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Last Updated: 2013/08/27
Summary of question
What are the ways through which one can prevent the influence of the evil eye?
I have long been suffering from some kind of negative influence with my thoughts in the sense that when I rashly praise and admire someone, he is immediately afflicted and hurt whereas I often express my appreciation of someone out of pure love and there is no envy or malevolent intention involved. Even when I think about my nieces and nephews while I am missing them, then they get afflicted. In addition, I have actually experienced telepathy with people around me and I am pretty well-known for that. I do not know what to do. I think some sort of energy which is probably negative has overtaken me!! Please help me get rid of this situation.
Concise answer

The Quran has accepted a fact called the "evil eye" and it has pointed out instances of its influence. Quranic historical reports from the predecessors also confirm it as a reality.


The evil eye is a look that is believed by many scholars to be able to cause injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. The term also refers to the power attributed to certain persons of inflicting injury or bad luck by such an envious or ill-wishing look. The most common form, however, attributes the cause to envy, with the envious person casting the evil eye doing so unintentionally. Also the effects on victims vary. Some reports indicate afflictions with bad luck; others believe the evil eye may cause disease, wasting and the likes.


Islam has introduced some measures to prevent the influence of the evil eye. It recommends seeking refuge in God (Isti'adhah), invoking His name and giving alms as measures for warding off the evil eye.


Detailed Answer

Some people do not believe in the effect of the evil eye and consider it a superstition yet the Quran not only does not consider it a superstition but it has also pointed out instances of its influence. The Quranic historical reports about the predecessors also confirm it as being a reality.


Scientific studies have proved that man possesses the power that can leave positive or negative effects on others. Today's scientists are of the view that some individuals possess unique power or the might that enable them to move things from their place and even like laser rays make them explode. The energy is sometimes vented through the eye.


The destructive power of the eye is linked with the inner and inward power of every individual. Thus, it varies from person to person. Human beings naturally possess this power but it is intensified and strengthened by some natural causes or through special trainings or as a result of spiritual or physical developments. It is wrong to say that some people possess the power and others are deprived of it. In fact, everyone possesses this power but with varying intensity levels.


The exegetes and commentators of the Quran are of the view that this power is intensified with some eyes as a result of which the individual can, through special waves, influence another person. Many people say that they have seen individuals or know such people who can kill an animal with his eye, or make things move or destroy them. It seems that not only one should not persist on denying the influence of the eye but he should also consider and accept it as existentially possible according to reason and science.[1]


It is narrated from the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) that he said: "The influence of the evil eye is a fact and seeking dua for protecting oneself against it is also a fact."[2] The author of Tafsir Nomouneh maintains that dua and invoking God's blessings can ward off the effect of the evil eye and prevent or reduce its disastrous effect.[3] It has been narrated from the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that he said: "An evil eye puts a healthy man into the grave and a perfect camel into the caldron." [4] Also, one day the Prophet (pbuh) while passing by a graveyard said to his companions: "By Allah, most of the people of this graveyard are lying [in their graves] because of the evil eye."[5]


It is well-known that verse 51 of chapter al-Qalam is effective for warding off the spell cast by the evil eye. In this verse, God, the Exalted says to the Holy Prophet (pbuh): "And those who disbelieve would almost smite you with their eyes when they hear the reminder, and they say: Most surely he is mad."[6]


Late Allamah Tabatabai (r.a.) says in the commentary of the foregoing verse: "The verse, as per the saying of all commentators, refers to smiting someone with one's eye or casting an evil eye on someone which is by itself an effect of the soul and there is no rational proof to refute its existence. In fact, many incidents have been seen in the outside world which can be the effects of the evil eye." [7]


When it comes to warding offer the spell cast by the evil eye, he says: "Prophet Jacob, peace be upon him, ordered his children to enter the city of Egypt through different gates. He forbade them from entering simultaneously from the same gate. He then says, "I cannot avail you aught against Allah; judgment is only Allah's."[8]


The exegetes of the Quran are of the view that the reason behind Prophet Jacob's order was that his sons were all perfect, mature and beautiful like Yusuf and they would draw the attention of some people as a result of which they were likely to be afflicted with their [envious] gaze.[9]


Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s.) says: "If you dig up the graves, you will see that most the dead people have died because of the influence of the evil eye."[10]


In any case, it has been proved rationally, scientifically and experimentally that man possesses weird spiritual and psychological forces which can operate in various good or bad forms and which can leave either positive or negative impacts.


Cures and Preventive Measures


Accepting the influence of the evil does not mean that one should turn to superstitious demeanors or vulgar behaviors. Islam has introduced some measures to prevent the influence of the evil eye. It recommends seeking refuge in God (Isti'azah), invoking His name and giving alms as measures for warding off the evil eye. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says: "When you wish to go out with a tidy and eye-catching appearance, recite ma'uzatayn (Sura-e al-Falaq and Sura-e al-Nas) so that the evil eye does not influence you.[11] In another narration, the Imam (a.s.) says: "When you are afraid of the evil eye, recite "Masha Allah, la quwata illa billahil 'aliyil azim."[12]


Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s.) says: "If one is afraid lest he should be harmed by the influence of the evil eye, he should recite "Masha Allah, la quwata illa billahil 'aliyil azim" and also Sura-e al-Falaq and Sura-e al-Nas so that the evil eye does not affect him. It has also been said that one should write verse 51 of Chapter al-Qalam and keep it with him.


It has been reported that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) recited a dua (special supplication) for Hassan and Hussein (a.s) to ward off the curse of an evil eye. The dua which he read was the following:


«أُعِیذُکُمَا بِکَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّاتِ وَ أَسْمَائِهِ الْحُسْنَى کُلِّهَا عَامَّةً مِنْ شَرِّ السَّامَّةِ وَ الْهَامَّةِ وَ مِنْ شَرِّ کُلِّ عَیْنٍ لَامَّةٍ وَ مِنْ شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ »


[I seek refuge for you in God's words and all His attributes from the evil of everything that causes affliction and from the evil all invisible things and from the evil of every laammah (evil) eye and from the evil of the envious when he envies.]


Then the Prophet (pbuh) said: "Ibrahim sought amulets for Ismail and Ishaq in the same way."[13]


Coming to you, you have said that when you compliment and admire someone, he is afflicted immediately. The question is: How do you know that the afflictions had been because of your eye? The afflictions may have had other causes but they have taken place at the time when you have been staring at someone or admiring him. We believe you have become oversensitive about this problem. In any case, since these incidents are not under your control, according to Islam you have not committed a sin and you will not be held responsible.


There are hadiths in our textual sources which explain how one should get rid of these situations or take measures so as not to harm others. An instance of those traditions is the following:


"When someone likes a characteristic of his brethren in faith, he should recite Takbir (Allahu akbar) and mention God's name[14], he should recite "Al-Hamdu Lillah", "Qul huwallahu ahad", ma'uzatayn and Ayatul Kursi. He should also say "Masha Allah", "Tabarakallah" or "Allah Allah Masha Allah la quwata illa billah".[15]



[1] - Tafsir Nomouneh, vol.24, pg.427.

[2] - Nahjul Balaghah, Sayings No.400 : العین حق والرقی حق

[3] - Tafsir Nomouneh, vol.24, pg.428.

[4] - Behar al-Anwar, vol.63.

[5] - Tafsir Manhaj al-Sadeqin, vol.9, pg.391.

[6] - Al-Qalam: 51 وَ إِن یَکاَدُ الَّذِینَ کَفَرُواْ لَیزُْلِقُونَکَ بِأَبْصَارِهِمْ لَمَّا سمَِعُواْ الذِّکْرَ وَ یَقُولُونَ إِنَّهُ لمََجْنُونٌ Tafsir al-Mizan, Allamah Muhammad Hussein Tabatabai, vol.19, pg.636.

[7] - Al-Mizan, vol.19, pg.648.

[8] - Yusuf (Joseph): 67 " وَ قَالَ یَابَنىِ‏َّ لَا تَدْخُلُواْ مِن بَابٍ وَاحِدٍ وَ ادْخُلُواْ مِنْ أَبْوَابٍ مُّتَفَرِّقَةٍ وَ مَا أُغْنىِ عَنکُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ مِن شىَ‏ْءٍ إِنِ الحْکْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ عَلَیْهِ تَوَکلَّتُ وَ عَلَیْهِ فَلْیَتَوَکلَ‏ِ الْمُتَوَکِّلُون."‏

[9] - Tafsir Nomouneh, vol.6, pg.29 and 30.

[10] - Behar al-Anwar, vol.60, pg.250

[11] - Behar al-Anwar, vol.92, pg.130.

[12] - Behar al-Anwar, vol.92, pg.126.

[13] - Al-Kafi vol.3, pg.569, hadith: 3

[14] - Behar al- Anwar, vol.92, pg. 127 and 128.

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ سُلَیْمَانَ بْنَ مِهْرَانَ عَنْ زِیَادِ بْنِ هَارُونَ الْعَبْدِیِّ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ الْبَجَلِیِّ عَنْ أَبِی عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع قَالَ مَنْ أَعْجَبَهُ شَیْ‏ءٌ مِنْ أَخِیهِ الْمُؤْمِنِ فَلْیُکَبِّرْ عَلَیْهِ فَإِنَّ الْعَیْنَ حَقٌّ

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَیْمُونٍ الْمَکِّیُّ عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ عِیسَى عَنِ الْحُسَیْنِ بْنِ الْمُخْتَارِ عَنْ صَفْوَانَ الْجَمَّالِ عَنْ أَبِی عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع أَنَّهُ قَالَ لَوْ نَبَشَ لَکُمْ مِنَ الْقُبُورِ لَرَأَیْتُمْ أَنَّ أَکْثَرَ مَوْتَاکُمْ بِالْعَیْنِ لِأَنَّ الْعَیْنَ حَقٌّ إِلَّا أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ص قَالَ الْعَیْنُ حَقٌّ فَمَنْ أَعْجَبَهُ مِنْ أَخِیهِ شَیْ‏ءٌ فَلْیَذْکُرِ اللَّهَ فِی ذَلِکَ فَإِنَّهُ إِذَا ذَکَرَ اللَّهَ لَمْ یَضُرِّهُ.

[15] - Behar al-Anwar, vol.92, pg. 133.

مَعْمَرُ بْنُ خَلَّادٍ قَالَ کُنْتُ مَعَ الرِّضَا ع بِخُرَاسَانَ عَلَى نَفَقَاتِهِ فَأَمَرَنِی أَنْ أَتَّخِذَ لَهُ غَالِیَةً فَلَمَّا اتَّخَذْتُهَا فَأَعْجَبَ بِهَا فَنَظَرَ إِلَیْهَا فَقَالَ لِی یَا مَعْمَرُ إِنَّ الْعَیْنَ حَقٌّ فَاکْتُبْ فِی رُقْعَةٍ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ وَ قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ وَ الْمُعَوِّذَتَیْنِ وَ آیَةَ الْکُرْسِیِّ وَ اجْعَلْهَا فِی غِلَافِ الْقَارُورَةِ وَ مِثْلُهُ وَ رُوِیَ عَنْ أَبِی عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع أَنَّهُ قَالَ الْعَیْنُ حَقٌّ وَ لَیْسَ تَأْمَنُهَا مِنْکَ عَلَى نَفْسِکَ وَ لَا مِنْکَ عَلَى غَیْرِکَ فَإِذَا خِفْتَ شَیْئاً مِنْ ذَلِکَ فَقُلْ ما شاءَ اللَّهُ لا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ الْعَلِیُّ الْعَظِیمُ ثَلَاثاً وَ قَالَ إِذَا تَهَیَّأَ أَحَدُکُمْ تَهْیِئَةً تُعْجِبُهُ فَلْیَقْرَأْ حِینَ یَخْرُجُ مِنْ مَنْزِلِهِ الْمُعَوِّذَتَیْنِ فَإِنَّهُ لَا یَضُرُّهُ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَ عَنْهُ ع قَالَ مَنْ أَعْجَبَهُ مِنْ أَخِیهِ شَیْ‏ءٌ فَلْیُبَارِکْ عَلَیْهِ فَإِنَّ الْعَیْنَ حَقٌّ .. الْجَوَامِعُ لِلطَّبْرِسِیِّ، عَنِ النَّبِیِّ ص مَنْ رَأَى شَیْئاً یُعْجِبُهُ فَقَالَ اللَّهُ اللَّهُ ما شاءَ اللَّهُ لا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ لَمْ یَضُرَّهُ شَیْ‏ءٌ.


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