By Dr. Gazala Ishaq
(Research Scientist & Freelance Writer, Nottingham, UK)
The evil eye (Ayn Al-Hasūd or Nazar) centralises on the fact that envy, jealousy, or even praise can inflict misfortune or cast unwanted magic on an innocent person. The penetrating venomous gaze, whether it is intentional or unintentional, is believed to cause harm, illness, injury and even death on the targeted person.
According to Islamic tradition the “evil eye” is real, as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The evil eye is real, and if anything were to overtake the divine decree (al-qadar) it would be the evil eye.” (Muslim, 2188)
Types of People at Risk
Although anyone can be affected by it, there are some more vulnerable than others as can be a person’s belongings, success, crops or domestic animals. Women and children are most susceptible to the evil eye and the risk increases particularly for those who are newly wed brides, women during pregnancy or at childbirth along with anyone who is very attractive, because the risk of suffering from the ill-effects of the evil eye increases in proportion to the person’s beauty.
Preventative Measures in Different Cultures
Different cultures adopt different measures to ward off the evil eye. Some recite prayers whereas others may wear sacred texts, beads, amulets, talismans, or charms. Many of these objects are blue in colour and may be in the form of a hand, eye, or a horseshoe. They are worn by men, women, children, animals, crops, or anything that is thought to be in harms way.
Islamic Rulings and Preventative Solutions
The use of protective amulets and charms is forbidden in Islam because it is considered to be a form of shirk (idolatry). However, some Muslims are still seen to wear such charms despite the Islamic ruling against them. Mothers pin them on the clothing of their newborn babies along with verses from the Quran, such Ayat Al-Kursi (surah 2:255) as a taweez to protect them from the affects of praise or the evil eye.
Islam teaches Muslims to seek protection and refuge in Allah from the evils of envy through the recitation of prayers, verses from the Quran and supplications. The hijaab is also key element for protection against the evil eye. And since women are most likely to be afflicted by it, then it is one of the reasons why Allah made the hijaab is obligatory on them – as a means of protection- that is why it is forbidden for believing women to display any of their beauty in front of non-mahrams (any person that a woman is able to marry), as Allah says in the quran:
“… and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine gender. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful” [Surah Noor 24:31]
Treatments Against the Evil Eye
There are many preventative measures and treatments in Islam that a person can adopt to safeguard themselves against the evil eye. The main one is the remembrance of Allah (dhikr) and the reading of the Qur’aan.
Any person engaged in these acts is less likely to be affected by the evil eye, destructive envy (hasud) and other kinds of harm from the devils of humankind and the jinn. Others forms of treatment include dua’s, invocations and Rukya:
The Prophet (pbuh) used to seek refuge with Allaah for himself by reciting Surat Al-Fatiha, Ayat Al-Kursi (surah 2:255), Surat An-Nas and Surat Al-Falaq.
Other dua’s narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) are:
(I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created).” (Muslim, 4881)
(I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah, from every devil and every poisonous reptile, and from every bad eye) ( Bukhari, 3120).
(In the name of Allaah I perform ruqya for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allah heal you, in the name of Allah I perform ruqya for you).” (Muslim, 4056)
The Prophet (pbuh) also instructed the use of rukya to anyone who was under the influence of the evil eye as Aisha (RA) narrated: “The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) commanded me, or he commanded (the people) to use ruqya to deal with the evil eye.” (Bukhari, 5297).
Rukya is reciting any of the above verses and blowing on the afflicted person.
Aisha (RA) also narrated another treatment for the evil eye, “The man who cast the evil eye would be commanded to do wudoo (ablution)’, and then the man who was affected would wash himself with (the water).” (Abu Dawud, 3382 & 3282)
To prevent anyone from unintentionally casting an evil eye through praise, it is recommended to say 'Ma sha'a Allah wa la Kuwata illa Billah'
(Whatever Allah wishes and there is no Power except with Allah).
Undoubtedly, persisting in reciting daily prayers (adhkaar) as prescribed by the prophet (pbuh) and pertaining in the observation of the Hijaab is a means of protection from many evils of this world, including that of the evil eye as well as shielding us against the punishment in the Hereafter. We should strive to make it an habitual exercise to recite these prayers and not result in the wearing of charms of any form or pertain to do anything that goes against the teachings of Islam.
NOTE: Dr Gazala Ishaq is our very own Educator/Writer on Hijab. "Our Mission at Stunning Hijab, Corp. is to Help sisters Embrace the Hijab by providing Hijab Eduction, Moral Support as well as Great Quality Products, insha'Allah." If you would like to have your writing on Hijab published, please contact info@StunningHijab.com.
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