Chapter Five (Spiritual Ailments )
Treatment of the Evil Eye
Washing for the one affected with the evil eye: traditional evidence asserts the fact that washing up is beneficial for reasons known only to Allah.
Abi Emamah bin Sahl bin Hanif (May Allah be Pleased with Him) said: ”Amer ibn Rabea passed by Sahl bin Hunaif who was washing up and affected him with his evil eye. They went to Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH) and told him that Sahl was affected with an evil eye. He said’ Whom do you accuse?’ They said ‘Amer ibn Rabea’. The prophet said ‘For what does one of you kill his brother? If anyone of you sees something he likes about his brother, then he should invoke Allah to bless him”. Then he asked for water and ordered Amer to perform ablution where he washed his face and hands to the elbows, his knees, and the part inside his garment. Then Allah’s Messenger asked him to pour the water on Sahl” (Sahih Al-Jami-556).
Al- Menawi said (If anyone of you likes something in his brother whether it is lineage or Islam, then he should ask Allah to bless him; i.e. he says (”O Allah, bless him and harm him not”. Or he could say ” There is no Will but Allah’s”. There is no doubt that the evil eye affects people and their wealth because some human are inclined to do strange things) (Fayd Al-Qadir-1/351).
Incantation and Ruqyah: It is one of the best means that protects and removes the effect of evil eyes before and after it occurs. There are some Surhas and verses which have been proven effective in incantation in general, and in treating the evil eye, Allah Willing. A detailed information is given on the site’s home page under the title ”How to protect and treat yourself with incantation (Ruqya)?
Ablution: it is used to treat the evil eye, so that the one who afflict the evil eye is asked to perform ablution where the one affected with evil eye is ordered to wash up with it.
Mohamed bin Mefleh comments on this issue saying that it is a legitimate medication accepted by faithful people where some discussed the wisdom of it. It is known that there are things known only to Allah which this could be one of them. It thus only works if one accepts it willingly and with belief and not being skeptical about it.
Malek (May Allah have Mercy on Him) related the same prophetic saying previously mentioned and also narrated by Mohamed bin Abi Imamah bin Sahl that his father mentioned. He said:” The evil eye is a reality, perform ablution for it, so he performed ablution” (Sahih ibn Majah-2828).
Al-Qurtubi said that Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH) in his saying to Abi Imamah that the one afflicted the evil eye should perform ablution for the affected one. Our scholars say that incantation is used for the evil eye if the doer of the affliction is unknown. But if he is known, then they should resort to ablution, as mentioned by Abi Imamah (Al-Jami li Ahkam Al-Quran-9/226).
Invoking Allah’s Blessing: It is traditional that if one sees something he likes about his brother, then he should invoke Allah’s blessings for him.
Al-Nawawi (May Allah has Mercy on Him) said that it is preferable for one who inflicted the evil eye to say:” O Allah, bless him and do not harm him” or he could say: ”Allah’s Will (be done) There is no Power but with Allah”.
Ibn Al-Qayim, (May Allah have Mercy on Him) said that if the one with the evil eye is afraid to affect another, then he should say,” O Allah, bless him”, as the prophet himself said to Amer bin Rabi when his evil eye affected Sahl bin Hanif. Al-Demeri also said that the one with the evil eye should invoke Allah’s blessing for the one that he affected saying ” O Allah, bless him and do not harm him” (Hayat Al-Hayawan Al-Kobrah-1/255).
Sheikhh Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Jibrin said regarding the proof that one should invoke Allah’s Blessings that ” this evidence has been mentioned in many prophetic sayings. If anyone is afraid to envy someone, then he should remember Allah and invoke His blessing for him. Mentioning Allah is one of the causes of blessing and well fare as well as the elimination of ill fortune” (Al-Mamhal fi Ithbat Hakikat Al-Hasad wa Al-Ain-p.196).
Saying ”Allah is the Greatest” three times: This is effective in treating evil eye affliction where saying ”Allah is the Greatest” drives away the evil eye. Sheikhh Mohamed Al-Amin Al-Mokhtar Al-Shankiti said ”In some relations for others than Malek, one says ‘Allah is the Greatest” three times’ ”. He also said that if one is afraid of being envied, then he should say ” Allah is the Greatest” three times for that will drive away the evil eye.
Sheikhh Ateya Mohamed Salem (May Allah have Mercy on Him) stated that ” if one is afraid that he, or his money can be envied, then he should say for himself ” Allah’s Will (be done).There is no power but with Allah” three times. He should raise his voice to be heard by the envious one he is afraid from (Al-Ain wa Al-Ruqya wa Al-Istishfaa min Al-Quran wa Al-Sunnah-p.45).
Saying ”Allah’s Will (be done). There is no power but with Allah”: This is preferable whenever one sees something he likes of himself or his wealth or his children or anything else that he likes. He should then say: ”Allah’s Will (be done).There is no power but with Allah”. Allah, the Almighty says in his book: ”Why didst thou not, as thou wentest into thy garden, say:’ Allah’s Will (be done)! There is no power but with Allah1′ If thou dost see me less than thee in wealth and sons”.
Ibn Kathir and Al- Baghwi (May Allah have Mercy on them both) said:” Whenever the ancestors saw something they liked about himself or his wealth or his sons he would say ‘Allah’s Will (be done).There is no power but with Allah’ ”.
Hisham ibn Orwa narrated that his father said that if he saw something that he liked or entered one of his houses, he would say: ”Allah’s Will (be done). There is no power but with Allah” (Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Azim-3/84, Sharh Al-Sunnah-12/166).
Al-Nawawi said that the one with the evil eye should invoke Allah’s blessing on the affected one by saying: ”O Allah, bless him and do not harm him” and should also say: ”Allah’s Will (be done). There is no power but with Allah”. The treatment of the one who inflicts the evil eye is to say ” Allah’s Will (be done).There is no power but with Allah”, and invoke Allah’s blessings for him (Fatawi Al-Lajna Al-Daima li Al-Buhoth Al-Ilmiyah wa Al-Iftaa – Second Question number 1,6366/ 365-366).
Seeking refuge with Allah from the evil eye: It is traditional to seek refuge with Allah from the evil eye. Aisha (May Allah be Pleased with Her) related that Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH) said:” Seek refuge with Allah from the evil eye for it is a real thing”(Sahih Al-Jami-938).
Ibn Al-Qayim said that since the envious person is more common than the one with the evil eye, seeking refuge in Allah from him is the same as that of the evil eye. There are arrows coming out of the soul of the envious and the one with the evil eye hitting one time and missing the other. If he is exposed and unprotected, it affects him. If he is guarded against these arrows, then they would not affect him and may back fire on the other person (Al-Tib Al-Nabawi-p.166)
Al-Nasafi also said in his interpretation of Surah Al-Falaq (The Dawn) that seeking refuge from the mischief of created things, indicates that the evil of those creatures is stronger. However, He ended with the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy because it is the most evil one (Tafsir Al-Nasafi-4/430).
His Honor, Sheikhh Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Jibrin said that Allah has ordered us to seek refuge in Him from the envious one as he practices envy. Allah says: ”And from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy”. This refuge provides protection to the one seeking it.
Sheikhh Ateya Mohamed Salem (May Allah have Mercy on Him) said that Allah ordered people to seek refuge with Him from the mischief of created things in general, then from the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads, and then from the mischief of those who practice Secret Arts, and last from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy. All these supernatural issues are hidden things which only Allah provides protection from.
Maintaining the remembrance of Allah: It is one of the successful means used for protection against evil eye before and after its infliction.
Ibn Al-Qayim said that he who practices supplication and remembrance of Allah is aware of its benefit and its necessity. It prevents the effect of the evil eye from reaching the one who is being envied. It also drives away the evil eye after reaching him which depends on the strength of the faith of the one saying it. It also depends on his will power, his readiness, and his dependence on Allah for it is a weapon that depends on the user (Zad Al-Miad-4/170).
Sheikhh Jibrin said that most of the people who are afflicted with ailments as epilepsy, magic, and evil eye do not protect themselves with the remembrance of Allah and the legitimate supplications. It is also preferable to pray for the one affected with an evil eye by saying ”O Allah, drive away its hotness, coldness and fatigue”. Abdullah ibn Amer said” Amer bin Rabea and Sahl ibn Hanif went to wash themselves, and they sought cover behind the trees. He said ” Amer took off his woolen garment and I looked at him, i.e. Sahl, and I envied him. He went into the water when I heard bubbles in the water. I called him three times but he did not answer, so I went and told Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH). The prophet came and went into the water until I saw his whiteness of his legs. Then he hit Sahl’s chest with his hand and said ” O Allah, drive away its hotness, coldness, and fatigue”. Then the prophet stood up and said ” If anyone of you sees anything of his brother’s or himself or his money that he likes then he should bless it for the evil eye is a real thing”.
Dr: Mohamed Mahmoud Adullah , lecturer of Quranic Sciences at Al-Azhar University said that he who is affected with an evil eye should say ”In the Name of Allah; O Allah, drive away its hotness, coldness, and fatigue. This prophetic saying is a sound one, as demonstrated by scholar. Thus one should follow the prophetic tradition and say these words whenever his brother is affected with an evil eye. Experience and trial supports the prophet’s saying where most people afflicted with evil eyes experience the symptoms of hotness, coldness, and fatigue. Invoking Allah in this manner will remove all these signs and cure the victim, Allah Willing.
Using legitimate ink: One of the successful tried methods is to use ink of saffron, as mentioned by our forefathers.
Ibn Al-Qayim said that the ancestors used to write Quranic verses and ask the one affected with the evil eye to drink it. Mejahid and Abi Qalabah claimed that it is alright to write the Quranic verses, wash it, and make the victim drink it. Ibn Abbas said that a woman was suffering from hard labor so she drank something of written and washed Quranic verses. Ayoub also stated that he saw Abi Qalabah write something of the Quran then washed it with water and made a man drink it to relieve his pain (Al-Tib Al-Nabawi-pp.170-171).
Hiding things that could be affected with an evil eye as a precautionary means: Ibn Al-Qayim said that this is one of the methods of cure and protection. One needs to cover or hide the things that could be envied. In the book of Sharh Al-Sunnah, Al-Baghwi relates that Othman ibn Affan (May Allah be Pleased with Him) saw a nice looking boy so he asked them to hide his beauty so as not to be affected by an evil eye (Al-Tib Al-Nabawi-p.173).
Imam Muslim said that Al-Qadi Al-Ayad said commenting on the incident of Amer’s envy of Sahl, that one should avoid the person who is known to be envious and to seek refuge in Allah from his mischief. The Imam should also prevent him from mingling with people and ask him to remain in his house. If he is poor, then means of sustenance should be provided for him to protect people from his mischief (Sahih Muslim explained by Al-Nawawi).
His Honor, Sheikhh Abdullah bin Abdelrahman Al-Jibrin was asked about the fear of evil eye and preventing children from mixing with people because of that.
He answered that it a means of avoiding harms and damage as in the case of the good looking boy whom Othman asked his parents to alter his form to conceal his beauty. Allah orders us to be cautious where He says ”O ye who believe! Take your precautions”. Sheikh Mohamed bin Saleh Al-Otheimin said that it is alright to protect one self from the evil eye in advance which is not against relying upon Allah while adopting the legal and legitimate means of Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH). The prophet used to say to Al- Hasan and Al-Husein : ” I seek refuge in Allah’s complete words from every devil, hama, and evil eye” then he adds ”Ibrahim used to say these words to protect Isaac and Ismail (May Peace be Upon Them)” Narrated by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih.
Kindness with the envious one to lessen his envy and hatred.
Patience with the envious person and not harm him:
Dr.Abdullah Al-Tayar and Sheikhh Sami Al-Mubarak stated that Sheikhh Abdulaziz bin Adbullah bin Baz (May Allah have Mercy on Him) said that one needs to be patient with the envious person and treat him well. Allah says: “And if one has retaliated to no greater extent than the injury he received, and is again set up inordinately, God will help him”.
Carrying out matters in a discreet way: It is preferable to do that to avoid the evil eye and envy of others. Moaz ibn Jabal (May Allah be Pleases with Him) related that Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH) said ” Be discreet in carrying out your needs for every one with a blessing is envied”.
To be cautious of the envious person, avoid him whenever possible, and the Imam should lock him up: This is an important and effective mean to avoid the harm inflicted by the envious one who should be locked up by those in charge.
Ibn Al-Qayem said: ”Our companions and other jurists said that he who is known to be envious should be locked by the Imam and provides means for his sustenance until he dies, which is indeed the right thing to do”(Al-Tib Al-Nabawi – p.168).
Al-Ainy stated ” Al-Qadi Al- Ayad said ‘ Some scholars claimed that people should avoid the one with the evil eye and that he should be locked up by the Imam and be prevented from mingling with them. He should stay in his own house and if he is poor, people should provide his sustenance. His harm is more that the one who eats garlic and onion and whom Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH) prevented from entering the mosque and the leprous whom Omar (May Allah be Pleased with Him) also prevented from entering the mosque” (Omdat Al-Qari bi Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari-17/405).
The well-known and tried matters: People tend to ask about the common things used among people to treat the evil eye and envy. These matters could be inherited customs and habits form the forefathers which might lead to doing illegal matters prohibited in Islam.
The legitimately accepted methods should only be used and they can be summarized as follows:
1- The method used should be legal in Islam; some of the means are illegal and was not permitted by Allah and His Messenger (PGBUH) which makes them illegitimate. The accepted treatment could be effectively tried medications.
2- One should not rely on the reason in itself, but must depend on the Creator who caused it for Allah Alone is the one who grants and prevents. Otherwise, people would hang on to the reason and their hearts would be driven away from Allah. They also need to know that Allah is the All-Perfect, with no partner ascribed to Him.
3- One needs to realize that no matter the strong effect of these methods, they all depend on Allah’s Will; thus one should not count on them alone.
When seen from the legitimate side, one should not depend entirely on the means that fulfill ends, but must rely on his Creator only Who is the cause of everything. These causes are related to destiny decreed by Allah. Thus one must avoid methods prohibited in Islam even if they could be of benefit, for its harm overrides its benefit. Regarding this issue, I think that one should rely on a clear, sound text in this respect and decide what is right in analogy to it. This would lead to effective results, Allah Willing. This includes other related issues such as the treatment of the evil eye where the envious blow at the envied or bless him. It is worth noting here that using such means is the ascribed manner becomes a sensuous reason for cure, Allah Willing. This has been proven by the experience and clinical experiment of some therapists who adopt this correct methodology. However, the following points need to be taken into consideration:
A) Use the method ascribed in the incident of Sahl ibn Hunaif where envious one is washed with water which is poured on the envied, as the honorable scholars clarified.
B) Avoid any legitimate harm which is more general than the intended benefit or interest. For instance, conflict or quarrel when asking the envied on to wash up; in this case, there is greater harm than the intended benefit.
C) Resort to some of the adopted methods such as taking traces of the thresholds or locks when there is difficulty knowing the envious or the one who inflicted the evil eye.
Following are some of the legally sensuous methods used to treat evil eye and envy:
1) Putting the inside or the outside traces of the victim in water and then sprinkle it on the one who inflicted the evil eye, as stated by Sheikhh Mohamed bin Saleh Al-Otheimin. There is another accepted way to treat the evil eye by taking something that belongs to the one who inflicted the evil eye like his worn garment, cap, pants or similar things. Also the dust on which he treaded when wet can be used. Any of these things is put in water then poured this water on the victim, or he is asked to drink it, which has already been tried (Al-Qawl Al-Mofid Ala Kitab Al-Tawhid-1/94).
In another context, Sheikhh Al-Otheimin says that it is customary to take from the one who inflicted the evil eye anything that touched his body like his garment or cap, wash it with water which is then given to the victim to drink it which is of benefit as most people have said (Fatawi Al-Sheikhh Mohamed bin Saleh Al-Otheimin-1/196).
2) Most scholars approve the above mentioned method used with water or coffee without believing in it. It should rather be considered as one of the sensuous causes that results in the victim’s cure, where experience and trial have proven its effectiveness and benefit.
His Honor, Sheikhh Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Jibrin was once asked about taking the remains of those who are suspected of inflicting the evil eye. The remains could be those of his drink or food, and whether such behavior is approved or not.
He answered that experiment has proven that such method is effective. Also washing the worn garment of the one who inflicted the evil eye or something he wore and sweated in it or washed his hands or legs. For the general saying ”If washed, wash with it” (Related by Imam Muslim in his Sahih-number 2188). Thus, washing include the whole body, or part of it, or something of his traces, or washing his shoes, or his worn socks, for in the prophetic saying the man was ordered to wash the inside part of his garment. Also of benefit is the water with which he performed ablution or what he touched with his hands like a cane or gloves. Trials have proven them all to be effective, Allah Willing, depending on the strength of the spirit of the one who inflicted the evil eye. Some people, however, think that all of their ailments are the result of an evil eye for which he accuses many people for no real reason. One should believe that ailments are but by Allah’s decree where some could occur for no reason and there is a legitimate cure for them.
3) Using the traces of thresholds or locks which are put in water and then the one affected with the evil eye wash up with it to be cured:
His Honor, Sheikhh Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Jibrin was asked about the legality of using the traces of doors thresholds by washing the place and putting it in water with which the afflicted one washes up. This method has proven effective in some cases and is considered a sensuous means of treatment, Allah Willing.
He answered that washing anything touched by the one afflicted the evil eye, and using this water for washing up or drinking is an effective means of cure as trial has proven. The one who afflicts the evil eye often touches the door’s lock, or the car’s keys, or could tread bare footed on the doors thresholds, or touches a cane or umbrella or a cup of tea and coffee, or eat dates and spits out the seeds after he sucks them. Washing any of these, and using the water can remove the effect of the evil eye, which has proven effective, Allah Willing. This method can be used in analogy to the order of Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH) to washing up in the above mentioned prophetic saying.