How did the Muslims fall for amulets, magic, black magic, grave worshiping and other similar evils?
In Surah al-Baqarah ayah 102, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala shares the incident of fitnah of Haroot and Maroot.
وَاتَّبَعُواْ مَا تَتْلُواْ الشَّيَـطِينُ عَلَى مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَـنَ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَـنُ وَلَـكِنَّ الشَّيْاطِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَـرُوتَ وَمَـرُوتَ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّى يَقُولاَ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلاَ تَكْفُرْ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِ وَمَا هُم بِضَآرِّينَ بِهِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلاَ يَنفَعُهُمْ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُواْ لَمَنِ اشْتَرَاهُ مَا لَهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَـقٍ وَلَبِئْسَ مَا شَرَوْاْ بِهِ أَنفُسَهُمْ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ
“They followed what the Shayateen (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulayman (Solomon). Sulayman did not disbelieve, but the Shayateen (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, ‘We are for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).’ And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their own selves, if they but knew.”
This was a test set to separate the good from the evil. The two angels did not teach anyone unless they said, “We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].”
Why did Bani Israel fall for this trap?
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gives us the answer in Surah al-Baqarah ayah 101.
وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ نَبَذَ فَرِيقٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ كِتَـبَ اللَّهِ وَرَآءَ ظُهُورِهِمْ كَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
“And when there came to them a Messenger from Allah (i.e. Muhammad ) confirming what was with them, a party of those who were given the Scripture threw away the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they did not know!”
He says that when a Scripture was given to them but they threw the Scripture of Allah behind their backs as if they did not know [what it contained].
This is what the Muslims repeated many centuries later. When we threw the Qur’an behind our backs assuming we know everything or claiming we have no time to read it, the Shayateen succeeded in calling us to that which was evil.
Today, when someone is struck by a calamity and they are given the advice to pray Salah, recite the Qur’an or give Sadaqah, they say, “Please give me an amulet. Is there a wazeefa that I can do? I am sure someone has done magic on me.”
We are looking for shortcuts and “throwing that behind our backs” which came for our reformation. Today, we are doing everything that Bani Israel was cursed for. They were the best nation once, “the chosen ones”; chosen by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala but they kept breaking one covenant after another. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala snatched that title from them due to their transgression and ungratefulness and bestowed Muslims with this honor. And what are we doing today, treading the path of Bani Israel?
Rely on Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone. No one can help you but Him. Instead of going to tarot readers, palmists, magicians and sorcerers or bowing to a grave and seeking intercession; instead of plotting evil schemes to destruct the lives of others, submit to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone.
In Surah al-Baqarah ayah 186 He says,
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِى وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.”