etc. which were considered unclean by religion.
Mischief making by transmission of ungrounded rumors is also considered as a kind of sorcery. (See Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, vol.2 pp. 120-131 - Prof. XDr. Süleyman Ateş, vol 1 pp. 203-211)