Crimes of Magic and Sorcery Right Legal Treatment New UAE Law Mohamed Al Marzooqi Advocates lawyers Dubai Lawyer Abu Dhabi UAE WhatsApp: +971555570005
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Crimes of Magic and Sorcery Right Legal Treatment New UAE Law Mohamed Al Marzooqi Advocates lawyers Dubai Lawyer Abu Dhabi UAE WhatsApp: +971555570005

Crimes of Magic and Sorcery Right Legal Treatment New UAE Law

Magic and Sorcery are bad social phenomena that destroy many societies not only because of its serious effect when using magic and sorcery against others to harm them, but the great danger is this phenomena turning to a culture accepted and satisfied by the society.
Talismans, prayers, incense and suggestions practiced on the other party as spiritual works and contacting paranormal powers that aim to solve social and economical problems such as poverty, failure and envy, in addition to achieving other aims that lead to harming other people and may reach killing, destruction of houses and family fragmentation.
Although this phenomenon is not new and it has roots extended far in oldness but it was not treated enough. Law did not treat it for a long time. We do not find in many Arabic legislations a clear definition of magic and sorcery. Some of these legislations punish the magician or the sorcerer for cheating, and others prosecute them as it is a crime harms and hurts other persons. Another legislation defined the sorcery crime as a crime violates the public trust, means violates the convention held among the individuals of society that they keep it safe and secure. The Emirati Penal law amended by the Federal law number 7 of 2016 has defined magic and sorcery. Article 316 bis 1 defines magic as:
“It is considered a magic work: any saying or act violates the Islamic Sharia if intended to affect body, heart, mind or will of another person directly or indirectly, truly or imaginary.”
This means that practicing magic as a crime requires two things, the first is an act or a saying made by the magician through special tools for magic which are writings, talismans and strange materials, in addition to using animals such as cats, roosters, incense and organic materials to be burnt. This work which violates the Islamic Sharia is the physical side of the crime, but the moral side is the magician’s intention to affect another person at his body, heart or mind, and to control his will.

Sorcery is defined at the same aforementioned Article which states:
It is considered a sorcery:
a- Concealing eyes of people or controlling their senses or their minds by any means to make them see a thing different from its truth, in order to exploit them or affect their beliefs or minds.
b- Claiming knowledge of the unseen or knowing secrets, or telling what is in mind by any means in order to exploit people.
This article clarifies the two corners of the crime, the physical and the moral. The physical corner is to conceal eyes of people or control their senses in order to affect them or to claim knowledge of the unseen or secrets, or to tell what is in a person’s mind, and the moral corner in both cases is exploiting people.
Law determines a penalty for practicing magic or sorcery in the same article which says:
“Any person who commits an act of magic or sorcery, whether real or deceptive, paid or unpaid, shall be punished with imprisonment and a fine not less than fifty thousand dirham.”
Imprisonment and fine is the penalty of the magician or the sorcerer in accordance with the Emirati law, but penalty of anyone who uses a magician or a sorcerer to hurt and harm others is determined by Article 316 bis 2 which states that:
“A penalty of imprisonment and a fine or one of them shall be imposed on whoever:
1- Uses a magician to affect the body, heart, mind or will of others.
2- Imports or brings to the State, or acquires or disposes in any way of books, talismans, materials or instruments of magic or sorcery.
It is clear from provision of Article 316 bis 2 that it has not only criminalized and determined a punishment for whoever uses a magician or a sorcerer to harm others, but it has also made the same punishment of imprisonment and fine for whoever disposes in any way of books, talismans, materials or instruments of magic or sorcery.

Accordingly, law has criminalized three practices and acts related to magic and sorcery. First of them is the magician or sorcerer. Second of them is whoever uses a magician or a sorcerer in order to harm others. Third of them is whoever acquires or disposes of any materials or instruments of magic or sorcery including books specialized for this purpose. Thus, law has disabled movement, activities and practices of magic and sorcery in order to maintain the society which still needs to raise awareness and thought so that it may not fall in this malignant phenomenon which affects health, safety and growth of the society.

Attorney/ Mohamed Al Marzooqi
Mohamed Al Marzooqi Advocates & Consultancy
Lawyer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai – UAE

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