The ‘Arab term for sorcery is Sihr. Linguistically Sihr is everything whose reason for existing is delicate and enveloped. Due to this cause, the last part of the night is Sahr because it is cloaked and shrouded in darkness. Therefore, everything whose influence is subtle and shrouded from people can linguistically be referred to as Sihr. For instance, the Messenger of Allaah (r) said: “...Some eloquent speech is effective as magic.” This suggests that eloquent speech can leave an impression upon the soul and have an effect on it just as sorcery can have an effect on it; except that eloquence is not forbidden. Nameemah, which is the manner of spreading talk between people with the objective to deliberately induce corruption and tribulation, is also called Sihr. This is taken from the words of the Messenger of Allaah(r). “Shall I not tell you what “al-‘Adhhu” is? It is Nameemah which is to spread talk between the people (which makes them hate each other).” The word ‘al-‘Adhhu’ in this Hadeeth means Sihr. Nameemah is called Sihr because it operates in a similar manner to sorcery. It spreads corruption between people, and it insights hatred in the hearts. Even though Nameemah is not Sihr, it carries the linguistic connotation of the word. Sihr, or sorcery as defined by Islaamic law, consists of charms or incantations that are composed to cause illness, death, loss of mental stability, separate spouses from each other, or prevent a man from acts of intimacy with his wife.
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