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Are magic shows to entertain kids Halal or Haram?


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Author Topic: Are magic shows to entertain kids Halal or Haram?  (Read 68 times)
N. Truth Seeker
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« on: April 14, 2018, 03:20:32 am »


A sister and her husband who participate in our monthly group discussions are planning to celebrate the birthday their little son who hasn't yet started school, a party full of fun and enjoyment for kids - donkey rides, musical chair and a clown's magic show -  with plenty of appetizing snacks and refreshments.  But one brother in our group said the magic show should be removed from the party plan, interpreting it as Haram.  That left many of us wondering to what extent he's right.   The reason he thinks all modern, recreational magic shows to be Haram is because he compares them with the magic performed by the wizards in Pharaoh's court.  Most of us are of the opinion that that's a very incorrect comparison.   Pharaoh's court staged serious illusionary magic with an ulterior motive to brainwash the people turning them into disbelievers in The Almighty.  Such magical spells are similar to sorcery. Their purpose was to make Pharaoh appear most powerful who was the boss of his wizards.   A modern-day magic show for kids is a totally different event with absolutely no such motives, no such ideas, only for the purpose of amusement and fun for children.  Even if adults watch it for fun, it's fine.   These recreational magic shows do not  interfere with Faith, they don't involve any Haram acts like vulgarity or nudity nor use of alcohol.   

At present, we can categorize the topic of "magic" into two types: 

(1) Magics done with serious intent to bewitch the people, and to alter or misguide their beliefs.  It's also termed as "magic of illusions,"  e.g. Pharaoh's wizards who cast an evil spell on the cognizance of their audience when they threw their rods on the ground and the rods appeared to the viewers as if they moved like serpents (refer Verse 20:66).   That was because the onlookers began having visual illusions, not reality.  Indeed this is completely Haram and the Noble Quran confirms it.   The purpose of Pharaoh through his wizards and warlocks was to beguile the people into thinking he was their deity and the magicians served him, adding a supernatural dimension through falsification.

(2) Magic for entertainment is understood by the audience to be a joke for recreational purposes.  Even if you refer to it as "sleight of hand," it's a very different aspect from what was practiced by the conjurers working for Pharaoh.  No one is stupid enough to believe that a magic-show performer in a kids' birthday party has supernatural powers.  Kids too know it's a trick and buffoonery to make them laugh.  The performer treats his 'magic' as a game or professional hobby.   These jovial shows are NOT done by casting any spells on the audience.  Rather, many modern magic-show equipment work on the basis of technical or mechanical know-how sold in stores.  These magicians learn certain tricks for entertainment such as learning to juggle half a dozen ping-pong orbs simultaneously or learning how to safely put a lighted cigarette inside their pocket etc. through the trial and error method, as one would learn any other sport or acrobat.    Until now, I've not known of a single kid nor adult, who after watching these lighthearted jovial 'magics' for entertainment, has gotten misguided.    Based on the Noble Quran, intention is hugely important.  Intent or niyah often decides entirely whether the deed is Halal or Haram.  The intention or approach of magic shows for entertainment is not designed to go beyond a jest or funny prank to amuse the people who are already aware that it's a rib-tickler game.

There is a big difference between casual magic of games / tricks for entertainment and magic of illusion, sorcery and witchcraft which are seriously misguided ideas with plans and practices either to hurt others or to establish one's cult-like domineering presence by subjugating their disciples / followers through fear or rites of witchcraft.  Very often, such practices also involve communication with the jinn.  Non-Muslims may interpret this as "evil spirits" but it's actually jinn.  That's how different Haram magic and sorcery are from the commonly spoken benign magic for entertainment.

Thus, while the unpurposed recreational fun & games magic-show is Halal, the motivated magic of illusion, sorcery and witchcraft are HARAM.     

Many of our modern-day sheikhs and imams have prohibited the safe and benign magic for entertainment through fatwas saying that it promotes falsehood through tricks, showing something which doesn't actually happen as shown.  From that perspective, even Disneyland should be prohibited as nothing you see there is real.  But lots of Muslims, including our sheikhs and their families, visit such spots for an outing and entertainment, which if fine.  Our sheikhs and ulemas are quick at pointing fingers on harmless magic shows, condemning them as promoting falsehood.  But they are complacent about the huge falsehood of Hadith they teach to thousands of people which involves forging the name of the Prophet (pbuh) to influence the minds of the naive, making them embrace extra-Quranic concepts by ingnoring Quranic injunctions.  Isn't this just as dangerous a trick as Pharaoh's haram magic and sorcery?


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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 04:17:57 am »


That's a bit like fearing the neighbor's little poodle puppy but no concerns over a wolf roaming in your yard.   Some of our folks really know how to make simple issues complicated out of their own thoughtlessness.  They worry that kids will be exposed to falsehood through harmless pranks and childhood game-tricks while the tidal wave of hadith flaws, fallacies and distortions are taught to them daily without the slightest of worry   ~ sigh ~

Good read.  Thanks brother.   As-salam Alaykum, peace.


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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 02:44:05 am »



Exactly, Sister Ruhi.     The aspect of reality and intent is completely ignored by our clerical circles. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 02:50:43 am »


Very well and comprehensively explained br. TS.   I'm glad you covered this topic.  It's an important one and somehow we hadn't yet put it up.   Thanks brother. 
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 02:51:43 am »


Loads of welcome, Sister Zeynab.
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 02:53:04 am »



What's the precise difference between haram magic,  sorcery and witchcraft?
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 03:01:12 am »


Magic of illusion for evil purposes called haram magic (as in Pharaoh's court, details in Surah Al-Araf and Surah Ta Ha) and sorcery (aka black magic) through which the Israelites were tested during the time of Prophet Soloman (refer to MV post of Harut and Marut) are similar in my opinion, in that, both basically involve misguiding people by indoctrinating their minds with spellbound methods of communication.    Witchcraft (aka occult and some other weird titles) is a bit different as it apparently involves various traditional practices or rituals, one such ritual is referred in Surah Al-Falaq, Verse 113:4 where The Almighty condemns the practice of witchcraft - evil of those who blow on knots - which was apparently a particular ritual of those practicing witchcraft.  All of these concepts, whether magic of illusion, sorcery or witchcraft are confirmed as Haram by the Noble Quran.    Furthermore, Verse 2:102 on sorcery and Verse 113:4  on witchcraft also convey the concept that those who carry out such evil practices cannot harm others if those others have the protection of Allah, that is, if they are rightly guided and seek the protection of Allah.

However, the Quran does not use different words for harmful magic and sorcery.  Magic and sorcery are termed as "al-sihra" and magician as "sahirin."  In Arabic language sihra or sahar are the basic and most common terms for magic and sorcery.  In fact, in Arabic language witchcraft is also often referred to as "sahar," sometimes also "erafa."   But in the Quranic Verse 113:4 of Surah Al-Falaq, Allah Almighty mentions the expression "al-nafasati fil uqadi" which means "the blowers in the knots," .... as I mentioned earlier, this was probably a particular ceremonial rite of witchcraft widely practiced in Arabia and elsewhere.

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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 03:12:40 am »



A big thanks Sis, for making it easier for me to understand. 
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