Sorcerer sentenced to eight years jail in Afghanistan

A sorcerer has been sentenced to eight years in prison in Afghanistan’s Jawzjan province, amid a crackdown on witchcraft by the Islamic authorities.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Vice and Virtue, Muhammad Sadiq Akif, wrote on his Twitter page: “Some time ago in Jawzjan province, a magician was introduced to the court by the provincial directorate of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue, and finally he was sentenced to eight years in prison.”

He added that arrests of those practising sorcery has started with intensity.

The news comes after Ministry of Vice and Virtue ordered an end to all magic and spell-casting. According to the ministry, giving amulets to people is not against Shari’ah law, but jadugars (sorcerers, witches) who work against Islamic Shari’ah will be shut down.

“Provincial leaders have been instructed to be very serious in pursuing jadugars,” said Muhammad Sadiq Akif.

Although Afghan public opinion has always been disapproving of witchcraft, some Afghans have turned to amulet writers and witches to help solve their problems.

In Islam, witchcraft is considered haraam because it involves seeking supernatural powers supposedly outside of Allah’s control which goes against the belief in the oneness of God.

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Islamic scholars emphasise relying on Allah SWT for all matters and avoiding practices associated with witchcraft, such as casting spells or seeking assistance from supernatural beings.

Witchcraft is therefore seen as a form of deception and manipulation that contradicts the principles of faith and submission to Allah SWT.

Some Quranic verses and ahadith which back this opinion are as follows:

“They followed what the Shayaateen (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulayman. Sulayman did not disbelieve, but the Shayaateen (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic.” [al-Baqarah 2:102]

“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.” [al-Baqarah 2:102]

“…and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain.” [Ta-Ha 20:69]

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Avoid the seven sins which doom a person to Hell.” They asked, “What are they?” He said: “Associating anything in worship with Allah (shirk); witchcraft…”

And the Prophet (pbuh) said: “He is not one of us who practices witchcraft or has it done for him.”

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