Magic. The word alone is temptation for men one too many times, especially for them who seeks ‘miracle’. In Islam, however, the practice of sihr (magic, which means something that is hidden and its cause is unknown) is an act of kufr (disbelief); therefore magic and sorcery is forbidden is is considered haram. Even the act of believing in it without practicing it is also haram. Magic here, means sorcery, witchcraft, fortune-telling and occults. It should to be noted but the so called magic used for entertainment, such as magic shows is not prohibited by Islam provided that the ‘magicians’ do not violate any of the dictates of Islam in any way.
Practitioners of magic (Muslims, that is) believe in magical power, a demonic power (as it is said that one cannot attain sorcery without seeking the help of the devil), and would often worship it. As such, they would then claim that there is other greater power aside than Allah when as Muslims, they are to, and must, accept only Allah as the one and only God, the powerful one. Believing in any other supreme being would be an act of disbelief towards Allah. Learning magic is also an act of disbelief because they claim to have magical powers, when such powers can only exist in the Almighty himself.
The Prophet mentions this,
“Whoever goes to a fortune-teller or a soothsayer and believes in what he says has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.”
Since magic is believed to be as powerful as God, it would be no different than to associate sorcery with Allah. And the act of associating anything or anyone with God in manners of worship is a great sin that comes with severe punishment. Al-Maaidah 5:72 says:
“Verily whoever sets up partners with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him and the fire will be his abode. And for the Zalimun (Polytheists, and wrongdoers) there are no helpers.”
This is further evidenced by the warnings of the messenger of God:
“Keep away from the seven destructive sins!” They said, “What are they, O Messenger of Allah?” He answered, “Associating partners with Allah; practicing sorcery; taking a life, which Allah has made forbidden except for a just cause (according to Islamic Law); eating Riba (usury) eating up an orphan’s wealth; fleeing from the battle field at the time of fighting (with the unbelievers); and accusing chaste women, who never think of anything that can touch their chastity and who are good believers, of fornication.
Besides that, sorcerers would manipulate simple-minded, naive folks in to believing their power and thus magic as well. These lead the believers towards magic, and hence lead them away from God. Such act is considered evil or Satanic, for only Satan seeks to remove the believers from their faith in God.
Another reason why sorcery and magic is a sin is due to its influences and consequences. Sorcery tempts men with evil and causes a family to break apart. It manipulates the weak-minded, dominates their mind and influences them to do bad deeds. More often than, men seeks magic to instill harm unto other beings. Again, leading men towards evil instead goodness.
Magic is hardly ever used for good purposes, though some would claim that, calling it white magic. But even if magic is used for good intentions, it remains a fact that it is dependent on unnatural powers and abilities, something that is not God-give (otherwise, He wouldn’t have forbid it). Not to mention that the practice of white magic is a slippery slope to descending to black magic, which generally harms all and benefits none.