Does evil-eye kill a person? What kind of precautions can be taken against evil-eye? What are the reasons of evil-eye? Is it permissible to wear an evil-eye bead?

Details of the Question
Does evil-eye kill a person? What kind of precautions can be taken against evil-eye? What are the reasons of evil-eye? Is it permissible to wear an evil-eye bead?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Answer 1:

There are some cases which affect people and make them ill, and which medical science has not been able to make an exact diagnosis. And it has not been able to give any information about its real cause. One of them is the effects of “evil-eye”. It is a known and accepted reality that evil-eye is real and it can cause a person to become sick and even to die.

Stating that evil-eye is real and it is closely related to one’s fate, Our Prophet, said:

Evil-eye is true. If evil- eye raced with fate, it would beat fate (it would change fate)” (Muslim, Salaam: 42; Ibni Majah, Tib: 3).

Although evil-eye is related to fate, it is still Allah who creates its effects. Otherwise, it is not the person who has got an evil eye that creates its effects. When a person, whose eyes have got evil effects, looks at something, Allah creates the harm to cause on it because the creator of both good and evil is Allah. Nothing happens out of Allah’s will.

We learn the killing, devastating aspects of evil-eye from the Prophet. The following is stated in the hadith narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah:

Evil-eye is true. It puts a camel in a cooking pot and a man in grave.” (Kashfu’l-Khafa, 2: 76, narrated Abu Naim).

Thus, just as a camel affected by evil-eye may die and its meat can be put in the cooking pot, so too may a man affected by evil-eye die and be put in grave. It is understood from the hadith that the effects of evil-eye affect not only human beings but also all living beings and even anything that attracts one to look at.

It is possible to deduce detailed information from an event about evil-eye, which took place in the era of bliss, on how a believer should behave when he sees something he likes, what he should say in this situation, that causing evil-eye effects on someone is considered equal to killing him and what a person affected by evil-eye and a person causing evil-eye effects should do.

A Companion named Amr bin Rabia sees Sahl bin Hunaif having a bath and looks at him. Sahl falls down on ground as if he has been struck. They take him to the Prophet. Having learnt the situation, the Prophet,, asks “Whom do you suspect?” The Companions name Amr bin Rabia. Upon this, the Prophet scolds Amr bin Rabia and says “Why is one of you killing his brother? When one of you sees something he likes in his brother, pray for him to be blessed (with words such as MaashAllah, BarakAllah).”

Then, the Prophet asks for some water and orders Amr who caused the evil-eye to make wudu. (Ibni Majah, Tib: 32, Musnad, 3:44).

Islamic jurisprudents describe this application which is a kind of wudu as follows: Water is poured into a pot/container. Person who caused evil-eye takes a handful of water, gargles and then spit it back into the pot. Then he takes water again from the pot and washes his face. After that, he washes his right hand with his left hand and then his left hand with his right hand, together with his wrists. Then he washes his right and left elbows. Then he washes between his elbows and shoulders. After that, he washes his feet and right and left knees. While washing hands and feet, he does not wash his arms and below his knees. Later, he washes his right side of the belly downwards. After washing all these organs, water is saved in the same pot. The person who caused the evil-eye takes the pot, stands behind the affected person and pours it down on his head. (Nawawi, Sharh-u Sahih-i Muslim, 14: 172-173). This used water is not considered dirty. We understand it from the application of the Prophet himself.

That washing, which was described shortly by the Prophet and explained in detail by scholars, has got, doubtlessly, many unknown wisdom and reasons behind it. At least, it is necessary to practice this sunnah in order to eliminate the suspicion of evil-eye. This application of washing and pouring was practiced by the Companions from time to time.

After this application is completed, it is stated that if the person who caused evil-eye utters the supplication of abundance “MaashAllah, La quwwata illa billah” Allah will eliminate the harm that can be caused by evil-eye. As a matter of fact, this application of washing is a sort of practical supplication. Its effect and cure must be expected from Allah.

One should seek refuge with Allah from evil-eye and its effects. As we learn from Hazrat Aisha, the Prophet told her to pray against evil-eye. (Ibni Majah, Tib: 34).

In another hadith “Seek refuge with Allah from evil-eye” (ibid, Tib: 32), we are advised to expect cure from Allah.

Abu Said al-Hudri narrates what kind of supplications and what kind of things the Prophet made in order to be protected from evil-eye effects as follows:

The Messenger of Allah sought refuge with Allah from the evil-eye of the jinn and human beings with supplications such as ‘I seek refuge with Allah from the evil-eye of the Jinn and human beings’ firstly. And then, he supplicated with surahs of al-Falaq and an-Nas after they were sent down. He quit other supplications.” (ibid, Tib: 34).

Then, it is not only human beings which cause and which are affected by evil-eye. The Jinn can also harm people with evil-eye. Some scholars who say “Evil-eye of the Jinn affect faster than the speed of an arrow” think that evil-eye means the effects caused by the Jinn on a person.

It is not appropriate for a believer to resort to other ways of cure than the cures the Prophet practiced and advised. Arabs used to wear some items and beads on their necks and arms in order to be protected from some illnesses in the era of ignorance. And they used to expect they would protect and cure them. Prohibiting strongly the practices which do not comply with belief and which bear signs of idolatry, the Prophet,  said: “Whoever wears something, all his works are entrusted to that thing” (Tirmidhi, Tib: 24).

Thus, it is understood that the thing that is worn will not help at all and it can harm one’s belief as he expects everything from it.

Using or writing some amulet the meanings of which are not known and wearing “evil-eye beads” are superstitious beliefs which do not comply with Islamic belief. Wearing such things are not permissible for human beings; it is also not permissible to use them for animals or any belongings. Wearing evil-eye beads is included in the things which our Prophet listed as haram. (Nasai, Zinat: 17).

Similarly, meaningless practices which are used amongst ordinary people, such as melting a candle, melting lead or burning a weed and turn it around over the head of the ill person must not be applied because while Allah created all kinds of troubles and illnesses, he also created lawful cures for them. A true believer must follow the sunnah as criteria and must try not to leave it. Righteousness is possible only this way.

Answer 2: Precautions to be protected from evil-eye

The following precautions must be taken in order to be protected from the effects of evil-eye before we are affected:

1) FIRST PRECAUTION: One should make protective supplications and invocations in the morning and in the evening.

Allah protects the ones who make these supplications and invocations. There are many surahs and supplications that can be read.

Some of them are as follows: al-Fatiha, Ayat al-Kursi, al-Falaq and an-Nas.

There are specific supplications made by the Prophet. The following supplication must be made in order to be protected from evil-eye:

I seek refuge with Allah’s words, which are complete, from the mischief and evil of the things He created.” (Abu Dawud, Tib. 19; Darimi, Isti’zan, 48; Muwatta, Isti’zan, 34; Ahmad bin Hanbal, 4/430).

The following supplication should also be made:

I seek refuge with Allah’s words, which are complete, from all demons, dangerous animals and evil-eyes. I seek refuge with Allah’s words, which are exact, from all evil and mischief which no any good and bad can make but which Allah creates and gives shape, from those who come down from the skies and those who go up to the skies, from what is grown on the ground and what comes out of the earth, from evil and mischief of night and day, and from the evil and mischief of those who knock at the door during the day and at night, except for those who knock at the door for a good reason. O Allah who is merciful” (Bukhari, The Book of Prophets (al-Anbiya), 10; Muslim, The Book of Invocation (adh-Dhikr), 54-55).

Moreover, the following Quranic verse should also be cited:

And the Unbelievers would almost trip thee up with their eyes when they hear the Message; and they say: ‘Surely he is possessed!’ But it is nothing less than a Message to all the worlds.” (al-Qalam, 68: 51-52).
When we look at people, we can see that they do not care about the matter of evil-eye. However, especially babies and little children must be protected from evil-eye effects with the help of supplications in compliance with shariah.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) protected Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Hussain with the following supplications:

“I entrust you to Allah’s words, which are complete, from all demons, dangerous animals and evil-eyes.” (Bukhari narrated from Abdullah bin Abbas.)

Addressing his grandsons Hazrat Hassan and Hazrat Hussain, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

“Doubtlessly, your ancestor (Prophet Abraham) protected Ismael and Isaac with them.” (Bukhari narrated from Ibn-i Abbas).

2) SECOND PRECAUTION: One of the ways to be protected from evil-eye effects is not displaying one’s beauties when one is near people s/he is afraid of or suspects.

According to the work of Hafiz al-Baghawi called “Sharhu’s-Sunnah”, Hazrat Uthman bin Affan saw a very beautiful child. Upon this, in order to protect the child from evil-eye effects, he said to the child’s parent: “Hide this child’s beauty by putting black paint on his chin.”

3) THIRD PRECAUTION: Another way to be protected from evil-eye effects is that when a person who sees something or someone he likes, he should pray for what he sees to be blessed.

If a person is afraid of that his eye will cause evil effects on someone, he should say this when he looks at him/her:

“May Allah make it blessed for you.” (with similar statements: see Abu Dawud. Nikah, 36; Tirmidhi, Nikah, 7; Ibn-i Maja, Adhan, 2; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, 3/281).

Or he should say:

“O My Lord! Make it blessed for her/him.” (with similar statements, see: Muslim, Zuhd, 74; Abu Dawud, Witr, 31; Nasai, Zakat, 12; Ibn-i Maja, Zuhd, 8; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, 3/108, 188, 5/77).

Or he should say: “Maashallah! (How beautifully created Allah!) There is nobody else but Allah who has got the power.” (Abu Dawud, Adab, 101).

Or supplications similar to those can be made. Then, the harm will be eliminated with the permission of Allah.

If a person suspects and is worried that he caused evil-eye effects on someone should be afraid of Allah and should refrain from the things which can cause evil-eye effects. For this, he should continue to invocate Allah. When he sees something he likes in someone, he should ask Allah to bless it for him/her.

One should not be jealous about any boons which Allah has endowed on people at all because if he is jealous about them, he is considered to have objected to his Lord.

Answer 3: After being affected by evil-eye

Precautions which should be taken against evil-eye effects and ways of protection have been explained above. There are cures in accordance with shariah to be applied after being affected by evil-eye effects too.. There are proofs in the Quran and hadiths which indicate the issue.

The following surahs and verses can be recited for protection:

a) al-Fatiha
b) Ayat-al Kursi
c) al-Falaq
d) an-Nas
e) In addition, the following supplication which Gabriel taught to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) can also be cited:

“I pray for you with Allah’s name. May Allah recover you from evil of everything that causes you trouble, from the effects of evil-eyes of all and of enviers. I pray for you with the name of Allah.” (Bukhari, The Book of Tib, 38; Muslim, The Book of Wellness, 40; Abu Dawud, The Book of Medicine, 19; Tirmidhi, The Book of Funeral, 4; Ibn-i Maja, The Book of Medicine, 36-37; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musned, 6/332.)

When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was ill, Gabriel would come and make the following supplication for him: “I pray for you with the name of Allah. May Allah remove all the illnesses from you. May He protect you from the evil-eye of a parson when s/he is jealous.” (Muslim narrated from Hazrat Aisha.)

As it is narrated from some Islamic scholars, the way of being protected from evil-eye is to hide one’s niceness, beauties and jewelry. It is not appropriate for one to beautify his/her spouse and children and show them to people. Allama Ibnu’l-Qayyim says: “whoever reads these supplications will understand how beneficial they are and how much he needs them. These supplications prevent the effect of evil-eye. They eliminate the effects of evil-eye on a person who reads them, to the degree of his faith. As a matter of fact, those supplications are weapons. And a weapon’s efficiency depends on the person who uses it.”

Abdullah as-Saji said that he had a very beautiful camel. One day, he went on trip on his camel’s back, with his travel-mates. There was a traveler amongst them whose eye had the evil-eye effect. People who knew it warned Abdullah. They told him to take care of his camel against that man. Abdullah said that man could not cause any harm to his camel and did not care what they said. They also told the man what Abdullah said and how he reacted. The man started to wait for an opportunity to prove himself for Abdullah. During a break, when Abdullah was not there, the man came and stared at the camel. After a while, the camel became sick and fell down. At that time, Abdullah returned. When he saw his camel on the ground, he asked them what had happened. They said to him:

When you were away, that man came and looked at your camel. And when he looked at the animal, this happened.”

Hearing this, Abdullah said: “Show that man to me”. The showed the man. Abdullah went up to that man and stood before him. Then he cited the following supplication:

“I seek refuge with Allah from the one who captivates with Allah’s name, from the harms of stones and burning flames. Let the effect of evil-eye turn back to the one who caused the evil-eye and harm the one whom he loves the best.
He Who created the seven heavens one above another: No want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (God) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: seest thou any flaw? Again turn thy vision a second time: (thy) vision will come back to thee dull and discomfited, in a state worn out.” (This last part of the supplication is the 3rd and 4th verses of chapter al-Mulk. See al-Mulk, 67: 3-4)
When Abdullah as-Saji cited this supplication, the effect of evil-eye was gone and the camel got over with the permission of Allah.

Answer 4: Warnings

1) FIRST WARNING: Evil-eye effect is sometimes caused by human beings and sometimes by the jinn.

According to the narration by the mother of the believers, Ummu Salama, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw a girl in his house. He realized a change on the girl’s face and said: “Do faith healing for her (pray for her); because she is affected by evil-eye.” (Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Ummu Salama.)

Hafiz al-Baghawi says: While  indicating evil-eye, he Messenger of Allah meant that the Jinn can cause evil-effect.”

It is said: “The effect of evil-eye of the Jinn is more effective than the tip of a spear.” Doubtlessly, when one takes off his dirty clothes to change, or when he uncovers his private parts in order to relieve nature or for any other reason, he must supplicate in order to be protected from the evil-eye of the jinn. It is made by mentioning Allah’s name.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “When one enters the restroom (in another narration, when one takes off his clothes), saying bismillah will be a curtain between his private parts and the eyes of the jinn.” (narrated in Tirmidhi, Sunan and Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad.)

2) SECOND WARNING: One who is prone to evil-eye because of the health, beauty, blessings, boons and the likes which Allah bestowed on him must always be cautious and must not display himself.

Especially women must not display their own beauties and especially their daughters’ beauties excessively because many sad events are witnessed as a result of this.

The Messenger of Allah addressed Asma binti Umays as follows:

“Why do I see the sons of my brothers so weak? They seem they are in need of help.” (Muslim narrated from Jabir bin Abdullah). They were the sons of Hazrat Jafar and Abu Talib. And Asma said: “They are not sick. But they have been affected by evil-eye.”

Upon this, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Then do faith healing (pray) for them.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, 3/333).

3) THIRD WARNING: When people ask someone to do faith healing for them, they do not search to find out if that person has got strong faith, what his aim is and if his knowledge is enough. For this reason, they go to deceivers, sorcerers and ill-willed people. Those people are even more devastating. And there are amongst them some who even tell people to do things which are forbidden or bid’ah, or which are considered idolatry. We hope Allah the Glorious protects us from the mischief of such people.

One who asks for faith healing must be very careful and do it properly. That is to say; he should either do the faith healing (by reading supplications) himself or find believing and righteous people who are experienced in it. They should keep in mind that faith healing is not permissible if they do not do it in accordance with conditions approved by the shariah.

We must contemplate the meaning of the following verse which narrates the story of Prophet Joseph:

“Further he said: "O my sons! Enter not all by one gate: enter you by different gates. Not that I can profit you aught against God (with my advice): None can command except God: On Him do I put my trust: and let all that trust put their trust on Him.” (Yusuf, 12: 67).

It should be kept in mind that protection from evil-eye and its cure is only possible by believing in the truth of things coming from Allah and His Messenger. If they are doubtful or hesitant about it, the effectiveness of the cure will decrease.

Wearing an evil-eye bead is absolutely forbidden. It is a meaningless tradition practiced in the era of ignorance. Our Prophet (pbuh) says: “May Allah not complete the works of those who wear evil-eye beads”. (1)

1-Hakim and Ahmad narrated.

Halil Günenç, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar II. 259

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