The Islamic Ruling On Wearing Charms, Amulets, & Talismans


The Islamic Ruling On Wearing Charms, Amulets, & Talismans (Ta’weez or Tamimah)

The practice of writing Quranic verses, supplications, remembrances or the names of Allah upon pieces of paper or cloth and then placing them upon the body in the form of a necklace, bracelet, pouch or band has not been reported from the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam), nor from his Companions (radhiAllaahu anhum). Every Muslim knows that the finest Religious example to be followed is the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) himself. So if the Prophet and his Companions did not use amulets as a means of protection and warding off evil, or as a means of bringing about good, then no Muslim after them should use them either. The Islamic Religion was completed and perfected by Allah (Tabaraka wa Ta’ala). Allah stated in the Quran:

“This day I have perfected for you your Religion, and I have completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Quran 5:3]

A religion that is complete and perfect requires no newly invented acts or rituals or worship. All praise is due to Allah (Tabaraka wa Ta’ala) who has sufficed the Muslims with what was revealed in the Quran and Prophetic Sunnah – and no one understood these two Revelations better than the Companions (radhiAllaahu anhum). Furthermore, the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) stated:

“Whoever does a deed that is not from our affair (i.e. our Religion), then it is rejected.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

This narration proves that an act of worship cannot be performed unless it is supported with evidence from the Quran and Sunnah, upon the understanding of the Companions (radhiAllaahu anhum). Sometimes people will try and utilise Quranic verses and Prophetic narrations out of context to support their religious innovations, but it is the understanding of the Companions that exposes their error. One should always ask: “Did the Companions do what we are being called to do?” If the answer is: “No, they did not”, then likewise you do not do that deed either. Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) stated in the Quran regarding the Companions:

“So if they believe in the like of that which you [O Companions of the Prophet] believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition.” [Quran 2:137]

So following the way of the Companions is a must.

There is no doubt that the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) did permit incantations (i.e. Ruqyah) to be recited upon a person who is afflicated with an illness, evil-eye or magic. This is done by way of Quranic recitation or supplication (du’a), but he (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) never authorized the hanging of Quranic amulets upon one’s body, or upon one’s riding beast, or in one’s home or work place. There is no authentic narration permitting their usage. The Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said: “Show me your incantations (ruqyahs). There is no harm in the ruqyah that contains no Shirk.” [Muslim, no. 2200]

The scholars are in agreement that incantations (ruqyahs) are permissible so long as they agree with the above mentioned criteria, and that a person believes that Ruqyah is a means that will only bring benefit by the permission and decree of Allah (Jalla Jalaluhu). It is established that the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) would seek refuge (protection) for Hasan and Husayn (radhiAllaahu anhuma), his two grandsons, by saying:

“I seek protection for you in the Perfect Words of Allaah from every devil and every beast and from every envious blameworthy eye.” [At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood]

From this it should be clear that the hanging of Quranic verses and Islamic supplications around one’s body etc, is a forbidden innovation for which there is no authentic proof from the Quran or Sunnah. If one wishes to seek protection, he should recite the Book of Allah and the authentic supplications. As for what is common place in many Muslim communities wherein people hang amulets, charms or Ta’weez that are not from Quran, then that is even more dangerous, because it is considered Shirk (i.e. a form of polytheism). And in another narration, he (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said:

“Whoever wears an amulet has committed an act of polytheism.” [As-Saheehah no. 492]

The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) also said: “No necklace of a bowstring should be left on the neck of a camel, or any type of necklace except that it be cut off.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Here the Messenger is commanding that the amulets be removed. Ruwaifi’ (radhiAllaahu anhu) said: Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said to me: “O Ruwaifi’, perhaps you will have a long life, so inform the people that whoever ties a knot in his beard or wears a necklace of bowstring (i.e. amulet) or purifies himself from the toilet using animal dung or bone, then Muhammad disassociates himself from him.” [Abu Dawood, Sahih Al-Jami’ no. 7910]

The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) also said: “Whoever wears something [as an amulet] is left to it.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi]

Sa’id Ibn Jubair (rahimatullah) said: “Whoever cuts an amulet from a person, it is like freeing a slave.” Reported by Waki’. The meaning of “it is like freeing a slave,” is that it is equal to that in reward.

Shaikh Abdul-‘Aziz Ibn Baz (rahimatullah) said in his commentary on this point: “This is because of the fact that he will be freeing this servant from the Fire, and freedom from Shirk is better than freedom from slavery.”

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmi (rahimatullah) said: “We know from what has preceded that some people hang amulets on themselves or upon their children –and their hearts are attached to these amulets believing that they can avert evil and harm from them. How many people have we seen who are attached to these amulets? And were you to try and remove the amulet from one of them, he thinks that you are throwing him to his death! Some people hang amulets upon their beasts claiming that they will ward off the evil-eye and Jinn. All of it is impermissible for a Muslim to engage in because it is an attachment and reliance upon other than Allah.”

From this brief discussion, it should be very clear to anyone who follows the proofs that the wearing of amulets and charms is not from the guidance of Islam. In reality these amulets only increase a person in weakness. Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) saw a man wearing a brass ring. So he asked him: “What is this?” He responded: “A protection from an illness that weakens me.” So the Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said: “Remove it, for it will not increase you except in weakness. Indeed if you were to die whilst wearing it, you would never prosper.” [Ahmad with an acceptable chain of narration. Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim authenticated it, and Adh-Dhahabi agreed]

Fortune Tellers, Sorcerers, Astrologers and Soothsayers

A Muslim is not permitted to visit fortune tellers and soothsayers, those who claim knowledge of the unseen and the future. The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said: “Whoever visits a fortuneteller and consults him, then his prayer will not be accepted for forty days.” [Muslim, no. 2230]

It is also authentically reported that he said: “Whoever visits a fortuneteller or a soothsayer and believes him, has certainly disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.” [Abu Dawood, no. 3904]

The fortunetellers receive inspiration from the develish Jinn, regardless of whether they perceive that or not. The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said: “When Allah decrees an affair in the heaven, the Angels strike their wings in submission to His statement, as if His voice were a chain being dragged upon smooth rocks and it penetrates them causing them to be terrified. Then, the eavesdroppers [from the Jinn] hear this order, and these eavesdroppers are one over the other. Thus, an eavesdropper hears a word which he will convey to one who is below him, and then the second will convey it to the one below him, until the last of them will convey it to the tongue of the magician or fortuneteller. Sometimes a shooting star may strike the devil Jinn before he can convey it – and sometimes he may convey it to a magician or fortune-teller before the shooting star strikes him – whereupon the magician, soothsayer or fortuneteller adds to it a hundred lies. Then it is said by the people: ‘Did he not tell us such and such a thing on such and such a day?’ So the soothsayers are believed due to that statement that was heard from the heavens.” [Reported by Bukhari, no. 4701, abridged]

This authentic narration clearly explains how the fortunetellers receive their information, and why it is vague, and mostly untrue. However, many people in their naivety remember the one true statement out of a hundred lies and thus develop a dangerous dependency upon the soothsayer who in turn extracts money from his or her clients. It is not uncommon in these times to see soothsayers ascribing themselves to Islam who display outwardly piety. They take advantage of unsuspecting Muslims, who do not know the seriousness of this affair. Therefore a Muslim is required to know the Islamic creed and also know that which opposes it. It is obligatory to adhere to the guidance of the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) in staying away from those affairs that contradict one’s faith in Allah, the Majestic and Most High. No one knows the unseen or the future except Allah, just as He commanded His Messenger to proclaim:

“Say, [O Prophet], “I do not tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor that I know the unseen; nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me by inspiration.”” [Quran 6:50]

Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) also stated:

“They ask you [O Prophet] about the Hour, when will be its appointed time? You [O Prophet] have no knowledge to say anything about it. To your Lord belongs the knowledge of the term thereof. You [O Prophet] are only a warner for those who fear the Hour.” [Quran 79: 42-45]

So if the Prophet of Allah himself did not know the unseen, so how can anyone other than him?! Any information that the Messenger conveyed about the unseen, such as the Hell-fire, Paradise and the signs of the Last Hour were all by way of revelation from Allah, the Most High. None can claim to receive revelation after his passing away. Anyone claiming knowledge of the unseen has opposed the Quran, Sunnah and the consensus of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah of the early generations –they have claimed a right that is deserving only for Allah, the Most High, since He is the only One who knows the unseen.

Furthermore, fortunetellers, sorcerers and soothsayers seek the aid of the devils from amongst the Jinn to achieve their goals –and that is clear disbelief. So avoid these people and their methods.

Trust in Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala), seek His aid, His rescue and seek refuge with Him alone, and He will give you relief and a way out of your difficulties.

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