Q: What is the ruling on “calling” back the souls/spirits of the deceased [to communicate with them]? And is that a type of magic?
A: No doubt calling upon souls to return [and communicate with] is a type of magic, or fortune-telling. These souls are not the souls of the deceased – as they claim – rather they are shayaateen [devils] who imitate the actual deceased and say, “I am the soul/spirit of such and such, and [in reality] he is from the devils, so this [activity] is not permissible.
The souls of the deceased cannot be retrieved [and communicated with] because they are in the grasp of Allah, “It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.” [Surah az-Zumar: 42]
So the souls are not as they claim, that they come and go – rather that is at the disposal of Allah. Hence calling upon and “retrieving” the souls/spirits of the deceased is falsehood, and it is a type of magic or fortune-telling.”
المنتقى من فتاوى فضيلة الشيخ صالح الفوزان – السحر و الكهانة و العرافة و الشعوذة ص48
[Translator’s note: Such activites that have become widespread in society are clearly impermissible; regrettably many have fallen into such affairs through “curiosity”, falling into observing and viewing “shows” online or elsewhere of so called “miracle” individuals who have the ability to “cross-over” or “communicate” with the souls of the deceased.
In such “shows” they call upon names and descriptions within the audience claiming the “presence” of the deceased soul is speaking to them…all such affairs are impermissible. We heard from our scholars stating that the one who views such magic shows, “crossing-over” shows and their likes falls into the narrations of the prohibition of actually visiting the magicians or fortune-tellers in person, hence the threats are applicable to him even though he may be viewing all that from the comfort of his home out of “curiosity only”, therefore great caution is required to be exercised, may Allah protect us and you].