Question 43: It was reported from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) that he was bewitched. So we would like you to talk about the means by which he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was bewitched. Furthermore, is it contradictory to the status of Prophethood that bewitchment of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) took place?
The Answer: It has been confirmed in the Saheehayn (al- Bukhaaree and Muslim collections of Ahaadeeth) and in other traditions that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was enchanted. His bewitchment, however, did not affect him from the aspect of Legislation or Revelation. The utmost thing in this respect is that he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) reached a stage whereby he began to fancy that he was doing a thing which he was not actually doing. The magic material intended for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was the cast of a Jew known by the name Labeed ibn al-A’sam. Allaah, The One free of all imperfection and The Most High, protected the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) from it, until he was informed of what occurred to him by way of inspiration. He used to seek refuge in Allaah against evil by the recitation of al-Mu’awwithatayn, soorat al- Falaq and soorat An-Naas.
And this kind of magic does not influence the state of Prophethood, since it did not affect the behavior of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) regarding the Revelation and acts of worship, as we have mentioned earlier. Some people have denied that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was bewitched under the pretext that such saying necessitates believing the unbelievers, and even the wrongdoers who said:
You follow none but a witched man. [Qur’aan, soorat al-Israa’ (17): 47].
There is no doubt, however, that such saying does not obligate approving those unbelievers and wrongdoers in what they have attributed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Since they claim that the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is bewitched in what he utters from Revelation, and what he has brought is mere hallucination, like the hallucination of the bewitched. However, the bewitching that occurred to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did not affect him in anything of the Revelation whatsoever, or in anything of the acts of worship. And it is forbidden that we deny his enchantment based upon our misunderstanding of the texts.
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