Books of sorcery

Q: The questioner says that his father believes in superstitions like charlatanism, including drawing on the sand which they learn from a book named "`Ilm Usul Al-Raml," (The science of the basics of drawing on sand) and other things which they call 'folding the earth'. They also believe in protective amulets and writing Hirz (verses of guarding and refuge) which they obtain from so-called yellow books, such as a book named 'Shams Al-Ma`arif Al-Kubra' (The sun of higher knowledge), and 'Kitab Al-Tib-wal-Rahmah' (The book of medicine and mercy), Kitab Al-Awfak, Kitab Daqa'iq Al-Akhyar Al-Kabir, and Sihr Al-Kuhhan (The sorcery of soothsayers) and many other strange books. My father owns some of these books, which he always reads and derives amulets and talismans from them. He also believes in what is called the Al-Riyadah (Exercise), meaning the exercise of spiritual fasting in which they refrain from eating meat. Moreover, they do what they call Al-Mandal by which they search in matters of Ghayb (the Unseen) and conjure the jinn. The questioner is asking about the religious ruling regarding such acts and eating from the meat of sacrifices done for their sake.

A: The books mentioned in the question are misguiding, because they are abundant in means of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), soothsaying, propagation of Sihr (sorcery) and deviation from the right path. (Part No. 1; Page No. 205) Accordingly, they should not be owned, sold or circulated, as they were the cause why many people have deviated from the straight path - truly, to Allah we belong and truly to Him we shall return. As for what you mentioned concerning the person who keeps reading these books and practicing soothsaying, he is definitely so unfair to himself by indulging in the way of deviation and Shirk, and the acts you mentioned are like soothsaying and charlatanism which no Muslim accepts for himself or for others. They indicate complete ignorance of the religion of Allah (Exalted be He). You should advise him and make the way of truth known to him. Urge him to follow the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) (may Allah be pleased with them) and if he repents and gives up such malicious misdeeds, praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. If not, you should not keep company with him until he repents to Allah (Exalted be He). However, if the doer of such acts is your father, then you have to tell him what we said and advise him kindly and leniently - may Allah make you the cause for his guidance. You should not sever your relation with him, but rather keep advising him and supplicating to Allah (Exalted be He) that He may guide him to the way of righteousness and keep good company with him until he repents of such misdeeds or dies. Allah (Praised and Exalted be He) says: And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years - give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. But if they (both) strive against you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do. (Part No. 1; Page No. 206) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.