Would a magician’s repentance be accepted if he embraced Islam after having been a disbeliever?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
Scholars have expressed different opinions about killing a magician merely for practicing magic. According to Maalik, Abu Haneefah, and one of Ahmad’s two opinions all, he is to be killed. On the other hand, a magician is not to be killed according to Ash-Shaafi’i, may Allaah have mercy uponhim, and Ahmad’s other opinion.
According to Imaams Maalik and Abu Haneefah the magician’s repentance is not accepted, and he is to be executed. On the other hand, according to Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i a magician’s repentance is to be accepted, and he made executing them conditional on whether or not the magician had done an act of apostasy. Imaam Ahmad had two different opinions in this regard.
The predominant opinion, however, is that of Ash-Shaafi’i’s and those who agree with him. This opinion is supported by the fact that killing a Muslim becomes lawful only when there is certainty of evidence. With disagreement among the four scholars, the lawfulness of killing a magician ceases to be certain. It is authentically narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam , said that a Muslim’s blood is not lawful to be shed except for one of three reasons. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Knowledge of true repentance is exclusive to Allaah The Almighty. Repentance is to be accepted in general without investigating the hidden intentions.
One point that should be noted is that the scholars who rejected a magician’s repentance did not mean it was rejected by Allaah The Almighty even if He acknowledges the sincerity of his intention. Rather, they meant that he should not be treated as if Allaah The Almighty has actually accepted his repentance and consequently be exempted from the capital punishment.
Allaah Knows best.
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