The Albaani Site

Translation from the Works of the Reviver of this Century

Tag: musa

Musa alaihis-salaam and the Angel of Death | End

Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

How was it possible for Musa alaihis-salaam to hit an angel?  And the Angel of Death at that?  And knock his eye out too?

Shaikh al-Albaani continues, “As for the difficulty described in the question asking how Musa عليه السلام could hit the Angel of Death, then the answer is–and in this is an indication of what I had said earlier about these people not studying the Sunnah–the answer is found in a narration present in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad with an authentic chain of narration that, “The Angel of Death used to come to people in the form of a man.”

So when the Angel of Death came to Musa and said to him, “Answer your Lord,” he didn’t come with a sign which made Musa عليه السلام note the fact that this person who just told him to submit his soul to Allaah was sent by Allaah, for he came in the form of a man.

And if someone were to come to any one of us and say to him, “Give me your soul.” What would ones stance be towards him? It would be just like that of Musa عليه السلام, because he would have transgressed into the [area of] duty of a noble angel which no other angels share in with him.

So how can a man go to another like him and say, ‘Submit your soul.’ So his reaction was but to strike him and knock his eye out, this is something natural. Thus every aspect of doubt disappears when we remember this other narration [which states] that the Angel of Death used to come to people in plain view and in the form of a man.

For this reason you can see that at the end of the hadith when the Angel of Death complained about his situation to Allaah saying, “You sent me to a servant who hates death.” Allaah gave him a sign, saying, “Go back to Musa and say to him, ‘Indeed your Lord orders you to place your hand on …” to the end of the hadith, “… on the back of a bull and you will have life for every hair under your hand …’” when the Angel went back to Musa عليه السلام with this clear proof he said, “And what is after that?” He said, “Death.” He replied, “So then let it be now,” and so he took his soul at that time.

Why did he submit the second time and not the first? The answer is now clear. The first thing is that the request was from one man to another … and Musa did not know that he was an angel sent from Allaah and so he hit him. So when the angel came back with a sign from Allaah the Mighty and Majestic he said, “Then let it be now.”

Thus, Musa didn’t hate death but he struck that man’s eye out based on his assumption that he was a man.

When we look at the hadith in light of the explanation of the narration of Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad, the doubt disappears and the saying of those people that this hadith is possibly from the Israaeeli narrations is nullified–which is a futile statement.

For when it is said that a certain narration or hadith is from the Israaeleyat it means that it is something which the People of the Book, the Jews and the Christians, used to speak about which they received from their predecessors. Some contain truth and others falsehood, for this reason he عليه السلام said, “When the People of the Book narrate to you do not believe or reject them.” This is what something being from the Israaeleyat means.

But there is some detail which must be mentioned due to the fact that I know that this explanation is very rarely read in the books of the scholars. Israaeleyat are [called Israaeleyat due to them being] attributed to the narrating of stories connected to the Children of Israa’eel.

And they are of two categories: the first category, and it is the one which is narrated more and is more common, is that which is reported, as we have just mentioned, from the People of the Book.

And these narrations are very many in number. Like the story, for example, of [the two angels] Harut and Marut and that they were two who were brought close to Allaah the Blessed and Most High, and that when Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, said to the angels, And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” He said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.” [Baqarah 2:30].

He said: Allaah wanted to test these angels who said, “Will You place upon it …” He said: Choose two angels from among you who I will send down to earth to test them. So He chose Harut and Marut … a long story the summary of which is: that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic clothed them in the garments of human beings and they were put to trial by a woman so they seduced her but she resisted saying she would not do anything until they killed a boy. But they did not since they knew it was forbidden.

So she presented alcohol to them and they drank it, became drunk, killed the boy and committed fornication with the woman. So Allaah the Blessed and Most High punished them in this world by casting them into a well, upside down, their heads at the bottom and their legs towards the top, and smoke was coming out from the bottom of the well and entered their nostrils and came out from their posterior.

This story is reported in the exegesis of this aayah, and it is from the Israaeleyat and is something which negates the saying of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic about the angels where He said, “…over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allaah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.” [Tahreem 66:6]

So the above story contradicts aayahs like this which openly state that the angels are free from sin and that it is not possible to [even] imagine that they would fornicate or kill a soul without just reason [or do any of the other sins that have] been reported in those Israaeleyat narrations.

There is another type [of Israaeleyat narrations] even if it is less common but it cannot be treated in the same way as the first. This other type is that which the Prophet of Allaah spoke about concerning the Children of Israaeel, such Israaeleyat are correct–because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم spoke about them and [so] it is not from the type reported by the People of the Book.

The examples of this are many and there is no problem in reminding [ourselves] by making mention of one hadith which he عليه السلام said.

That there was a man from the people before you walking in the desert when he heard a voice from the clouds saying, “Water the land of so and so.” The man was amazed and so turned towards the cloud, following it until he saw it emptying its load of water on a [particular] garden.

He approached the garden until he saw its owner who was working there. He gave the greeting of salaam to him and it is as though he called him with the name that he had heard from the sky, so the owner was astounded and said, ‘How do you know?’

He related the story to him, that he heard an angel mention it, ordering the cloud to move to this piece of land which you are working in, so why is that? [He said] I do not know of anything for which I deserve this honour from Allaah except for the fact that I own this land and when I sow the seeds and harvest the crop I divide it into three. I return a third of it to the earth, another third is for me and my family and I give the last third in charity to the poor people around me. So the man said to him, ‘It is because of this,’ i.e., by performing these obligatory duties you deserved this divine care where the cloud was made subservient for you. [Reported by Muslim, no. 7664].

This is a hadith speaking about the Children of Israaeel but who is the one who said it? The Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم who has been described in the Quraan as the one who does not speak out of desire, “It is only a Revelation revealed.” [Najm 53:4].

So since this hadith has been reported in the two Saheehs and is from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم it is not permissible for us to say, ‘It is from the Israaeleyat in meaning,’ and if it must be said that it is then the answer is that it is from the Israaeleyat which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said …”

Mowsu’atul-Allaamah, vol. 8, pp. 172-179.

Musa alaihis-salaam and the Angel of Death | 2

Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Is the Hadith about Musa alaihis-salaam knocking out the eye
of the Angel of Death authentic?

The hadith about Musa’s عليه السلام striking the Angel of Death has been reported by Imaam Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihs from Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “ The Angel of Death came to Musa عليه الصلاة والسلام and said, ‘Answer your Lord …’” i.e., give me yourself and your soul.

So Musa’s عليه السلام response was nothing but to strike him with that hit which took his eye out. The Angel returned, the Angel of Death, returned to his Lord and said, “O Lord! You sent me to a servant who hates death.”

Allaah said to him, “Go back to him and say, ‘Indeed your Lord says to you, ‘Place your hand on the skin of a bull, and you will have as many years [to live] as come under your fingers.’’’”

The Angel of Death went back to Musa عليه السلام and said what he had been ordered to say by his Lord. So Musa said, ‘And what is there after that?’ He replied, ‘Death.’ Thus he said, ‘So let it be now then.’ At that time the Angel of Death took Musa’s soul عليه السلام.

Our Prophet صلوات الله وسلامه عليه said, “If I were there …” i.e., the place where the Angel of Death took the soul of Musa, “I would have shown you his grave near the red sandhill.” This is the text of the hadith in the two Sahihs.

Now the answer requires that I speak about more than one matter. The first is that it is [now] clear after having related this hadith [and seeing that it is] in the two Sahihs that the one who declared it to be weak is [in fact] weak [himself].

That is because he has spoken without knowledge and is from those numerous people who give authority to their intellects, if not their desires, in passing judgement over authentic hadiths [declaring them] to be weak, maybe even saying they are fabricated.

What is their proof for the weakness or fabrication which they have alleged exists? It is the fact that they have set up their intellects as judge, and followed their desires.

“But if the Truth had followed their inclinations, the heavens and the earth and whoever is in them would have been ruined.” [Mu’minoon 23:71]

And that is because faith is weak in the breasts of many people even if they be from those who associate themselves with knowledge. This is from one angle.

From another angle [we can say] that they have not studied the Sunnah in a conscious manner which takes the paths of narration of the hadith into consideration and which removes some of the difficulties that may occur with some people.

So we have clarified that the one who said the hadith is weak is in fact [himself] the one who is weak because he, firstly, opposed the two Imaams who produced the two books which they called The Sahihs and which are, by the unanimous agreement of the Imaams of the Sunnah, the most authentic books after the Book of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High: Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

And not only that, but the Ummah also met them with acceptance, and for this reason no one from the scholars of hadith who were from the ranks of Bukhari and Muslim spoke with any criticism of the hadiths which have come in the two Sahihs. So all of these hadith are established with certainty from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, thus, we do not give any weight to whoever declares a hadith such as this to be weak whatever his status may be or whatever the people may think of his knowledge.

Musa alaihis-salaam and the Angel of Death | 1

Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

The Impermissibility of Speaking without Knowledge

The questioner says, “From Abu Hurairah who said, ‘The Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Musa عليه السلام struck out the eye of the Angel of Death.’ I have heard one of the scholars declaring the hadith to be weak, saying, ‘This hadith exudes the scent of Israaeeliyat narrations.’ So how do we answer them? And is it permissible for us to call the Angel of Death Izraaeel? Is there an authentic narration naming him as Izraaeel? And how is it permissible for a Messenger to hit an angel, bearing in mind that the Angel of Death is powerful? And did Allaah, the One free and far removed from all defects and the Most High, permit Musa عليه السلام to do that?

Al-Albaani:This question has two parts, the first being connected to the hadith of Musa عليه السلام striking the angel until he knocked his eye out. And the second is whether the Angel of Death is called Izraaeel as is widespread among the people. We will answer this second part [first] since its answer is short so that we can turn to answering the first part.

Nothing has been authentically reported from the Prophet whatsoever صلى الله عليه وسلم naming the Angel of Death as Izraaeel. The names Jibreel, Meekaa’eel and Israafeel have come in many hadiths, this is established, but naming the Angel of Death as Izraaeel has no basis in the Sunnah let alone the Noble Quraan.

We return to the first part of the question about the hadith of the Angel of Death and the declaration of whoever declared it to be weak from the scholars.

Before answering the question I want to remind you of a principle accepted by those who are not Muslims too: that it is not permissible for someone who is ignorant of [a particular field of] knowledge to speak about it, because doing so goes against texts from the Book and the Sunnah, from them is the saying of our Lord, the Blessed and Most High, And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heartabout all those [one] will be questioned.” [Israa 17:36].

So for example it is not permissible for the one who wants to speak about medicine to do so if he is a scholar of Quranic exegesis [mufassir], since medicine is not his field. Just as it is not permissible for a doctor who is a specialist in his field to speak about Quranic exegesis or Islamic jurisprudence or other than that, because if both of these people talk about fields which are not their expertise then they have pursued that of which they have no knowledge, and would thus have opposed the previously quoted Quranic text.

I think this is a matter concerning which it is correct to quote the old Arabic parable: this is something about which no two will differ and over which no two rams will clash horns, i.e., it is not permissible for anyone to speak about a certain [field of] knowledge except for the specialists in it.

So when [it is agreed that] this is something accepted we can turn back to the hadith [in question] and other [such hadith]. Who can speak about them? The doctor, for example? The answer, naturally, is no. Can the chemist? [Again] the answer is no. Many, many questions bringing us closer to the reality. Can the mufassir? No. The scholar of Islamic jurisprudence [faqeeh]? The answer is no.

So, who is the one who can speak [about hadith like this]? Indeed it is only the scholar of hadith. And as was said the scholars of hadith, “… were few when counted … so today they have become the fewest of the few.”

So for this reason it is not permissible for the students of knowledge to embroil themselves in something reported from a scholar who does not know what this knowledge entails or its intricacies when he says, “Such and such a hadith is weak.” This is a principle which we must always stick to.

And one of the amazing things about the calamities which have befallen the ummah in terms of their heedlessness of these knowledge-based, established principles in the Book and the Sunnah is that they are very far removed from [understanding/implementing] it. [But] when the turn comes for something which is connected to themselves [personally] you will [indeed] find them implementing that Quranic text which obligates the Muslims to refer back to the specialists [in each field].

For example, when we or someone who concerns us is taken ill, he will not [just] go to any doctor, but rather before everything else he will inquire about a specialist in that [particular] illness, then he will follow up by asking, researching and verifying [details] about a skilled, specialist doctor, [only] then will he go and present himself or his loved ones to him.

As for what is connected to the religion, then the affair has become anarchic without any order. And that is because today every time the people see a person talking about some matters of fiqh or some Quranic verses or prophetic sayings they assume that such a person is the scholar of the age and so they turn [to him] in asking questions and thus fall into that which has been warned against and mentioned in the hadith, “May Allaah kill them! Couldn’t they have asked–i.e., the people of knowledge–for the cure to ignorance is to ask.”

After this I come back to saying that it is not permissible for any person to speak about that which is not his specialism–particularly when it is clear that his speech in the field about which he has spoken without knowledge opposes that of those who are specialists in it …”

Mowsu’atul-Allaamah, vol. 8, pp. 172-179.

The Signs of the Hour … 1


The Signs of the Hour and
the False Prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad al-Qadiyani

Question: As regards the establishment of the Hour, there are lesser signs and major signs and especially Gog and Magog?

Shaikh al-Albaani: Dividing the signs [of the Day of Judgement] into minor and major is a technical division [used] amongst the scholars and it is not something which has been reported from the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم–but when such terminology does not go against the Book nor the Sunnah then there is no problem [in using it]. No doubt the brother’s question that what is said should be about the major signs of the Hour is by way of starting with the most important thing first and then the most important after that in knowledge.

There are many major signs but from the most important of them which the respected questioner made special reference to is the descent of Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, at the end of time, his killing of the major Dajjaal, and then Gog and Magog after that. These are three of the major signs of the Hour: the descent of Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, the appearance of Dajjaal, Jesus’, عليه الصلاة والسلام, killing him, and the appearance of Gog and Magog.

As for Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, then his descent near the end of time is an Islamic belief which it is incumbent upon every Muslim to take as religion before Allaah, and to worship Him through it, having faith and attesting to [the truth of] the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, by way of the numerous hadiths which have been reported from him in the two Sahihs and other than them [regarding him]. From these is the Prophet’s, صلى الله عليه وسلم, saying, “Verily, Jesus the son of Mary will descend among you as a just judge. And so [he] will break the cross and kill the pigs, and wealth will become so abundant that no one will accept it. And a [single] prostration that day will be more beloved to a believer than the world and everything in it.” [Bukhaari and Muslim]. This is one of the many hadiths in which the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, openly declared the descent of Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, at the end of time, so it is obligatory that we know that the descent of Jesus at the end of time does not negate the end of prophethood or the end of the message.

For there is a group of people known as Qaadiyanis and they call themselves Ahmadis trying to [falsely] portray that they are followers of Muhammad ibn Abdullaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, the Prophet of Islaam. But in reality they associate themselves with their false prophet called Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. For this reason they misinterpret the descent of Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, by saying that it means the coming of someone who resembles Jesus and by that they are referring to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad al-Qadiyani. So it is obligatory upon us to know the characteristics which have been reported about Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, who will descend at the end of time and which were not fulfilled by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad al-Qadiyani and neither were they fulfilled by those other than him who claimed to be prophets or Imaam Mahdi.

Because one of the principal signs of Jesus is that he is Jesus the son of Mary not [just someone called] Jesus in general, rather he is the son of Mary, the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, the Prophet of the Children of Israel–this is the one who will descend and when he does he will not do so with a new prophethood, nor with a new message. But he will descend and judge by the Sharee’ah of our Prophet Muhammad, صلى الله عليه وسلم, especially when Jesus descended after Moses, to complete some of the laws which [Allaah’s] Wisdom of legislating determined that he should come with, or which Allaah sent down to Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, after Moses, عليهما الصلاة والسلام.

And you all know that when the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, saw a page in the hand of Umar and asked him about it he replied that it was from the Torah so the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, questioned him about it and he replied, “A man from the Jews wrote it for me.” So he, عليه الصلاة والسلام, became angry and said, “Are you confused as the Jews and the Christians were confused?! By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! If Moses were alive he would not have any choice but to follow me.”[1] Likewise Jesus, عليه السلام, if he were alive on the face of the earth the day the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, was sent he would have had no choice but to follow the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم.

And it is known that Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, took the Covenant from all of the Messengers and Prophets that if He sent Muhammad, صلى الله عليه وسلم, amongst them they would follow and support him. For this reason the descent of Jesus at the end of time does not negate the fact that the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, was the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers as the Lord of all Creation said, “Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allaah and Seal [i.e.,the last] of the Prophets …” [Al-Ahzaab 33:40]

He is the Seal of the Prophets before the descent of Jesus and after the descent of Jesus.

For Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, will descend and judge with the Book and the Sunnah, for this reason the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said in a hadith, “Verily, Jesus the son of Mary will descend among you as a just judge …” so he will judge with the Book and the Sunnah justly between the people not oppressing anyone. The proof for this is that he will break the cross which his followers have taken as [a means of] disbelief and tyranny, [something] Jesus did not order them with –far be it for him ever to do so–but after about one hundred years his followers deviated from the Law [Sharee’ah] of the Gospel [Injeel] and it, naturally, was Islaam, and there is no difference in Islaam as regards creed [aqidah]. For all of the Messengers, from the first to the last, from Adam, the first Prophet, to Muhammad, the last Prophet, عليهم الصلاة والسلام–all of them came with Islaam. The difference is only in some [specific] rulings.

So when Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, descends as a just judge he will break the cross to confirm and establish for his followers that they are [standing] upon nothing and that they are upon manifest misguidance, likewise he will kill the pigs, i.e., he will judge [with the ruling that] it is forbidden to eat their meat and he will judge that they be annihilated and eradicated, confirming to those who claim to follow him or who make the pig lawful [to eat] that it is not from him but rather from the monks who innovated laws for the people of their own accord.

So these [are the] matters [that] are from the characteristics of Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام, and from the most important of them is that peace and tranquillity will dominate and prevail over the people in those days such that all of the people will become affluent, satisfied with the rule of Islaam which Allaah will bring about of at the hands of Jesus, عليه الصلاة والسلام. For every single one of them would have acquired sustenance which pleases and satisfies him and by which his life in this world would be established–and not only to a moderate level, but rather to such an extent that a man, and all men will give zakaah, but he will not find a single person who will accept it from him. Because the people in his time will have become–by his judging with the Islaam of our Prophet Muhammad, صلى الله عليه وسلم–all of them will have become rich, no poverty-stricken person will be found among them.

Al-Fataawaa al-Muhimmah lil-Allaamah Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, of Salaahud-Deen Mahmood as-Sa’eed, pp. 288-290.

[1] Hasan. Reported by Ahmad (3/387) and Ibn Abee Aasim in As-Sunnah (1/27).

Did the Angels Harut and Marut Teach Magic?


Questioner: “What is the explanation of the Aayah, ‘They followed what the devils gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman. Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the devils disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut …?’” Baqarah 2:102

Al-Albaani: “There is no doubt that there is a difference of opinion concerning the aayah among the scholars of quranic exegesis [tafsir]. But that which I personally hold to be the stronger opinion is that the word maa [ما] in His Saying, “… and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels …” is not the maa of negation[1] but rather a relative pronoun, i.e., that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, sent down the two angels to teach magic to the people, since magic was widespread at that time and [as a result there was] confusion [in differentiating] between it and miracles which some of the Prophets would bring. Like the story of the magicians and Musa, عليه الصلاة والسلام, where Pharaoh, through the magicians, had wanted to misguide his people from the call of Musa to the Truth. Since what Pharaoh had come with was nothing but magic. Then, as we know, Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, eradicated the magic of the sorcerers who then became Muslims, believing in Allaah, the Lord of all Creation. So their knowledge of magic was the reason which enabled them to distinguish between that which was mere slight of vision and magic and between reality, “Then Musa threw his stick, and behold, it swallowed up all the falsehoods which they showed!” Ash-Shu’araa 26:45.

The magicians believed in this reality before all of the other people since through their knowledge of magic they knew that it was nothing but concealment, disguising and deception which had no reality to it. Thus when they were overcome and dumbfounded by the miracle of Musa, عليه الصلاة والسلام, the difference between reality and magic became manifest to them [so they fell down prostrate], “Saying, “We believe in the Lord of all Creation.” Ash-Shu’araa 26:47.

So it was through Allaah’s Wisdom that He sent down two angels, Harut and Marut, so that they would teach the people magic not for the sake of magic but rather to enable them to recognise that magic which many of the imposters/fraudsters [dajjaals] used at that time to deceive and enslave the people. As occurs in the story of the boy and the sorcerer, and maybe you remember that story.

Its summary, and [it being so important] a summary of it must be mentioned, is that the [tyrannical] king of that time, who is the companion of the Trench mentioned in the Quraan [See Surah no. 85, Burooj], would use a magician in order to enslave the people. When this magician saw that he had grown old, become white haired and frail, he said to the king, ‘Chose a boy from the people for me who [I can teach such that he] will be able to help you after I am gone.’ Why? So that this king could continue to enslave his people through magic. This is how the kings of old were, taking advantage of the people through magic.

So Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, sent the two angels to teach all of the people–not like what the king’s magician, the king of the Trench, did, since this magician had said to the king, ‘Chose a boy for me …’ since it did not suit him that the knowledge of magic become widespread among all of the people since then they would come to realize that the king was misguiding them through magic, something which then they would have come to know.

So Allaah through His Wisdom saw fit to send two Angels to teach magic to the people so that they would be able to distinguish between magic and a miracle. Because magic, without a shadow of a doubt, is a means of spreading corruption: Allaah said in the same aayah, “… but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) until they had said, ‘We are only for trial so disbelieve not (by practicing this magic).’ And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife …”

So they came to teach magic for a purpose, but this teaching could lead to a trial, and thus they learn that which harms them and does not benefit them[2] and that which causes separation between a man and his wife.

This is what I understand regarding the explanation of this aayah.

And Allaah knows best.”

Al-Fataawaa al-Kuwaitiyyah, pp. 49-51.

[1] [The compiler of the book, Amr Abdul-Mun’im Saleem has a footnote here where he says, “Ibn Jarir has mentioned the difference of opinion in the explanation of this aayah (2/419), so from them are some who say the Arabic word maa [ما] here means ‘did not’ [لم], i.e., that magic was not sent down to the two angels, and this saying has been reported from Ibn Abbaas and Rabee’ ibn Anas but with weak chains of narrations. And there are others who explained that maa here means ‘that which’ [الذي] as Shaikh al-Albaani said here, and this saying has been reported from Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood with a chain of narration which has some disconnection in it, it is also reported from Qataadah, Ibn Zaid and others–and this opinion is also the one preferred by Ibn Jarir at-Tabari.

It has been reported from Qataadah, with an authentic chain of narration (2/421), that he said, “Magic is of two types: magic taught by the devils, and magic taught by Harut and Marut.”

And Ibn Jarir at-Tabari clarified the wisdom behind the reasoning as to why Allaah sent down magic, and whether it was permissible for His Angels to teach the people magic, so he said, ‘If someone were to say to us, ‘And is it permissible [to say] that Allaah would send down magic or is it permissible for His Angels to teach the people magic?’ We would say to him, ‘Indeed Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, [is the One who] has sent down good and bad, all of it, and He clarified all of that to His servants, revealing as such to His Prophets ordering them to teach His Creation and to make known to them what is permissible for them from that which is forbidden, such as fornication, stealing, and all of the other sins that He made known to them and forbade them from committing.

So magic is another one of those sins which He told them about and forbade them from practising. Having knowledge about magic is not a sin, just as there is no sin in [actually] knowing how to produce alcohol, or how to carve out an idol, a lute, or other types of [forbidden] amusement–rather the sin is in practising it and preparing such things. Likewise, there is no sin in having knowledge about magic, the sin is only in practising it and using it to harm people it is not permissible to harm.

So there is no wrongdoing in the fact that Allaah sent it down to His Angels and neither in the fact that His Angels taught it to whoever they taught it to from the people, since their teaching of that to whoever they taught it to was with the Permission of Allaah after they informed [whoever they would teach it to] that they were a trial and test and after they would forbid them from practising it and from disbelief. So the sin was only on whoever learnt it from them and then practised it, since Allaah, Lofty is His Mention, has stated that He had forbidden them learning and then practising it …”­­­­

[2] The compiler, Amr Abdul-Mun’im Saleem, said here, “And the complete aayah pointsto what Ibn Jarir mentioned, i.e., that the two Angels would teach the knowledge of magic but would never order that it be practised–rather that they would forbid it in the extreme, warning against it severely.”

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