Charms and Amulets
Good and bad Fortune
The life of this world is a test from Allah, Allah says: “(Allah is) Who has created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in deed.”
[Soorah al-Mulk (67): 2]
He, the Most High, in His Great Wisdom has also created fluctuations, which are a part of the test, in order to test our patience and perseverance. Allah says: “We shall make a trial for you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)eturned.”
[Soorah al-Ambiyah (21): 34-35]
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “Afflictions continue to befall believing men and women in their body, family and property, until they meet Allah burdened with no sins.”
[(Saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee in Sahihah (2280) at-Tirmidhee]
Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “Those who are most afflicted among the people are the Prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with (the strength of) his Deen. If his Deen is firm, his affliction is hard, and if his Deen is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people with any sins.”
[(Saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee in Saheeh al-Jamee (993) Musnad Ahmad and at-Tirmidhee]
Therefore, afflictions and testing are required for a believer to achieve victory, honor and, well being.
The Qur’aan explains that the complete wisdom behind these occurrences is beyond our understanding, since our knowledge is limited to the apparent occurrences. Therefore, as Allah says in the Qur’aan: “Perhaps you may dislike something which is really good for you or like something (which is actuallly) bad for you, but Allah knows (what is best for you) and you do not.”
[Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 216]
Thus, what we know as good fortune and bad fortune are mere events predestined by Allah as a test for the human. They take place only by the Permission of Allah and He alone has the Power to avert their harm. It is the duty of a Muslim to have complete Tawakkul (reliance) on Allah and seek His aid in times of afflictions and trial.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) elaborated on this issue in his advise to Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu anhu), he said: “O young man! I will teach you a few words: “I’hfath (remember or observe the commands of) Allah and He will Ya’hfath (direct His care and aid at) you. I’hfath Allah and you will find Him with you (by His aid, knowledge and protection). When you invoke, invoke Allah alone, and when you ask for help, ask Allah alone. And know that if the nation (meaning mankind and the Jinn) came together to bring you benefit, they can never bring you any benefit except that which Allah has written for you. And if they came together to harm you, they will never be able to harm you, except what Allah has written for you. The pens have already been raised (and stopped writing) and the pages have dried.”
[Musnad Ahmad and at-Tirmidhee]
The belief associated with Charms and Amulets that they attract good fortune and avert evil is contradictory to the Islamic belief that Allah Alone has the Power to benefit and harm, and it is He alone Who can bring good and avert evil
Charms and Amulets contradict Tawheed
Tawheed (belief in the Oneness of Allah) is the core of Islam. One of the fundamental beliefs of Tawheed is that Allah alone has the Power to benefit and harm, it is He alone Who can bring good and avert evil. Any notion, belief or saying, which contradicts this belief, leads to the unforgivable sin of Shirk (associating partners with Allah). Allah says: “Verily, Allah will not forgive Shirk, but He forgives anything besides it to whomsoever He wishes.”
[Soorah an-Nisa (4): 48]
The belief associated with good luck charms that they attract good fortune and avert evil is thus committing Shirk. It was the practice of the Arabs at the time of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) to wear lockets, bracelets, beads, shells, etc. as charms. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) is reported to have rejected all such practices.
Uqbah (radhiallahu anhu) reported: “Once a group of men approached the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) to give their oaths of allegiance. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wasallam) accepted the oath from nine but refused one. When he was asked the reason, he (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) replied: “Verily, he is wearing an amulet (a charm).” The man put his hand in his cloak, pulled the amulet off and broke it, then made the oath. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “Whoever wears an amulet has committed Shirk.”
[Musnad Ahmad. This Hadeeth was classed as Saheeh by Shaikh al-Albanee in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, (492)]
When new people accepted Islam during the time of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wasallam); they often carried with them some pagan beliefs. One of them was the belief in charms, Abu Waaqid al-Laythee reported when Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) set out for Hunayn (the site of a major battle), they passed by a tree called Dhat Anwaar. The idolaters used to hang their weapons on its branches for good fortune. Some of the Sahabah y who were new to Islam asked the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) to assign a similar tree for the Muslims. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) reprimanded them and said: “Subhan-Allah! This is just like what Moosa’s people said to him: ‘O Moosa! Make for us a god like they have gods.”
[At-Tirmidhee, Musnad Ahmad and others.]
This Hadeeth demonstrates the grave danger of believing in charms, which are objects, like beads, bones, seashells, threads, horseshoe, nails etc. worn in the necks or hung on walls in order to avert evil and bring good fortune. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) compared charms to idols and fake gods, who are worshiped instead of Allah.
This is because belief in charms represents the same belief of the idol worshipers. One who wears charm considers it (the charm) to have the Divine Power to benefit and harm. Besides, the charm is supposed to be more powerful than Allah, because they are considered to be able to avert misfortune, which Allah has already destined. Therefore, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahualaihe wa-sallam) has cursed those who use them. Uqbah Ibn Amir reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) once said: “May Allah cause failure and unrest to whoever wears a
charm or puts it on others.”
[Musnad Ahmad and Haakim]
Charms as a means of idol worship:
Charms sometimes include pictures of saints and graves. Pictures are forbidden in Islam, and it should be made known that the basic reason behind the prohibition of pictures was to prevent Shirk from entering into the Aqeedah of the Muslims.
Shirk first crept into the previous nation through pictures and graves. When righteous men died, people would erect their statues and make their pictures in places of gathering. The later generations eventually venerated these pictures and statues, and worshiped them besides Allah. When the churches of Ethiopia containing pictures were mentioned to Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), he said: “If any religious man dies amongst those
people they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it. They will be the worst creatures in the Sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.”
[Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]
Islam has prohibited all means, which could result in Shirk; one of them is the prohibitions is portraying pictures and hanging them. Moreover, hanging pictures of saints and graves in necks and believing them to be a means of blessings, or believing them to be able to avert evil is a clear Shirk, because this belief implies giving Divine Power to avert evil and bring good fortune, which is unique for Allah alone, to created beings.
Charms as a means of Healing Sickness:
Another popular use of charms is that it is regarded as a remedy to many diseases or protection from the evil eye. This kind of use is also prohibited, Imraan Ibn Hussain (radhiallahu anhu) reported that when the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) saw a brass bangle on a man’s upper arm, he said to him, “Woe be on you. What is this?” The man replied that it was to protect him from a sickness called Waahinah (weakness). The Messenger of Allah(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) then said: “Cast it off, for verily, it would only increase your weakness. And if you die with it on, you will never succeed.”
[Musnad Ahmad and others]
Meaning Allah will not protect him, who hangs charms on his body, rather He would abandon him and assign him to the charm, which will avail him nothing. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahualaihe wa-sallam) said: “He who wears a thing shall be committed to it.”
A Muslim’s attitude in times of sickness should be to be patient and seek help with Allah. “And (remember) Ayyub, when he called to his Lord, ‘Verily, adversity has touched me, and You are the Most Merciful of the Merciful.’ So, We answered his call, and removed all afflictions.”
[Soorah al-Ambiya (21): 83]
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) advised Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) and said: “When you invoke, invoke Allah alone, and when you ask for help, ask Allah alone. And know that if the nation (meaning mankind and the Jinn) came together to bring you benefit, they can never bring you any benefit except that which Allah has written for you. And if they came together to harm you, they will never be able to harm you, except what Allah has written for you. The pens have already been raised (and stopped writing) and the pages have dried.”
[Musnad Ahmad and at-Tirmidhee]
Allah says: “Give glad tidings to the patient those who when afflicted with a calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allah we belong; truly to Him will we return.’ It is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is these who are the guided ones.”
[Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 155]
Therefore, he who resigns to Allah, seeks refuge in Him and commits his affairs to Him, Allah will suffice him, and make the difficulty easy for him. But he who attaches himself to the creation of Allah, like charms and amulets, Allah will abandon him to what he attaches himself to, and nothing will avail him of those things which neither harm nor benefit anyone. By using charms, the slave severs his relation with Allah and destroys his own creed.
It is a duty on the Muslim to safeguard his Aqeedah and the Aqeedah of his family members against all defects. He should not take unlawful remedies, nor approach misleading healers, because they will blemish his heart and creed. He who depends on Allah, Allah will suffice him.
The Sahabah (radhiallahu anhu) were very strict in regards to charms and omens, whether it be within one’s family or outside it. Zaynab, the wife of Abdullah Ibn Mas’oud, reports that once Ibn Mas’oud saw a cord of necklace around her neck and asked, ‘What is it?’ She replied: ‘It is a cord in which a spell has been placed to help me.’ He snatched it from her neck, broke it and said: “Surely the family of Abdullah has no need for Shirk! I have heard Allah’s Messenger(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) say: ‘Verily spells, talismans and charms are Shirk.'”
Zaynab replied: ‘Why are you saying this? My eye used to twitch and when I went to so and so, the Jew, he put a spell on it and it stopped twitching.’ Ibn Mas’oud said: ‘Verily, it was only a devil prodding it with his hand, so when you had it bewitched he left it. It would have been sufficient for you to say:
Transliteration: “Idh-habil-ba’s Rabban-naas washfi antash-shafee Laa shifaa’ illa shifaa’uk shifaa’aan laa yughaadiruhu saqama”
“Remove the suffering, O Lord of mankind and heal it perfectly as You are the True Healer. There is no cure except Your cure; a cure which is not followed by sickness.”
[Sunan Abu Dawood (vol: 3, no: 3874)] Classed as Saheeh by al-Albanee in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah (331 and 2972)]
A sick person can resort to permissible means of treatment like medicines, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “Seek treatment, because Allah did not create a sickness but has created a treatment for it, except for old age.” [Abu Dawood. Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee in Saheeh al-Jami no: 29302] In this context, magnetic belts, etc., which have been medically proven to have health benefits can be used for treatment. They do not fall under the category of charms and omens.
Casual use of Charms
Sometimes the use of charms is not due to false beliefs, but is merely an imitation of the Kuffar, which is also a very serious issue. Muslims are strictly prohibited from adopting any non-Islamic practice or imitating the non-Muslims, whether it be creed or actions. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) has warned the Muslim Ummah in several Ahaadeeth on different occasions against imitation of the Kuffar, he (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) once said: “Whoever imitates a people, he is one of them.”
[(Saheeh) Musnad Ahmad (vol: 2, no:50)]
Therefore, any resemblance to the Kuffar in any aspect must be strictly avoided. If the charm used has a religious significance to the disbelievers, like the cross of the Christians, saffron strings or black threads of the Hindus, etc. then the matter becomes even more grave.
Qur’aanic charms are those objects, which have parts of the Qur’aan or some of Allah’s Names and Attributes inscribed on them. These objects are worn for the purpose of healing. Scholars are at variance concerning wearing them; some believe in its permissibility, while others reject them. The second opinion is correct, due to many reasons:
(a) The general prohibition of wearing them. Ibn Mas’oud (radhiallahu anhu), who disapproved the practice of Qur’aanic charms said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahualaihe wa-sallam) say: “Charms, Amulets and Tiwalah* are all acts of Shirk.”
[Abu Dawood and Musnad Ahmad]
* Tiwaalah (bewitchment) is a spell, which is used to make a man love his wife, or the other
(b) Barring access to what may lead to the unlawful.
(c) If one wears an amulet containing Qur’aanic verses, he is apt to carry it with him to washrooms, while relieving or cleaning himself or the like.
(d) The use of Qur’aan in such a manner is neither proved by the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), nor the practice of the Sahabah. Therefore, using the Qur’aan as a charm is categorized as a Bidah (innovation in the religion), regarding which Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “Whoever innovates in Islam something which does not belong to it will have it rejected.”
[Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 3, no: 861)]
Furthermore, wearing Qur’aanic verses for healing contradicts the Prophetic way of curing sickness through the means of Qur’aan.
Imaam Muslim (rahimahullah) records the following Hadeeth under the chapter, ‘Curing of the Patient with the recitation of Mu’awwidhatan.’ Aaishah (radhi allahu anha) reported that when the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) fell ill, he recited over his body Mu’awwidhatan (Soorah al-Falaq and Soorah an-Nas) and blew over him and when his sickness was intensified, I used to recite over him, and rub him with his hand with the hope that it was more blessed.
[Saheeh Muslim vol: 3, no: 5440]
So, the correct way is to recite Qur’aanic verses and supplications mentioned in the Sunnah and blow by mouth on the sick. This practice is known as ‘Ruqya’, and is proved from a number of authentic narrations. “Some Companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) went on a journey until they reached some of the Arab tribes (at night). The chief of that tribe was bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion) and nothing could cure him. One of the Sahabah recited Soorah Al-Faatihah and breathed hard over the chief, who recovered as if he was released from a chain, stood up and started walking, showing no signs of sickness.
When Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) was informed about the incident, he approved of it and asked: “How did you know that Soorah Al-Faatihah can be recited as a Ruqyah?”
[Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 3, no: 476)]
This is the meaning of the verse, where Allah says: “We send down the Qur’aan that which is healing and a mercy for the believer, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.”
[Soorah al-Isra (17): 82]
Using Numerology on Quraanic Verses
Qur’aanic charms are not only limited to writing down Qur’aanic verses and hanging them around the necks. Many people make use of Numerology to make amulets.
Numerology is an age-old science practiced by Hinduism and other Eastern religions. Alphabets are assigned certain number, and in the same fashion words, phrases and sentences are given a certain number based upon certain calculations. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) never used numerology in relation to the Qur’aan and neither did his Companions. It is therefore an evil innovation.
Innovation is an action, which,
(a) Does not have any supporting proof from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah,
(b) It is done to gain the pleasure of Allah (therefore worldly affairs are excluded).
A false argument is put forth in defense of Qur’aanic Numerology that since the time of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), the Qur’aan has been translated into different languages for the reason of spreading and preserving it. Therefore, Qur’aanic Numerology is not an innovation.
This is a false comparison because Numerology is neither a language nor does it help in preserving or spreading the teachings of the Qur’aan. The sole purpose of Numerology is to make charms and amulets, which are used as a part of the religion to avert misfortune, evil eye, etc.
There was a need at the time of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) for protection from evil eye and magic and Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) has given us complete guidance with respect to the use the Qur’aan against them.
Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) did not use Numerology at his time, therefore there can be no basis for using it after his time. Lastly, numerology is a blatant imitation of the Kuffar and all of these above proofs establish that numerology is an evil action and should be shunned, even if it is widely practiced and propagated these days.