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The Evil Eye | Ashab al-Hadith

The Evil Eye




 

‘The Evil Eye’ is also known as ‘Ayn-al-hasad’ in Arabic, or ‘Chashm-e-budd’ in Urdu, ‘Buri nazar’ in Hindi and ‘Nazar’ in Turkish. These terms refer to a gaze from one person to another which may cause affliction or ill-luck to the other. These gazes are often associated with envy, jealousy or even extreme admiration. The gaze can be intentional or unintentional.

Modern cultures reject this phenomenon out rightly. They are not able to connect it with any sort of reasoning or logic. Some other cultures do accept this phenomenon. The acceptance is widely found in Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Turkey etc.

For a Muslim, the acceptance or rejection of anything is based on what Islamic scriptures (Holy Qur’an and Ahadith) say about it. We will devote this discussion to learn what the status of ‘The Evil Eye’ in Islam is.

A. What Islam says about ‘The Evil Eye’?

Refer to following verse of Holy Qur’an:

وَإِنْ يَكَادُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَيُزْلِقُونَكَ بِأَبْصَارِهِمْ

“And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes…”

(Aayah No. 51, Surah Al-Qalam, Chapter No. 68, Holy Qur’an).

Let us understand the verse quoted above a bit more. Ibn Abbas (RA) and others have said: ‘would make you slip….‘ in order to have some (bad) effect on you; ‘with eyes’ means ‘they will affect you by looking at you with their eyes’. This is what is meant by ‘the evil eye’. This verse is a proof that the effect of evil eye and its affliction by the command of Allah is real.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) further confirmed the evil eye as narrate din following hadith:

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “The evil eye is real.”

(Hadith No. 3879, Book of Medicines, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 4).

Therefore, the phenomenon of evil eye is real and as a Muslim we believe in it.

B. How severe is the affliction from ‘The Evil Eye’?

It was narrated that Ubaid bin Rifa’ah Az-Zuraqi said: Asma (bint Umaish) said, “O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)! The children of Ja’far have been afflicted by the evil eye, shall I recite ‘Ruqyah’ for them?” He said, “Yes, for if anything were to overtake the Divine Decree, it would be the evil eye.”

(Hadith No. 3510, Chapters on Medicine, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 4; Hadith No. 2059, Chapters on medicine, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4).

The statement that ‘if anything were to overtake the Divine Decree, it would be the evil eye’ tells us how severe the affliction from the evil eye is.

C. Prevention from (and/or Treatment for) the affliction from ‘The Evil Eye’ – The ways which are accepted in Islam

People follow many ways in order to prevent affliction (or treat the afflicted ones) from the evil eye. Some of these prevalent ways are authenticated by Sunnah, while others are not. The Islamic ways of prevention from (and treatment for) the affliction from ‘The Evil Eye’ are as follows:

C.1. ‘Ruqyah’

‘Ruqyah’ refers to divine verses which are recited as a means of curing disease. It is an accepted way of treatment affliction from the evil eye. Refer to following hadith:

It was narrated from Aishah (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) commanded her to recite ‘Ruqyah’ to treat the evil eye.

(Hadith No. 3512, Chapters on Medicine, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 4).

The same is also narrated in the hadith mentioned in previous section. However, in order to do this, one should have a sound knowledge of the supplications to be used as per authentic Sunnah.

C.2. Supplication of Ibrahim (AS)

Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to seek refuge for Al-Hasan & Al-Hussain, saying: ‘Uidhukuma bikalimatillahit-tammati, min kulli shaitanin wa hammatin, wa-min kulli ainin tammah (I seek refuge for the two of you in the Perfect Words of Allah, from every devil and every poisonous pest, and from every evil harmful eye)‘. And he would say, “It is with this that Ibrahim (AS) would seek refuge for Ishaq (AS) and Ismaeel (AS).”

(Hadith No. 2060, Chapters on Medicine, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4; Hadith No. 3525, Chapters on Medicine, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 4).

This is one of the supplications that we may (should) recite for prevention of affliction from evil eye for ourselves as well as our children.

C.3. Pouring water over the afflicted

It was narrated that Abu Umamah bin Sahl bin Hunaif said: Amir bin Rabi’ah passed by Sahl bin Hunaif when he was having a bath, and said, “I have never seen such a beautiful skin.” Straight away he (Sahl) fell to the ground. He was brought to the Prophet (PBUH) and it was said, “Sahl has had a fit.” He said, “Whom do you accuse with regard to him?” They said, “Amir bin Rabi’ah.” He said, “Why would anyone of you kill his brother? If he sees something that he likes, then let him pray for blessing for him.” Then he called for water and told Amir to perform ablution, then he washed his face and his arms up to the elbows, his knees and inside his lower garment, then he told him to pour the water over him (Sahl). Sufyan (one of the narrators) said: Ma’mar narrated from Zuhri: ‘And he commanded him to pour water over him from behind.’

(Hadith No. 3509, Chapters on Medicine, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 4).

Based on the above mentioned hadith, some scholars infer that one of the ways to treat the afflicted form evil eye is that the person who is said to be the cause of evil eye should perform ablution and pour water on the afflicted one from behind. Some others hold the view that the water used by the person (who is said to be the cause of evil eye) for ablution should be collected in a container after being used and the same water should be poured over the afflicted person. And Allah knows best.

C.4. ‘Al-Mu’awwidhatan’

Abu Sa’eed narrated: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would seek refuge from the jinn and (evil) eye of the humans, until ‘Al-Mu’awwidhatan’ were revealed. So when they were revealed, he used them and left other than them.

(Hadith No. 2058, Chapters on Medicine, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4).

Some scholars categorize this narration as weak (i.e. Daeef). But according to Abu Eisa (i.e. Imam Tirmidhi), the hadith is ‘Hassan Gharib’ (i.e. fair & strange); thus it may be relied upon. And Allah knows best.

‘Al-Mu’awwidhatan’ are the last two Surahs (Surah Al-Falaq and Surah An-Nas, Chapter No’s 113 & 114) of Holy Qur’an. These Surahs contain petitions to Allah for protection from the effect of all kinds of evil. Therefore, we should recite these Surahs regularly.

D. Some other prevalent ways used for prevention from (and/or treatment for) the affliction from ‘The Evil Eye’ – The ways which are prohibited in Islam

There are many other ways prevalent in Muslim societies which are used for prevention from and treatment for the affliction from ‘The Evil Eye’. Here we are talking of those ways which are based on regional or cultural traditions, inspired & adopted from other religions of the region and involve superstitious thought process. These have no authentication from Islamic principles and hence, prohibited in Islam. These are as follows:

D.1. Wearing ‘Amulets’

Amulet is a string (with or without beads etc.) which people hang around their necks or tie around their arms with a belief that doing so shall protect them from some evils (it is known as ‘taweez’ in urdu and hindi). This act is not authenticated by Sunnah. Refer to following hadith:

Narrated Uqbah (bin Aamir Al-Juhaini): Once a group (of ten people) came to the Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) accepted the pledge of allegiance (the Bai’ah) of nine of them and stopped his hand from the tenth. They asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)! You accepted pledge of the nine, and left the tenth one?” He replied, “He is wearing an amulet (a taweez).” Hearing this, the man took off his amulet and broke it into pieces. The Prophet (PBUH) accepted his pledge also, and said, “Whoever wears an amulet, commits ‘Shirk’.”

(Hadith No. 17558, Musnad Shamiyeen, Musnad Ahmad Humbal, Vol. 7).

Sadly and surprisingly, a vast majority, particularly in Indian sub-continent, can be seen wearing amulets. They wear it thinking that this shall bring some lady luck to them or prevent them from ‘The Evil Eye’ or ward-off evil in other forms from them. Poor they, for they do not know that instead of doing anything good for them, the act is rather involving them in ‘Shirk’.

Dear all, wearing amulets is an act of ‘Shirk’. It should be abandoned completely, with immediate effect.

D.2. ‘Nazar torhna’ by red chillies, by stone, by burning of a cloth, by keeping some pulses and oil in open in a public area etc.

We see these methods being followed very often; I can confidently talk about these being followed in Indian sub-continent societies. These methods involve that a handful of dried red chillies or a piece of cotton cloth being taken; this is revolved seven times around the body of the afflicted person, some parts of the body are being touched by these things and then the chillies or the cloth is burned. As per the wrongly held belief, if the burned matter does not give any smell or does not cause the persons around cough or irritation, it means that the afflicted person is being cured.

Another prevalent method is that some pulses and mustard oil is kept in a plate, the plate is taken around the body of afflicted person seven times, and the plate is kept somewhere out of the house in a public area. The wrongly held belief is that by doing so, the affliction is taken away from the first person and is transferred to the others whoever comes across this matter in public.

Dear brothers and sisters, all these methods find no existence in Islam. Introduction of all such malpractices in Muslim societies is a direct influence of Hindu culture and traditions which has a vast following in Indian sub-continent. As a Muslim we should understand that all these are prohibited in Islam. Some of these constitute sin as grave as ‘Shirk’. We should abandon all such practices with immediate effect, and seek Allah’s mercy for previous misdoings.

Concluding remarks

I conclude the discussion with some suggestions:

1. Suggestion to those who reject the existence of ‘The Evil Eye’

The western culture does not accept it at all, as it goes beyond their reasoning and logic. Some of the modern Muslims also tend to follow their view. This is really sad. We should understand that the rulings laid down by Allah are ultimate. Human brains have limited reasoning ability. Further, anything which appeals to human brains as reasonable and logical need not necessarily be correct. It is only Allah who knows what is correct and what is not. The phenomenon of ‘The Evil Eye’ is mentioned in Holy Qur’an, and has been further explained by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); therefore, there should be no doubt about it at all.

2. Suggestion to those who accept the existence of ‘The Evil Eye’

Whenever we see anything good with one of our brothers/sisters, we should not see it with envy or jealousy. Rather, we should pray to Allah and seek His blessing for the other person as well as for himself/herself.

‘The Evil Eye’ is a dangerous and potentially fatal phenomenon. It is in recognition of this fact that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) has recommended various methods of fighting it. However, it is important that we stick to the methods of prevention and treatment which are accepted in Islam. All such methods which are prohibited in Islam (these have been discussed in Section D above) should be abandoned with immediate effect.

And Allah knows best.

May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path…Ameen.



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