“And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allāh‘s Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie.

Verily, your Lord! It is He Who knows best who strays from His Way, and He knows best the rightly guided ones.”

Al-‘An`ām 6, (116-117)


Distinctive Features of a Sāhir’s Work

  1. He asks the patient his and his mother’s names
  2. He takes a sweaty garment from the patient (a piece of cloth, cap, handkerchief, or flannel etc.)
  3. He sometimes asks for an animal, with certain specifications, in order to slaughter it without initiating the slaughter with the Name of Allāh, He may use the sacrificial blood to stain some painful areas of the patient, or throw the carcass in a ruined site
  4. He writes incantations
  5. He recites unclear incantations
  6. He gives the patient incantation written on a piece of paper, which contains squares within which letters or figures are written
  7. He instructs the patient to isolate himself/herself in a dark room and not to talk to people for a specific period of time.
  8. He sometimes instructs the patient not to touch water for a specific period of time, usually forty days
  9. He gives the patient some items to bury in the ground
  10. He gives the patient some pieces of paper to burn and use as an incense for his or her body
  11. He murmurs unclear words
  12. He sometimes informs the patient of his name, his town and the purpose of the visit
  13. He writes broken letters on a piece of paper or on a plate made of white porcelain, and instructs the patient to dissolve the writing in water, and then drink it


If you discover that this man is a sāhir, do not go to him; or else you are the person whom the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) describes in the following hadith: “Whoever comes to a fortune-teller or sorcerer and believes what he says has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad”.  [1]

Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahullah) has written, Fortune Tellers and soothsayers are messengers of Satan. This is so because the polytheists hasten to them. They rush to them in anticipation when anything important is happening and they believe in their words. They take them as the decider of their affairs and they are pleased with their rulings. This is the same behaviour that the followers of the messengers [of Allāh] have towards the messengers. They believe that [these fortune tellers] have knowledge of the unseen things that no one else knows about. So for the people who make idolatry through them, they are in the place of messengers. In reality, the fortune tellers and soothsayers are truly the messengers of Satan. He sends them to his party of polytheists and makes them appear like truthful messengers until his party responds to them in order to take them away from the messengers of Allāh. They consider their messengers to be truthful ones who have knowledge of the unseen. Since there is such a great difference and contradiction between the two, the Messenger of Allāh (peace be on him) said, “Whoever goes to a fortune-teller and believes in what he says, he has disbelieved in what has been revealed to Muhammad.”

So, people are of two categories: followers of the fortune-tellers and followers of the [true] messengers [of Allāh]. One person cannot be of both the latter and the former. In fact, the further he goes from the Messenger by the amount that he believes in the fortune-teller. [2]


  1. Al-Hakim
  2. Ibn al-Qayyim, Ighaatha al-Luhfaan, vol. 1, p. 271