The Story of Haroot and Maroot (Hārūt and Mārūt)

Haroot and Maroot were the two angels that Allah SWT had sent to the nation of Hazrat Sulaiman (A.S) after his death. Allah SWT has mentioned “Harut and Marut” in Qur’an in Surah Al Baqarah (Chapter # 02), Verse # 102.

وَٱتَّبَعُوا۟ مَا تَتْلُوا۟ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينُ عَلَىٰ مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَـٰنَ ۖ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَـٰنُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ يُعَلِّمُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ ٱلسِّحْرَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَى ٱلْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَـٰرُوتَ وَمَـٰرُوتَ ۚ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَآ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌۭ فَلَا تَكْفُرْ ۖ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِۦ بَيْنَ ٱلْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِۦ ۚ وَمَا هُم بِضَآرِّينَ بِهِۦ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ ۚ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُوا۟ لَمَنِ ٱشْتَرَىٰهُ مَا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَـٰقٍۢ ۚ وَلَبِئْسَ مَا شَرَوْا۟ بِهِۦٓ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا۟ يَعْلَمُونَ ١٠٢

Surah Baqarah, Verse # 102

And they followed what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Sulaiman who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Haroot and Maroot. But they do not teach anyone unless they say, “We are a trial, so do not disbelieve.” And they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah. And they learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But they certainly knew that whoever purchased it would not have any share in the Hereafter. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves if they only knew.

Translation [Al Qur’an – 2:102]

Why were Haroot and Maroot sent to Babylon?

Allah SWT has sent these two angels for the test of the people of Babylon. As mentioned in Surah Baqarah, Ayat # 102, these angels were sent for the test and they used to warn people about the trial before teaching them the magic.

For a clear understanding of the purpose of sending the angels down to Earth, one should know the context. Parallel to Hazrat Sulaiman’s (A.S) teachings, there were devils who used to teach magic to people.

To save his nation from this evil, Hazrat Sulaiman (A.S) collected all those books containing magic and buried them beneath his chair.

After his demise, his nation (humans and jinns) dug that place and found those books. After finding the books, they believed that Hazrat Sulaiman (A.S) was actually a magician, not a prophet.

That moment was a big test of their faith. Many deviated from their belief in his prophethood and attributed all the powers that Hazrat Sulaiman (A.S) had to the magic contained in the books.

As learning magic is a clear deviation from the right path, the angels were sent down to test people.

What sort of Magic did Harut and Marut teach?

The magic that those angels taught to the people caused a separation between husband and wife. However, Allah SWT has also mentioned that the magic is only worked by the will of Allah.

Separating husband and wife is one of the worst deeds. As mentioned in Hadees, when Satan asks his followers about their achievements for the day, he appreciates the acts that caused the separation between husband and wife.

As mentioned in the Ayat above, the angels used to warn people about their trials for them before teaching them this magic.

Fabricated Stories about Haroot and Maroot

In the books of Ahadees, especially in Tabari and Ibn Kathir, two different stories of Harut and Marut have been mentioned.

Before going into details, we should know that the narrators of these Ahadees are unknown (مجہول). So, this clearly does not support the veracity of the Ahadees.

  • First Falsified Story of Harut and Marut

The angels complained Almighty that You have made human beings your Khalifa while they commit sins on Earth. On this, Allah challenged the angels to pick the two most pious angels from among themselves.

The angels chose Haroot and Maroot. Allah sent them down to Earth in human appearance and gave them human desires too like sexual desire, etc.

A female named Zohra was sent to them for their test. The angels were beguiled by her beauty.

Zohra gave them three options.

  1. To have sexual intercourse with her. But the angels denied calling it a big sin.
  2. To kill a child but again the angels denied it.
  3. The third and last option was to drink alcohol. The angels considered it the smallest of sins and chose to drink that.

After drinking alcohol, Haroot and Maroot committed adultery as well as killed the child. After doing these sins, they asked Allah to punish them in the world as they cannot bear the punishment in the hereafter.

It is for this reason that people believe those angels are hanging in a well somewhere in Iraq.

  • Second Falsified Story of Haroot and Maroot

Zohra asked those angels to give her the knowledge so that she could reach the sky. Only on this condition, she would accept committing adultery with them.

One of the angels denied it while the other taught her considering Allah is the most forgiving.

After learning that, Zohra went up to the sky where Allah made her a star, famously known as the Zohra Star; also called Venus. Meanwhile, Allah entered both the angels into punishment.

Wrapping Up

To conclude the whole thing, we must have a belief that angels never do anything against Allah’s will as mentioned in the Qur’an.

As Allah says in Surah At-Tahrim, Verse # 06


يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ قُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًۭا وَقُودُهَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلَـٰٓئِكَةٌ غِلَاظٌۭ شِدَادٌۭ لَّا يَعْصُونَ ٱللَّهَ مَآ أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ ٦

O believers! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, overseen by formidable and severe angels, who never disobey whatever Allah orders—always doing as commanded.

Similarly, Haroot and Maroot were angels who could never go against Allah’s command. They taught magic to people by Allah’s will to test their faith.

All the stories of sins and punishment to Harut and Marut are mere fabrications and we (Muslims) must not believe them.

Believing such stories would simply mean deviating from Qur’an.


NOTE: In case of any discrepancy in the stated facts, please do let us know so that we could rectify any false information.


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