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Can the Evil Eye Overpower God’s Destiny For Us?

21 March, 2021
Q I have a question about a hadith that is "Abd Allah ibn Abbas (raa) reports that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The influence of an evil eye is a fact. If anything would precede the destiny, it would be the influence of an evil eye. And when you are asked to take a bath (for curing purposes), then you should take a bath.” (Muslim)...... My question is how could something precede destiny???? Destiny is decreed by Allah, so how could a person, jinn or what so ever change or precede it??? What does this hadith actually mean??? Thanks. Jazak Allah Khair


Salam Alaykum Dear Shazia,

Thank you so much for sending your question and for your sincere desire to gain knowledge and learn more about your deen.

May Allah reward you for your pursuit of knowledge and enrich your life with light and wisdom.

Nothing Overpowers Allah

With regards to your question: No, the hadith simply does not say that the evil eye precedes destiny.

It says ‘IF’ something was to precede destiny it ‘would have been’ the evil eye.

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Really, this is there to teach us the seriousness of the evil eye and the need to take precautions against it. But it doesn’t say that it, in fact, precedes destiny.

There is nothing that overpowers Allah or precedes what He decrees. There is no creation that is more powerful than its All Powerful Creator.

Allah says in the Noble Quran:

No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being – indeed that, for Allah, is easy (Quran 57:22)

No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things. (Quran 64:11)

Proof from Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad

Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said:

One day, I was riding behind the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said, “O boy! I will instruct you in some matters. Be watchful of Allah (Commandments of Allah), He will preserve you. Safeguard His Rights, He will be ever with you.

If you beg, beg of Him Alone; and if you need assistance, supplicate to Allah Alone for help. Remember that if all the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able to benefit you except that which Allah had foreordained (for you); and if all of them gather to do harm to you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah had pre-destined against you. The pens had been lifted and the ink had dried up”. [At- Tirmidhi].

Another narration is:

Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Safeguard the Commandments of Allah, you will find Him before you. Remember Him in prosperity and He will remember you in adversity. Be sure that which you miss, was not to hit you; and what hits you, was never to miss you. Remember that the Help of Allah is obtained with patience, and relief emerges after distress, prosperity follows adversity, and hardship is followed by ease“.

There is a Wisdom Behind All Things

Nothing and no one overpowers Allah.

What happens is what was decreed for a reason that He knows best. The Messenger (peace be upon him) instructs us in order for us to be aware, take precautions, protect ourselves, and seek the Help of Allah and remember Him always.

The Messenger (peace be upon him) instructs us in order for us to be aware, take precautions, protect ourselves, and seek the Help of Allah and remember Him always.

That is the purpose of our being and core relationship we have with Allah: to seek Him alone and rely on Him always.

We say that at least 17 times a day:

It is You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help (Quran 1:5)

So we need to be conscious and aware of what we say and actually live the meaning of those verses.

Seek Allah in All Parts of Life

We are meant to seek Allah for help and relief from all troubles.

The problem happens when one is detached from Allah, not committed to adhkar (supplications and remembrance of Allah that protect and shield the person), distant from reading the Quran and seeking knowledge.

Someone who lives like this has placed themselves in a state of ghaflah (heedlessness).

So, the purpose of this is to teach and remind us of the importance of being strongly connected with Allah and constantly reciting our adhkar and the verses of the Quran that protect us from the evil eye and all harms.

We hope this clarifies matters for you.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From AboutIslam’s archives)

About Dina Mohamed Basiony
Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.