The Correct Words: To Prevent The Evil-Eye

بـسـم  الله  والحـمـد لله والـصلاة والـسـلام عــلى رسـول  الله، وبـعـد

Taken from the book of Shaikh Maaher bin Dhaafer al-Qahtaanee حفظه الله :
رفع الغين عن بيان بدعية قول ما شاء الله لدفع العين

The reality of evil-eye:

The evil-eye is real and there is no difference between the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah that the affliction by the evil eye is real and its existence proven.

Narrated Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه : Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

<<العين حق>>

“The evil eye is a fact.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5740, 5944) and Saheeh Muslim (2187), Sunan Abu Dawood (3879), Ibn Maajah (3506, 3507, 3508)]

Narrated `Abdullaah ibn `Abbaas رضي الله عنهما : Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

<<لو كان شيء سابق القدر لسبقته العين واذا استغسلتم  فاغتسلوا>>

“The influence of an evil eyes is a fact; if anything would precede the destiny it would be the influence of an evil eye, and when you are asked to take a bath (as a cure) from the influence of an evil eye, you should take bath.” [Saheeh Muslim (2188)]

Imaam al-Nawawi رحمه الله  said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim:
“In this Hadeeth there is proof of the existence of al-Qadr and it also authenticates the fact that the harm from the evil-eye is powerful.”

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله  said:
“It is an arrow, shot by the one who is jealous or (or is known) for giving evil-eye towards the one who is envied – hitting (the target) sometimes and missing it sometimes. So if it is encountered while uncovered and without protection, then the person is affected by it. But no doubt, if it is encountered while taking precaution, then it will not affect him; rather it may happen that this arrow (evil-eye) is returned back to the owner himself (i.e. the owner is affected by his own evil-eye)”. [Zaad al-Ma`aad (4/154)]

And seeking protection from the evil-eye by saying –

1.  ما شاء الله  (Maa shaa’ Allaah – Whatever Allaah Wills).
2. or ما شاء الله لا قوة الا بالله  (Maa shaa’ Allaah laa quwwata illaa billaah – Whatever Allaah Wills! There is no power but with Allaah).
3. or ما شاء الله تبارك الله  (Maa shaa’ Allaah tabaarak Allaah – Whatever Allaah Wills, Blessed is Allaah).
- is a bid`ah.

It is spread (and has become common) among the people of today that whenever one sees in his brother that which amazes him and he wants to prevent from giving him the evil-eye, he would say: “Maa shaa’ Allaah tabaarak Allaah” or he would “Maa shaa’ Allaah laa quwwata illaa billaah”, thinking that this is the Dhikr (remembrance) which is to be said at the times of amazement to push-away (prevent) the evil-eye from his brother. And that is why, whenever you express your amazement to one of them – because of his wealth or his house or his son or his dress – and you do not say: “Maa shaa’ Allaah”, he will start fearing you that you might give him the evil-eye that which will harm his wealth or his son.

So is saying such Dhikr in similar situations legislated or is it a bid`ah?

Verily saying this Dhikr in these situations is a bid`ah, because Dhikr is `Ibaadah (worship). And `Ibaadah has – after Tawheed - two conditions which should be fulfilled for it to be accepted (by Allaah):

1. Ikhlaas (sincerity).
2. Al-Mutaabi`ah (following the Kitaab and Sunnah).

Al-Mutaabi`ah is adhering and following (the teachings of) the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  and not abandoning it; doing what he صلى الله عليه وسلم  did is a Sunnah and opposing that what he صلى الله عليه وسلم  did is a bid`ah.

And the evidence for this is the saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم :

<< من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما  ليس منه فهو رد >>

“Whoever innovates in this religion of ours that which is not from it, it will be rejected.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (2697) and Saheeh Muslim (4266) on the authority of `Aaishah رضي الله عنها ]

<<من عمل عملا ليس عليه أمرنا فهو رد>>

And in another narration it is: “He who did any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, it will be rejected” [Saheeh Muslim (4267)]

The one who tries to follow the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  in the acts of `Ibaadaat should also follow him in respect to time, place, reason, form, characteristic and number (of times). So, if a person says “Maa shaa’ Allaah” for preventing the evil-eye, then he has not followed the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  in respect to “the reason”. Doing an act of worship for a specific reason is not to be done except in accordance to the Dhikr which he صلى الله عليه وسلم  has instructed at the time of the occurrence of such incident and (in this case) it is to say: بارك الله لك أو عليك  (“Baarak Allaahu lak” or “Baarak Allaahu `alaik” meaning Allaah bless you or Allaah’s blessing be upon you).

The principle in the matter of Adhkaar (doing remembrance of Allaah) is Tawqeef (i.e. in matters of `Ibaadah, only those acts are to be done for which there is a text to support it from the Qur’aan or the Sunnah). It is not permissible for anyone to act on this bid`ah (of saying “Maa shaa’ Allaah”) only because he finds it to be good or by blindly following someone and not investigating the authenticity of it by going back to the evidences from the Book and the Sunnah and the actions of the Sahaabah رضي الله عنهم . Approving an act to be good by one’s own will (and desire) is the Madhhab of the Mu`tazilah (the deviated group which tries to interpret the Qur’aan with their own limited understanding instead of following the Salaf – allowing what they deem as good or changing the meaning of the things which they don’t understand).

So what is the legislated Dhikr for pushing-away the evil-eye?

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  made this very clear as has been mentioned in the Muwatta of Imaam Maalik رحمه الله  on the authority of Muhammad Ibn Abu Umaamah bin Sahl bin Hunayf heard his father say: “My father, Sahl ibn Hunayf did a ghusl at al-Kharraar. He removed the jubbah he had on while `Aamir ibn Rabee`ah was watching, and Sahl was a man with beautiful white skin. `Aamir said to him: ‘I have never seen anything like what I have seen today, not even the skin of a virgin.’ Sahl fell ill on the spot, and his condition grew worse. Somebody went to the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم  and told him that Sahl was ill, and he will not be able to go with you. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم  came to him, and Sahl told him what had happened with `Aamir. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

<<علام يقتل أحدكم أخاه , ألا برّكت ان العين حق توضأ له>>

‘Why would anyone of you kill his brother? Why did you not say: “Allaah bless you?” The evil eye is true. Do wudhu for him.’ `Aamir did wudhu for him and Sahl went with the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم  and there was nothing wrong with him.” [Muwatta Imaam Maalik (1972, 1973) and it is “Saheeh”]

In the statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم : “الّا برّكت ”  (Why did you not ask (Allaah’s) blessing for him?) is the clear statement on what is to be said when someone sees a thing and it amazes him and he fears of giving it an evil-eye.

And the words: “الّا برّكت ” are explained in the Hadeeth which was mentioned by Mu`mar al-Azdee in his Jaami` with a “Saheeh” (authentic) chain that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

<<اذا رأى أحدكم منه ما يعجبه فليدع له بالبركة>>

“When one of you sees in him (i.e. in his brother) which amazes him, then let him supplicate (to Allaah) to bless him.” [Jaami` Mu`mar (19766)]

It was narrated that Abu Umaamah bin Sahl bin Hunaif said: `Aamir bin Rabee`ah passed by Sahl bin Hunaif when he was having a bath and said: 'I have never seen such beautiful skin.' Straightaway, he (Sahl) fell to the ground. He was brought to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  and it was said: 'Sahl has had a fit.' He صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

<<مَنْ تَتَّهِمُونَ بِهِ>>

“Whom do you accuse with regard to him?” They said: `Aamir bin Rabee`ah. He صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

<<عَلَامَ يَقْتُلُ أَحَدُكُمْ أَخَاهُ، إِذَا رَأَى أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ أَخِيهِ مَا يُعْجِبُهُ، فَلْيَدْعُ لَهُ بِالْبَرَكَةِ>>

“Why would anyone of you kill his brother? If he sees something that he likes, then let him pray for blessing for him.” Then he called for water, and he told `Aamir to perform ablution. So he (`Aamir) washed his face and his arms up to the elbows, his knees and inside his lower garment, then he صلى الله عليه وسلم  told him to pour the water over him (Sahl). (One of the narrators) Sufyaan said: Ma`mar narrated from al-Zuhree: ‘And he commanded him to pour the water over him from behind.’ [Sunan Ibn Maajah (3509) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

Ibn `Abdul-Barr in “al-Tamheed” said:
““al-Tabreek” (seeking for blessing) is by saying: تبارك الله أحسن الخالقين اللهم بارك فيه ” (Tabaarak Allaahu ahsan al-Khaaliqeen, Allaahumma baarik feeh – Blessed is Allaah the best of Creators, O Allaah bless him).” [al-Tamheed (6/241 & 13/70)]

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله  said:
“The one who gave the evil-eye is commanded to say: “اللهم بارك عليه ” (Allaahumma baarik `alaih – O Allaah send your blessings upon him) for pushing away this malicious condition by making a supplication, which is an act of charity for the one who has been afflicted with the evil-eye. The cure of evil is by doing its opposite.” [Zaad al-Ma`aad (4/157-158) and also in Tibb al-Nabawee (1/127)]

So the legislated Dhikr for warding off the evil-eye id the Dhikr which is proven by the apparent meaning of the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  in the narrations which explain it, i.e. by supplicating for him for barakah as has been mentioned by Ibn al-Qayyim and Ibn Abdul-Barr in their explanation, by saying: “Allaahumma baarik feeh” or “`alaih”.

The meaning of: “الّا برّكت ”. Al-Barakah (blessing) is with the meaning: prosperity and increase. And al-Tabreek: it is supplication for blessing.

Al-Suyoottee said in “al-Dibaaj”:
“al-Barakah means: requesting an increase in goodness and honor; and it is also said: (seeking for) cleansing and purification; and also: stability.”

So the meaning of the statement of the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم : “الّا برّكت ” is explained by the (other) statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم : “فليدع له بالبركة ” (pray for blessing for him). And this is done by saying: “اللهم بارك فيه أو عليه ” (“O Allaah bless him” or “send your blessing upon him”). And the statement of the prophetصلى الله عليه وسلم : “الّا برّكت ” does not mean that one says: “تبارك الله ” (Tabaarak Allaah – Allaah is blessed) and it is not correct, because the meaning of Tabaarak Allaah is: praising and glorifying Allaah. So this statement is for revering Allaah تعالى , and it has no relation with the du`aa for barakah.

Meaning of the saying of Allaah تعالى :

{ولولا اذ دخلت جنتك قلت ما شاء الله لا قوة الا بالله}

{It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden: 'That which Allaah wills (will come to pass)! There is no power but with Allaah!} [Surah al-Kahf (18): 39]

This aayah is a dialogue between a Believer and a kaafir. The kaafir said about his garden which Allaah تعالى had given him:

{ما أظن أن تبيد هذه أبدا وما أظن الساعة قائمة}

{I think not that this (garden) will ever perish; And I think not the Hour will ever come} [Surah al-Kahf (18): 35-36]

for he had disbelieved in the Resurrection. So the Believer responded to his statement of kufr and urged him – that if he believes in what he said - to return back from his statement which he uttered about the garden that it will never perish, so that his (own) amazement (about his garden) goes away and that he (returns back to the) belief that it (the garden) is under the Will of Allaah and His Power, and that it is Allaah تعالى  Alone (in sustaining and perishing) that garden. So he (the Believer) said:

{ولولا اذ دخلت جنتك قلت ما شاء الله}

{It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden: 'That which Allaah wills (will come to pass)!} meaning: while believing that the goodness and the garden which you are in, are all there by the Will of Allaah and His Might and Power. He said this so that the kaafir’s belief would change towards this. The Believer’s speech with the kaafir was for calling him towards Imaan (Faith) in Allaah and to rely upon Him for his affairs and to stop him from committing Shirk and Kufr with Allaah. This dialogue was not to teach the kaafir about the Adhkaar on how to protect his garden from the evil-eye. Rescuing the religion (i.e. guiding a person towards the correct creed) takes precedence over rescuing the piece of garden from the harm (because sooner or later this world is going to perish). And Allaah تعالى  said:

{والأخرة خير وأبقى}

{Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting} [Surah al-A`laa (87): 17]

Moreover, there is a consensus that a kaafir is not called towards doing the acts of `Ibaadah (worship) till he believes in Allaah, and singles Him out in his worship.

وصلي الله علي نبينا محمد وعلي اله وصحبه وسلم تسليما مزيدا

end of quote from:
  رفع الغين عن بيان بدعية قول ما شاء الله لدفع العين

Shaikh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله :

In the event that you are afflicted by the evil eye, you should use the treatments recommended in Sharee`ah, which are:

1. Reciting ruqyah. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

<<لَا رُقْيَةَ إِلَّا مِنْ عَيْنٍ، أَوْ حُمَةٍ>>

“There is no ruqyah except in the case of the evil eye or fever.” [Tirmidhee (2057) and Abu Dawood (3884) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

Jibreel used to do ruqyah for the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  and say:

<<بِسْمِ اللَّهِ أَرْقِيكَ، مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ يُؤْذِيكَ، مِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ نَفْسٍ أَوْ عَيْنٍ، أَوْ حَاسِدٍ اللَّهُ يَشْفِيكَ، بِسْمِ اللَّهِ أَرْقِيكَ>>

“Bismillaahi arqeeka min kulli shay’in yu’dheeka, min sharri kulli nafsin aw `aynin haasid Allaahu yashfeek, bismillaahi arqeek (In the name of Allaah I perform ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allaah heal you, in the name of Allaah I perform ruqyah for you).” [Sunan Tirmidhee (972) and Sunan Ibn Maajah (3523) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

2. Asking the person who has put the evil eye on another to wash, as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  commanded `Aamir ibn Rabee`ah to do in the Hadeeth quoted above. Then the water should be poured over the one who has been afflicted.

With regard to taking his waste, such as his urine and stools, there is no basis for doing so; the same applies to taking any of his belongings. Rather what is narrated is that which is mentioned above, washing his limbs and washing inside his garment, or likewise washing inside his headgear and garments. And Allaah knows best.

3. There is nothing wrong with taking precautions against the evil eye before it happens, and this does not contradict the idea of tawakkul (putting one's trust in Allaah). In fact this is tawakkul, because tawakkul means putting one’s trust in Allaah whilst also implementing the means that have been permitted or enjoined. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  used to seek refuge for al-Hasan and al-Husayn and say:

<<أُعِيذُكُمَا بِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّةِ، مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ وَهَامَّةٍ، وَمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لَامَّةٍ>>

“U`eedhukumaa bi kalimaat Allaah al-taammaati min kulli shaytaanin wa haammah wa min kulli `aynin laammah (I seek refuge for you both in the perfect words of Allaah, from every devil and every poisonous reptile, and from every evil eye).” [Sunan al-Tirmidhee (2060), Sunan Abu Dawood (4737) and Sunan Ibn Maajah (3525) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]. And he would say: “Thus Ibraaheem used to seek refuge with Allaah for Ishaaq and Ismaa’eel عليهم السلام .” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (3371)]

[Fataawa Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (2/117–118)]

Translator’s Note:

Some additional points:

1. Weakness of the Hadeeth: Saying “Maashaa-Allaah” when you see something that amazes you:

Anas ibn Maalik رضي الله عنه  narrated that Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

<<من رأى شيئا فأعجبه ، فقال : ما شاء الله ، لا قوة إلا بالله ، لم يضره العين>>

“Whoever sees something that amazes him, let him say: “Maashaa-Allaah, Laa Quwwata illaa billaah” Hence, by doing so that person won’t be affected by the evil Eye.” [Ibn Sunni in “`Amal yaum wal-lail” (207) and Al-Haythami graded this Hadeeth as being “Dha`eef Jiddan” (extremely weak) (Majmoo` (5/109) and Shaikh al-Albaanee also graded its chain as “Dha`eef Jiddan” in “Takhreej al-kalim al-tayyib”]

2. One should also supplicate to Allaah to bless him in what He تعالى  has provided him, as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  used to do in du`aa al-Qunoot:

<<اللَّهُمَّ... وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ>>

“Allaahumma…wa baarik lee fee ma a`tait. (O Allaah! And bless for me in that which you have bestowed)” [Sunan Abu Dawood (1425), Sunan al-Tirmidhee (464), Sunan Ibn Maajah (1178), Sunan al-Nasa’ee (1745) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]


1. The correct is to say “Baarak Allaahu feek” or “`alaik” when you are amazed by someone. (The last word will change when there is a change in the gender or the number of people – as per the `Arabic grammar).

2. This is the apparent meaning of the Sunnah.

3. This is what the scholars, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn `Abd al-Barr and Al-Suyoottee رحمهم الله  mentioned.

4. Saying anything other than this does not qualify to prevent the evil-eye.

5. The aayah of Surah al-Kahf is a dialogue between a Believer and a kaafir, calling him towards Tawheed and not about preventing the evil-eye.

6. The Hadeeth which mentions to say: “Maashaa-Allaah” is very weak, and thus not to be acted upon.

7. One can also seek blessing for own self and can seek Allaah’s refuge for his children from the evil-eye.


Top of Page Contact Mission Islam Home Recommended Links