Posted on 03/12/2012 by __socrates

BABEL. Arabic بابل
Babil. Mentioned once in the Qur’an, Surah ii. 96: “Sorcery did they teach to men and what had been revealed to the two angels Harut and Marut at Babil.” Babel is regarded by the Muslims as the fountain-head of the science of magic. They suppose Harut and Marut to be two angels who, in consequence of their want of compassion for the frailties of mankind, were sent down to earth to be tempted. They both sinned, and, being permitted to choose whether they would be punished now or here after, chose the former, and are still suspended by the feet at Babel in a rocky pit, and are the great teacher’s of magic. (Lane’s Thousand and One Nights, ch. iii. note 14.) Vide Tafsir-I-‘Azizi in loco

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam