Carrying pocket-sized copies of the Mus-haf for protection against envy or the envious eye

Q 1: What is the ruling on carrying pocket-sized copies of the Mus-haf (copy of the Qur'an) (Part No. 1; Page No. 303) for protection against envy or the evil eye on the grounds that they provide protection or prevent harm? What is the ruling if they are put in the car to prevent accidents? The second question is: What is the ruling on wearing an amulet which contains Ayahs (Qur'anic verses) of the Qur'an for protection against envy or the evil eye or for seeking success or recovering from illness or magic spells or other purposes? The third question is: What is the ruling on wearing gold necklaces which contain Ruqyah (a piece of paper with some Qur'anic verses and supplications written on it) for protection from harm?


A: Allah (Glorified be He) revealed the Qur'an so that people could practice its recitation as an act of `Ibadah (worship), contemplate its meaning, know its rulings and thereby act upon them. This way the Qur'an serves as an admonition and a reminder with which the hearts of the believers soften and their skins shiver with fear. It dispels ignorance, protects against misguidance, purges the souls from the filths of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) and wipes clean sins and shortcomings. Allah (Glorified be He) makes it a guidance and a mercy for whoever opens his heart to it or listens to it while they are heedful. Allah (Exalted be He) says: O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Qur’ân, enjoining all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences) which is in your breasts, - a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things) for the believers. Allah (Exalted be He) also says: Allâh has sent down the Best Statement, a Book (this Qur’ân), its parts resembling each other (in goodness and truth) (and) oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allâh. That is the guidance of Allâh. He guides therewith whom He wills; and whomever Allâh sends astray, for him there is no guide. (Part No. 1; Page No. 304) Moreover, Allah (Exalted be He) says: Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful. Allah (Glorified be He) revealed the Qur'an as a miracle and a clear-cut proof testifying to the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was sent as a mercy to all mankind and to convey the Message of Islam to them. Allah (Exalted be He) says: And they say: "Why are not signs sent down to him from his Lord? Say: "The signs are only with Allâh, and I am only a plain warner." Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’ân) which is recited to them? Verily, herein is mercy and a reminder (or an admonition) for a people who believe. Allah (Exalted be He) also says: These are the Verses of the Clear Book (the Qur’ân that makes clear the legal and illegal things, laws, a guidance and a blessing). Furthermore, Allah says: These are the Verses of the Book (the Qur’ân) Al-Hakîm. In addition to many other Ayahs.The Qur'an, this magnificent miracle, is a book which contains legal rulings and irrefutable proofs through which Allah supported His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allah used to recite Ruqyah (reciting Qur'an and saying supplications over the sick seeking healing) upon himself. He used to recite the last three Surahs of the Qur'an known as Al-Mu`awidhat Al-Thalath (Surahs Al-Ikhlas, Al-Falaq and Al-Nas). It is also authentically reported that he permitted Ruqyah (Part No. 1; Page No. 305) by reciting the Qur'an and saying Du`a' (supplication) as long as it does not contain any act of Shirk. He approved the Ruqyahs (supplications read over the sick for seeking healing) performed by his Sahabah (Companions) and permitted the wages they took for reciting Ruqyahs. `Awf ibn Malik narrated that he said: We used to practice incantation in the pre-Islamic period and we said: "O' Allah's Messenger, what is your opinion about that"? He said: "Let me know your incantation" and said: "There is no harm in the incantation as long as it's not Shirk". (Related by Muslim in his Sahih 'authentic' Book of Hadith). Abu Sa`id Al-Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him) also narrated: Some Sahabah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) went on a journey till they reached some of the Arab tribes (at night). They asked the latter to accept them as their guests but they refused. The chief of that tribe was then bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion) and they tried their best to cure him but in vain. Some of them said (to the others), "Nothing has benefited him, will you go to the people who resided here at night, it may be that some of them might possess something (as treatment)." They went to the group of the Sahabah and said, "Our chief has been bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion) and we have tried everything but he has not benefited. Have you got anything (useful)?" One of them replied, "Yes, by Allah! I can recite a Ruqyah, but as you have refused to accept us as your guests, I will not recite the Ruqyah for you unless you fix for us some wages for it." They agreed to pay them a flock of sheep. One of them then went and recited (Surah Al-Fatihah): 'All the praises are for the Lord of the Worlds' over the chief who became well, as if he was released from a chain, and got up and started walking, showing no signs of sickness. They paid them what they had agreed to pay. Some of them (i.e. the companions) then suggested dividing their earnings among themselves, but the one who performed the recitation said, "Do not divide them till we go to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and narrate the whole story to him, and wait for his order." So, they went to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and narrated the story. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) asked, "How did you come to know that Surah Al-Fatihah is recited as Ruqyah?" Then he added, "You have done the right thing. Divide (what you have earned) and assign a share for me as well." The Prophet (peace be upon him) smiled thereupon. (Part No. 1; Page No. 306)  (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that she said: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) went to bed every night, he would cup his hands together and blow over them while reciting Surah Al-Ikhlas and Mu`awidhatayn (Surahs Al-Falaq and Al-Nas). He would then rub his hands over whatever parts of his body he could reach. `Aishah said: When he fell ill, he would ask me to do it for him. (Related by Al-Bukhari). `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) also narrated: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to treat some of his wives by passing his right hand over the place of ailment and used to say: "O Allah, the Lord of the people! Remove the trouble and heal the patient, for You are the Healer. No healing is of any avail but Yours; healing that will leave behind no ailment". (Related by Al-Bukhari). There are many other Hadiths to the effect that the Prophet himself performed Ruqyahs by reciting the Qur'an or saying Du`a'. It was also reported that he (peace be upon him) permitted Ruqyahs as long as it was not Shirk. However, it was not reported that he (peace be upon him) ever wore a Qur'anic amulet or put it on one of his Sahabah to protect him from envy or evil. He (peace be upon him) was also not reported to have hung anything of the sort on his clothes or taken it with him while on a journey in order to protect himself from the evil of his enemies, to seek victory over them or to facilitate his journey and such other things which are meant to provide benefit or prevent harm. Had such practices been permissible, he would not only have observed them, but also informed his Ummah (nation) about them. (Part No. 1; Page No. 307) This is because Allah says: O Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Had he done any of these things, his Sahabah would have passed it down to us since they are the best to adhere to the Prophet's Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), they are very careful in conveying, clarifying and preserving Shari`ah (Islamic law). However, none of the Prophet's Sahabah were recorded to have done this, which indicates the impermissibility of carrying pocket-sized copies of the Qur'an or putting them in a car, a safe or in one's belongings for safety or protection from envy. Similarly, it is not permissible to have a Qur'anic amulet or a gold or silver necklace containing words of the Qur'an to be worn around one's neck. Such practices contradict the guidance brought by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and his Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all). The prohibition of these practices is implied in the general purpose of the Hadith which states: If one ties an amulet, Allah will not accomplish his affairs for him ... In another narration the Prophet stated: Whoever wears an amulet commits an act of Shirk. (These two Hadiths are related by Imam Ahmad). The prohibition is further implied in the Hadith in which the Prophet said: Spells, charms and love-potions are Shirk. Although the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited all types of amulets, he did not prohibit the types of Ruqyah which are free from formulas of Shirk. This view was held by `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, `Abdullah ibn `Abbas, a group of the Sahabah and Tabi`un (Followers, the generation after the Companions of the Prophet) like Ibrahim ibn Yazid Al-Nakh`y and other disciples of `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud. (Part No. 1; Page No. 308) Other scholars have maintained that it is permissible to wear amulets containing Ayahs of the Qur'an or the Names and Attributes of Allah for the purpose of seeking protection. They exclude this from the prohibition implied in the Prophet's Hadith on amulets as Shirk-free Ruqyahs were not prohibited by the Prophet. The Qur'an is the word of Allah which is one of His Attributes. There is no harm if Qur'anic amulets are designed to be put in a person's garments or hung around their neck in the belief that they bring blessings and benefit. This view is attributed to some scholars including `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`As. However, the narration attributed to him in this regard is not authentic because Muhammad ibn Is-haq, who is notorious for Tadlis (misrepresentation), falls in the Sanad (chain of narrators) of this Hadith. Even if the authenticity of the narration was proven, no indication can be inferred on the permissibility of wearing amulets. The Hadith only indicates that `Abdullah was teaching the Qur'an to children and was writing it on tablets which he would hang around necks of younger ones. It is more likely that he did that so that they could repeat the Qur'an over and over for the sake of memorization. It does not appear that his intention was to protect them from envy or to ward off harm from them. This practice does not fall under the scope of prohibited amulets. In his book entitled 'Fath Al-Majid', Shaykh `Abdul-Rahman ibn Hasan preferred the same view held by `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud and his disciples on the prohibition of all types of amulets whether containing Ayahs of the Qur'an or anything else. According to him this is the preponderant opinion for three reasons: First: There is no evidence to specify the general prohibition of all amulets. Second: The prohibition is preferable as it prevents wearing other objects that fall outside the scope of amulets. Third: There is possibility that the amulet gets spoilt while a person is wearing (Part No. 1; Page No. 309) it if they happen to relieve themselves or to make Istinja' (cleansing the private parts with water after urination or defecation). Allah knows best.

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