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While the evil eye is real, it is something that Muslims are not well aware of. The Prophet (PBUH) confirmed its influence in the Sunnah. In a Hadith from Sahih Muslim, Muhammad (S) said that the influence of the evil eye is a fact. He also said that if anything preceded destiny, it would be the influence of the evil eye.
The evil eye is the jealousy or envy people feel to each other. It may not even be that initially. A person may genuinely admire something or someone he sees. However, at some point, that admiration can turn into envy. Therefore, this is something we must be cautious about. There is a fine line between admiration and the evil eye. If one isn’t careful, they can easily slip into the latter category. The evil eye can affect whatever object or person it is focused on.
Not every jealous feeling that someone has necessarily becomes the evil eye. However, when a person has something against another person, or there is some level of negativity involved, then the evil eye becomes a genuine possibility. The evil eye is so subtle that the person who is inflicting it may not even know what they have done!
Muslims must ask for Allah’s protection from the evil eye. There are Quranic verses that we can recite for protection. The Prophet (PBUH) also told us about some duas that we can recite in such circumstances.
Taking a bath for the evil eye
Muhammad (S) outlined one method as a cure from the evil eye. For this, he described that the person who was the cause of the evil eye should do wudu. The water used for wudu should then be poured on the person afflicted with the evil eye. By the will of Allah, that would cure it.
In a Hadith from Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (PBUH) said that when someone asks a person to take a bath as a cure for the evil eye, they should do so.
A lengthy Hadith in Sunan ibn Majah also documented a relevant episode. A companion passed by another who was bathing and said to him that he had never seen such skin. The praised person fell to the ground. Then, people brought him to the Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) told them that if someone saw something that was pleasing, they should pray for blessing. He then asked for water and made the person perform wudu. Then, he poured that water over the affected person.
The immense benefits of the Ruqyah
It is said in a Hadith in Jami at-Tirmidhi that Angel Jibril came to the Prophet (PBUH) and asked him if he was suffering. Muhammad (S) replied in the affirmative. Jibril then said that he would recite Ruqyah over him, to protect him from evils of people and the evil eye.
There are a few different Sunnah methods of performing the Ruqyah. In all of them, you must begin and end with the Durood (three times). In between, you may say Surah al-Fatiha seven times. Another longer version of the Ruqyah requires you to recite Ayat al-Kursi three times in between as well. The longest version requires Muslims to recite the last three Surahs as well, three times each; Surah Ikhlaas, Falaq, and Nas.
The end of Surah Falaq indeed contains a reference to the harm of the evil or the envious eye, as we ask Allah for protection from it.
Other duas and methods for protection
Aoo dhu bi kalimaa tilla hit taam maati min sharri ma khalaq. This means that the person reciting it seeks the protection of Allah’s Words from the evil of his creation.
Aoo dhu bi kalimaa tilla hit taam maati min ghada bihee wa sharrin ‘ibaadi hee wa min hamazaa tish shayatini wa aeen yah durun. This is a lengthier version of the previous dua; it also seeks Allah’s protection from His anger and the devils’ whispers and presence.
Aoo dhu bi kalimaa tilla hit taam maati min kulli shaitan in wa haammaah wa min kulli aynin laammaah. Once again, this dua seeks refuge in Allah’s perfect Words from devils, reptiles, and the last portion is a reference to the evil eye.
Hasbi Allahoo laa ilaahaa illaa huwa alayhi tawak kaltu wa huwa Rabb ul arsh il azeem. This is a dua from the Quran that means that Allah is sufficient for the person reciting it and that he puts his trust solely in Allah, Who is the Lord of the throne.
A person should try to get close to Allah to be in His protection from all harms, including the evil eye. Performing the obligatory deeds and supererogatory acts are all ways to do this. Muslims must also recite the Quran frequently and focus on the prescribed Sunnah duas and adhkaar. We should also often recite things such as the Ayat al-Kursi and the last two Surahs of the Quran, Falaq, and Nas, for protection from evils.
Amulets and charms for protection from the evil eye?
Many Muslims believe that things such as amulets can protect them. They have amulets, also known as taaweez, with Ayat al-Kursi written on them. This, however, goes against the tenants of Islam. Islam believes in acting upon verses of the Quran, not putting them in an amulet or on the wall as protection. The only thing that can protect us is if we ask Allah for help, and He assists us.
The Prophet (PBUH) said in a Hadith from Sunan an-Nasa’i that he doesn’t have anything to do with a person who ties or twists his beard, or uses amulets, or cleans himself with bones or dung.
In another Hadith from Musnad Ahmed, he said that wearing an amulet or taaweez is like committing shirk.
In yet another Hadith from Musnad Ahmed, the Prophet (PBUH) prayed that Allah does not fulfill the need of someone who wears an amulet. He also prayed that Allah doesn’t protect someone who wore seashells for protection from the evil eye.
Another story states that the Messenger (PBUH) took a pledge of allegiance from a group of people. However, he left one person out. When asked about why he did that, he replied that he was wearing an amulet. He then broke the charm, and then book the pledge of allegiance. After this, he noted that a person is guilty of engaging in shirk if he wears an amulet.
Jealousy may not always be required for the evil eye
We must be aware that the doer of the evil eye doesn’t need to be jealous or envious. The Prophet (PBUH) said that if anyone sees something in oneself or his possessions or in his brother, he should pray for blessings. He then noted that the evil eye is real.
Hence, self-admiration may even cause the evil eye. A person can cause harm to himself if he admires himself or his possessions too much. As an extension, a person may even inflict family members with the evil eye by admiring them or their belongings.
A Muslim can seek protection from the evil eye by saying Allah humma baarik feehee (for a man) and Allah humma baarik feehaa (for a woman). This way, the person saying this supplicates for blessings for the person being admired.
How to protect yourself nowadays
We must be mindful of how we do things nowadays and keep everything in perspective. As the Prophet (PBUH) said, we should seek Allah’s help when we need it, but we must also take precautions when we can.
One of the phenomena related to this is that of the internet and social media. With people having smartphones worldwide, meaning cheap access to cameras and the internet, there are several possibilities. Concerning the evil eye, the biggest threat is widespread images on the internet.
People often take images of their families and close relatives and friends and upload them far and wide on social media. While this may be helpful for sharing information with family and close people and also keeping everyone up to date despite not being in the same place, there are also several disadvantages.
The most significant drawback is that of the evil eye. Once a person exposes images of themselves to all kinds of people on the internet, the opportunities are endless. If the pictures get into the wrong hands, it can be harmful. Jealousy and envy can lead to the evil eye.
Because of the many dangers of these activities, it’s better to share images, videos, etc., within small, private groups of family and friends rather than in public.
Most of all, we should also try to be close to Allah by following the Quran and Sunnah as much as possible. That is the key to success in everything we do.