Is it true to believe that there is Evil Omen?
Submitted by on Thu, 06/08/2009 - 13:54
Dear Brother / Sister,
Evil Omen: It is a state or situation that is thought to have been present in something and that is claimed to have caused things go wrong.
Many people and communities in different ages believed that there existed evil omen in some things, animals and natural happenings that they saw around. There are many people in our age that have not been freed of that belief of evil omen. Those people believe that things that they define as having evil omen will harm them. They always try to keep away from them. Those who have the concept of evil omen that has no religious or scientific ground are in fear and worry in all phases of their lives.
As a matter of fact, there is no evil omen in anything. Nothing has good luck naturally. Evil omen does not exist; even if it exists, it is in the interpretation and understanding of people. The phrases like “it brought good luck”, “it brought bad luck” etc that are widely used by people are all thoughts and apprehension.
Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) said in a hadith that there was no evil omen in Islam; the best thing is good omen (interpreting that something good will happen)" (Bukhari, Tib, 54), stating that that harmful habit does not exist in Islam. In another hadith, he said,: "There is no evil omen in things; there is no evil omen in the month of Safar; there is no evil omen in the hooting of an owl." (Muslim, Salam, 102)
The following can be said after that explanation: It is definitely not right to believe that there is evil omen in the lunar and solar eclipse, barking of the dogs, hooting of the owls, cats and dogs passing in front of a person walking, walking under a ladder, the number thirteen, starting to do something or starting a journey on Tuesday, looking in a mirror at night or cutting nails at night, etc. There is neither good nor evil in things like that. If it is necessary to make interpretations about something, it is necessary to interpret it in the good way as our Prophet recommends.
It is not something new that man attributes some meanings to the attitudes and actions in their natural course. Those beliefs and convictions that intensified especially in the age of idolatry became interestingly popular in the communities that were not idolatrous. The interpretation evil omen regarding the hooting of an owl, sounds of dogs, involuntary actions of the body like twitching of hands, arms, brows and eyes, ringing in the ears unfortunately spread partially to the communities that have the belief of oneness.
It does not comply with the belief in and reliance on Allah not to work on Tuesdays saying that “Tuesday is my unlucky day”..., to beat one’s chest by saying “my left eye twitched; so something terrible will happen to me”..., to have the unnecessary feelings of terror because “an owl hooted on the roof of my house; my house will be destroyed soon” ..., to act like a doomsayer by saying “I heard the dog of such and such a man howl; somebody from his family will die”... and to have similar superstitions and wrong beliefs as a lifestyle. “Allah has made everything which He has created most Good.” (Sajdah, 32/7)
Dependence on events should not get ahead of dependence on Allah. With which correct belief can we associate the words of a Muslim, “my left eye is twitching, something bad will happen!”, the acceptance by a Muslim that lack of marble in the construction of a building is evil, the listening of a Muslim to the hoot of an owl as if it is giving the news of death, believing in it and expecting that something bad will happen, forgetting of a Muslim trusting and relying on Allah and not asking the good from Allah? How can we combine those attitudes with the belief of oneness?
A Muslim never interprets anything as evil omen and negative, not even a dream. It is a point of view. Islam introduces us that net view. Everything happens through the power of Allah and there are one or more than one aspects of goodness in everything. A Muslim interprets everything as good; he desires good things; he goes to bed and gets up wishing good things. He asks good things from Allah.
As a matter of fact, by saying, “Rudeness is evil omen and politeness is good omen” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 2/2144) or “Using obscene words is evil and bad temper is evil omen” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 2/1736), our Prophet states that evil omen and good omen should be looked for in our conscious acts and that it is possible to avoid the actions and attitudes like spoiling our business, nurturing enmity, increasing hostility, harming peace and fraternity, that is, attitudes like rudeness, using obscene words and being bad-tempered that will bring evil omen.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) points out that if we attribute evil omen to our actions and organs, it is our own fault by saying “The organ of a person both with the evilest omen and the best omen is his tongue between his two jaws.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 2/1640 ;) The Turkish proverb, “A sweet tongue will take the snake out of its hole” (English equivalent=A soft tongue breaks the bone) interprets that hadith to a certain extent. That is, good omen and skill depends on the soft tongue; evil omen originates from the rude and biting tongue. Good omen depends on kindness and evil omen depends on disrespect, lack of love and intolerance.
It means, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says that if we are to use the concepts good omen and evil omen, we should use them to express our actions that are based on our own wills and desires and that it is possible to learn a lesson from it and to improve our acts; otherwise, he does not approve of us using the concept “evil omen” in our daily lives and carrying it to our heart as if accusing the power of Allah and as if dissociating the events from the power and will of Allah.
Our Prophet attracts our attention to those meanings with his following bright hadith:
*“When you have an opinion about something, do not regard it as true. When the devil throws the feeling of envy into your heart, do not oppress people acting upon that feeling. When you think that something has an evil omen, do not abandon what you are doing by paying attention to that thought. Trust Allah. When you weigh something to sell, weigh it a bit extra.” (5- Jamiu’s-Saghir, 1/405)
*“A person who abandons doing something with the thought of evil omen is regarded to have associated partners with Allah.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 3/3646)
In conclusion, it can be said that the events related to the creation that our eyes and ears perceive are the reflections of the rings of the chain of creation that Allah willed, ordained, arranged and created. Even if they are evil or we think that they are evil, even if we are afraid of or terrified by them, we should interpret them as good, regard them as good omen and think about them to be good things. We should not interpret events as evil. If we are to interpret the meaning of twitching of the eyes or a part of the body, ringing in the ear, whether they take place on the right or left side of our body, we should interpret them in a good way. We should not interpret them in a bad way. We should trust Allah in any case.
Questions on Islam
- Is it permissible for a Muslim to swear at, curse or damn another Muslim? How should a person react to those who swear at him?
- They say the month of Safar is a "month of misfortunes. Is it true? Is it true that the Prophet (pbuh) was hit by some misfortune and became ill in this month? Is there any worshipping peculiar to this month or a prayer of protection?
- What are the types of backbiting? Why and to what extent is backbiting bad?
- How can we Strengthen our Belief? Will you give information about the Increase and Decrease of Belief, Tahqiq (Investigative) and Taqlid (Imitative) Belief and the Importance of Belief?
- While the attribution of evil to Allah is not available in the hadiths and verses, why did it become one of the principles of belief?
- Will you explain the hadith about committing sins by mistake and forgetfulness? What is our responsibility here?
- Is the owl a harbinger of death?
- Who is Badiuzzaman Said Nursi? I would like to get information about Risale-i Nur movement. Is this movement a madhhab (sect)?
- Why were devils and evil beings created? Is it not bad to create what is bad and is it not evil to created what is evil?