Taweez - Amulets in Light of Quran & Sunnah
Need of Explanation: This article is created in response to a video where salafi maulana (so called) with his limited words taught to him and out of ignorance said the following.
1. Tawid/ruqya containing words of Quran from sunnah is act of Shirk
2. He claims that whosoever uses tawid/ruqya is a mushrik.
3. He logically relates retention of taweed in state of impurity/unclean place to practically taking a piece of paper from Quran or sacred book Allah azzawajal to toilet.
The first two statements deals with issue of faith/shirk and the third issue is related to respect towards contents of Tawid.
Definition & types of Amulet/Incantation:
The definition of an Amulet in general is something which is written/recited on paper/material and hanged around the neck or sometimes taken with water to ward off evil effects. Whereas and incantation (ruqya) is reading something and blowing off to obtain cure from worldly & spiritual disease and/or to regain health.
Types of amulets (Tawid) & incantations (damm):
Based on Quran & Sunnah, the amulets/incantations are of two types
1. The first kind which may contains elements of Kufr and Shirk. For example use of magic spells, love charms, strings, horse shoes, blue eyes (evil eye), sea shell, charming stones/beads (tilsimi moti), charm pendants/knotted objects, charm/magical rings, writing/reciting something to get help from idols/shaytan or hanging old shoe, lemons or tyre covers on cars/trucks etc which they believe can bring good, benefit, luck or ward off evil and harm – this is indeed an act of shirk and these kind of amulets are prohibited in Ahadith & Islam. These fall under category of ruqya ash shirkia
2. The second kind are those which are based on Quran and Sunnah, and are free from any elements of shirk and kufr. These kind of amulets/incantations either be it in the form of blowing off (damm), drinking with water, or wearing around the neck, all are permissible as evident from practice of prophet and his companions and Ummah is encouraged to seek cure through names of Allah, Quran & permissible duas which even might not contain verses of Quran. These fall under category of ruqya ash sharia.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to recite du’a’ and then blow onto the sick person. The Companions of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also did this and they also wrote the du’a’ on a piece of paper and placed it around the neck of a person if they could not read it. Of course, the du’a’s from the Qur’an and ahadith have the power to heal the sick.
Allah azzawajal says, “Say: For those who have faith, it (Quran) is a guidance and HEALING; but as for those who are faithless, there is a deafness in their ears and it is lost to their sight”. (41:44)
Allah Most High says in the Qur’an: “…We send down in Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers…” [Sura Banu Isra'il, verse 82]
Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Masud (ra) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Make use of the two cures i.e. the honey and Quran [Sunnan Ibn Majah Volume No.2, Hadith No. 3531]
Qadi Shawkani writes, “If the Qur’an’s du’a’s are recited and blown on the sick, they will be cured. When the non-believers recite the Qur’an, their blasphemic disease will be cured” [Tafsir Fath al-Qadir, under Sura Bani Isra'il, verse 82]
Permissibility of Amulets/Incantations based on Quran & Sunnah:
Examples of seeking cure through incantation (Damm) reciting/chanting something from Quran blowing on parts of body to obtain cure are as follows.
1. Sayyiduna Aisha siddiqua (ra) narrates that prophet use to perform incantations and used to below on his blessed body, 'A'isha reported that when Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) fell ill, he recited over his body Mu'awwidhatan and blew over him (Incantation by verse of Quran) and when his sickness was aggravated I used to recite over him and rub him with his band with the hope that it was more blessed. [Sahih Muslim, Book of salutations and greetings-26, Hadith 5440, similar narration is also mentioned in chapter of Tibb]
2. Prophet (peace be upon him) even permitted few sahaba, to perform ruqya from pre-islamic practice if the recitation was free from any words of kufr/shirk
Jabir reported Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) prohibited incantation. Then the people of Amr b. Hazm came to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and said: We know an incantation which we use for curing the sting of the scorpion but you have prohibited it. They recited (the words of incantation) before him, whereupon he said: I do not see any harm (in it), so he who amongst you is competent to do good to his brother should do that. (Sahi Muslim, Kitab-as-Salam (Book of Salutaions and Greetings-26), Hadith 5456)
3. Narrated 'Aisha: The Prophet ordered me or somebody else to do ruqya (if there was danger) from an evil eye. (Bukhari, Book of medicine 71, Hadith 634)
4. Narrated Um Salama: that the Prophet saw in her house a girl whose face had a black spot. He said. "She is under the effect of an evil eye; so treat her with a ruqya." (Bukhari, Book of medicine 71, Hadith 635)
5. Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle used to read in his ruqya, "In the Name of Allah" The earth of our land and the saliva of some of us cure our patient with the permission of our Lord." with a slight shower of saliva) while treating with a ruqya. (Bukhari, Book of medicine 71, Hadith 642)
6. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There is no harm in incantations as long as they do not include Shirk. (Sahih Muslim, no. 2200)
7. "When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was ill for the last time, Angel Jibril (peace be upon him) came and recited du'a' and blew on to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)" [Muslim, Chapter of Tibb]
8. Prophet not only permitted Ruqya through Quran for treating a disbeliver but also allowed companions to take flock of sheep in return, on even asked his share in it with a smile. (Sahih Bukhari, book of hiring 36 hadith 476)
9. Seeking protection from supplications/words from era of Prophet Ismail:
Prophet (peace be upon him) used to seek protection for Hasnain not only from Quran but also from the supplications/words from era of Prophet Ismail, Narrated Ibn Abbas the prophet used to seek protection (yu'awwidhu) for al Hasan and al Hussain and say: "your father [i.e ancestor (used to seek protection with these words for Ismail and Ishaq: I seek rufuge in Allah's perfect words from every devil and every venomous animal and from every evil eye." [Sahi Bukhari, book of prophets-55, hadith 590]
Use of Written Amulets & Permissibility of Wearing
10. Amulet by Umme Aisha Siddiqa (ra): Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said from Amra bint Abd ar-Rahman that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq visited A'isha while she had a complaint and a jewish woman was writing a talisman (taweez) for her. Abu Bakr said, "Write it for her from the Book of Allah." [Malik’s Al-Muwatta, book-50 ‘the evil eye’ Hadith – hadith 011]
From above narrations use of written tawid is practiced even by Hazrath e Aisha siddiqa and Abu bakr (ra), we beg a clarification how abu bakr siddique & umme Aisha ra could permit a amulet which is shirk??
11. Sunan Abu Dawood & Tirmidi on wearing tawid around Neck: Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported from his father, from his grandfather that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “If any of you gets a nightmare, let him say: I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah against His wrath and His punishment and the’ mischief of His slaves and from the temptations of the devils and that which they bring, Then they will not harm him.” So, Abdullah ibn Amr used to teach this supplication to his grown up children. And, he wrote it down on something and hung it on the neck of those who had not attained puberty. [Sunnan Abu Dawud, book of Medicine, hadith 3884] this is also quoted in , Sunan tirmidhi Chapter 99, hadith 3539, Abu Dawood [rah], Nasai [rah] and Al Hakim [rah] said the Isnad is SAHIH
12. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal "Amr ibn Shu'aib (may Allah be pleased with him) said that 'Rasulu'llah(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught my father and grandfather a du'a which we would read before going to sleep, to protect us from fear and anguish. We told our elder children to recite this du'a before going to sleep as well. But for those children who were not yet literate, we would write it and then put it around their necks" [Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal vol.2,Abu Dawud, in 'Chapter of Medicine']
13. Imam Ibn Hajar Askhalani Says, As for those Tamaim (amulets) which contain formulas of dhikr, then there is no prohibition against them, for these are used to gain blessings and protection by the divine names and dhikr of Allah [Fath al Bari, 6/142, Dar al fikr, Beirut]
14. Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba The permissibility of hanging Tawizes is reported from many of the Companions and early Muslims (Salaf), including: Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab, Ata', Mujahid, Abd Allah ibn Amr, Ibn Sirin, Ubaydullah ibn Abd Allah ibn Umar, and others (Allah be well pleased with them all). [Al-Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba, 5.439].
15. Allama Alusi al-Hanafi says, "According to Imam Malik 'It is permitted to put around the neck the ta'wiz written with the name of Allah.' Imam Baqir also stated that it is permitted to put such a ta'wiz around the neck of a child" [Ruh al-Mani, chapter 15, under Sura al-Mu'minun, verse 97]
16. Imam Bayhaqi in explanation of hadith of Abdullah bin Akim for not using talisman, states it is prohibited to hang these things because during the time of ignorance (pre-islamic days) people used to consider these things as the cause of removing hardship and a source of security and if these things are hanged for the purpose of getting barakah [blessings] by the dhikr of Allah with the belief that except Allah no one else can remove the difficulty, then there is no harm in it. [sunan al kubra, 9/350, maktabah dar al baz, Makkah al mukarrama]
17. Hafiz Ibn Kathir says, "Amr ibn Shu'aib (may Allah be pleased with him) said that 'Rasulu'llah(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught my father and grandfather a du'a which we would read before going to sleep, to protect us from fear and anguish.We told our elder children to recite this du'a before going to sleep as well.But for those children who were not yet literate, we would write it and then put it around their necks" [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, under Sura al-Mu'minun, verse 97)
18. Salafi scholar Sheikh ibn taymiyya then transmitted this narration of ibn Abbas through another route, and he said at the end of it, ' Ali (meaning ibn al-Hassan, the nephew of the narrator of this narration) said: "one writes [the tawidh] on paper and ties it around the upper arm of a woman." Ali said:indeed we tried this and did not see anything more remarkable than it. When she delivered, it was quickly disposed of, by subsequently shredding it or burning it. [Majmua, Al Fatawa, 19/37].
Drinking washed water of Amulets:
19. Umme Salama & Sahaba (May allah be pleased with them) believed that blessings and cure is obtained even from water containing the Sacred Hair of Prophet (peace be upon him):
Narrated IsraiI: Uthman bin 'Abdullah bin Mauhab said, "My people sent me with a bowl of water to Umme salama." Isra'il approximated three fingers ('indicating the small size of the container in which there was some hair of the Prophet. 'Uthman added, "If any person suffered from evil eye or some other disease, he would send a vessel (containing water) to Um salama. I looked into the container (that held the hair of the Prophet) and saw a few red hairs in it," [Sahi Bukhari, Book of Libas(dress) 72, Hadith 784]
Evidence from Hadith:
1) Permissibility of gaining blessings through relics of Prophet (peace be upon him)
2) Permissibility of distributing and drinking water during ziyara on Milad un Nabi as practiced around the globe by Ahle Sunnah.
3) Reality of evil eye and its valid effect.
4) Getting cure for evil eye/disease by drinking with wahsed water of sacred hair of prophet (peace be upon him).
5) Drinking washed water either from Quran or sacred hair of prophet (peace be upon him) is not shirk or biddah (drinking water of sacred hair is permissible then how washed water of tawid becomes shirk)
20. From book of Ibn Taymiyyah: “It is permissible for an ill or troubled person, that certain verses from the Qur’an are written with pure ink, then it is washed and given to the ill to drink.Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have mentioned a certain Dua that should be written and placed close to the woman who is experiencing hard labour at the time of giving birth. (Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya)
21. Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah(Student of Ibne Taymiyya) says: Some of our rightly guided ancestors stated that there is no harm if some ayat (Verse) from the Qur’an were written in ink and then washed with water and that the sick person drinks that water. Mujahid issues a statement to that effect and so did Abu Qilabah. It was also reported that Ibn ‘Abbas once commanded that two verses from the Qur’an to be written for a woman who had hard pregnancies and that the verses were then washed with water and she was to drink the water. Also Ayub said, “I saw Abu Qilabah write some Verses from the Qur’an wash it with water and then give the water to a person who was suffering from some type of illness to drink it [Tibb an Nabawi by Ibn Qayyim, Page No. 154, English version]
22. "It is permissible to [to recite du'a's and then] blow upon the sick in Islam, but the words must be from the Qur'an or ahadith. If the words are not, then it is not permissible" [Ibn Taymiyya, At-Tawassul, Chapter on Blowing onto the Sick]
23. Shaykh Ibn Taymiyya on drinking water of washed amulets and tying on women's arm for labor relief:
Shakh Ibn Taymiyya writes, It is permissible to write for the one afflicted [with the evil eye] and others of the sick something from the book of Allah and his dhikr with permissible ink, and wash [the ink off the paper] and give it to drink, as Ahmad and others have explicated. Abdullah ibn Ahmad said: I read unto my father: Ya'la ibn Ubayd narrated to us: sufyan narrated to us: from Muhammad ibn Abi Layla: from al-Hakkam: from said ibn jubayr from ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him): he said: when labor becomes difficult for a women one should write: ' In Allahs name, there is no god but Allah, the Clement and Honourable. Glory to Allah lord of the worlds. on the day when they behold it, it will be as if they had but tarried for an evening or the morning thereof (Al-Nai'at 79:46), on the day when they behold what they were promised, it will be as if they had but tarried for an hour of a day, A clear message. shall any be destroyed save evil-living folk? (Al Ahqaf 46:35)
My father said: ' Aswad ibn 'Amir narrated to us with his chain [of narration] the same thing and he said: one writes [the tawidh] in a clean vessel and gives it to drink.' My father said: 'and Waki' added in his narration: she is given to drink [from it] and it is sprinkled below her navel. \Abdullah said: I saw my father writing [a tawidh] for woman on a cup or something clean.' [Majmua Al Fatawa, 19/36, Dar al wafa, Egypt]
Even according to Ibn Taymiyaa we observe the following
a. There is no harm in writing amulets in a clean cup or bowl.
b. The amulet can be written with any halal and clean thing.
c. The amulet can be washed and its water can be given to the patient to drink as well as it can be sprinkled on the patient.
24. Aisha reported that when any person fell ill with a disease or he had any ailment or he had any injury, the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) placed his forefinger upon the ground and then lifted it by reciting the name of Allah. (and said): The dust or our ground with saliva of any one of us would serve as a means whereby our illness would be cured with the sanction of Allah [Sahi Muslim, Bitab As salam (Book-26) hadith 5444], even the dust and saliva associated with prophet and few pious personalities has effect of medicine and can provide cure with the sanction of Allah. Then how a tawid written from verses of Quran and use of pure and halal substance like water, saffron etc. becomes haram and shirk?
25. Imam al-Baghawi writes: Sayyida aisha (ra) did not see anything wrong in reciting the wordings of tawidh over water and then using that water for the treatment of the patient [sharh al sunnah, 12/166, Al Maktaba al Islami, Beirut]
26. Narrated Thabit ibn Qays ibn shamma. The apostle of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) entered upon Thabit ibn Qays. The version of Ahmad (ibn Salih) has: when he was ill. He (the prophet) said: remove the harm, O Lord of men, from Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas. He then took some dust of Bathan, and put it in a bowel, and then mixed it with water and blew in it, and poured it on him [Sunan Abu Dawud; he book of Medicine-28 (Tibb), Hadith 3876]
From this hadith we see that it is permissible to blow in water after reciting verses from the Quran and the sprinkling that water on the patient or to give him to drink.
Clarification to objections:
Question 1: What is meaning of hadith “Verily, incantations (chanting something and blow off to get cure), amulets and Tiwalah are Shirk.” [Abu Dawood, no. 3883]
Answer: There are two types of hadith concering this
Type 1: 'Imran b. Husain reported: Verily the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Seventy thousand men of my Ummah would enter Paradise without rendering account. They (the companions of the Holy Prophet) said: Who would be those, Messenger of Allah? He (the Holy Prophet) said: They would be those who neither practice charm, not take omens, nor do they cauterize, but they repose their trust in their Lord. (Muslim, Book of faith 01, Hadith 423)
It was narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever wears an amulet, may Allaah not fulfil his need, and whoever wears a sea-shell, may Allaah not give him peace.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 16951)
Type 2: On the other hand Imam Bukhari in the chapter on Tibb [Medicine] has written du'as that our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) recited when doing damm [reciting a du'a and then blowing onto a person]. (refer to previous section for collection of Ahadith)
The above types of ahadith apparently seem to contradict each other but in reality there is no contradiction as the one which contain quran are allowed and the those which contain elements of shirk or polytheistic things written in it is shirk.
Imam al-Qurtubi says "The ta'wiz that are forbidden are those ta'wiz from the Time of Ignorance -]those which are satanic and contain an element of shirk [mantar, voodoo and magic, etc.]. The ta'wiz, which are permitted are those written with du'as evidently from Qur'an and ahadith only" [al-Qurtubi, at-Tadhkirat, chapter on 'Ta'wiz']
Ibn al Athir al Jazari states: in the hadith narratd b abudllah [ibn masud] it is stated that Amulets/tamaim and ruqya is shirk. Al tamaim, plural of tamimah are seashells, pebbles and stones which arabs in the pre-islamic times used to put in their children's neck to prevent evil eye. Islami abolished it [al nihaya, 1/193]
Imam Ali al-Qari states: the hadith which talks about the prohibition of Amulets/tamimah [seashells and stone] are the tamaim of pre islamic days. but those [tawidh] which contains the names of Allah or His words they are not included in this prohibition infact it is recommeded to use them and it is hoped that it brings blessings. The basis of this is in the sunnah [Mirqat al mafatih, Ali al Qari, 8/255]
Allama Sa'idi in Sharh Sahih Muslim comparing the ahadith of ruqya as shirkiya and with ruqya ash shariya says: "The former type of hadith refers to the prohibition of having read something that is not from the Qur'an and Sunna [i.e.something that has pictures, diagrams or words not from the Qur'an or Sunna] and then blow upon someone. The latter types of ahadith which permit damm refer to those kalimat [words or verses] which have been taught by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)" [Allama Sa'idi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, Chapter of Tibb]
The Ahadith mentioned in type 1 are self explanatory and it is evident that the prohibition is made on incantations is related to those practices where magical spells, charms and help was sorted from jinns and idols similar to the practice of pre-islamic era. These fall under category of ruqya ash shirkia and impermissible.
The things which are done based on Quran and Sunnah is no way related to these prohibitions. The amulets and ruqya complying with teaching of Quran and sunnah cannot be compared with tamaim or those of pre-islamic practice. General ruling by simply saying shirk or kufr can not be applied - to include sahaba and tabe tabaeen.
Quran states "But say not for any false thng that your tongues may put forth, - this is lawful, and this is forbidden," so as to ascribe false things to Allah for those who ascribe false things to Allah, will never prosper [Surah Al Nahl, verse 116]
How is to wear taweez which contains dua or verses of Quran in unclean places.
Quran is book of very high reverence and undoubtedly Ahle sunnah gives it more respect than anyone else does. Quran in its book form cannot be kept in any unclean places neither it should be touched or recited in state of impurity (apart from special condition to avoid Qada of prayer). Even in normal cases Ahle Sunnah recommends that sacred book of Allah be placed in cover and cared with high respect while handling and recitation.
However as in case of dua & durood (sometimes being part of Quran) which can be recited even during ritual impurity, the tawid containing verses of Quran and names of Allah, in form of specific means for cure can be retained in state of ritual impurity and unclean places provided it is enveloped in leather/plastic cover and no part of it is visible or exposed to external space. However it will better to remove it in such conditions but there is no harm if retained if he was been advised to retain it all the time depending on necessity of sickness/cure. This permissibility of tawid cannot be taken granted to carry the Sacred book of Allah or any part of its musannaf in its original form neither permission for dua/durood gives anyone general permissibility to handle or recite Quran in the same way. This type of ignorance of comparing Quran with medication without knowing sharia ruling is sheer ignorance. Given below is ruling of Ulema e Haq along with quote from books of revered imams of ahle hadith
Imam al Baghawi writes, said bin Al Musayyib was asked concerning putting of tawidh containing verses of Quran around the neck of women and young children. He replied that it is permissible if the tawidh is contained in leather wrap or some metallic box. [Sharh al Sunnah, 12/158, 9, al maktabah al Islami Beirut]
Imam Malik said: “there is no harm if something written from Quran is hanged onto menstruating women or children provided it is covered with iron or leather” [Imam Nawawi, al Majmu sharh al muhadhdhab, 2/88, Dar al Firk, Beirut]
Imam sayyid ibn aabidin shami writes: It is allowed for a menstruating women [and people in the State of uncleanliness] to hang or tie tawidhat to their sides [arms] provided it is placed in suitable cover. [Radd al Muhtar, Ibn Aabidin, 9/523, Dar al Kutub al ilmiyah, Beirut]
Ibn Qudaamah said: If a person wants to enter the toilet and he has with him something in which Allaah is mentioned, it is mustahabb to put it aside… if he keeps the thing in which Allaah is mentioned with him and is careful not to let it fall, or he turns the stone of the ring towards the inside of his palm, there is nothing wrong with that. Ahmad said: If a ring has the name of Allaah on it and he turns it towards the inside of his palm, and enters the toilet (that is permissible). ‘Ikrimah said: He should turn it like this towards the inside of his palm, and fold his fist over it. This was also the view of Ishaaq, and the same concession was granted by Ibn al-Musayyib, al-Hasan and Ibn Sireen. Ahmad said concerning a man who enters the toilet carrying coins: I hope that there is nothing wrong with it. [Al-Mughni, 1/109] [ibn kathir says in respect of Ibn Qudam as shaykh ul Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah says no one possessing more understanding of the religion entered Shaam apart from Al-Awzaa'ee and ibn Qudaamah]
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen a highly revered Salafi Scholar: was asked: what is the ruling on entering the washroom with papers on which there is the name of Allaah? He replied: It is permissible to enter the washroom with papers on which is the name of Allaah, so long as they are in a pocket and are not out in the open, rather they are hidden and covered. [Fataawa al-Tahaarah, p. 109]
Ibn Taymiyyah writes, when labor becomes difficult for a women one should write: ' verse of Quran Surah al Naziat 79:46, in a clean vessel and gives her to drink and sprinkle below her navel for ease of birth [gist of Majmua Al Fatawa, 19/36, Dar al wafa, Egypt] in other place the shaikh says "one writes [the tawidh] on paper and ties it around the upper arm of a woman." When she delivered, it was quickly disposed of, by subsequently shredding it or burning it. [Gist of Majmua, Al Fatawa, 19/37].
Ibn Taymiyya says to tie tawid on upper arm for difficult labor, recommends that water from written verse of Quran to be sprinkled below naval, is it not disrespect of Quran or does it give permissibility to place Quran on arm or below naval in its original form of book? The answer is simply no, as explained by scholars from era of tabaeen these fall under category of treatment/dua/medicine and in no way compared with Quran or any part of it in original form, neither permissibility for casue of treatment grant permissibility to place Quran in such case and states of impurity.
When asked about carrying mobile phones in pocket with islamic wall paper or name of Allah or verses of Quran are saved in mobile or piece of paper containing durood, the ruling is, as long as the mobile/piece of paper is covered and not visible, not playing recitation there is no objection however if possible such things should not be carried out in unclean places. On the other hand if one wantedly takes it to disrespect they becomes a sinner & depending upon contents may go beyond fold of Islam.
Note: Irrespective of whether hardcopy or soft copy, arabic or english or saved in binary code, every letter/code stored is part of Quran, so same ruling is applicable to both hard and soft copy.
If the questioner had knowledge instead of denying tawid proven from practice of sahaba leading to path of disbelieve, he could have asked ruling in interest of respect towards Holy Quran, however, I assume the above article clarifies the question and also helped to clarify misunderstanding in regards to Amulets