Was a spell cast on the Prophet?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The last two chapters of the Quran are called “chapters of muawwidhatayn”. The following incident is mentioned as the reason for the revelation of those two chapters in hadith and tafsir books:

A Jew made eleven knots on a hair strand, cast spell on the Prophet and threw it in a well. When the Prophet got ill due to the spell, those two chapters were sent down. Jibril told the Prophet about its place. The Prophet sent some Companions there and they brought him the hair strand on which the spell was cast. The Prophet recited those two chapters on the hair. As he recited a verse, a knot was untied and he felt relieved. (Ibn Kathir, IV, 574)

Followers of Mutazila and the people who have similar thoughts today say this narration is problematic. They attract attention to the fact if they accepted it as sound, those who state the following would be justified اِنْ تَتَّبِعُونَ اِلَّا رَجُلًا مَسْحُورًا " Ye follow none other than a man bewitched" (al-Furqan, 8) and that doubt would be cast on revelation. In addition, they say the immunity/inviolability of the Prophet, who is under divine protection, would be violated.

We want to attract attention to the following issues:

-There exists a mysterious secret called magic (spell) even if we do not know its nature.

-Some chapters like al-Falaq and an-Nas and verses like ayatul-kursiyy have properties like armor and shield that defend people against magic.

-It is possible for the Prophet to be affected from heat and cold as well as from magic.

-The immunity/inviolability of the Prophet was not affected in the Battle of Uhud or in this incident.  

- Doubt was not cast on revelation when he was under the effect of magic for a while because the magic was eliminated after a while.

-What is meant by the unbelievers’ saying “a man bewitched” is not this incident because they meant to say that the Prophet became mad – God forbid – because of magic.

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