Allah the Almighty says:

{They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us). “And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their own selves, if they but knew. And if they had believed and guarded themselves from evil and kept their duty to Allah, far better would have been the reward from their Lord, if they but knew!}. (Al-Baqarah, 102, 103)

Narrated Al-`Ufi in his interpretation on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) pertaining to Allah’s Statement {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).”…} When Sulaiman lost his kingdom, great numbers from among mankind and the jinn renegaded and followed their lusts. But, when Allah restored to Sulaiman his kingdom and the renegade came to follow the Straight Path once again, Sulaiman seized their holy scriptures which he buried underneath his throne. Shortly after, Sulaiman (Peace be upon him) died. In no time, the men and the Jinn uncovered the buried scriptures and said: This was a book revealed by Allah to Sulaiman who hid it from us. They took it as their religion and Allah the Almighty revealed His Saying: {And when there came to them a Messenger from Allah confirming what was with them, a party of those who were given the Scripture threw away the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they did not know!}. (Al-Baqarah, 101) and they followed what the devils gave out, i.e. musical instruments, play and all that blocks the remembrance of Allah.

Narrated Ibn Abu Hatim: I was told by Abu Sa’ id Al-Ashaj after Abu Usamah after Al-A’ mash after Al-Minhal after Sa’id Ibn Jubair after Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) as saying: Asif was Sulaiman’s scribe. He knew the Greatest Name of Allah and used to write what he was ordered to by Sulaiman, then, bury it underneath the throne. After Sulaiman’s death, the devils got it out and wrote between each two lines magical and blasphemous things. They said: “this is what Sulaiman used to apply and act upon.” The ignorant among the people regarded Sulaiman as a disbeliever and continued to insult him till Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was sent with the Glorious Qur’an that reads:

{They followed what the, Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved}.

Narrated Ibn Jarir: I was told by Abu As-Sa’ib Salamah Ibn Junadah As-Sawa’i after Abu Mu`awiyah after Al-A`mash after Al-Minhal after Sa`id Ibn Jubair on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) as saying: When Sulaiman wanted to answer the call of nature or to make love with any of his wives, he used to give his ring to a woman called Al-Jaradah. When Allah the Almighty wanted to afflict Sulaiman, he gave his ring to that woman. Afterwards, Satan came to her in the form of Sulaiman and took the ring from her. When Satan put the ring on, all mankind, the jinn and Devils submitted to him. Then, Sulaiman came seeking his ring from her and she said: “You are a liar, you are not Sulaiman.” Thus, Sulaiman knew that it was a test from Allah the Almighty.

Upon this, the devils were free to do whatever they wished. So, they wrote down books of black magic and blasphemy which they buried underneath the throne of Sulaiman. After Sulaiman’s death, they uncovered these books and said to the people: Verily, Sulaiman used to prevail with the help of these books. Consequently, the people declared their innocence of Sulaiman and declared him to be a disbeliever till the advent of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who came with the Qur’anic Verse that reads: {Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved}. Then, Ibn Jarir said: I was told by Ibn Hamid after Jarir after Husain Ibn `Abdur Rahman after `Imran as saying: While we were with Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them), a man came and Ibn `Abbas asked him: Where do you come from? The man said: from Iraq. Ibn `Abbas asked: which city? The man said: Kufa. Ibn `Abbas asked: What is the latest news there? The man said: I left them talking about `Ali’s departing for them. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: how dare you say so! If we felt that (he is departing us for the people of Kufa), we would not marry his women, or divide his properties among us. However, I will tell you the truth: the angels used to descend on the clouds and mention this or that matter decreed in the Heaven. The devils listen stealthily to such a matter, come down to inspire the soothsayers with it, and the latter would add to it one hundred lies of their own. The people believe in them and regard them trustworthy. Allah the Almighty informed Sulaiman with the matter and enabled him to bury these lies under his throne. After his death, one of the devils said: I can lead you to Sulaiman’s dearest and most precious treasure. It is under his throne.

Consequently, they uncovered it and said: this is magic. Afterwards, it continued to be copied and acted upon and what the Iraqi people practice nowadays is nothing but its remnants. Allah the Almighty revealed: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us). ” And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man, and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter}.

As-Sadiy said: Allah’s Saying: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved}, i.e. the devils used to listen stealthily to the talks of the angels concerning what happens to those on earth: death, unseen matters or divine ordainments. Then, they come down to inspire the soothsayers with it and the latter would tell the people with it. The people believe in them and regard them trustworthy. Time after time, the soothsayers trusted the devils who later on used to add to each word one-hundred lies of their own. The people started to write down these matters and it circulated among the Children of Israel that the Jinn know the Unseen. Sulaiman moved quickly and gathered all these writings and put them in a chest and buried it under his throne. All the devils who tried to even approach the chest were burnt alive. Sulaiman declared that he would behead anyone who claims that the devils know the Unseen. After Sulaiman’s death and that of the godly-scholars who knew it well, a devil came in the form of a human being to the people and said: I will lead you to an everlasting treasure that will never run out. He ordered them to dig under Sulaiman’s throne and he took a side. He said to them: kill me if you find nothing. They dug it and found these writings. Thereupon, the devil said: Only with this magic, Sulaiman could overcome mankind, the Jinn and birds. Then, he flew away. It was rumored and circulated that Sulaiman had been a sorcerer. The Children of Israel kept these writings and disputed with Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) regarding them. But Allah the Almighty revealed to him His Saying: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved}.

Narrated Ar-Rabi’ Ibn Anas: the Jews used to ask Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) about matters from the Torah, and every time they ask him, Allah reveals to him that with which he defeats and overcomes them. Thereupon, they said: Muhammad knows what has been revealed to us better than we do! Then, they asked him about sorcery and Allah revealed His Statement: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut}. And He informed His Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that the devils wrote a book about sorcery and soothsaying and buried it under Sulaiman’s throne. Verily, Sulaiman was not knowledgeable about the Unseen. When he died, the devils got that magic out and deceived the people by saying: this is the knowledge which Sulaiman used to secretly keep from you. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) informed the Jews of that narration and they went out lowering their heads defeated and humiliated.

Mujahid said pertaining to Allah’s Statement: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut}, the devils used to listen stealthily to the discussions of the angels and add to what they heard twohundred lies. Then, Sulaiman seized what they wrote and after his death they regained it and taught it to the people, it was nothing but blackmagic.

Sa’id Ibn Jubair said: Sulaiman used to look for and capture the magic of the devils and keep it buried under his throne. The devils could not reach it and thus they inspired to the people that it is the knowledge with which Sulaiman was able to overcome the Jinn, the wind, etc., and that it is buried under his own throne. Afterwards, the people got it out and practiced it. Later, the people of the Hejaz said: Sulaiman used to practice sorcery. Upon this, Allah the Almighty revealed His Saying: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut}. Muhammad Ibn Ishaq Ibn Yasar said: when the devils knew of the death of Sulaiman, they wrote down types of sorcery (magic) as thus: to fulfill such and such matters, practice such and such (procedures). They gathered all these in a book and sealed it with a ring bearing the inscription found on Sulaiman’s ring and titled it with: This is what was written by Asif Ibn Barkhiya by order of King Sulaiman Ibn Dawud. Then, they buried it under the throne (of Sulaiman). After some time, the Children of Israel got it out and said:

Verily, Sulaiman ruled over us only with this and they diffused sorcery among the people. When Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) mentioned Sulaiman Ibn Dawud as one of the former Messengers sent by Allah the Almighty, the Jews in Madinah said: Amazingly Muhammad claims that Sulaiman Ibn Dawud was a Prophet, by Allah, he was nothing but a sorcerer. Thereupon, Allah the Almighty revealed His Saying: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).” And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their own selves, if they but knew).

Narrated Ibn Jarir: I was told by Al-Qasim after Hussein Ibn Al-Hajjaj after Abu Bakr after Shahr Ibn Hawshab -Weak (i.e. not trustworthy) Narrator- as saying: The devils used to write sorcery down when Sulaiman was absent. “They wrote: whosoever wants to do such and such, he should stand facing the sun and say such and such. And, whosoever wants to do such and such, he should stand giving his back to the sun and say such and such.” They wrote this in a book titled: “This is what has been written by Asif Ibn Barkhiya by the order of King Sulaiman Ibn Dawud: from the treasures of knowledge.” Then, they buried it under Sulaiman’s throne. When Sulaiman died, Satan established himself as an orator and said: “O people! Sulaiman was not a prophet; he was only a sorcerer! Go and seek his sorcery in his dwellings and luggage.” And he led them to the buried “treasure”. The people said: “By Allah! Sulaiman was a sorcerer who subjected us through his magic.”

The believers from among them said: “Nay, he was a faithful Prophet.” When Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was sent and he mentioned Dawud and Sulaiman, the Jews said: “Muhammad confounds the truth with falsehood: he puts Sulaiman with the Prophets while he was just a sorcerer who was carried by the wind. Thereupon, Allah the Almighty revealed: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marutbut neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).

“And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their own selves, if they but knew}. Narrated Ibn Jarir: I was told by Muhammad Ibn`Abdel A`la As-San`ani that he was told by Al-Mu`tamir Ibn Sulaiman who said: I heard ` Imran Ibn Jarir who narrated from Abu Majliz as saying: Sulaiman (Peace be upon him) took from every living creature a covenant. So when any person gets afflicted with anything, he (Sulaiman) asks Allah with that covenant and the person recovers.

Unfortunately, the people added to this sorcery and magic and said: this is what Sulaiman Ibn Dawud used to act upon. Thereupon, Allah the Almighty revealed His Saying: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did lot disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came town at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).” And from these (angels) people earn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their own selves, if they but knew}.

Narrated Ibn Abu Hatim: I was told by `Isam Ibn Rawwad after Adam after Al-Mas`udi after Ziyad the freed slave of Ibn Mus` ab after Al-Hasan pertaining to Allah’s Statement: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon)}, as saying: one-third of poetry, one-third of sorcery (magic), and one-third of soothsaying. And, he said: I was told by AI-Hasan Ibn Ahmed after Ibrahim Ibn `Abdullah Ibn Bshshar Al-Wasiti after Surur Ibn Al-Mughirah after `Abbad Ibn Mansur after Al- Hasan pertaining to Allah’s Statement: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon)}, as saying: they were the Jews who followed what they gave out in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Peace be upon him). Prior to that the people knew sorcery, but it was only followed in the lifetime of Sulaiman. That was a summary of the sayings and narrations of the godly earlier scholars concerning this and it is obvious that there is no clear contradiction between any of them, may Allah guide us all to the Right and Straight Path of His!

Allah’s Statement: {They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon)}, i.e. the Jews who were given an earlier Divine Scripture -gave their backs to it and rejected Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and followed {what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic)},what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic), i.e. what was narrated and related by the devils {in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon)}.

It is true that magic existed before the time of Sulaiman Ibn Dawud (Peace be upon them) because magicians were found in the lifetime of Musa (Moses) (Peace be upon him) and that Sulaiman came after Musa (Peace be upon them both). Allah the Almighty says: {Have you not thought about the group of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Musa (Moses)? When they said to a Prophet of theirs, “Appoint for us a king and we will fight in Allah’s Way.” He said, “Would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you?” They said, “Why should we not fight in Allah’s Way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children (families have been taken as captives)?” But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)}. (Al-Baqarah, 246) then, Allah mentioned the story in which, {and Dawud (David) killed Jalut (Goliath), and Allah gave him [Dawud (David)] the kingdom [after the death of Talut (Saul) and Samuel] and Al-Hikmah (Prophethood), and taught him of that which He willed}. (Al-Baqarah, 251) and, the people of Salih who existed before Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) said to their Prophet Salih: {You are only of those bewitched!}. (Ash-Shu’ara’, 153)

Allah the Almighty says: {and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).” And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife), i.e. the Jew falsely claimed that Allah Almighty revealed magic on the tongues of Gabriel and Michael to Sulaiman Ibn Dawud, but Allah belied them and showed their falsehood. Moreover, Allah informed His Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that neither Gabriel, nor Michael has descended with magic and He declared the innocence of Sulaiman (Peace be upon him) from sorcery and black magic. Allah told the whole people that magic is nothing but the work of devils who teach it to the people in Babylon. And, that the two men who used to teach it to the people there were called Harut and Marut.

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