Unexplained pain. Baby doesn’t stop crying. Everything seems to be going pear-shaped.’
What is the Evil Eye?
The evil eye is very common. Imām Aḥmad (raḥimahullāh) said: ‘Very rarely will a house be found without anyone being affected by the evil eye or jealousy.’ Evil eye comes from either a resentful feeling or one of excessive adoration. This is manifested by casting a gaze, stare or look that is envious. An envier causes harm or misfortune to an unsuspecting person through their eyes, without needing their hands or tongue. The intensity of the effect differs according to the weakness of the victim and the power of the envier’s jealousy, hatred, anger, or even love.
Have you ever wondered if the cause of it could be the evil eye (also known as ‘ayn or nazar)? It is not always the cause, but often can be.
Sometimes we dismiss the evil eye and think of it as being superstitious. However, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The evil eye is true. If anything could outdo the decree, it would be the evil eye.” (Muslim)
He ﷺ also said, “The evil eye is true. It can cause a mountain to collapse.” (Aḥmad)
He ﷺ said, “Most of those who die amongst my Ummah do so – after the will and decree of Allah (subḥānahū wa taʿālā) – because of the evil eye.” (Bazzār)
Dangers of Social Media
Social media has become an integral part of our lives. Unfortunately, it has made us much more vulnerable to evil eye. We should be wary of posting pictures of ourselves, our possessions or our children on social media. Similarly, we should not wistfully gaze at the blessings of others and envy them for it. We should reflect on how using social media affects our health, relations, spirituality and our relationship with Allah (subḥānahū wa taʿālā).
How to Protect Oneself from Evil Eye
– Recite the Sunnah morning and evening adhkār (see the book ‘Daily Adhkar’ by LWA).
‘The evil eye is an arrow, shot by the one who is jealous, hitting (the victim) sometimes and missing it sometimes. So if the victim is uncovered and without the protection (of the adhkār), then he definitely will be affected by it. But if the victim is taking precaution (through the adhkār), then it will not affect him; rather it may happen that this arrow is returned back to the envier.’ (Ibn al-Qayyim raḥimahullāh)
– Say MāshāAllah when one is bestowed or witnesses blessings. Seek blessings from Allah (subḥānahū wa taʿālā) for others by saying: ‘BārakaAllahu feekum/lakum/‘alaykum’.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever amongst you sees something in himself or in his possessions or in his brother that he likes, let him pray for blessings for it, because the evil eye is real.” (Ḥākim)
Avoid Being Envied
– To avoid dangerous envy, a believer should be kind and courteous to people. Salām should be spread, and gifts should be given to families and friends. Displaying lofty manners will dispel the jealousy of others and remove evil desires from their hearts.
Conceal your good
– Do not share or spread any good news about yourself except to those who rejoice at your good fortune. This may even include families and relatives, since it can be those closest to you whose envy can cause you the most harm.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Resort to concealing the fulfilment and success of your needs, for verily every one endowed with a blessing is envied.” (Ṭabarānī)
Seeking Protection for Children
Children are more vulnerable to the evil eye. It’s important therefore to teach them the adhkār as soon as possible and instruct them to recite and blow on themselves. Since very young children are unable to recite, parents should regularly recite the adhkār, particularly Āyat al-Kursī and the last three sūrahs of the Qur’ān and blow on them. Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to seek Allah’s protection for Ḥasan and Ḥusayn (radiy Allāhu ʿanhumā) by saying:
(Bukhārī) أُعِيْذُكُمَا (أُعِيْذُكَ) بِكَلِمَاتِ اللّٰهِ التَّامَّةِ ، مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ وَّهَامَّةٍ ، وَمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لَّامَّةٍّّ
Substitute أُعِيْذُكُمَا with أُعِيْذُكَ when praying on one child.
Your Shield: The Last 3 Surahs
The last three sūrahs of the Qur’ān are the strongest protection against envy, evil eye, magic and jinn. It is Sunnah to read them three times in the morning and evening, three times before going to sleep, once after every salāh, and when one is ill. This shows their importance!
‘The need for a slave to seek Allah’s protection with these sūrahs is greater than his need for eating, drinking and clothes.’ (Ibn al-Qayyim raḥimahullāh)
How to Treat the Evil Eye
To treat evil eye, you should obtain the used water (from the wuḍū or ghusl) of the one who you think inflicted the evil eye, and pour it over the victim. However, in many circumstances, this is difficult to do. Therefore, you should pray ruqyah on water, especially the last three sūrahs of the Qur’ān and bathe with it daily. Alternatively, you can pray ruqyah and blow on yourself.
Ibn al Qayyim raḥimahullāh writes ‘The last three sūrahs are extremely effective in repelling magic, evil eye, and the rest of the evils.’
How to Stop Envying Others
– Say MāshaAllah/BārakAllahu feek if something pleases you.
– Give gifts and do good to those whom you envy.
– Praise them when you wish to criticise.
– Make du‘ā’ for them even if reluctant to do so.
– Know how deadly envy is and how it will only return to harm you.
– Be content with Allah’s decree.