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The Reality of "Magic" on The Prophet (sa)

MAR
8
Friday Sermon March 8th, 2019 delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(at)

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon.

After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:

Hazrat Qais bin Mihsan was a companion from among the Ansar. He participated in the Battles of Badr and Uhud. Umm Sa’ad bint Qais was one of his daughters. His children were in Medina when he passed away.

The next companion is Hazrat Jubair bin Iyaas. His father’s name was Iyaas bin Khalid. He participated in the Battle of Badr. He belonged to the Banu Zuraiq branch of the Khazraj tribe. It is mentioned in ahadith that a Jewish man attempted to cast a magic spell on the Holy Prophet (sa); as a symbolic gesture he used a comb with the hair of the Holy Prophet (sa) and put this in the well with some dates. It is related that Hazrat Jubair bin Iyaas took those items out of the well.  It is important to know our viewpoint regarding this magic. I will now present some of the details of this incident that are found in the literature of the Community.

Hazrat Ayesha (ra) narrates: “One day or for one night the Holy Prophet (sa) supplicated before God Almighty and then again supplicated and he once again supplicated and said, ‘O Ayesha, God Almighty granted me everything for which I had supplicated.’” Hazrat Ayesha narrates: “I asked, ‘O Apostle of Allah what did you ask for? What has Allah bestowed you with?’ He replied, “Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other near my feet. The one that was seated near my head said to one who sat near my feet…” or perhaps Hazrat Ayesha states, “Or the one who sat near my feet said to one who sat near my head: ‘What is this man, i.e. Muhammad, suffering from?’ The other one replied: ‘A spell has been cast on him. The former asked: Who has cast the spell? The latter replied: ‘It was a Jew named Labid bin Asim.’ He then asked: ‘What is the thing by which he transmitted its effect?’ The other one replied: ‘Using a comb and by the hair wrapped around the spathe of a date-palm.’ He then asked: ‘Where is it located?’ He replied: ‘In the well of Zhi Arwan.’" Hazrat Ayesha states, “The Holy Prophet (sa) went to the well along with some of his companions. When he returned, he said, ‘O Ayesha, by God! The water of the well had a reddish complexion resembling extracts of henna.’”

It is worth remembering that it was the practice of the Jews to add henna or something similar in water when casting a spell on someone. This was done to display that through the power of magic the water had turned red. The branches of dates were meant to represent multiple heads of a snake. This was a technique they used to deceive ignorant people.

Regarding the narration of Hazrat Ayesha (ra), Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states: “It seems that the two people mentioned who came to the Holy Prophet (sa) were in fact Angels. Had they been humans, surely Hazrat Ayesha (ra) would have seen them. In relation to the narration of Hazrat Ayesha (ra), Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states: “It merely states that Allah the Exalted had informed the Holy Prophet (sa) through the means of angels that the Jews have tried to cast a spell on him. It does not mean that the Holy Prophet (sa) was affected by the spell in the way people believe spells to work.”

Whereas this narration manifests the hostility of the Jews towards the Holy Prophet (sa), it also becomes evident that the Holy Prophet (sa) was a true Prophet of God the Exalted. The reason for this is that the Holy Prophet (sa) had been informed by God Almighty of all the ploys being hatched against him by the Jews. Hence, for the Holy Prophet (sa) to have received knowledge of the unseen and for the Jews to have failed in their objectives are clear and evident signs of the Holy Prophet (sa) being a true Prophet.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib explains this further that following the treaty of Hudaibiyyah, a hypocrite of Jewish descent, whose name was Labid bin Asim, once cast a spell on the Holy Prophet (sa), God forbid. This spell was cast by tying strands of hair to a comb, a spell was recited over it and then thrown into a well.” The narrations and stories around this incidence are unauthenticated and make it difficult to get to the true incidence. However, if one analyses the accounts and by pondering over them rationally, it becomes clear that this incidence relates to a temporary period of forgetfulness, that was the result of excessive stress and physical ailments. Some evil-minded enemies took advantage of this and spread rumours that the Prophet of the Muslims was under the influence of a spell, heaven forbid. However, God Almighty swiftly restored the Holy Prophet (sa) back to health and destroyed the false propaganda of the enemies and the hypocrites.

This is not just a claim, the Holy Prophet (sa) himself has refuted this. This matter has been elaborated upon in a Hadith. Hazrat Ayesha (ra) asked the Holy Prophet (sa): “O Messenger of Allah! Is there a Satan with me?” The Prophet (sa) responded: “Yes.” She then asked if Satan is attached to every human. The Prophet (sa) answered in the affirmative. Astonished, Hazrat Ayesha (ra) enquired: “O Messenger of Allah (sa)! Is there a Satan attached with you?” The Prophet (sa) responded: “Yes. However, God has granted me victory over Satan to the extent that even my Satan has become a Muslim.” After this clear assertion, there is no room to give any credibility to a claim that a Jew, with the help of his Satan, could cast a spell on someone as exalted as the Holy Prophet (sa), causing him to become affected by this Satanic sorcery for a long time? God the Powerful and the Magnificent has continuously stated: “Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messenger.’” Meaning that God has recorded this and has decreed that He, along with His messenger will be victorious in all ages and no satanic deceit will prevail over them.

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib further writes: “If one were to consider the context of this incident and take into account the ways and habits of the Jews and the hypocrites, then it would not be difficult to understand the truth of this incident. First of all, it is important to note that this incident of sorcery took place after the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. It is recorded in Tabqaat ibn Sa’ad that the Holy Prophet (sa) decided to perform Umrah based on a dream he had seen. While he was travelling for this purpose, the Quraish prevented him from entering Mecca, as a result of which he had to return. This apparent failure caused immense grief, and the disbelievers and the hypocrites began to mock and ridicule this. To the extent that it affected even sincere Muslims, as it is recorded in a Hadith that even an eminent Companion such as Hazrat ‘Umar (ra) was in doubt for a brief period owing to the apparent defeat. During this time, the Holy Prophet (sa) became anxious and worried for those individuals that were weak of faith, lest they be put into a trial. This anxiety naturally affected the health of the Holy Prophet (sa). Due to these reasons, it impacted him psychologically and he suffered from temporary amnesia [memory loss].”

Extreme stress impacts human beings in many ways and even the prophets of God are not exempted from it. When the Jews and hypocrites witnessed that the Holy Prophet (sa) was unwell during those days, was under a lot of strain both mentally and physically and that he was suffering from a spell of forgetfulness, they seized this opportunity (as was their habit) to spread that they had cast a spell on the Holy Prophet (sa) and that his forgetfulness etc. were a result of this sorcery. Furthermore, as was their longstanding custom, they tied knots of hair around a comb and buried it in a well, as a physical symbol. When the Holy Prophet (sa) came to know of this supposed sorcery, he prayed further to God Almighty in order to put this mischief to an end. Therefore, God Almighty heard his ardent pleas and manifested the truth to him in a vision.

The principle mentioned in the Holy Quran is: [Arabic] In other words, no sorcerer can ever be successful against the prophets, in any case whatsoever, regardless of how they try to attack. In light of this clear verdict of the Quran, we find: [Arabic] i.e., The wrongdoers say, ‘You follow none but a man who is a victim of deception.’ God’s promise of “And a magician shall not thrive, come where he may” was fulfilled in full glory and grandeur.

So, the summary of the event is that

  • After the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah, the Holy Prophet (sa) was naturally concerned that people may become misguided by not fully understanding the wisdom of the treaty. This was a period of immense stress and during that time, he sometimes used to forget the minor matters of domestic affairs.
  • Secondly, the Jews and the Hypocrites, who would leave no stone unturned to make such things a basis for defaming Islam and its Holy Founder (sa), picked on these minor matters and started the rumour mill that we have – God forbid – cast a spell over the Prophet of the Muslims.
  • Thirdly, as an outward symbol of their so-called magic, these evil-natured people used Labid bin Asim, a hypocrite of Jewish descent, to tie knots of hair around the teeth of a comb and place in the well to give the impression of magic.
  • The fourth point is that the Holy Prophet (sa) began to offer fervent supplications, saying, “O God! You Yourself dissolve and extinguish this disorder and reveal its reality to me so that I may expose this trickery and thereby save simple-minded people from misgivings. Hence, God accepted this prayer and threw open the reality for all to see.
  • The fifth point is that God Almighty exposed the mischief-making of Labid bin Asim, upon which the Holy Prophet (sa), accompanied by some witnesses, proceeded to the well, buried the comb and totally covered up the well, so that the matter could come to an end once and for all.

In the end, the only question that remains, is: How could it be that the Holy Prophet (sa) a Prophet of such lofty stature who is in fact the greatest of all Prophets could fall victim to episodes of forgetfulness? So, in response to this, he was a human being bound to laws of nature. This is why God the Almighty, addressing the Holy Prophet (sa) in the Holy Qur’an, stated, “O Messenger, tell them, ‘I am but a human being like yourselves, and subject to all those laws to which other human beings are subject. Yet, I am also a Prophet of God and have been granted Divine Revelation from God for the guidance of mankind.’” – This is a commentary-based translation of the verse.

In part one of Seeratul Mahdi, narration no.75, it states that one day a Hindu, who was full of prejudice and lived in Gujrat, came to Qadian. He was an expert in the art of hypnotism and sat in a gathering of the Promised Messiah (as) and secretly began to focus his attention on the Promised Messiah (as), so that he could influence him to carry out some inappropriate acts and thus make the Promised Messiah (as) a target of mockery and ridicule. All of a sudden, he screamed out loud and ran away. When he was asked about what had happened to him, he said that when he focused his attention on Mirza sahib, it seemed as if a ferocious lion was standing before him, ready to pounce at any moment. That is why he became terrified and ran away. Since the Promised Messiah (as) was the servant of the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib writes: “If the servant holds such a status that God Almighty did not allow for him to be hypnotised, then how can one believe that the master – i.e. the Holy Prophet (sa) – was hypnotised by the Jews, God forbid?”

In the end, I will read the sayings of the Just Arbitrator of this era [i.e. the Promised Messiah (as)] which prevails over all other commentaries and explanations. In one of his gatherings, a person asked the Promised Messiah (as) what he thought about the incident where the disbelievers asserted that they had cast a spell on the Holy Prophet (sa). The Promised Messiah (as) stated: “Sorcery is also the work of Satan. It does not behove the status of a prophet or messenger to come under the influence of a spell. Rather, all spells are broken when they come in contact with a prophet, just as God Almighty states in the Holy Quran: [Arabic] [And a magician shall not thrive, come where he may]. Observe, Prophet Moses was confronted by the magicians, did Moses not succeed? To say that the Holy Prophet (sa) was influenced by magic is absolutely incorrect and we can never accept there to be any truth in this matter.” For one to say that the Holy Prophet (sa) was under a spell, heaven forbid, in which his memory was affected is completely false. All praise is for Allah that we accepted the Imam of the age, through which we can recognise the true rank and status of the Holy Prophet (sa).


English Translation



After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) stated:

Hazrat Qais(ra) bin Mihsan was a companion from among the Ansar. In several narrations, his name has also been recorded as Qais bin Hisan. He belonged to the Banu Zuraiq tribe of the Ansar. His mother’s name was Aneesah bint Qais and his father’s name was Mihsan bin Khalid. He participated in the Battles of Badr and Uhud. One of his daughters was Umm Saad bint Qais. At the time of his demise, his children were in Medina. (Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 4, p. 422, Qais bin Mihsan(ra)Dar-ul-Kutb Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 443, Qais bin Mihsan(ra), Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990)

The next companion is Hazrat Jubair(ra) bin Iyaas. His father’s name was Iyaas bin Khalid. He participated in the Battle of Badr. He belonged to the Banu Zuraiq branch of the Khazraj tribe. Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Muhammad states that his name was Jubair bin Ilyas. His name has also been recorded as Jabar bin Iyaas in another narration. (Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 444, Jubair(ra) bin Iyaas, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990).

It is mentioned in the Ahadith that a Jewish man cast a magic spell on the Holy Prophet(sa) and that the Holy Prophet(sa) was influenced by it – God forbid. It is mentioned in narrations that the spell was cast on a comb and some strands of hair and thrown into a well named Zhi Arwan. The Holy Prophet(sa) later had it removed.

It is written in Fath-ul-Bari, a commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, that it was Hazrat Jubair(ra) bin Iyaas who took out the comb and the strands of hair from the well of Zhi Arwan. According to another narration, it was Hazrat Qais(ra) bin Mihsan who pulled them out. (Fath-ul-Bari, Imam ibn Hijar, Kitab-ul-Tibb, Baab Al-Sehr, Hadith no. 5763, Vol. 10, p. 282, Qadeemi Kutb Khana Karachi)

Hence, I have mentioned both of the companions together. However, what is more important to know is that whether or not the Holy Prophet(sa) was influenced by any kind of magic and what the true reality of this incident is as opposed to determining which of the two companions took those items out of the well. Moreover, it is important for us to know what our viewpoint is regarding this. We have to reply to anything which can or does give rise to an allegation against the Holy Prophet(sa). Thus, I shall present some of the details found in our Jamaat literature regarding this incident. I will expound upon this incident today in relation to both of these companions.

While mentioning this incident in the introduction to the commentary of Surah Al-Falaq, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:

“According to some, Surah al-Falaq and al-Nas – i.e. the last two Chapters of the Holy Quran – were revealed in Mecca. Some, however, call them Medinite chapters i.e. chapters that were revealed in Medina.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) further writes:

“Those who are of the view that it is a Medinite chapter present the argument that this and the subsequent chapter were related to the illness of the Holy Prophet(sa) during which it had been considered that a magic spell had been cast on him by the Jews. It is thought that these two chapters had been revealed on that occasion and the Holy Prophet(sa) would blow over his body after reciting them.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) is mentioning what is said by others in relation to these chapters. He further writes:

“Commentators say that because this incident occurred in Medina, hence, Surah al-Falaq and Surah al-Nas are Medinite chapters. Nonetheless, it has been the preferred view that both of these chapters were Medinite (i.e. they were revealed in Medina).”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Muad(ra) writes,

“This is what commentators [of the Holy Quran] have inferred but not proven from a historical account. We also do not possess any conclusive evidence based on which we could say that these chapters were Meccan, but the argument which they have given is also weak and trivial because even if this Surah had been revealed in Mecca, the Holy Prophet(sa) could have recited and blown it on himself during an illness. Thus, this argument is incorrect to think that this was revealed in Medina only on the basis of him blowing it on himself.”

“When the Holy Prophet(sa) fell ill, people thought that it was as a result of a spell cast by the Jews. I shall present the account of this incident exactly as it is found in the narrations.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) has mentioned this account in the introductory notes of the aforementioned chapters. He writes:

“Since the commentators have given precedence to the narration of Hazrat Aisha(ra), hence I will only present the translation of this narration. Hazrat Aisha(ra) narrates, ‘The Jews had cast a spell on the Holy Prophet(sa) with such an effect that on occasions, he felt that he had completed a particular task, whereas in fact, he had not done so. One day, or during one night, the Holy Prophet(sa) supplicated before God Almighty and then again supplicated and he once again supplicated and said, “O Aisha(ra), God Almighty granted me everything for which I had supplicated.’

“Hazrat Aisha(ra) further narrates: ‘I asked, “O Messenger(sa) of Allah what did you ask for? (What has Allah bestowed you with?)” He replied, “Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other near my feet. The one seated near my head said to the one near my feet…”’ Hazrat Aisha(ra) states, ‘Or perhaps he said, “The one who was sat near my feet said to one sat near my head: ‘What does this individual (i.e. the Holy Prophet(sa)) suffer from?’ The other one replied, ‘A spell has been cast on him.’ He then enquired, ‘Who has cast the spell?’ He replied, ‘It was a Jew named Labid bin al-A‘sam.’ He then asked, ‘What is the thing by which he transmitted its effect?’ The other one replied, ‘Using a comb and by the hair wrapped around the spathe of a date-palm.’ He then asked, ‘Where is it located?’ He replied, ‘In the well of Zhi Arwan.’”’

“Hazrat Aisha(ra) states: ‘The Holy Prophet(sa) went to the well along with some of his companions. When he returned, he said, “O Aisha(ra), by God! The water of the well had a reddish complexion resembling extracts of henna.”’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) has further expounded on this:

“It seems that it was the practice of the Jews that when they would cast a spell on someone, they would add henna or something similar into water. This was done to portray that as if through the power of the magic the water had turned red.”

This was a technique they used to deceive the people who were naive and simple. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) further states:

“The Holy Prophet(sa) then stated, ‘The dates were like that of Satan i.e. like the head of a snake.’ (Here the dates have been compared with the head of a snake, illustrating that the branches of the date palm were almost ripe). Hazrat Aisha(ra) states, ‘I then said, “O Messenger(sa) of Allah! Why did you not burn it?” The Holy Prophet(sa) replied, “Since Allah has cured me, I did not wish to carry out an action which can become a means of contention among people. Therefore, I commanded that they should be buried.”’”

Thus, those items were then buried. Regarding the narration of Hazrat Aisha(ra), Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:

“It seems that the two men who came to the Holy Prophet(sa) were in fact angels. Had they been humans, surely Hazrat Aisha(ra) would have seen them.”

In relation to the narration of Hazrat Ayesha(ra), Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) further states:

“The narration of Hazrat Aisha(ra) simply states that the Holy Prophet(sa) was informed by God Almighty through the angels that the Jews had cast a spell on him. It certainly does not mean that the Holy Prophet(sa) was affected by the spell in the way people believe spells to work.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) further states:

“Nevertheless, when the Holy Prophet(sa) had buried their instruments of magic in the ground, the Jews considered that their spell had been broken. At the same time, God Almighty had granted the Holy Prophet(sa) health as well. In short, the Jews were convinced that they had cast a spell on the Holy Prophet(sa) and due to this, their attention was naturally drawn to the fact that the Holy Prophet(sa) would fall ill.”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further writes,

“While this narration reveals the hostility that the Jews harboured against the Holy Prophet(sa), it also proves that the Holy Prophet(sa) was a true prophet of God Almighty. The reason for this is that the Holy Prophet(sa) had been informed by God Almighty of all the ploys being hatched against him by the Jews. Hence, for the Holy Prophet(sa) to have received knowledge of the unseen and for the Jews to have failed in their objectives are clear and evident signs of the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet(sa).” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 10, pp. 539-542)

In any case, the conclusion drawn by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) is in fact the truth; the Jews thought they had cast a spell on the Holy Prophet(sa). However, it did not have any impact on the Holy Prophet(sa). Furthermore, the ailment and the illness of forgetfulness, or whatever illness it was, had some other causes. Nevertheless, having informed the Holy Prophet(sa) of this scheme of the Jews, God Almighty completely negated their assumption that they had cast a spell. Furthermore, by informing the Holy Prophet(sa), those Jews who saw the illness of the Holy Prophet(sa) and rejoiced and propagated this news believing that this illness was due to the impact of their spell, the truth of this matter became manifest.

Moreover, there is an article in the literature of our Jamaat written by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra), which details this incident from a historical and intellectual perspective and further elaborates upon this incident. He writes:

“In the annals of history, in fact, even in the Ahadith, it has been mentioned that following the treaty of Hudaybiyyah, a hypocrite of Jewish descent, whose name was Labid bin al-A‘sam, once cast a spell on the Holy Prophet(sa) – God forbid. This spell was cast by tying strands of hair to a comb, and then uttering some incantations over it and it was then thrown down a well.”

He further states:

“It is said that, God forbid, the Holy Prophet(sa) remained under this spell for quite some time.” (This was the rumour they had spread.) “During this period, the Holy Prophet(sa) would often feel low and disheartened and in this state of anxiousness, he would repeatedly supplicate. One prominent aspect in relation to this state during that period was that it had affected the Holy Prophet(sa)’s memory. He used to forget certain matters, so much so that at times, he would think that he had already completed a certain task, whereas, he had not in fact done so. Or at times, the Holy Prophet(sa) would believe that he had already visited the home of one of his wives, whereas he had not in fact done so.”

Expounding on this particular matter regarding the wives, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) says:

“It should be remembered that it was the practice of the Holy Prophet(sa) that he had appointed set days for his wives in accordance with the commandments of Islam and he would go to the house of each wife in the evening and enquire about their wellbeing. In the end, the Holy Prophetsa would arrive at the house of the wife, whom he had assigned the day to. The aforementioned narration is referring to this practise.”

The narration further continues, “Eventually, God Almighty disclosed the reality of this evil plot.”

This was the summary of the account related in Sahih al-Bukhari, which Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) has also mentioned in his commentary. However, he further writes:

“This is the summary of the narration which has been mentioned in certain books of history and Ahadith. Many tales have been invented about this incident that it is difficult to decipher the truth.”

So many stories have been fabricated based on this narration that it has become very difficult to determine the truth of the matter. He further writes:

“If all of these narrations were to be accepted then, God forbid, the blessed and holy character of the Holy Prophet(sa) would appear to be of a very weak disposition who, at least in worldly affairs, could be led by his opponents into any direction they wanted as a result of their incantations. Furthermore, it would also seem as if they could make him a target of their impure attention and influence his heart and mind and that, God forbid, the Holy Prophet(sa) was helpless in confronting their magic.

If the incident is accepted exactly as it has been narrated in historical accounts and the Ahadith, consequently, only a wrongful conclusion could be drawn from all this. However, this is certainly not possible.

If one carries out an in-depth analysis, both rationally and from a historical perspective, they would arrive at the conclusion that this was nothing more than an illness of temporary lapse in memory, which can occur at times due to anxiety or physical weakness. At the same time, some evil-minded enemies took advantage of this and spread rumours that the Holy Prophet(sa) was under the influence of an incantation, God forbid. However, God Almighty swiftly restored the Holy Prophet(sa) back to health and destroyed the false propaganda of the enemies and the hypocrites.

The great conqueror of satanic forces, the most eminent amongst the prophets, who defeated and crushed Satan and his armies, neither has such a person ever existed nor will anyone like him ever be born. To think that he was a target of evil sorcery by a Jewish man is severe misjudgement. (Such a thought cannot even be entertained).

This is not only our claim, in fact, the Holy Prophet(sa) himself has refuted this. This matter has been elaborated upon in a Hadith. Hazrat Aisha(ra) asked the Holy Prophet(sa): ‘O Messenger of Allah! Is there a Satan with me?’ (Hazrat Aishara asked in relation to herself). The Holy Prophet(sa) responded: ‘Yes.’ She then asked if Satan is attached to every human. The Holy Prophet(sa) answered in the affirmative. Astonished, Hazrat Aisha(ra) then enquired: ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah! Is there a Satan attached with you?’ The Holy Prophet(sa) responded: ‘Yes. However, God has granted me victory over Satan to the extent that my Satan has even become a Muslim.’ (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Sifatul Qiyamah Wa Al-Jannah Wa Al-Naar, Baab Tehrik Al-Shaitan)

Despite this clear saying, how can someone imagine that a Jew, who in light of the Holy Quran belongs to those people who have incurred the displeasure of God and was a hypocrite, would be able to influence someone as exalted and lofty as the Holy Prophet(sa) through his incantations with the help of his Satan? And moreover, the Holy Prophet(sa), as a result of this, remained troubled, sorrowful and sick for a long time?

Liars and deceivers in all ages have used such false tricks against the truth. However, God the Powerful and the Magnificent has continuously exposed all such liars. He states:

کَتَبَ اللّٰہُ لَاَغْلِبَنَّ اَنَا وَرُسُلِیْ

‘Allah has decreed: “Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messenger. ’’’ (Surah al-Mujadalah, Ch.58: V.22)

This means, God has decreed that He, along with His messengers will be victorious in all ages and no satanic deceit will prevail over them.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) further writes,

“The question then arises as to the truth of this incident, which has been narrated by Hazrat Aisha(ra) and recorded even in Sahih al-Bukhari. If one were to consider the context of this incident and take into account the ways and habits of the Jews and the hypocrites, one can easily determine the truth regarding this incident.

“First of all, it is important to note that this incident of sorcery took place after the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah.  It is recorded in Tabqaat ibn Saad that the Holy Prophet(sa) decided to travel to Mecca in order to perform Umrah, based on a dream he had seen. While he was travelling for this purpose, the Quraish prevented him from entering Mecca, as a result of which he had to return in what appeared to be a state of loss. This apparent failure caused immense grief, and the disbelievers and the hypocrites began to mock and ridicule this, which indeed was expected. However, this incident had such an immense impact to the extent that it affected even sincere Muslims, as it is recorded in a Hadith that even an eminent companion such as Hazrat Umar(ra) was greatly perturbed for a brief period owing to the apparent defeat.” This incident relating to Hazrat Umar(ra) is found in a Hadith of Bukhari.

“During this time, the Holy Prophet(sa) became anxious and worried for those individuals that were weak of faith, lest they be put into a trial. Inevitably, this had a severe impact on the Holy Prophet’s(sa) health and he was concerned regarding this for quite some time. This anxiety naturally affected the health of the Holy Prophet(sa). He would pray fervently to God in this state of apprehensiveness, as is indicated in the words of the Hadith:

دَعَا وَ دَعَا

[Meaning, he prayed and prayed...]

“He prayed so there would not be any kind of temporary hindrance in the progress of Islam owing to the incident of Hudaibiyah. This prayer was similar to the prayer he recited during the Battle of Badr, whereby despite the fact that God Almighty had promised him victory, but on seeing the apparent strength of the opposing army, the Holy Prophet(sa) prayed:

اَللّٰھُمَّ اِنْ تَھْلِکَ ھٰذِہِ الْعِصَابَۃَ لَا تُعْبَدُ فِی الْاَرْضِ

“Due to these reasons, it impacted him psychologically and he suffered from temporary amnesia [memory loss].”

According to some narrations, it lasted a few days whereas in other narrations it is stated that this illness lasted two days or one day and a night. Regardless of however many days this persisted, the illness naturally affected his health. The conclusion of Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) is that the illness lasted a few days which came about due to the deep worry and concern the Holy Prophet(sa) had for those Muslims who were still weak in their faith.

“Hence, this is an intrinsic component of human nature, which even the prophets of God are not exempted from. When the Jews and hypocrites witnessed that the Holy Prophet(sa) was unwell during those days and under a lot of strain both mentally and physically and that he was suffering with a spell of memory lapse, therefore, as was their habit, they began creating mischief by announcing that they had cast a spell on the Holy Prophet(sa) and that his forgetfulness etc. was a result of this sorcery. Furthermore, as was their longstanding custom, they tied knots of hair around a comb and buried it in a well, as a physical demonstration. When the Holy Prophet(sa) came to know of this supposed sorcery, he prayed further to God Almighty in order to put this mischief to an end. (As stated by Hazrat Aisha(ra) that once the Holy Prophet(sa) was made aware of this, he prayed fervently for a day and night). The Holy Prophet(sa) supplicated to the Lord of the heavens for the name of the one who instigated this and the way in which this fabricated sorcery was carried out, so that he could completely eradicate this mischief. Thus, God Almighty heard his ardent pleas and manifested the truth to him in a vision.

“The Qur’an declares unequivocally:

لَا یُفْلِحُ السَّاحِرُ حَیْثُ اَتٰی

“In other words, no sorcerer can ever be successful against the prophets, in any case whatsoever, regardless of how they try to attack.” (Surah Ta Ha, Ch.20: V.70)

“Furthermore, we read in the Holy Quran:

یَقُوْلُ الظَّالِمُوْنَ اِنْ تَتَّبِعُوْنَ اِلَّا رَجُلًا مَّسْحُوْرًا

“I.e., the wrongdoers say, ‘You follow none but a man who is a victim of deception’ (Surah Bani Israil, Ch.17: V.48). This claim of the disbelievers is mentioned in the Holy Quran. Furthermore, after pondering over the wording of this Hadith, the phraseology and the Arabic idiom, this narration of Bukhari can only be understood to be the viewpoint of others stating what seemed to have taken place. This means that the narrator although seems to write on his own account, but in reality, it is merely relating what others have been saying.

“Therefore, the translation of this narration would be as follows, ‘Hazrat Aisha(ra) narrates that once, a spell was cast on the Holy Prophet(sa), i.e. the enemies had spread the rumour that he was a victim to this sorcery.’ Hazrat Aisha(ra) did not hold this view herself. Hence the translation would be that ‘the opponents themselves spread the rumour that the Holy Prophet(sa) was influenced by a spell. Similarly, in those days, the Holy Prophet(sa) would think he had carried out a task, which he had not done so.’ And according to one narration it states that he would think that he had just visited the house of one of his wives, but in actual fact he had not.

“Then, Hazrat Aisha(ra) further gives clarification in which she states that in those same days, the Holy Prophet(sa) was once at her house and would supplicate to God Almighty again and again regarding this concern of his. After making this supplication, he addressed her saying, ‘O Aisha(ra), are you aware that God Almighty has disclosed to me [the truth] in regard to that which I enquired.’ She replied, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah, what is it that you enquired about?’ He answered, ‘Two people came to me (in a dream or in a vision). One of them sat near my head whilst the other sat towards my feet. One of them asked the other what had happened to him?’”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) writes,

“This method of conversation likewise seems to be describing a narrative from the perspective of the opposing party. Thereafter, it is the same lengthy account which has already been mentioned, that is the ailment of the Holy Prophet(sa) was allegedly due to the effect of a certain Jew’s sorcery.

“Hazrat Aisha(ra) states that after this dream or vision, the Holy Prophet(sa) – along with some of his companions – went to that well and inspected it. Several date palm trees had grown around it (and the well was completely dark and very deep). The Holy Prophet(sa) returned to Hazrat Aisha(ra) and told her ‘O Aisha(ra), I have seen the well. The water of the well is like the colour of henna extract and red in colour. It was a practice amongst the Jews there – (as has previously been mentioned that to trick the people, they would contaminate the water with artificial colour) and the palm trees appeared like cacti.’ Hazrat Aisha(ra) states, ‘I asked the Holy Prophet(sa) why he did not take the comb and its related objects out and dispose of them?’ Some narrations say she asked why he did not burn them? The Holy Prophet(sa) stated ‘God has kept me safe and cured me. Why then should I throw it out in front of the people and needlessly spread an ill (which risks causing the weak-minded to believe that sorcery was the root of it all).’ Therefore, the well was buried and closed off.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) writes,

“Speaking from the perspective of other people, or narrating the words of other people is a method of conversation that was prevalent amongst the Arabs. In fact, at certain occasions, the Holy Quran itself has made use of this method of speech. Accordingly, in one instance while addressing the inmates of hell, God Almighty states:

ذُقْ اِنَّکَ اَنْتَ الْعَزِیْزُ الْکَرِیْمُ

‘Taste it! Thou didst consider thyself the mighty, the honourable.’ (Surah al-Dukhan, Ch.44: V.50)

“In other words, ‘O one who is entering Hell, taste this punishment of God. Indeed, you are a man most mighty and honourable.’ In this verse, it is never meant that – God forbid – God considers the inmates of hell respectable and honourable. Rather, it is in the context of describing another person’s perspective meaning that the associates of these inmates and the inmates themselves considered their own selves honourable and respectable. (I.e. those who – after committing wicked deeds in the world – still believed themselves to be highly honourable and respectable) They are explicitly told to taste the fire of God’s punishment.

“It is exactly this style of conversation that was adopted by the two men or angels whom the Holy Prophet(sa) saw in his vision. Therefore, when both concluded in saying that this individual has been stricken by sorcery, their purport was not, ‘We think he has been stricken by sorcery’ but what they actually were expressing was, ‘The people are claiming that he has been stricken by sorcery and magic.’

“The real and ultimate purpose of the dream thus was none other than for God to reveal to His Prophet(sa), the object which those wretched mischief mongers had concealed in the well and by means of which they would spread deception amongst likeminded people. (They were using this excuse and spreading these lies amongst hypocrites and others like them). God’s intent was thus to reveal this to His messenger(sa) in order to utterly annihilate this fabricated sorcery of theirs. Subsequently, it so happened that their alleged object of sorcery was buried and the well was likewise destroyed. Also, the Holy Prophet’s(sa) worry and anxiety that such deceptions might cause the simple-minded people to go astray was also alleviated. God’s promise of:

لَا یُفْلِحُ السَّاحِرُ حَیْثُ اَتٰی

‘And a magician shall not thrive, come where he may’ (Surah Ta Ha, Ch.20: V.70)

was indeed fulfilled in full glory and grandeur. That is, whatever trickery a magician or a conjuror may try; if he comes against a prophet of God, he can never be victorious. In all cases, the aforementioned hadith strongly establishes the following points:

“After the incident of the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah, because of the strain of his constant concern lest people stumbled in their faith due to the incident of the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah, the Holy Prophet(sa) would sometimes suffer lapses in memory in relation to his domestic affairs.

“Secondly, the Jews and the hypocrites, who would leave no stone unturned to make such issues a basis for defaming Islam and its Holy Founder(sa), saw this state of the Holy Prophet(sa) and began a secret rumour that they had – God forbid – cast a spell over the Prophet of the Muslims. This rumour of theirs was just like the one that they started at the expedition of Bani Mustaliq in order to make a horrible attempt to defame Hazrat Aisha(ra) because she got left behind, thereby trying to create hardship and agony for the Holy Prophet(sa).

“Thirdly, as a physical symbol of their so-called magic, these evil-natured people used Labid bin al-A‘sam, a hypocrite of Jewish descent, to tie knots of hair around the teeth of a comb. He pressed it into a well so that simple-minded people would be easily deceived and started secret rumours which only raised more concern for the Holy Prophet(sa).

“The fourth point is that the Holy Prophet(sa) began to offer fervent supplications, praying, ‘O Allah! You Yourself exterminate and put an end to this evil ploy and reveal its reality to me so that I may expose this trickery and thereby save simple-minded people from misgivings.’ Hence, God accepted this prayer and revealed the truth of the matter.

“The fifth point is that God Almighty heard the prayers of the Holy Prophetsa and exposed the mischief-making of Labid bin al-A‘sam, upon which the Holy Prophet(sa), accompanied by some witnesses, proceeded to the well, buried the comb and totally covered up the well, so that the matter could come to an end once and for all.

“In the end, the only question that remains, is how could it be that the Holy Prophet(sa), a prophet of such lofty stature who is in fact the greatest of all prophets could fall victim to a brief spell of memory lapse, which could apparently become an impediment in the way of fulfilling the duties of prophethood? So, in response to this, one should bear it well in mind that every prophet comes in two capacities. One is that of a prophet and messenger from God Almighty, by virtue of which he is honoured with divine revelation, and stands as an educator in all matters of faith for his followers, becoming an example to be followed by them. The second capacity of a prophet is that he is also a man from among mankind, and so is subject to all those human requirements and natural vulnerabilities attached to other human beings.

“This is why God Almighty, while addressing the Holy Prophet(sa) in the Holy Quran, states:

قُلْ اِنّمَا اَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُکُمْ یُوْحٰی اِلَیَّ

‘O Messenger, tell them, “I am but a human being like yourselves, (and subject to all those laws to which other human beings are subject to). Yet, I am also a Prophet of God and have been granted divine revelation from God for the guidance of mankind.”’ – This is an explanatory translation of this verse. (Surah al-Kahf, Ch.18: V.111)

“In this beautiful verse, God has expounded the two different states of prophets in an extraordinary fashion, i.e. that in one regard they have been given a distinction from other human beings, whereas on another front, they have not been placed outside the category of other men. Therefore, whoever contends that prophets stand outside the perimeter of human requirements and natural weaknesses is a liar.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) writes:

“Indeed, prophets also fall ill like other people, and can fall victim to malaria, fevers and typhoid – (One should bear in mind that according to the apparent symptoms recorded by the Ahadith and books of history, the Holy Prophet(sa) passed away due to typhoid – tuberculosis, asthma, flu, cough, gout, migraine, psychological ailments such as anxiety, stress, lapses in memory, and injuries due to accidents or as a result of war etc. Thus, a prophet can suffer from any of these, and have always been subject to them, except in special cases where a particular prophet has been given a divine promise of protection from a specific illness.

“However, if the thought arises in someone’s mind that regarding the Holy Prophet(sa), the Holy Quran states:

سَنُقْرِئُکَ فَلَا تَنْسٰ

‘We shall teach thee the Quran, and thou shalt forget it not’, [Surah al-A‘la, Ch.87: V.7] in response to this one should remember that this promise is only regarding the Quranic revelation and is not to be applied as a general rule for everything. The meaning of this verse is that ‘O Prophet! The teaching We shall reveal to you for the benefit of mankind, We shall cause you to not forget it and We shall safeguard it till the Day of Judgment.’ However, this promise was not for general day to day dealings, or worldly matters, or even the physical rituals related to the religious injunctions.

“Thus, we find in the Ahadith that owing to the natural human tendencies, the Holy Prophet(sa) would, on several occasions, fail to remember or recall something. In fact, in a hadith, recorded in both Bukhari and Muslim, the Holy Prophet(sa) at times would forget the number of rak‘aat [units of prayer] he had offered whilst leading the prayer and his Companions(ra) would remind him. Similarly, on many other occasions, the Holy Prophet(sa) would have a lapse in memory.

“In another Hadith, the Holy Prophet(sa) is reported to have even stated:

اِنَّمَا اَنَا بَشَرٌ اَنْسٰی کَمَا تَنْسَوْنَ فَاِذَا نَسِیْتُ فَذَکِّرُوْنِیْ

‘I am also a human like you, and at times, just like you forget something, I also forget. Therefore, if I fail to remember something, then remind me.’ (Abu Daud, Kitab Al-Salat)

“Therefore, just as the Holy Prophet(sa) would at times have a lapse in memory, he also suffered from the illness of temporary amnesia after the Treaty of Hudabiyya. Thus, the earlier scholars have offered a similar interpretation to the narration regarding sorcery. For instance, Allama Maazari states:

‘There exists countless sound and irrefutable arguments which establish the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet(sa), moreover the miracles of the Holy Prophet(sa) further testify to his truthfulness. However, all other aspects of attached to one’s life for which the Holy Prophet(sa) was not divinely commissioned for as a prophet, and this includes suffering from ailments like other humans do, this [temporary lapse in memory] would also be considered as a form of ailment.’

“Allama ibn Al-Kassar states:

‘When the Holy Prophet(sa) suffered from this lapse in memory, this was also a form of ailment as is clearly evident from the concluding words of the Hadith in which the Holy Prophet(sa) stated that God Almighty had granted him cure.’ (These words are clearly written)

“In short, after the Treaty of Hudaibiyya, the Holy Prophet(sa) suffered from the aforementioned ailment, but the enemies alleged that this was a result of sorcery. However, this was certainly not the case, in fact owing to the circumstances of the time, the Holy Prophet(sa) suffered from temporary amnesia and some mischievous individuals took this as an opportunity to create false propaganda against the noble character of the Holy Prophet(sa). The Holy Quran strongly rebuts such fallacies of sorcery against prophets and neither does human intellect accept this. The words of the Hadith also reject this false interpretation, moreover the Holy Prophet(sa)’s lofty and noble status completely dispels this notion of sorcery.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) further states:

“It would not be out of context to mention Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’s(ra) narration, may Allah be his Helper,” (Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) Sahib was mentioning this during the lifetime of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra).) “In part one of Sirat-ul-Mahdi, narration number 75 states that one day a Hindu, who was full of prejudice and lived in Gujrat, came to Qadian. He was an expert in the art of hypnotism and sat in a gathering of the Promised Messiah(as) and secretly began to focus his attention on the Promised Messiah(as) so that he could influence him to carry out some inappropriate acts and thus make the Promised Messiah(as) a target of mockery and ridicule. However, when he began to focus his attention upon the Promised Messiah(as), he suddenly screamed out aloud and ran away. When he was asked about what had happened to him, he said that when he focused his attention on Mirza Sahib, it seemed as if a ferocious lion was standing before him, ready to pounce at any moment. That is why he became terrified and ran away.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) writes:

“The Promised Messiah(as) was the servant of the Holy Prophet(sa); if the servant holds such a status that God Almighty did not allow for him to be hypnotised, then how can one believe that the master – i.e. the Holy Prophet(sa) – was hypnotised by the Jews, God forbid?” (Mazameen-e-Bashir, Vol. 3, pp. 642-653, Mazameen 1959)

In the end, I will read the sayings of the Just Arbitrator of this era [i.e. the Promised Messiah(as)] which prevails over all other commentaries and explanations. In one of his gatherings, a person asked the Promised Messiah(as) what he thought about the incident where the disbelievers asserted that they had cast a spell on the Holy Prophet(sa). The Promised Messiah(as) stated:

“Sorcery is also the work of Satan. It does not behove the status of a prophet or messenger to come under the influence of a spell. Rather, all spells are broken when they come in contact with a prophet, just as God Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

لَا یُفْلِحُ السَّاحِرُ حَیْثُ اَتٰی

[“And a magician shall not thrive, come where he may.” (Surah Ta Ha, Ch.20: V.70)].

Observe, Prophet Moses(as) was confronted by the magicians, did Moses(as) not succeed? To say that the Holy Prophet(sa) was influenced by magic is absolutely incorrect and we can never accept there to be any truth in this matter. It is contrary to our beliefs to heedlessly accept everything that is written in Bukhari and Muslim. Even logic does not accept the fact that a spell could have any influence over such a grand and noble prophet. For one to say that the Holy Prophet(sa) was put under a spell, God forbid, in which his memory was affected, or caused any other effects, is completely false.”

The Promised Messiah(as) further states,

“It seems that these statements were fabricated by a wretched individual. Despite the fact that we have high regard for the Ahadith, however, we can never accept a Hadith which is contrary to the Holy Quran and the honour of the Holy Prophet(sa). During the time in which the Ahadith were being collected, those that compiled the narrations worked meticulously and recorded them with due care. However, despite all their efforts and precautions, they were unable to safeguard them from error. That was the period in which the Hadith were to be collated, but now is the time to reflect and ponder.” Read and deliberate over them. “Any Hadith that is averse to the teachings of the Holy Quran or the honour and dignity of the Holy Prophet(sa) ought to be rejected or one should ensure that its meanings do not contradict them” just as Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) did.

The Promised Messiah(as) then writes:

“To collate the Aathaar of the Holy Prophet(sa) is a noble deed (i.e. to collect incidents about the lives of prophets is a virtuous deed). To collate these incidents is a noble deed, however, in principle, the people that collate such incidents can never do so with complete accuracy. Now, it is the responsibility of every individual to deliberate over them and having analysed them they ought to decide which ones should be accepted and which ones ought to be rejected. To accept that the Holy Prophet(sa) was influenced by a spell cast on him, (God forbid), is a belief in which one can lose their faith.”

The Promised Messiah(as) continues,

“God Almighty states:

اِذْ یَقُوْلُ الظَّالِمُوْنَ اِنْ تَتَّبِعُوْنَ اِلَّا رَجُلًا مَّسْحُوْرًا

‘When the wrongdoers say, “You follow none but a man who is a victim of deception”’ – (who is under the influence of a spell). (Surah Bani Israil, Ch.17: V.48).

People who say such things are wrongdoers and not Muslims. It is the non-believers and transgressors who make such statements that the Holy Prophet(sa) was under the influence of a spell (God forbid). People do not think that if the Holy Prophet(sa) could have been influenced in such a way, (God forbid), then what would be the state of the Muslim ummah? In such a case, it would certainly perish. I am lost for words that the Prophet regarding whom all the prophets declared that he would be free from the grasp of Satan, and yet regarding that very prophet they believe in such statements which are against his honour.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 9, pp. 471-472)

All praise is for Allah that we accepted the Imam of the Age, through which we can recognise the true rank and status of the Holy Prophet(sa).

اَللّٰھُمَّ صَلِّ عَلٰی مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلیٰ اٰلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَبَارِکْ وَسَلِّمْ اِنَّکَ حَمِیْدٌ مَّجِیْدٌ

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About Friday Prayer

The Jumu'ah (Friday) prayer is one form of congregational worship in Islam. It takes place every Friday. Regular attendance at the Jumu'ah prayer is enjoined on the believer. According to a Saying of Muhammad(sa) this congregational prayer is twenty-five times more blessed than worship performed alone. (Bukhari)

Friday Prayers in the Quran

“O ye who believe! When the call is made for Prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off all business. That is best for you, if you only knew.” more

Friday Prayers in the Hadith

“… (He who) offers the Prayers and listens quitely when the Imam stands up for sermon, will have his sins forgiven between that Friday and the next” (Bukhari)

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