Getting to Know Allah

Allah and She Who Blows in Reeds

Ali Hussain Sibat hosted a popular show broadcast in Arabic from Beirut. On his show, he offered advice on a variety of subjects and made predictions about the future. In 2008, he went on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, was arrested by the religious police and charged and convicted of sorcery and sentenced to be beheaded.

Every year Saudi Arabia beheads a witch or warlock or two; they do exist and they are evil as Allah will attest. Witchcraft or Sorcery is the 32nd gravest sin, sins for which death or mutilation is the normative sentence under the Sharia, God's Law.

Allah first broaches the subject of witchcraft early on in His Koran, at the end of a wide ranging condemnation of the Jews for allegedly breaking their covenant with Him.

2:99 Indeed, we have revealed to you clear Signs (the revelations) in which only the wicked will disbelieve.

2:100 Will it be that every time they make a covenant, a group of them will cast it aside? Indeed, most of them do not believe.

2:101 And when a Messenger came to them from Allah confirming what they had, a group of those who were given the Book (the Torah) cast the Book (Qur’an) of Allah behind their backs, as if they knew nothing;

2:102 And they believed what the devils said about Solomon’s kingdom. Not that Solomon disbelieved; but the devils did, teaching the people witchcraft and that which was revealed in Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut. Yet those two angels did not teach anybody without saying [to him]: “We are a temptation. So do not disbelieve.” Those [who wished] learned from them what would sow discord between man and wife, but could not harm anybody with it (what they had learned), except with Allah’s Permission. They learn what harms them and does not profit them. They knew that he who bought it will have no share in the Hereafter. Evil is the price for which they sold themselves, if only they knew.

2:103 And had they (the Jews) believed and feared [Allah], a reward from Allah would have been better for them, if only they knew.

In the Prophet’s time witches were thought to blow into knots to cast spells; another superstition from the Dark Ages which appears to have found its way into the Koran. The second to last surah of the Koran implores Allah to protect men from the evil He admits to creating, including “those who blow into knotted reads”, and “from the evil of the envious when he envies.”


113 Al-Falaq

In the Name of Allah,

the Compassionate, the Merciful

113:1 Say: “I seek refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak,

113:2 “From the evil of what He has created,

113:3 “And the evil of the darkness when it gathers,

113:4 “And the evil of those who blow into knotted reeds (witches or sorceresses),

113:5 “And from the evil of the envious when he envies.”

The Prophet, if not typical of his generation, was a product of his time, as his belief in an evil eye will attest.

Narrated Um Salama:

That the Prophet saw in her house a girl whose face had a black spot. He said. "She is under the effect of an evil eye; so treat her with a Ruqya (not unlike an exorcism where repeating over and over specific verses from the Koran figure prominently)."

Bukhari 71.635