Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Muslim Beliefs
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In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, I greet you with the greetings of all the prophets from Adam to Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him. Assalamu Aleikum, which means peace be upon you. Today we continue in with our fourth program and the series of Muslim beliefs. Today's topic is the continuation of our program last week where we discussed magic, the unseen and some related topics. I'm your host, Tom Rasheed. My guest on today's program is Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University. Welcome to Islam and focus. Brother Jamal, could you perhaps summarize last week's program when we were the first program we began
talking about this question of magic, okay.
We started first by explaining the various meanings of magic. And we said that magic could mean simply enchantment, or attraction.
It could also mean playing a little trick, just like bringing the rabbits out of the hat or something of that sort, which is, it's okay for us just for entertainment. But we just talked about, we talked about another type of tricks which are used to strike terror in people's heart or exploit them. We get exempted from the Quran about the magician's. During the time of Prophet Moses peace be upon him how they tried to deceive people. Of course, Moses was not a magician, we should make it clear that when he threw his staff, it became a real snake and swallowed all the trivial magical deeds or deception that the magicians were using to prove his gratitude.
But we also talked about another meaning of magic, and that is the sense of sorcery, or using various
magic, or witchcraft, or wizardry to hurt some people for sensors and that purpose. And we indicated that Islam is very clear on the question of magic that stands for bed, the use of magic, the learning of magic, or even resorting, or going to some magician to help in solving any particular problem, actually indicated that
if whenever the person is faced with a problem, Muslims should depend upon God, he should realize that only the final authority lies in his hand, he should use his God given rationality and mind the help of others and advice to solve his problems. And after all, of course, he has to constantly petition God and pray to Him for guidance.
Then you touched on a related subject, that's the question of divination, people who claim to foretell the future, the fortune tellers. And again, we said that Islam has forbade that the knowledge of the unseen is only or does belong only to God. And that, with the exception of what he got himself reveals to some people, some prophets, for example, or messengers, that nobody has access to this knowledge of the of the unseen. And we indicated that this basic principle applies to all other forms of telling the future, whether it's palm reading or astrology or horoscope, that all of these things at times, exploitation really of people,
we indicated whenever the Quran mentioned anything about the stars, doesn't talk about it as a fortune telling, but as beautification and the sky as light as guidance for the travelers.
Okay, well to continue our discussion on this issue of the unseen I'm curious to know if there are specific areas of unseen or specific things about the future which Islam emphasizes are particularly that Islam emphasize that particularly belong to God or to Allah.
There are five areas that are summarized actually in
one verse in the Quran, and also repeated in one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, that appears in chapter 31 verse 34, maybe I can just do that.
For you, it says, verily, the knowledge of the hour, that is the day of judgment is with God alone.
It is he who sends down rain.
And he who knows what is in the woods.
No one knows what it is that he will or she will earn tomorrow? No Does anyone know in what land he or she is to die very with God is full knowledge. And he's acquainted with all things. In other words, there are five basic areas that are emphasized in this
passage in the Quran. The knowledge, first of the hours, the day of judgment, knowledge of the rainfall,
the what is in the wombs of mothers, what the person is going to earn in the following day, and
where and how the person is going to die. Some people might argue, though, given the areas that we just mentioned that these things are things that can be like, for example, rainfall can be predicted by a forecast. Other things to mention might be able to be detected by scientific means, what would be your response to people who would take that line? I think, in raising this argument, they seem to be mixing between two things,
mixing between the absolute complete certain knowledge of God, which is with complete certitude without any doubt about the it's exactly that you would, and the human effort to try and predict and forecast something that may happen on the basis of some potential evidence that is available to us. Let's take each of these five areas briefly, just to make sure. First of all, I don't think that people don't realize this argument. There's any question about the hour, that's the Day of Judgment, when exactly it was going to happen. There may be science of the approaching of the day of judgment or big havoc in the universe. But nobody can say for sure, when, today, I think this probably should
be out of that. The second issue, the question of rainfall,
when the the weatherman or weather person next to me forecasts about rainfall, it is based on certain information about certain study of the patterns of wind, the speed direction, the clouds, this has been facilitated with information that could be obtained by satellites. So you're not really getting knowledge of the hidden things, there are things that God has created already in the universe, things which already started by way of when moving according to certain laws, which got created in nature, in that sense, it's, it's not really encroachment, on the, on the domain of God to make this kind of forecast because God, according to the Quran encourages us to try and learn
what is there in the universe and to harness this for human benefit.
The Tick the others are the third issue about the knowledge of what is in the wombs of mothers.
Some people would say, all right, that means or refers perhaps to the sex of the fetus, and say, all right, we can use some medical means now I think we use like taking some of the fluid from the uterus and analyze that and come up with some
prediction or forecast of the sex of the, of the fetus.
But what is forgotten here is that the verse that I cited in the Quran did not say, the sex of the fetus. It simply says, Only God knows what is in the ones. What isn't the one there's not necessarily whether the person is going to be male or female, what kind of person what kind of characters,
how long he or she is going to live? What kind of destiny that the person would have, even after death. So this is a very
impressive knowledge that again, only God would know for sure, and in full details. And the fourth area when it says that no person knows for sure what he or she is going to earn tomorrow. It doesn't mean a salary because you see, right I'm I'm working on a fixed talent. I know. Tomorrow, earn here is used to earn everything deeds, what kind of good or bad deeds you're going to earn in your tomorrow and again, nobody can tell for sure because nobody knows whether he would be alive tomorrow. And finally, in which land the person is going to die. And I think all of us attest to this fact that medical doctors can sometimes predict that this person may probably die within
How many days or so many months but the exact moment the exact date is something that is reserved
with the knowledge of God. So in other words, the main issue here is that distinction between the full certain knowledge that God knows exactly what exact moments things are going to take, and between God permitted forecasts of certain natural phenomena, which, according to quantum mechanics are very, very open attitude towards understanding of the universe and the various laws because to the Muslim, those laws in the universe are created by God, and we have to understand them and harness them proudly.
I'd like to turn to another area now. And that's the aspect of knowledge of the future relating to dreams. Sometimes people have dreams, which eventually turned out to come true. Does that kind of situation contradicts the Islamic understanding about the unseen? Not necessarily. This is one again, remind you of something that you mentioned also on the last program. Actually, it was one verse that you got it from the Quran that the knowledge of the unseen is reserved to God except as he permits. So they there is a possibility there of God permitting or allowing some of this information,
or getting them to prophets to messenger or even to people through dreams. In fact, I find I have a reference to that particular point in one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him,
which is narrated in Sahih, Muslim one of the
authentic collections of prophetic sayings, in which the Prophet peace be upon him divides dreams into three types.
He says, there's a good dream.
And that comes from God. There is a bad dream that comes from Satan, or devils. And then there is the dream, which is basically your own thoughts, something that emanates from your own mind, or your own thoughts, or worries.
Now, as far as the first category, genes that comes from God, this could be a kind of warning of something wrong that you might be tempted to do. So just give you some advanced warning. It could be like I said, even something of a foretelling of something that is going to happen to you very soon. This is coming from God, it could be like a gift of this one aspect of prophecy, in fact. And one thing, of course, Mohammed, he says that, if a person is gifted with this dreams that come through, that this dream type of dream constitute one out of 45 portions of prophecy,
just like to say about 2% or so of prophecy, you're not a prophet, but it's just one touch of this prophecy. So there's nothing wrong with this. The second type of dream, which the Prophet called gene from Satan, some evil suggestions, or some scary things, like nightmares. He said that this is from Satan, what to do? Again, he explained in the collection of Muslim variety of ways when this happens to you, if you wake up, scared, or with a bad dream, don't tell people about it. You could simply invoke the name of God say I seek refuge and the god the name of God, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful, one of the one of the invocation that you could use.
He also recommended that you change the side you're sleeping on, if you're sleeping on your right side, you turn on the left side, and vice versa. Is there even a better way is to rise up, make evolution and perform prayers, Islamic prayers, and this will be explained later. And then go back to bed, this will drive away the evil spirits or this evil suggestions, and you can sleep again, securely. The third type of dreams, something that many psychologists perhaps would be interested in, and that's a reflection
of some of your thoughts, your prior experience or knowledge or worries or desires, or whatever the case may be. And this could be neutral, it may not necessarily cause any particular harm it reflects your own thoughts. In fact, if I may add just one quick remark that a dream in the case of a prophet
accredited messenger of prophet of God, for him alone, it becomes compulsory, whatever the Prophet sees in his dream, is regarded as a direct command of God to him just as much as he sends the angel of revelation to instruct him to do certain things. We find evidence in the Quran about this in the story of Prophet Abraham. When
He was commanded by God in his dream, to sacrifice or to offer sacrifice his only son, Ishmael, and I say Ishmael, according to Muslim belief, because according to the Quran, it was Ishmael. It's clearly implied in the Quran. And that story, for example, is found particularly in chapter 37, verses 100 through 113. But that's again, something that applies exclusively to a prophet or messenger and this the era of Prophet would ended with the last prophet, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon looking at the question of
bad omens, or bad or bad luck. Does the Holy Book of Muslims the Quran have anything to say about the
there is a term which is used in the Quran, which approximates the meaning of bad omen. It's called an Arabic papaya, which actually believing in that somebody or some person brings bad luck. We find this is quite common, and they were surprised to find that in varieties of cultures, for example, people having some hangups with the number 13. Yes, one time I heard that even when they built some people when they build high rises, yes, we could go into the elevator, you have floor number 12. And then slot number 14, because 13 that's a no no.
People live for example, feeling bad luck, if Black Cat passes in front of you. Or if you pass next to a ladder, of course, that might understand because the ladder might fall on you. But they believe that that itself brings bad luck regardless of what's happened to you immediately. At that time.
The some people might have bad omen from certain objects or people they see or animals they encounter. The Quran
indicate that in the past, many people has fallen prey to this kind of superstition. It's not accepted to the Muslim. Indeed, the Quran mentioned by way of ridiculing some of the unbelievers who used to accuse the prophets in the past, that the prophets brought bad luck to them. This acquisition, for example, appears in chapter 36, verse 18, in the Quran, and it's denied that prophets do not really bring bad omen or bad luck. In the case of prophets, Allah, one of the prophets of God. In chapter 27, verse 47, it also talks about accusation made against him.
Even in a case of one of the great five prophets, Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, we find that his people, even the Egyptians at that time, felt that Prophet Moses and his followers brought bad luck to them. This would be interesting, because if I just may quote, it's in chapter seven,
verse 131, it talks about the
Egyptians at that time it says, When good times come, or came to them, they said, This is due to us.
But when gripped by calamity, they ascribe it to evil omens, connected with Moses, and those with him. Behold, in truth, the omens of evil are theirs, in God's sight, but most of them do not understand. In other words, Islam came to change the whole notion of bad omen, that bad omen is not necessarily just a superstitious belief, that person or event bring bad luck. But what truly brings bad luck are the evil deeds of the person. This is very essential because there are some sayings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him when he uses that term. But he changes the direction altogether from believing in it as a superstition into some objective and rational evil. Like when you say, for
example, a bad amen connected with the home, it could be just a bad neighborhood, a bad neighbor, an Amen involved in some animal that used like a horse, for example, it could be because it could be a troublesome type of animal if it's not,
you know, for example, behaving itself. So the whole meaning has changed from superstitious supernatural belief, to the actual reasons why or a concert or spouse, for example,
not because I'm mysterious, because of mysterious thing about the spouse but because again, the spouse is the closest person with whom you live. And again, if the character of that person is not upright, it becomes bad in that sense objectively and rationally not not mysteriously.
It is not unusual, indeed, that because of some people's involvement in believes in bad omen that they
tend to become self fulfilling prophecies. Somebody leaving home and say, Oh my goodness, you know, a black cat passed in front of me while I'm getting into my car or a cloth. And then Fisher keeps thinking about that all the anxiety that's aroused might lead into an accident on the way. So that was the crowd that I saw in the morning. Yes, yeah. What does the crisis do? It could be just self fulfilling prophecy. That's why Indeed,
the prophet, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in one saying, he says it is not of us, it's not Muslim. He who believes in bad omens or goes to someone else who tells him about this Omen, a person who practice divination, or foretelling of the future, or goes to someone who practice divination, a person who practice sorcery, or even resort to someone who practices such as you, all of these types of omens are included? And the same way you may have answered my next question, as I look at the other side of the coin with the opposite situation to bad omen and look to the situation of belief in charms and other things. A lot of people believe that some of these terms can protect them from
evil, certain things like rabbit feet, bring them good luck. And
what is the
Muslim position on on those kinds of? I think I already know the answer. But most of us position on that kind of thought, or people who use, for example, horseshoes. And it's very surprising that even among, you know, cultures where there's a high degree of education and rationality, right, that many of these things still
persist in some other places they use like a hanging a horn, or hand or eye or something like that, you know, the, the basic rule in terms of these things is that it relates to one basic principle that we discussed in the last program.
That this kind of belief reflects a belief in some other power, beside the power of God, as a rival power sharing in his divine attributes. And as such, it is just as rejected
in Islam as bad omen is also rejected. Indeed, there are two sayings of Prophet Muhammad, one of them is narrated in Ahmed, in which he says, Man, Allah kosaka, a person who wears or have a necklace or something hanging something, believing that This protects him, then he is really associated, or associating other deities or other powers with the power of God.
In another saying and the collection of televisie, he says, Man, Allah, cache and rookie, a person who hands up something, believing in its protection, God will live him to that thing to protect them, which means, of course, that thing has no power to protect the individuals. So in that sense, it is it is out for a true Muslim, you would not believe that it's unfortunate that you find some Muslim still hang this thing, out of imitation to others.
Even in the case of illness, for example, what Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him taught,
and that I caught him again and saying, narrated and Ahmed,
he says seek remedy for your disease, because he who created disease also created the cure for it. So one should not have a superstitious thought about either good or bad. You have one has to apply rational means and seek. Of course, this does not contradict beyond rationality, the attitude of prayers to God invocation of Islam and believe that God can kill you, even without the agency of medicine. But what Islam provides us you got to try first, do your best and then leave the rest to God, you should always feel that it is ultimately his authority.
One of the interesting practices of the Prophet peace be upon him was when he visited somebody who's sick used to make something called Rokia okay means to make prayer for his cure. One this reads like this ad Hey, Bill bass robinus. She enter Shafi lash Illa she fell, she fell in love of other sacrament, he puts his hand on the person's forehead and says, relief the suffering or loss of mankind cure.
Cure, you are the cure, there is no cure, but yours cure which leaves no trace of illness.
But it does not say don't take medicine, in addition to seeking the proper means. So this way you find that the attitude of Islam is to combine between rational ways of looking for
Good solutions to your problems. But in the meantime, always believing that everything is contingent on the power and will of God. There's no contradiction between this in the five minutes or so that we have left remaining on the program. I want to pursue one more question in this particular one and then pass move on to another area. I'm interested in your comments in the area of
the heard the expression and oftentimes use the bad eye. Or some people believe that some people who are envious can cause harm to a person I suppose the red cutting might be Voodoo, for example, where people but spells?
What the what what's your comment on that kind of?
Well, it reminds me with some friend was telling me the other day that two people who are believed to have bad eyes that whenever they look at someone or something good, or something bad happens to and they said one of them started competing, one of them looked at a mountain, and he looked at it and the mountain evaporated, or dissipated. So the other person looked at him and say, oh, my goodness, what kind of an eye Have you got, and that other person became blind?
The question of envy has been mentioned in the Quran in more than one place. But perhaps, more specifically, in chapters 130, in particular, verse five, in which a believer is told to seek the refuge, or protection of God, from the evil have an envious person when he or she envious.
Now, what exactly is the bad guy or spell?
One possibility, when you approach it
would be the fact that an envious person, which is by definition, someone who feels or does not wish that any blessing or good things happen to you doesn't want the good thing to remain with you, that will be taken away. That he may he or she may be driven by this kind of extreme jealousy, to try and do certain actions that may eventually cause some harm to you. This is one possible meaning for that.
But on the other hand, we should not try to approach the subject in a way that just trying to appear overly rational. And forget the fact that in human history and the experience of many people, there have been many cases where
this envious, I did actually result not cause result, and some harm that has happened to those people, not necessarily mountains dissipating or something like that. But there might be something of that sort. How do we explain it? We don't know there is no text that I know of for sure. In the Quran, or Sunnah, for example of the saint Mohammed, which gives a clear explanation as to how this happened is that the kind of things that emanate from the person that's unseen, that might be causing this harm? We don't know and I don't want to make any guests on that issue. But what the Quran, however, say is that we should not have
over anxiety about this bad I, the prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him has taught us to recite three times the last three chapters of the Quran, two of them, Chapter 116, and 114 involve all kinds of invocation of the name of God for protection, that they should be mentioned or decided by the person at the time of
sleeping when he goes to bed, or he or she goes to bed.
But after all, the person really should keep his trust in God should not have this undue anxiety of any bad eye. Anything that might happen, because everything is a part of that, right?
didn't have time in today's program to get into this next year that we want to touch on and that's related to the questions relating to the Islamic belief in the soul and life in the hereafter. Unfortunately, we've exhausted our time for today, but I invite all of the viewers of the Islamic focus program back to our program next week, we will look at this question of the soul and life in the hereafter. That's our program for today. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum Peace be upon you.