Was Magic Done on the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? NO!
Sihr (magic, sorcery, wizardry, jadoo, hocus pocus, etc.) is nothing but the art of illusion and deception. It has no reality or truth to it. The Saahir (magician) only has the skill to create an illusion or “trick” that deceives the eyes of an ordinary person, but apart from this, magic has no real or permanent effect. Recounting the incident of the great Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and his duel with the pharoanic magicians, Allah Most Exalted says:
وأَلْقِ مَا فِي يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُوا إِنَّمَا صَنَعُوا كَيْدُ سَاحِرٍ وَلَا يُفْلِحُ السَّاحِرُ حَيْثُ أَتَىٰ
“And throw that which is in your right hand [O my beloved Moses] it shall swallow that which they have crafted. Verily, that which they have crafted is nothing but the trick of a magician, and the magician can never succeed wherever he may be.” [Surah 20:69]
The previous verse explicitly mentions that
يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِهِمْ
“It seemed to him from their magic…” (20:66)
This Ayah proves that Sihr is only Khayaalee (imaginary) and not Haqeeqee (real).
Elsewhere in the Holy Qur’an, Allah emphasizes the point that the magic which the pharoanic magicians performed only effected the eyes of the people (i.e. optical illusion) and thus did not have any reality to it:
فلَمَّا أَلْقَوْا سَحَرُوا أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ
“So when they threw they bewitched the eyes of the people…” (Surah 7:116)
Based on these precise and manifest verses of the Holy Qur’an, great Imams and scholars of Islam like Abi Hanifah and Abu Bakr al Jassas held the strong view that magic is only imaginary and not real. Abu Bakr al-Jassas in particular emphasized this point and denied the fabricated story about the Jewish man Lubaid b. al-Asim (L.A) doing magic on our beloved and pure Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
In fact, the Holy Qur’an is quite explicit that anyone who believes that the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was, God forbid, bewitched, is in the same category as the Zaalimeen (wicked, criminal and evil people):
وَقَالَ الظَّالِمُونَ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا رَجُلًا مَّسْحُورًا
And the wrongdoers say: “Verily you all follow a man that has been effected by magic.” (Surah 25:8)
In light of this categorical denial of Allah in the Holy Qur’an that magic can be done, least of all to our Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and that anyone who believes or says the latter is from among the wrongdoers, than how can any Muslim with an iota of faith in his heart, and an atom of love for the beloved Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) accept a Riwaayah from Bukhari sharif or any other book of Hadith which says that magic was done on the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam)?!
The fact of the matter is that the story of Lubaid b. al-Asim must be rejected since it clearly contradicts the pronouncement of the Holy Qur’an. Even if the sanad of that Hadith meets the conditions for authenticity according to the principles of the Muhaditheen, the truth is that such a Riwaayah must still be discarded and rejected for two reasons: 1. It is clearly contradicting the Holy Qur’an, which being the Words of Allah, supercedes all Hadith and narrations which are not 100% error-free. For example, a narrator of Hadith can make a mistake or be in error, but the Holy Qur’an, being the Book of Allah, is completely free of any human error. Although we particularly revere Bukhari sharif and Muslim sharif as the most authentic collections of Hadith, yet even these two books do not enjoy the supreme status and position of the Holy Qur’an which stands in judgment over all Ahadith and Riwayaat. (2) The Hadith of Lubaid b. al-Asim, even if its Sanad meets conditions of authenticity according to the principles laid down by the Muhaditheen, is still only a Khabr al-Ahad (solitary report). The Holy Qur’an and those Ahadith which are Mutawaatir (mass-narrated at every level so that there can logically be no doubt as to their veracity) must always take precedence, especially in matters of creed, over any solitary report. There can be no question about prefering the verses of the Holy Qur’an to a Riwaayah which is only a solitary report and not at all mass-narrated.
Furthermore, the various narrations which describe the story of Lubaid b. al-Asim contradict each other in their details. Without going into too much detail here, I refer the reader who is interested in a deeper analytical study of the Riwaayah in question to consult the following brilliant article: