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ARBNDEENIDTRUR
وَٱتَّبَعُوا۟
And they followed
مَا
what
تَتْلُوا۟
recite(d)
ٱلشَّيَٰطِينُ
the devils
عَلَىٰ
over
مُلْكِ
(the) kingdom
سُلَيْمَٰنَۖ
(of) Sulaiman.
وَمَا
And not
كَفَرَ
disbelieved
سُلَيْمَٰنُ
Sulaiman
وَلَٰكِنَّ
[and] but
ٱلشَّيَٰطِينَ
the devils
كَفَرُوا۟
disbelieved,
يُعَلِّمُونَ
they teach
ٱلنَّاسَ
the people
ٱلسِّحْرَ
[the] magic
وَمَآ
And not
أُنزِلَ
was sent down
عَلَى
over
ٱلْمَلَكَيْنِ
the two angels
بِبَابِلَ
in Babylon,
هَٰرُوتَ
Harut
وَمَٰرُوتَۚ
and Marut.
وَمَا
And not
يُعَلِّمَانِ
they both teach
مِنْ
any
أَحَدٍ
one
حَتَّىٰ
unless
يَقُولَآ
they [both] say,
إِنَّمَا
"Only
نَحْنُ
we
فِتْنَةٌ
(are) a trial,
فَلَا
so (do) not
تَكْفُرْۖ
disbelieve."
فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ
But they learn
مِنْهُمَا
from those two
مَا
what
يُفَرِّقُونَ
[they] causes separation
بِهِۦ
with it
بَيْنَ
between
ٱلْمَرْءِ
the man
وَزَوْجِهِۦۚ
and his spouse.
وَمَا
And not
هُم
they (could)
بِضَآرِّينَ
at all [be those who] harm
بِهِۦ
with it
مِنْ
any
أَحَدٍ
one
إِلَّا
except
بِإِذْنِ
by permission
ٱللَّهِۚ
(of) Allah.
وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ
And they learn
مَا
what
يَضُرُّهُمْ
harms them
وَلَا
and not
يَنفَعُهُمْۚ
profits them.
وَلَقَدْ
And indeed
عَلِمُوا۟
they knew
لَمَنِ
that whoever
ٱشْتَرَىٰهُ
buys it,
مَا
what
لَهُۥ
for him
فِى
in
ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ
the Hereafter
مِنْ
any
خَلَٰقٍۚ
share.
وَلَبِئْسَ
And surely evil
مَا
what
شَرَوْا۟
they sold
بِهِۦٓ
with it
أَنفُسَهُمْۚ
themselves,
لَوْ
if
كَانُوا۟
they were
يَعْلَمُونَ
(to) know.

Wattaba'oo maa tatlush Shayaateenu 'alaa mulki Sulaimaana wa maa kafara Sulaimaanu wa laakinnash Shayattena kafaroo yu'al limoonan naasas sihra wa maaa unzila 'alal malakaini bi Baabila Haaroota wa Maaroot; wa maa yu'allimaani min ahadin hattaa yaqoolaaa innamaa nahnu fitnatun falaa takfur fayata'al lamoona minhumaa maa yufarriqoona bihee bainal mar'i wa zawjih; wa maa hum bidaaarreena bihee min ahadin illaa bi-iznillah; wa yata'allamoona maa yadurruhum wa laa yanfa'uhum; wa laqad 'alimoo lamanish taraahu maa lahoo fil Aakhirati min khalaaq; wa labi'sa maa sharaw biheee anfusahum; law kaanoo ya'lamoon

Sahih International:

And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, "We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic]." And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.

Ahmed Ali

And they follow what devilish beings used to chant against the authority of Solomon, though Solomon never disbelieved and only the devils denied, who taught sorcery to men, which, they said, had been revealed to the angels of Babylon, Harut and Marut, who, however, never taught it without saying: "We have been sent to deceive you, so do not renounce (your faith)." They learnt what led to discord between husband and wife. Yet they could not harm any one or without the dispensation of God. And they learnt what harmed them and brought no gain. They knew indeed whoever bought this had no place in the world to come, and that surely they had sold themselves for something that was vile. If only they had sense!

Ahmed Raza Khan

And they followed what the devils used to read during the rule of Sulaiman (Solomon – peace and blessings be upon him); and Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the devils disbelieved – they teach people magic; and that which was sent down to the two angels, Harut and Marut in Babylon; and the two (angels) never taught a thing to anyone until they used to say, “We are only a trial, therefore do not lose your faith” and they used to learn from them that by which they cause division between man and his wife; and they cannot harm anyone by it except by Allah’s command; and they learn what will harm them, not benefit them; and surely they know that whoever bargains for this will not have a share in the Hereafter; and for what an abject thing they have sold themselves; if only they knew!

Ali Ünal

And (just as their ancestors did) they follow the fictions the satans invented and spread about the rule of Solomon (falsely attributing his employment of jinn, devils, and animals in his kingdom to sorcery). But (ascribing creativity or creative effect to sorcery is a kind of unbelief and) Solomon (being a Prophet and excellent servant of God) never disbelieved. Rather, the satans (who spread false things about his rule) disbelieved, teaching people sorcery and the (distorted form of the) knowledge that was sent down on Harut and Marut, the two angels in Babylon. And they (these two angels charged with teaching people some occult sciences such as breaking a spell and protection against sorcery) never taught them to anyone without first warning, "We are a trial, so do not disbelieve (– It is risky to learn the knowledge given to us, therefore use it in lawful ways, and beware of committing an act of unbelief by abusing it.)" And (yet) they (those who followed the falsehoods of the satans) learned from them (the two angels) that by which they might divide a man and his wife. But (though they wrongly attributed creative power to sorcery, in fact) they could not harm anyone thereby save by the leave of God. And they learned what would harm them, not what would profit them. Assuredly, they knew well that he who bought it (in exchange for God’s Book) will have no share (no happy portion) in the Hereafter. How evil was that for which they sold their selves; and if only they had known (acted like people of true knowledge and understanding).

Amatul Rahman Omar

Moreover, they (- the Jews of the Prophet´s time) pursue (the same tactics) which the rebels had followed against the empire of Solomon. And it was not Solomon that had committed breach of faith, but it was the rebels that had committed breach of faith. They (- the Jews of Madînah) teach the people the modes of intriguing; and also (pursue) that which had (once) been revealed to the two angels, Hârût and Mârût in Babylon. But these two would not teach (anything to) anyone without first declaring, `We are but a trial (for you here), do not, therefore commit breach of faith.´ So they (- the followers of Hârût and Mârût), learnt from them that (teaching) by which they made a distinction between man and his wife, (- they taught men only and not women), yet they would not harm anyone thereby (by their practice), save by the command of Allâh. But these people (- the Jews of the Prophet´s time, on the contrary) are learning things that would harm them and do them no good. (They do it) even though they know that he who adopts this course will have no share (of good) in the Hereafter. Indeed, evil is that thing which they have sold themselves for. Had they but known (this fact).

A. J. Arberry

and they follow what the Satans recited over Solomon's kingdom. Solomon disbelieved not, but the Satans disbelieved, teaching the people sorcery, and that which was sent down upon Babylon's two angels, Harut and Marut; they taught not any man, without they said, 'We are but a temptation; do not disbelieve.' From them they learned how they might divide a man and his wife, yet they did not hurt any man thereby, save by the leave of God, and they learned what hurt them, and did not profit them, knowing well that whoso buys it shall have no share in the world to come; evil then was that they sold themselves for, if they had but known.

Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And they follow that which the Satans recited in the reign of Sulaiman; and Sulaiman blasphemed not, but the Satans blasphemed.; teaching people magic; and they follow that also which was sent down unto the two angels in Babil, Harut, and Marut. Unto none the twain taught it until they had said: We are but a temptation, so blaspheme not; but they learned from the twain that wherewith they might separate man from his wife; and they could harm none thereby save by Allah's will. And they have learnt that which harmeth them, and profiteth them not; and assuredly they know that whosoever purchaseth it, his is no portion in the Hereafter. And surely vile is the price for which they have bartered themselves, if they but knew!

Faridul Haque

And they followed what the devils used to read during the rule of Sulaiman (Solomon - peace and blessings be upon him); and Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the devils disbelieved - they teach people magic; and that which was sent down to the two angels, Harut and Marut in Babylon; and the two (angels) never taught a thing to anyone until they used to say, “We are only a trial, therefore do not lose your faith” and they used to learn from them that by which they cause division between man and his wife; and they cannot harm anyone by it except by Allah’s command; and they learn what will harm them, not benefit them; and surely they know that whoever bargains for this will not have a share in the Hereafter; and for what an abject thing they have sold themselves; if only they knew!

Hamid S. Aziz

And they follow that which the devils recited against Solomon´s kingdom;- it was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils who disbelieved, teaching men sorcery, and what has been revealed to the two angels, Harut and Marut, at Babylon, yet neither taught any one until they said, "We are but a temptation, so do not blaspheme." Men learn from them only that by which they may part man and wife; but they can harm no one therewith, unless with the permission of Allah, and they learn what hurts them, not what profits them. And they knew that those who indulge in magic would have no share in the bliss of the Hereafter. Vile is the price of that for which they sell their souls, if they but knew.

Hilali & Khan

They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (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 only 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 ownselves, if they but knew.

Talal Itani

And they followed what the devils taught during the reign of Salomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but it was the devils who disbelieved. They taught the people witchcraft and what was revealed in Babylon to the two angels Harut and Marut. They did not teach anybody until they had said, “We are a test, so do not lose faith.” But they learned from them the means to cause separation between man and his wife. But they cannot harm anyone except with God's permission. And they learned what would harm them and not benefit them. Yet they knew that whoever deals in it will have no share in the Hereafter. Miserable is what they sold their souls for, if they only knew.

English Literal

And they followed what the devils read/recite on Soliman`s kingdom/ownership and Soliman did not disbelieve, and but the devils disbelieved. They teach the people the magic/sorcery and what was descended on the two kings/angels Harut and Marutat Babylon, and they (B) do not teach from anyone until they (B) say: "But we are a test , so do not disbelieve". So they learn from them (B) what they separate with it between the human/man and his wife, and they are not with harming with it from anyone except with God`s permission. And they learn what harms them and does not benefit them, and they had known for who (E) bought it, (there is) no share of blessing/fortune for him in the end (other life), and how bad (E) (is) what they bought/volunteered with it themselves, if they were knowing?

Abul Ala Maududi

(Instead of this,) they began to follow that (magic) to which the devils falsely attributed (the greatness of) the kingdom of Solomon. In fact Solomon was never involved in any practice of disbelief, but the satans, who taught magic to the people were themselves guilty of disbelief. They were after that thing which was sent to Harut and Marut, the two angels at Babylon. Whenever these two angels taught black art to anyone, they would always give a clear warning beforehand, saying, "We are merely a trial for you; so you should not commit blasphemy. But in spite of this warning, those people used to learn from the angels the art which caused division between husband and wife. Although it was obvious that they could not do any harm to anyone by means of this magic without Allah's permission, yet they learnt that art which could not be profitable even for them but was actually harmful. Moreover, they knew it full well that anyone, who purchased that art, would have no share in the Hereafter. What a vile commodity it was for which they sold off their souls, if they had but known it!

Maulana Mohammad Ali

And they follow what the devils fabricated against the kingdom of Solomon. And Solomon disbelieved not, but the devils disbelieved, teaching men enchantment. And it was not revealed to the two angels in Babel, Harut and Marut. Nor did they teach (it to) anyone, so that they should have said, We are only a trial, so disbelieve not. But they learn from these two (sources) that by which they make a distinction between a man and his wife. And they cannot hurt with it anyone except with Allah´s permission. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And certainly they know that he who buys it has no share of good in the Hereafter. And surely evil is the price for which they have sold their souls, did they but know!

Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulayman (Solomon). Sulayman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (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.

Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And follow that which the devils falsely related against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon disbelieved not; but the devils disbelieved, teaching mankind magic and that which was revealed to the two angels in Babel, Harut and Marut. Nor did they (the two angels) teach it to anyone till they had said: We are only a temptation, therefore disbelieve not (in the guidance of Allah). And from these two (angles) people learn that by which they cause division between man and wife; but they injure thereby no-one save by Allah's leave. And they learn that which harmeth them and profiteth them not. And surely they do know that he who trafficketh therein will have no (happy) portion in the Hereafter; and surely evil is the price for which they sell their souls, if they but knew.

Ali Quli Qarai

And they followed what the devils pursued during Solomon’s reign —and Solomon was not faithless but it was the devils who were faithless—teaching the people magic and what was sent down to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut, who would not teach anyone without telling [him], ‘We are only a test, so do not be faithless.’ But they would learn from those two that with which they would cause a split between man and his wife—though they could not harm anyone with it except with Allah’s leave. They would learn that which would harm them and bring them no benefit; though they certainly knew that anyone who buys it has no share in the Hereafter. Surely, evil is that for which they sold their souls, had they known!

Qaribullah & Darwish

and follow what the devils recited over the Kingdom of Solomon. Solomon did not disbelieve, it is the devils who disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was sent down upon the angels Harut and Marut in Babylon. They did not teach anyone, until both had said: 'We have been sent as a trial; do not disbelieve' From them they learned how they might separate a husband and his wife. However, they did not harm anyone with it, except by the permission of Allah. Indeed, they learned what harms them and does not profit them, yet they knew that anyone who buys it would have no share in the Everlasting Life. Evil is that for which they have sold their souls, if they but knew!

Muhammad Sarwar

They followed the incantations that the devils used against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon did not hide the truth but the devils did. They taught magic to the people and whatever was revealed to the two angels, Harut and Marut, in Babylon. The two angels did not teach anything to anyone without saying, "Our case is a temptation for the people, so do not hide the truth." People learned something from the two angels that could cause discord between a man and his wife. However, they could harm no one except by the permission of God. In fact, the (people) learned things that would harm them and render them no benefit. They knew very well that one who engaged in witchcraft would have no reward in the life hereafter. Would that they had known that they had sold their souls for that which is vile!

Mohammad Habib Shakir

And they followed what the Shaitans chanted of sorcery in the reign of Sulaiman, and Sulaiman was not an unbeliever, but the Shaitans disbelieved, they taught men sorcery and that was sent down to the two angels at Babel, Harut and Marut, yet these two taught no man until they had said, "Surely we are only a trial, therefore do not be a disbeliever." Even then men learned from these two, magic by which they might cause a separation between a man and his wife; and they cannot hurt with it any one except with Allah's permission, and they learned what harmed them and did not profit them, and certainly they know that he who bought it should have no share of good in the hereafter and evil was the price for which they sold their souls; had they but known this.

Wahiduddin Khan

They pursued what the devils falsely attributed to the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon was not an unbeliever: it is the devils who are unbelievers. They taught people witchcraft, and that which was sent down to Harut and Marut, the two angels in Babylon. But these two taught no one until they had said, "We are but a trial, therefore, do not disbelieve [in God's guidance]." So men learnt from them that by which they caused discord between man and wife; but they harmed no one thereby, except by the command of God; [on the contrary], these people learned that which would harm them and do them no good, knowing full well that whoever acquired [this knowledge] would have no share in the Hereafter. Evil indeed was the [price] for which they sold their souls, if only they had known it.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon; the blasphemers Were, not Solomon, but the evil ones, teaching men Magic, and such things as came down at babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (Such things) without saying; "We are only for trial; so do not blaspheme." They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah's permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls, if they but knew!

Tafsir jalalayn

And they follow (wa'ttaba` is a supplement to nabadha, `[it] cast away') what the devils used to relate, during the time of, Solomon's kingdom, in the way of sorcery; it is said that they [the devils] buried these [books of sorcery] underneath his throne when his kingdom was taken from him; it is also said that they used to listen stealthily and add fabrications to what they heard, and then pass it on to the priests, who would compile it in books; this would be disseminated and rumours spread that the jinn had knowledge of the Unseen. Solomon gathered these books and buried them. When he died, the devils showed people where these books were, and the latter brought them out and found that they contained sorcery, and said, `Your kingdom was only thanks to what is in here'; they then took to learning them and rejected the Scriptures of their prophets. In order to demonstrate Solomon's innocence and in repudiation of the Jews when they said, `Look at this Muhammad, he mentions Solomon as one of the prophets, when he was only a sorcerer', God, exalted, says; Solomon disbelieved not, that is, he did not work magic because he disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching the people sorcery (this sentence is a circumstantial qualifier referring to the person governing the verb kafar); and, teaching them, that which was revealed to the two angels, that is, the sorcery that they were inspired to [perform] (al-malakayn, `the two angels'; a variant reading has al-malikayn, `the two kings') who were, in Babylon -- a town in lower Iraq -- Hrt and Mrt (here the names are standing in for `the two angels', or an explication of the latter). Ibn `Abbs said, `They were two sorcerers who used to teach [people] magic'; it is also said that they were two angels that had been sent to teach [sorcery] to people as a trial from God. They taught not any man, without them saying, by way of counsel, `We are but a temptation, a trial from God for people, so that He may test them when they are taught it; whoever learns it is a disbeliever, but whoever renounces it, he is a believer; do not disbelieve', by learning it; if this person refused and insisted on learning it, they would teach him. From them they learned how they might cause division between a man and his wife, so that they would hate each other, yet they, the sorcerers, did not hurt any man thereby, that is, by this magic, save by the leave of God, by His will; and they learned what hurt them, in the Hereafter, and did not profit them, and this was sorcery. And surely (the lm [of la-qad, `surely'] is for oaths) they, the Jews, knew well that whoever (la- man; the lm denotes [part of] the subject of the sentence and is semantically connected to what precedes it; the man introduces the relative clause) buys it, [whoever] chooses it and took it in place of God's Book, he shall have no share in the Hereafter, that is, no portion of Paradise; evil then would have been, the thing, that they sold themselves for, those sellers, that is to say, the portion due for this [act] in the Hereafter, if they were to learn it; for it would have made the Fire obligatory in their case; if they had but known, the reality of the chastisement they would be destined for, they would not have learnt it.

Tafseer Ibn Kathir

وَاتَّبَعُواْ مَا تَتْلُواْ الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَى مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَلَـكِنَّ الشَّيْاطِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ

They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Suleiman (Solomon). Suleiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic,

As-Suddi said that Allah's statement,
وَاتَّبَعُواْ مَا تَتْلُواْ الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَى مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ
(They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Suleiman) means,

"`During the time of Prophet Suleiman .'

Beforehand, the devils used to ascend to heaven and eavesdrop on the conversations of the angels about what will occur on the earth regarding death, other incidents or unseen matters.

They would convey this news to the soothsayers, and the soothsayers would in turn convey the news to the people. The people would believe what the soothsayers told them as being true.

When the soothsayers trusted the devils, the devils started to lie to them and added other words to the true news that they heard, to the extent of adding seventy false words to each true word. The people recorded these words in some books. Soon after, the Children of Israel said that the Jinns know matters of the Unseen.

When Solomon was sent as a Prophet, he collected these books in a box and buried it under his throne; any devil that dared get near the box was burned.

Solomon said, `I will not hear of anyone who says that the devils know the Unseen, but I will cut off his head.'

When Solomon died and the scholars who knew the truth about Solomon perished, there came another generation. To them, the devil materialized in the shape of a human and said to some of the Children of Israel, `Should I lead you to a treasure that you will never be able to use up?'

They said. `Yes.'

He said, `Dig under this throne,' and he went with them and showed them Solomon's throne.

They said to him, `Come closer.'

He said, `No. I will wait for you here, and if you do not find the treasure then kill me.'

They dug and found the buried books, and Satan said to them, `Solomon only controlled the humans, devils and birds with this magic.'

Thereafter, the news that Solomon was a sorcerer spread among the people, and the Children of Israel adopted these books. When Muhammad came, they disputed with him relying on these books. Hence Allah's statement,
وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَلَـكِنَّ الشَّيْاطِينَ كَفَرُواْ َ
(Suleiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved).
The Story of Harut and Marut, and the Explanation that They were Angels

Allah said,

وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَارُوتَ وَمَارُوتَ


And such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut,

There is a difference of opinion regarding this story.

It was said that Al-Qurtubi stated that;

this Ayah denies that anything was sent down to the two angels, he then referred to the Ayah,
وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ
(Suleiman did not disbelieve) saying, "The negation applies in both cases.

Allah then said,
وَلَـكِنَّ الشَّيْاطِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ
وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ
(But the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels).

The Jews claimed that Gabriel and Michael brought magic down to the two angels, but Allah refuted this false claim."

Also, Ibn Jarir reported, that Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said about Allah's statement,
وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ
(And such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels),

"Allah did not send magic down."

Also, Ibn Jarir narrated that Ar-Rabi bin Anas said about,
وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ
(And such things that came down to the two angels),

"Allah did not send magic down to the them."

Ibn Jarir commented,

"This is the correct explanation for this Ayah,
وَاتَّبَعُواْ مَا تَتْلُواْ الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَى مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ
(They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely) in the lifetime of Suleiman) meaning, magic.

However, neither did Solomon disbelieve nor did Allah send magic with the two angels. The devils, on the other hand, disbelieved and taught magic to the people of the Babylon of Harut and Marut."

Ibn Jarir continued;

"If someone asks about explaining this Ayah in this manner, we say that,
وَاتَّبَعُواْ مَا تَتْلُواْ الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَى مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ
(They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely) in the lifetime of Suleiman) means, magic.

Solomon neither disbelieved nor did Allah send magic with the two angels. However, the devils disbelieved and taught magic to the people in the Babylon of Harut and Marut, meaning Gabriel and Michael, for Jewish sorcerers claimed that Allah sent magic by the words of Gabriel and Michael to Solomon, son of David.

Allah denied this false claim and stated to His Prophet Muhammad that Gabriel and Michael were not sent with magic.

Allah also exonerated Solomon from practicing magic, which the devils taught to the people of Babylon by the hands of two men, Harut and Marut. Hence, Harut and Marut were two ordinary men (not angels or Gabriel or Michael)."

These were the words of At-Tabari, and this explanation is not plausible.

Many among the Salaf, said that;

Harut and Marut were angels who came down from heaven to earth and did what they did as the Ayah stated.

To conform this opinion with the fact that the angels are immune from error, we say that Allah had eternal knowledge what these angels would do, just as He had eternal knowledge that Iblis would do as he did, while Allah refered to him being among the angels,
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَإيِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لاِإدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى
(And (remember) when We said to the angels;"Prostrate yourselves before Adam." And they prostrated except Iblis (Satan), he refused), (20;116), and so forth.

However, what Harut and Marut did was less evil than what Iblis, may Allah curse him, did.

Al-Qurtubi reported this opinion from Ali, Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Ka`b Al-Ahbar, As-Suddi and Al-Kalbi.
Learning Magic is Kufr

Allah said,

وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّى يَقُولَا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلَ تَكْفُرْ

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).

Abu Jafar Ar-Razi said that Ar-Rabi bin Anas said that Qays bin Abbad said that Ibn Abbas said,

"When someone came to the angels to learn magic, they would discourage him and say to him, `We are only a test, so do not fall into disbelief.'

They had knowledge of what is good and evil and what constitutes belief or disbelief, and they thus knew that magic is a form of disbelief.

When the person who came to learn magic still insisted on learning it, they commanded him to go to such and such place, where if he went, Satan would meet him and teach him magic.

When this man would learn magic, the light (of faith) would depart him, and he would see it shining (and flying away) in the sky. He would then proclaim, `O my sorrow! Woe unto me! What should I do."

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that this Ayah means,

"The angels were sent with magic, so that the people whom Allah willed would be tried and tested. Allah made them promise that they would not teach anyone until first proclaiming, `We are a test for you, do not fall into disbelief."'

It was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim.

Also, Qatadah said,

"Allah took their covenant to not teach anyone magic until they said, `We are a test. Therefore, do not fall in disbelief."'

Also, As-Suddi said,

"When a man would come to the two angels they would advise him, `Do not fall into disbelief. We are a test. '

When the man would ignore their advice, they would say, `Go to that pile of ashes and urinate on it.'

When he would urinate on the ashes, a light, meaning the light of faith, would depart from him and would shine until it entered heaven. Then something black that appeared to be smoke would descend and enter his ears and the rest of his body, and this is Allah's anger. When he told the angels what happened, they would teach him magic.

So Allah's statement,
وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّى يَقُولَا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلَ تَكْفُرْ
(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).

Sunayd said that Hajjaj said that Ibn Jurayj commented on this Ayah (2;102),

"No one dares practice magic except a disbeliever. As for the Fitnah, it involves trials and freedom of choice."

The scholars who stated that learning magic is disbelief relied on this Ayah for evidence. They also mentioned the Hadith that Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar recorded from Abdullah, which states,

مَنْ أَتَى كَاهِنًا أَوْ سَاحِرًا فَصَدَّقَهُ بِمَا يَقُولُ فَقَدْ كَفَر بِمَا أُنْزِلَ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍصلى الله عليه وسلّم

Whoever came to a soothsayer or a sorcerer and believed in what he said, will have disbelieved in what Allah revealed to Muhammad.

This Hadith has an authentic chain of narration and there are other Hadiths which support it.
Causing a Separation between the Spouses is One of the Effects of Magic

Allah said,

فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِ

And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife,

This means, "The people learned magic from Harut and Marut and indulged in evil acts that included separating spouses, even though spouses are close to, and intimately associate with each other. This is the devil's work."

Muslim recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَيَضَعُ عَرْشَهُ عَلَى الْمَاءِ ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُ سَرَايَاهُ فِي النَّاسِ فَأَقْرَبُهُمْ عِنْدَهُ مَنْزِلَةً أَعْظَمُهُمْ عِنْدَهُ فِتْنَةً

وَيَجِيءُ أَحَدُهُمْ فَيَقُولُ مَا زِلْتُ بِفُلَنٍ حَتَّى تَرَكْتُهُ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ كَذَا وَكَذَا

فَيَقُولُ إِبْلِيسُ لَا وَاللهِ مَا صَنَعْتَ شَيْيًا

وَيَجِيءُ أَحَدُهُمْ فَيَقُولُ مَا تَرَكْتُهُ حَتّى فَرَّقْتُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ أَهْلِهِ

قَالَ فَيُقرِّبُهُ وَيُدْنِيهِ وَيَلْتَزِمُهُ وَيَقُولُ نِعْمَ أَنْت

Satan erects his throne on water and sends his emissaries among the people. The closest person to him is the person who causes the most Fitnah.

One of them (a devil) would come to him and would say, `I kept inciting so-and-so, until he said such and such words.'

Iblis says, `No, by Allah, you have not done much.'

Another devil would come to him and would say, `I kept inciting so-and-so, until I separated between him and his wife.'

Satan would draw him closer and embrace him, saying, `Yes, you did well.'

Separation between a man and his wife occurs here because each spouse imagines that the other spouse is ugly or ill-mannered, etc.
Allah's Appointed Term supercedes Everything

Allah said,

وَمَا هُم بِضَأرِّينَ بِهِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ

But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah's leave.

Sufyan Ath-Thawri commented,

"Except by Allah's appointed term."

Further, Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that,

"Allah allows magicians to adversely affect whomever He wills and saves whomever He wills from them. Sorcerers never bring harm to anyone except by Allah's leave."

Allah's statement,

وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ

And they learn that which harms them and profits them not.

means, it harms their religion and does not have a benefit compared to its harm.

وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُواْ لَمَنِ اشْتَرَاهُ مَا لَهُ فِي الاخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَقٍ

And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no (Khalaq) share in the Hereafter.

meaning, "The Jews who preferred magic over following the Messenger of Allah knew that those who commit the same error shall have no Khalaq in the Hereafter."

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and As-Suddi stated that;

`no Khalaq' means, `no share.'

Allah then said,

وَلَبِيْسَ

مَا شَرَوْاْ بِهِ أَنفُسَهُمْ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ



وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ امَنُواْ واتَّقَوْا لَمَثُوبَةٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّه خَيْرٌ لَّوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ