Fatwa no. 3384
Q: Some Yemeni tribes believe that if an elderly lady who is stricken in years looks at any young man or woman, or even a male or female child, she will capture their soul, and if she wills, she can bring them back to life. Is this belief based on any evidence from the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him), or any of the Messenger's Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet)? Moreover, any lady accused of this will be cast out by her children or providers and will be left in the open under the scorching sun. There is a man who is said to find out if an elderly lady is really a "soul taker" or just a normal lady. Kindly answer our question. May Allah reward you!
A: We know no solid proof concerning the two kinds of men and women mentioned above
(Part No. 1; Page No. 549)
from the sanctified Shari`ah; it is not permissible even to think of the existence of such things. Death and life are predestined by Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), and none save Allah knows the Ghayb (the Unseen), as Allah (Glorified be He) says, Say: "None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allâh, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected." Assuming that anything of the kind may happen, it should be nothing more than optically illusive magic that makes people see ghosts and bodies contrary to what they really are. All of this is prohibited by the Ijma` (consensus) of Muslim scholars, and it should not be acknowledged, but rather denied and warned against. These acts are forbidden as they lead to Kufr (disbelief) and resemble the sorcery practiced by the sorcerers of the Pharaoh in the past.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'