Unexplained pain. Baby doesn’t stop crying. Everything seems to be going pear-shaped.

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)

In fact, it can be so powerful, “it can cause a mountain to collapse.” (Aḥmad)

Evil eye can even lead to your death. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Most of those who die amongst my ummah do so – after the will and decree of Allah – because of the evil eye.” (Bazzār)

Imām Aḥmad (raḥimahullāh) said: ‘Very rarely will a house be found without anyone being affected by the evil eye or jealousy.’

What is the Evil Eye?

Evil eye is a form of envy and comes from a resentful and spiteful heart. By casting a gaze, stare or look that is envious and ill-wishing, the jealous person inflicts harm upon the victim.

The jealous person does this to an unsuspecting person simply through his eyes, without even needing his hands or tongue.

The extent of the harm is dependent on two factors:

  1. The weakness of the victim
  2. The strength of the envier’s jealousy, hatred and anger.

How to Protect Yourself from Evil Eye

  • Recite the Sunnah morning and evening adhkār. Encourage your family and friends to recite the adhkār and recite over your children.

‘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 sharing any good news. Seek blessings from Allah ﷻ for others by saying ‘BārakaAllahu feekum/lakum/‘alaykum’ or in your own language. 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)
  • To avoid dangerous envy, be kind and courteous to people. Spread salām and give gifts 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 will be happy for 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.

An envier is one of Shayṭān’s followers, because he seeks to remove Allah’s blessings from people, which is precisely what Shayṭān wants. This is why the Messenger of Allah ﷻ said: “Resort to concealing the fulfilment and success of your needs, for verily every one endowed with a blessing is envied.” (Ṭabarānī)

Social media has become an integral part of today’s life. 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, family relations, spirituality and ultimately our relationship with Allah ﷻ.

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.

How to Treat the Evil Eye

Ā’ishah (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhā) said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to tell me to do ruqyah against the evil eye.” (Bukhārī)

The method of treatment outlined in the Sunnah is to get the used water of the one who inflicted the evil eye, and pour it over the victim. However, in many circumstances, this is difficult to do. Therefore, one should pray Ruqyah on water, especially the last 3 Sūrahs of the Qur’ān and bathe with it daily for 10-20 days until the symptoms disappear.

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