“O Allah, protect them both from the eye.”
I make this silent dua for the young, attractive-looking married Muslim couple onscreen, as I watch them flirt with and tease each other in their vlog on YouTube.
I cast a glance at the number of subscribers on their channel: more than 300,000. I know that with each day, each one of their uploaded videos gets thousands more views. I then read a comment made by a female viewer under their video, which goes something like this, “My own husband and I have never joked with each other the way you both do. He does not even talk to me freely, ever since we’ve been married”. She follows it with a sad face emoji.
Welcome to the new-age digital world, where your followers and subscribers on online social media know more about you and your daily life, than most of your biological family members, with some of whom it is obligatory to join relations.
An era in which most people under the age of 40 would rather post an image on Instagram with a 100-word heartfelt rant expressing their honest feelings, than dial their paternal aunt’s personal cellphone number to ask how she is doing.
An age in which some youngsters do not even remember the names of some of their first-cousins, but do have more than 5 close “online” friends whom they’ve never even met in real life.
This is the digital age that awaits our young children: the generation referred to as the “millenials”. As I glance over at my young children, two of whom are almost at the threshold of puberty, I wonder what kind of challenges they will face as adults, in a world where personal privacy is becoming a rare gem?
I do know one thing for sure, though: that they will need to be more on guard about being afflicted with “`ain” — an Arabic word for “the eye”, also known as “nadhar” in Islamic terminology. This is because they will dwell in a world that might not give them much importance unless they often show off or ‘share’ something on social media, in the quest for likes, followers, fans, and subscribers.
Existence of ‘The Eye’ is a Fact
There is no denying the fact that in this world, there still exist some incomprehensible illnesses and afflictions that many people become a victim of and are harmed by, for which doctors and scientists have still not found either a cure, or a ‘logical’ explanation.
This is all the more true for those physical and mental afflictions resulting from the eye, whose ill-effects are chronic and prolonged in nature, and which are not cured by the use of traditional or alternative medicines, or even counseling and therapy.
As the victim steadily “goes down” in life, in front of the pained eyes of their close family and friends, losing their health, happiness, youth, provision, and success with time, they become reduced to a ‘vegetated’ stalemate state of depression and disease. Everyone around them wonders, “What happened to him/her? And how do we find a cure?” They proceed to run from one doctor to the next, but are unable to find a cure. It is only then that they think of seeking spiritual cure from the teachings of Islam.
However, for a Muslim, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Prevention is better than cure, and this is actually the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:
“The influence of an evil eye is a fact. If anything would precede the destiny, it would be the (influence of an evil) eye”. (Sahih Muslim: 2188)
Some Muslims tend to crack jokes about how other Muslims are supposedly very “paranoid” about the ill-effects of the eye. However, it is quite clear from the above narration that Prophet Muhammad has sincerely warned Muslims about the harms of the eye, and has also advised them to strive to protect themselves from it.
Abu Sa`id Al Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:
“The Messenger of Allah used to seek protection against the evil of jinn and the evil eye, until Surah Al Falaq and Surah Al Naas were revealed. After they were revealed, he took to them for seeking Allah’s protection and left everything besides them”. (Al Tirmidhi)
According to the above narration, therefore, one of the best ways of protecting oneself from the harms of the eye, is to recite the last two chapters of the Quran, and to blow them upon oneself. Even the Prophet sought to protect himself, so it is imperative that we also do the same.
“The Prophet ordered me (or somebody else) to do Ruqyah if there was (danger from) an evil eye.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: 5738)
“Ruqyah” is the name given to the practice of seeking cure for someone who is afflicted with the eye, by reciting parts of the Quran and then blowing it upon them. The Quran is therefore the most effective means of not just protection from the eye, but also a cure from its harmful effects.
Conclusion: Take Precautions & Be Discreet
Besides the protection afforded by following the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, a Muslim should also be discreet when they are interacting with people, whether the latter are close to them or not, by not sharing candid details of the blessings that Allah has granted to them. This includes their online interactions as well.
When Allah blesses us with provisions, especially those that are profound, hard-to-get, and unique, it is one of the dues of showing gratitude to Allah for these provisions, that we strive to protect them from waning, and from being undermined or lost due to our carelessness and indiscretion.
A happy marriage between two individuals whom Allah has also blessed with guidance upon Islam, which remains successful even with the passage of time and the traversal of trials, is one such blessing. Marital love is becoming more and more rare in an age where adultery is more fair-seeming and rampant, and most marriages lose their steam increasingly quickly after tying the knot.
So — be it guidance upon the truth, knowledge of Islam, the ability to do consistent good deeds, a righteous spouse, a happy family life, beautiful children, or tangible blessings — resist the urge to snap that ‘group selfie’ and share it on social media!
Seek permanence and longevity, instead of views and shares!