The Two Essential Differences Between Miracle and Magic

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The true effect and the imaginary effect
Miracle is a fact which gas a true effect. By miracle a stick really changes into a snake or dragon; it can also cure incurable illness or make a dead person alive, by God’s permission. But magic takes imagination and has an imaginary effect. Although magic has a real effect on people but it a direct effect and there is no reason for the happening; it affects people’s imagination. But miracle affects human and non-human directly and truly, with no effect on imagination.

Moses (the Prophet’s) stick and magicians’ magic
In time of Moses, magicians did powerful magic. Moses saw them bringing some long wood and ropes and changed them into snakes, they were not really snakes but magicians did in a way to make viewers see them as real snakes. Moses was afraid of people’s reaction against his own miracle. He wanted people to distinguish between miracle and magic:

He said: “You throw [first]!” So when they threw, they charmed the people’s eyes and overawed them. They produced a splendid trick! (The Heights. 116/ A’raaf).
As Moses threw his stick, it changed to a snake. People saw there were some ropes and woods and only one snake! The snakes magicians were swallowed by the only snake of Moses, that is why the magicians’ snakes were not seen any more, in fact Moses’ miracle (the snake) swallowed the magicians’ magic not their ropes and woods:
“Throw down what is in your right hand so it will swallow up anything they have produced. What they have produced is only some magician’s trick, and no magician succeeds no matter where he goes. [Taha. 69 ]
Sameri created a calf statue and by magic made it make sound but ignorant people thought that it was a real calf! But the miracle of Jesus is different from this: “So God will say: “Jesus, son of Mary, remember my favour towards you and towards your mother when I assisted you with the Holy Spirit. You spoke to people from the cradle and as an adult when I taught you the Book and wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. So you created something out of clay looking like a bird with My permission; you breathed into it and by My permission it became a bird! You cured anyone born blind, and the leper with My permission. So you brought forth the dead by My Permission, and I fended off the Children of Israel from you, when brought them explanations, so those among who disbelieved said: “This is sheer magic”. (The Table. 110/ Maedeh).
“So your Lord told the angels: “I am bout to create a human being from ringing clay, from moulded slime”.
When I have finished with him and breathed some of My spirit into him, then drop down on your knees before him. [Stone land. 28 -29/ Hejr].

Miracle is intuitive and magic is acquired
Miracle can not be achieved by studying, doing experiments or thinking about, but it needs a pure soul. It is related to a Sacred Spirit (God),. Therefore miracle needs a great and holy soul, in order to be able to create miracle. But magic and strange sciences can be learnt and taught.
Those who have a material outlook on miracles, try to explain miracles or even the Koranic verses according to the principles and development of sciences, whereas most of the principles of natural sciences are based on theories.

Sources

Topical exegesis of the Koran

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