As much as the skeptics would like to argue against it, the ‘evil eye’ is real –it is not a product of superstition, nor is it based on high-flying assumptions. Evidence of the evil eye can be found in the true words of the Holy Quran and our beloved Holy Prophet (PBUH).
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
The evil eye is real, and if anything were to overtake the divine decree (Al-Qadar) it would be the evil eye. (Muslim 2188)
So let us delve into the deeper meaning and connotations attached to the concept of the ‘evil eye’ that plagues so many of us in our daily lives.
What is the Evil Eye?
The evil eye is referred to as ‘Al-ayn’ in Arabic, which is the incidence of a person causing harm to another – consciously or unconsciously – with his eye.
It may start off with the person just liking or appreciating something in another individual, but the feeling may fester into more negative feelings of jealousy and sheer envy, which may end up harming the other person.
The Holy Prophet was warned by Allah regarding the harmful effects of the evil eye and commanded His Prophet to seek refuge in Him.
Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak… And from the evil of an envier when he envies. (Quran 113:1-5)
Not everyone who may envy another puts the evil eye on that individual and may not harbor any ill will for that individual’s fortune (unconscious) but in most cases, the one who deeply envies another and harbors deep jealousy and resentment will end up putting the evil eye on the other (conscious).
The evil eye, in essence, has been described as an ‘arrow’ that gushes out of the heart of the envier towards the person/object of his envy – it may hit the person and bring misfortune upon them if they do not take precautions against it, or it may miss the targeted person if he takes certain spiritual precautions and seeks Allah’s (SWT) protection.
The harm of the evil eye may be proportionate to the level of jealousy and malice that resides in the heart of the envier. However, it is important to note that the evil eye cannot be cast without the Will of Allah (SWT) and so, the only protection from the evil eye lies in the refuge of Allah (SWT).
How to Protect from It?
The evil eye can essentially be cast by anyone, even a person’s loved ones, which may be an unconscious consequence on their part.
Hence, it is pertinent for each and every one of us to take the necessary steps in order to protect ourselves from the evil eye of those around us.
The answer lies in the words of Allah (SWT). One must engage in ruqyah (Quranic recitation and the words laid down by the Holy Prophet (PBUH)) and constant remembrance of Allah (Dhikr).
It is a fact that those who are close to Allah (SWT), who recite the Holy Quran and engage in daily Dhikr have a much lower probability of being afflicted by the evil eye and its harmful effects.
According to prophetic tradition, the greatest means of protection against the evil eye lies in the recitation of the following chapters:
- Ayat ul-Kursi
Make it a habit to recite Surah al-Falaq, Surah an-Nas and Surah al-Ikhlas in the morning and in the evening every single day. According to a hadith:
The Prophet said:
‘Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad’ and ‘Muwidhatayn’ [al-Falaq and an-Naas] when you enter the evening and when you wake up in the morning three times and it will protect you from everything. (At-Tirmidhi 3575)
Dua and Dhikr
Moreover, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) also taught us several other Duas that should be recited in order to seek Allah’s (SWT) refuge from the evil that resides in this world.
Among the authentic duas for refuge that have been narrated from the Prophet (PBUH) are:
“A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah al-taammaati min sharri maa khalaq” (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created).” (Muslim 4881)
A person must engage in the remembrance of Allah (SWT) (Dhikr) as much as he/she can during the day and during the evening, especially before going to sleep. Dhikr, in essence, serves as an armor for the believer and protects him/her from the evil that may try to infiltrate that armor.
Hence, we must strive to do Dhikr and use ruqyah, as outlined by the Prophet (PBUH), in order to safeguard ourselves.
It was narrated that ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded me, or he commanded (the people) to use ruqyah to deal with the evil eye.” (Bukhari 5297)
Allah (SWT) has given His followers the tools to combat the effects of the evil eye and we should make it a habit to implement those tools in our daily lives in order to prevent the evil eye from affecting us and our families.