Is it permissible to put on a “magic show” and is it permissible to attend it?
What we understand from the question is that a show was put on in the mosque by children, in which there was what is called “leger de main (sleight of hand)” or “magic tricks”. If this is what happened, then you did well by not letting your children attend that show, in which this evil action was done. The ones who approved of that and helped to make it happen have done something wrong, and this is exacerbated if the show was in the mosque and if it was done by children. We hope that they will not do this again. What they should be doing is raising Muslim children with decent morals and manners, teaching them beneficial knowledge and instilling in them the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, without any contamination or confusion. If you want to advise them and denounce what was done, then you should do so in a gentle and kind manner.
It should be noted that the magic which Allah, may He be exalted, condemns and against which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) warned is that which may be called “the magic of illusion”. Allah, may He be exalted, mentioned it in His Holy Book, when He said (interpretation of the meaning): “Then behold, their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast” [Ta-Ha 20:66]. Allah, may He be exalted, called this action of theirs magic, and He called them magicians. Moreover, such shows may give the impression that magic and magicians are harmless. This was an error on the part of those who put on these shows in the context of educating children, in addition to the fact that it is a sin in and of itself.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allah preserve him) was asked:
What is the ruling on watching the “magic of illusion”, whether that is in real life or on television?
It is not permissible to watch magic, whether it is real or is just illusions. It is not permissible because it is falsehood, and it is not permissible to witness or watch falsehood, because by watching it one has approved of it, unless he is watching it in order to denounce it and strive to put an end to it. In that case there is nothing wrong with it. But if he watches it and says nothing, or he tells others about it, this is haraam because it is idle entertainment.
End quote from the shaykh’s website: http://www.alfawzan.ws/node/4827
The shaykh (may Allah preserve him) was also asked:
Often during the summer vacation there are festivals that are held for leisure purposes, in which there are circuses, and they bring people who do things like tightrope walking or pulling cars along with their hair or eating live coals, and other such things. Some of them appear to be righteous. What is the ruling on these actions of theirs?
He replied: This comes from the Shaytaan, and these actions are from the Shaytaan; no one can eat live coals, or drink boiling water. How can he eat live coals? He is lying; it appears to the people as if he is eating live coals, but in fact the coal does not reach him and does not even come near his body. The same applies to the car that he pulls along (with his hair). It is not permissible for the Muslims to approve of these things, even if they call it illusion or artistry, or whatever they call it. We should not open the door to magic, witchcraft, and trickery. This is something that is not permissible and the authorities should prevent it. It is obligatory for them to prevent it right now and not to approve of it. None of the seekers of knowledge should keep quiet about this matter.
End quote from the shaykh’s website: :
If your question is about something other than what we have mentioned, then we hope that you will get in touch with us again and explain further what is meant. We appreciate your efforts to take care of your children and give them a sound Islamic upbringing.
And Allah knows best.