Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ruling on amulets and hanging them up; do amulets ward off the evil eye and hasad (envy)?

Ruling on amulets and hanging them up; do amulets ward off the evil eye and hasad (envy)?
I would like to know if talismans are allowed. I have read kitabu tawheed and some books by bilal philips, but i found in al-muwatta that theres hadiths allowing some sorts of talisans, and even kitabu tawheed mentioned some salafs allowed it. The hadiths can be found in al-muwatta, volume 50, hadiths 4, 11 and 14.Please reply. And tell me the authenticity of these hadiths, and give me more information about this issue.Thank you.


Praise be to

Firstly, we could not find the ahaadeeth
whose soundness the questioner asked about, because we do not know the
text of those ahaadeeth. He said that they were in volume 50 of al-Muwatta’,
but al-Muwatta’ is only one volume. 

Hence we will quote what we are able to
of the ahaadeeth that have been narrated on this topic, and we will
explain – in sha Allaah – the rulings of the scholars on them. Hopefully
some of this will be what the questioner is looking for. 

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet
of Allaah (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) said: 

Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) disliked ten things: Yellow colouring, meaning
khalooq (a perfume made from saffron), dyeing grey hair, trailing
the lower garment, wearing a gold ring, throwing dice, a woman adorning
herself before people who are not her mahrams, using spells (ruqyah)
except with the Mu'awwidhatan, wearing amulets, coitus interruptus,
and having intercourse with a woman who is breastfeeding a child; but
he did not declare them to be prohibited.” 

(Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 50880; Abu Dawood,

intercourse with a woman who is breastfeeding a child” means, if she
becomes pregnant this will harm the child who is breastfeeding. 

This hadeeth was classed as da’eef
(weak) by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Nasaa’i, 3075) 

It was narrated from Zaynab the wife of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood
from ‘Abd-Allaah that he said: 

“I heard the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘Spells (ruqyah),
amulets and love-charms are shirk.” I said, “Why do you say this?
By Allaah, my eye was weeping with a discharge and I kept going to So
and so, the Jew, who did a spell for me. When he did the spell, it calmed
down.” ‘Abd-Allaah said: “That was just the work of the Shaytaan who
was picking it with his hand, and when (the Jew) uttered the spell,
he stopped. All you needed to do was to say as the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) used to say: ‘Adhhib il-ba’s Rabb al-naas ishfi anta al-Shaafi
laa shifaa’a illa shifaa’uka shifaa’an laa yughaadiru saqaman (Remove
the harm, O Lord of mankind, and heal, You are the Healer. There is
no healing but Your healing, a healing which leaves no disease behind.’” 

(Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3883; Ibn Maajah,

This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 331 and 2972. 

It was narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir said: I heard the Messenger
of Allaah (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever wears an amulet, may Allaah not
fulfil his need, and whoever wears a sea-shell, may Allaah not give
him peace.” 

(Narrated by Ahmad, 16951) 

This hadeeth was classed as da’eef
by Shaykh al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Jaami’, 5703. 

It was narrated from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir al-Juhani that a group
came to the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) [to swear their allegiance
(bay’ah) to him]. He accepted the bay’ah of nine of them
but not of one of them. They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, you accepted
the bay’ah of nine but not of this one.” He said, “He is wearing
an amulet.” The man put his hand (in his shirt) and took it off, then
he (the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him)) accepted his bay’ah. He said, ‘Whoever
wears an amulet has committed shirk.” 

(Narrated by Ahmad, 16969) 

This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by
Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 492.  


Amulets (tameemah, pl. tamaa’im)
are things made from pearls or bones that are worn on the necks of children
or adults, or are hung up in houses or cars, in order to ward off evil
– especially the evil eye – or to bring some benefits. 

These are the comments of the scholars
on the various kinds of amulets and the rulings on each kind. These
comments contain important and useful points. 

Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab said: 

“Know that the scholars among the Sahaabah
and Taabi’een and those who came after them differed as to whether it
is permissible to hang up amulets which only contain words from the
Qur’aan or names and attributes of Allaah. 

One group said that this is permissible.
This was the view of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas and others. This
is the apparent meaning of the report narrated from ‘Aa’ishah and it
was the view of Abu Ja’far al-Baaqir and Ahmad, according to one report.
They interpreted the hadeeth as referring to amulets which involve shirk;
with regard to those which contain words from the Qur’aan or the names
and attributes of Allaah, then they are like ruqyah which uses
the same words. 

I say, this appears to be the view of
Ibn al-Qayyim. 

Another group said that this is not permissible.
This was the view of Ibn Mas’ood and Ibn ‘Abbaas, and is the apparent
meaning of the view of Hudhayfah, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir and Ibn ‘Akeem (may
Allaah be pleased with him). This was also the view of a group of the
Taabi’een, including the companions of Ibn Mas’ood and Ahmad, according
to one report which was chosen by most of his companions. It was also
the view of the later scholars, who quoted this and similar ahaadeeth
as evidence. The apparent meaning is that it is general in application
and does not differentiate between amulets which contain Qur’aan and
amulets which contain other things, unlike ruqyah where there is a differentiation.
This is supported by the fact that the Sahaabah who narrated the hadeeth
understood it to be general in meaning, as was quoted above from Ibn

Abu Dawood narrated that ‘Eesa ibn Hamzah
said: “I entered upon ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Akeem and his face was red due
to high fever. I said, ‘Why don’t you hang up an amulet?’ He said, ‘We
seek refuge with Allaah from that. The Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever hangs up
anything will be entrusted to its care…”’” 

This scholarly difference was concerning
hanging up amulets which contain Qur’aan or names and attributes of
Allaah, so what do you think about the things which were innovated later
on, doing spells (ruqyah) using the names of shayaateen (devils) and
others and hanging them up, and even being attached to those shayaateen,
seeking refuge in them, slaughtering animals for them, asking them to
ward off harm and bring benefits – actions which are pure shirk?
This is prevalent among many of the people, except for those whom Allaah
keeps safe and sound. Think about what the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said and what was the practice
of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, and what the scholars after them mentioned
on this topic and others. Then look at what happened in the later generations.
It will become clear to you what the religion of the Messenger
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is, and how it has now become
alienated in all ways. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek. 

(Tayseer al-‘Azeez al-Hameed, p.

Shaykh Haafiz Hukami said: 

If they – i.e., amulets – contain clearly-written
Qur’aanic verses or saheeh ahaadeeth, there was some dispute among the
salaf – the Sahaabah, the Taabi’een and those who followed them – as
to whether they are permissible. 

Some of them – i.e., some of the Salaf
– said that this was permissible. This was narrated from ‘Aaishah (may
Allaah be pleased with her), Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, and others
among the salaf. 

Some of them said that this was not allowed;
they regarded it is makrooh and not permitted. They include ‘Abd-Allaah
ibn ‘Akeem, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, and ‘Abd-Allaah
ibn Mas’ood and his companions such as al-Aswad and ‘Alqamah, and those
who came after them such as Ibraaheem al-Nakha’i and others – may Allaah
have mercy on them. 

Undoubtedly not allowing that is a safer
precaution to prevent means that lead to wrong beliefs, especially in
our own times. If most of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een regarded it as
makrooh in those noble times when the faith in their hearts was greater
than a mountain, then regarding it as makrooh in these times of trials
and tribulations is more appropriate and is more on the safe side. So
how about when this concession has led people to things which are purely
haraam and they have made it a means to those things? For example, they
make amulets for seeking refuge, on which they write an aayah or soorah
or the phrase “Bismillaah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem (In the name of
Allaah, the most Gracious, the Most Merciful), then underneath it they
put some devilish mumbo-jumbo, the meaning of which no one knows except
one who has read their books. Or they divert the hearts of the common
folk from putting their trust in Allaah and make them dependent on the
things that they have written, and most of them frighten the people,
before anything even happens to them. One of them will come to the person
whom he wants to trick out of his money, knowing that the person is
relying on him and trusts him, and he says: “Such and such is going
to happen to your family or your wealth or to you,” Or he says, “You
have a qareen (constant companion) from among the jinn,” or the
like, and he describes things to him and and tells him things about
himself that the Shaytaan whispers to him, to make him think that he
has true insight and that he cares about him and wants to bring him
some benefit. When the heart of the ignorant fool is filled with fear
of what has been described to him, he turns away from his Lord and turns
to this charlatan with all his heart and soul; he puts his trust in
him and relies on him instead of Allaah, and says to him, “What is the
way out from the things that you have described? What is the means of
warding them off?” It is as if he (the charlatan) has control over benefit
and harm, at which point his hopes are raised and he becomes more greedy,
wondering how much he will be able to take. So he tells him, “If you
give me such and such, I will write an amulet for that which will be
this long and this wide” – he describes it and speaks to him in a nice
manner. Then he hangs up this amulet to protect him from such and such
diseases. Do you think, after all that we have mentioned, that this
belief is a form of minor shirk? No way; it means that one is taking
as one’s god someone other than Allaah, putting one's trust in someone
other than Him, turning to someone other than Him, relying on the deeds
of created beings and trying to divert people from their religion. Can
the Shaytaan do any of these tricks except with the help of his devilish
brethren among mankind? 

“Say: ‘Who can guard and protect
you in the night or in the day from the (punishment of the) Most Gracious
(Allaah)?’ Nay, but they turn away from the remembrance of their Lord”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:42 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Then along with the devilish mumbo-jumbo,
he writes on the amulet something from the Qur’aan, and hangs it up
when he is not taahir (in a state of purity), when he is in a state
of minor or major impurity, and he never shows any respect towards it
or keeps it away from other things. By Allaah, none of the enemies of
Allaah have treated His Book with as much contempt as these heretics
who claim to be Muslims. By Allaah, the Qur’aan was revealed to be recited
and followed, for its commandments to be obeyed and its prohibitions
heeded, for its information to be believed and its limits to be adhered
to, for its parables and stories to serve as lessons, and for it to
be believed in.

“… the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses)
are from our Lord…”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:7 – interpretation of the meaning] 

But these people have ignored all of that
and cast it behind their backs; they have merely memorized a few words
in order to earn their living from them, like any other means of earning
a living that enables them to do haraam things, not things which are
permitted. If a king or a governor wrote a letter to his subordinate,
telling him to so such and such and not to do such and such, commanding
the people in your city to do such and such and forbidding them to do
such and such, etc., and he took that letter and did not read it or
think about its instructions, and he did not convey that to those to
whom he was commanded to convey it, but instead he took it and hung
it around his neck or his arm, and did not pay any attention at all
to what was in it, the king would punish him severely for that. So how
about that which was revealed from the Compeller of the heavens and
the earth, Who has the highest description in the heavens and on earth,
to Whom is all praise in the beginning and at the end, to Whom all things
return, so worship Him and put your trust in Him, He is sufficient for
me, there is no god but He, in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord
of the Mighty Throne. And if they (amulets) contain anything but the
two revelations (i.e., Qur’aan and saheeh Sunnah) then this is shirk
without a doubt, and is more akin to the azlaam (arrows used
during the jaahiliyyah for seeking luck or help in decision making)
in being far-removed from the characteristics of Islam. 

If they (amulets) contain anything other
than the two revelations and instead contain mumbo-jumbo from the Jews
or worshippers of the temple, stars or angels, or those who use the
services of the jinn, etc., or they are made of pearls, strings, iron
rings, etc., then this is shirk, i.e., hanging them up or wearing
them is shirk, beyond a doubt, because they are not among the
permissible means or known forms of treating disease. It is simply a
belief that they will ward off such and such a problem or pain because
of their so-called special features. This is like the belief of idol-worshippers
concerning their idols, and they are like the azlaam (arrows)
which the people of the jaahiliyyah used to take everywhere with them
and consult whenever they had to make a decision. These were three arrows,
on the first of which was written ‘Do’, on the second ‘Do not do’ and
on the third ‘Try again.’ If the person picked out the one which said
‘Do’, he would go ahead and do that thing; if it said, ‘Do not do’,
he would not do it, and if it said, ‘Try again,’ he would consult them
again. Instead of this, Allaah – to Whom be praise – has given us something
better, which is the prayer of Istikhaarah. 

In conclusion, these amulets which do
not contain Qur’aan or Sunnah are just like the azlaam in that
they involve corrupt beliefs and go against the sharee’ah and are far-removed
from the characteristics of Islam. Those who believe in pure Tawheed
keep as far away as possible from such things. The faith in their hearts
is too great to permit anything of this sort to enter their hearts.
Their status is too high and their certainty of faith is too strong
for them to put their trust in anyone other than Allaah or to seek the
protection of anyone other than Him. And Allaah is the Source of strength. 

(Ma’aarij al-Qubool, 2/510-512) 

The view that amulets are not allowed
even if they contain words from the Qur’aan is the view of our shaykhs: 

The scholars of the Standing Committee said: 

The scholars are agreed that it is haraam
to wear amulets if they contain anything other than Qur’aan, but they
differed concerning those which do contain Qur’aan. Some of them said
that wearing these is permitted, and others said that it is not permitted.
The view that it is not permitted is more likely to be correct because
of the general meaning of the ahaadeeth, and in order to prevent means
of shirk. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa’ood. 

(Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah,

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

This misguidance is still widespread among
the Bedouin, fellahin (peasants) and some of the city-dwellers. Examples
include the pearls which some drivers put in their cars, hanging them
from the rear-view mirror. Some of them hang an old shoe on the front
or back of the car; some hang a horse-shoe on the front of their house
or shop. All of that is to ward off the evil eye, or so they claim.
And there are other things which are widespread because of ignorance
of Tawheed and the things which nullify it such as actions of shirk
and idolatry which the Messengers were only sent and the Books were
only revealed to put an end to. It is to Allaah that we complain of
the ignorance of Muslims nowadays, and their being far away from their

(Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah,
1/890, 492) 

And Allaah knows best

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

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