The Evil Eye’ is not a new concept or one that is local to a given community. It has various names all over the world from ‘Ayn-al-hasad’ in Arabic, or ‘Chashm-e-budd’ in Urdu.
These terms refer to a gaze from one person to another which may cause affliction or ill-luck to the other. These gazes are often associated with envy, jealousy or even extreme admiration. The gaze can be intentional or unintentional.
Unfortunately, modern cultures reject this phenomenon. They are not able to connect it with any sort of reasoning or logic and therefore pass it off as something fictional like a superstition.
As Muslims then, where does one stand on the concept of the evil-eye?
For a Muslim, the acceptance or rejection of anything is based on what the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Prophet SAWS record on the topic.
Allah SWT says in Sura Al-Qalam, ayat 51-52:
And indeed, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes when they hear the message, and they say, “Indeed, he is mad.”
But it is not except a reminder to the worlds.
The concept of the evil eye is mentioned when one ponders on this selection of the Quran. To make one slip with their eyes is to give reference to this topic of the evil eye.
Also, the Prophet SAWS has referred to the evil eye as has been mentioned in the following hadith:
The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye.
Dear brothers and sisters, just to clarify here before continuing. This isn’t saying that the evil eye is so powerful that it can overtake the decree of Allah SWT, it is trying to highlight and emphasise the importance of guarding against this phenomenon.
And this phenomenon is real, as is mentioned by the Prophet SAWS. So with this knowledge to hand, how does one go about trying to protect oneself from such dangers?
There are two types of protection that we need to think of when we are talking about the Evil Eye and they are Reactive and Proactive.
So let’s begin with Reactive treatments. Contrary to what some communities in the world will advocate, the best form of treatment is not wearing amulets or taweez. Allah knows best.
Instead, we refer back to the hadith and to the verses of the Quran for protection and treatment of the Evil Eye.
Like all treatments, we ought to go to a practitioner for the correct treatment for the evil eye. Normally, the imam of the masjid can assist in this matter.
However, for the purposes of this khutba, it is worthy to note that Ayat Al-Kursi in Sura Baqara, Sura Al-Fatihah, Sura Al-Falaq and Sura An-Nas have hadiths referencing their potency in treating the evil eye.
And so on to the second type of protection, which is just as important, is the proactive type.
By this dear brothers and sisters, I am talking about how we can prevent one another from inadvertently afflicting the evil eye.
Remember, even extreme admiration can cause the evil eye. For example, a parent’s look at their child. Don’t think from the English name given to this that the afflicter needs to be evil. This is why it is more important that we understand and implement the tools to counteract this.
So, whenever we see anything good with one another, we should not see it with envy or jealousy. Rather we should make it a working practice to be happy for them and to pray to Allah SWT and seek His blessing for the other person as well as for themselves.
This comes practically in the form of the phrase “Mash’Allah”. Often it is used to show appreciation for something good so what does it mean?
Roughly translated into English it means “God has willed it.” In other words, by reciting this you are acknowledging that it is Allah SWT who has blessed the favour and you are recognizing this fact.
By reciting the phrase and being acutely aware of this meaning, one will be able to recondition their mind to fulfil the proactive type of protection because one will naturally then remember Allah SWT and this will lead to appreciation of the blessing He has given them.
Let’s aim to educate ourselves and one another on this everyday danger in our lives.
May Allah SWT protect us from the evil eye. May Allah SWT equip us to protect one another from the evil eye. And may Allah SWT keep us away from prohibited methods of protection from the evil eye.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.