A taweez comprises a Qur'anic verse or dua from a hadith, written on paper and enveloped in a piece of cloth and hung around one's neck in a bid to protect the individual or ward off evil.
It is agreed that the Prophet (saw) used to recite du’a and then blow onto the sick person as did his Companions (ra) as well as writing the du’a on a piece of paper and placed it around the neck of a person if they could not read it. It is generally understood that it is not the paper or words that ward off evil or protect people but Allah - some however confuse the two resulting in controversy whilst others dispute some of the ahadith as being weak, failing to note the multitude of weak and good narrations.
"And We reveal of the Qur'an what is a healing and a mercy for the believers" (17:82)
Imam Shawkani writes in his tafseer of this verse: “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)
Amr ibn Shu'ayb, from his father, from his grandfather (Amr ibn al-As), that the Messenger of Allah (saw) used to teach them for fearful situations the words: a'udhu bi kalimatillah al-tammat min ghadabihi wa
sharri ibadihi wa min hamazat al-shayatina wa an yahdurun (I seek refuge in Allah's perfect words from His wrath, from the evil of His servants, from the whispered insinuations of devils, and lest they come to me.) (Tirmidhi; Abu Dawud)
Abd Allah ibn Umar used to teach these words to those of his sons who had reached the age of reason, and used to write them and hang them upon those who had not. (Abu Dawud)
When a person who was sick or in some distress they would go to the Prophet (saw) who would then place his hand on the area of pain and recite a du’a and then blow onto him (Bukhari; Muslim)
When the Prophet (saw) was ill for the last time, Jibril came and recited du’a and blew on to the Prophet (saw). (Muslim)
A'isha (ra) relates that when the Prophet (saw) was ill for the last time, she recited Sura al-Falaq and Sura an-Nas and then blew on to the Prophet’s (saw) hands. The Prophet (saw) then blew this onto his own face and body because his hands had more blessing then A'isha’s (ra) (Muslim)
A man came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) with the two sons of Jafar ibn Abi Talib. He said to their nursemaid, 'Why do I see them so thin?' Their nursemaid said, 'Messenger of Allah, the evil eye goes quickly to them. Nothing stops us from asking someone to make talismans (using ayats of Qur'an) for them, except that we do not know what of that would agree with you.' The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, 'Make talismans for them. Had anything been able to precede the decree, the evil eye would precede it.' (Muwatta)
Urwa ibn al-Zubayr (ra) narrated the Messenger of Allah (saw) entered the house of Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet (saw). There was a child weeping in the house, and they told him that it was from the evil eye. Urwa said, "The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, 'Why do you not find someone to make a talisman to protect it from the evil eye?'" (Muwatta)
Uqbah ibn Aamir al-Juhanee (ra) narrated some people came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and he took bai’ah (a pledge of allegiance) from nine and left one. So they said: “Oh Messenger of Allah, you took bai’ah from nine and you left this one.” He said: "Verily upon him is an amulet (tameemah)." So his hand reached out to cut it, then he took bai'ah from him and said: "Whoever wears an amulet then verily he has committed shirk." (Ahmed: 4/156; al-Hakim 4/219)
Ruwayfa ibn Thabit (ra) narrated the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Oh Ruwayfa, perhaps you will live long after me so inform the people that whoever ties a knot in his beard or wears a string necklace or cleans his private parts with the excrement of animals bones, then verily Muhammad is free from him" (Nisa’i 5067; Ahmed 4/108 and 109; Abu Dawud 36)
Abbad ibn Tameem narrated from Abu Basheer al-Ansari (ra) who informed him he was in the company of the Messenger of Allah in his journeys. He (Abu Basheer) said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) sent a messenger ordering: "There shall not remain any necklace of string or any other kind of necklace round the necks of camels except it is cut off" (Bukhari 3005, Abu Dawud)
Abdullah ibn Masud (ra) narrated the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "Verily incantations (ar-Ruqaa), amulets (at-Tamaa'im) and bewitchment (at-Tiwalah) are shirk" (Abu Dawud 3883; Hakim 4/217)
Abdullah ibn Amr used to hang a protective invocation taught by the Prophet (saw) around the necks of his young children. (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi - Hasan)
The permissibility of this was reported from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib, Ataa’, Mujaahid, Abu Ja’far al-Baaqir, Abdullah ibn Amr, Muhammad ibn Seereen, Ubaydullah ibn Abdullah ibn Umar, and ad-Dahhaak and it is not authentic from Abdullah ibn Amr, ad-Dahhaak, Mujaahid, and Ibn Sirin, and the rest are authentic. (Musannaf, Chapter of those who allowed the hanging of taweez)
The classical scholar Qurtubi says:
“The taweez that are forbidden are those taweez from the Time of Ignorance – those which are satanic and contain an element of shirk. The taweez, which are permitted are those written with du’as from Qur’an and ahadith only” (al-Qurtubi, at-Tadhkirat, Chapter on Taweez)
‘There are two types of ahadith concerning blowing. (reciting a du’a and then blowing onto a person). One of the types is transmitted in Bukhari: ‘There will be people who will enter Paradise without any questioning, who have never been blown upon.’
Imam Muslim has also recorded a hadith in support of those who do not ask to be blown upon. Imam Bukhari in the chapter on Tibb (Medicine) has written du’as that our Prophet (saw) recited when doing damm (reciting a du’a and then blowing onto a person). Imam Muslim states in ‘The Chapter on Virtues of the Prophet (saw)’ that: “When our Prophet (saw) was ill, Jibril came to him and performed the blowing.”
The above types of ahadith apparently seem to contradict each other but in reality there is no contradiction. The former type of hadith refers to the prohibition of having read something that is not from the Qur’an and 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 (saw)” (Sharh Muslim)
Ibn Taymiyyah writes:
“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...” (Al-Tawassul, Chapter on Blowing onto the Sick)
“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 (ra) 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)
Alusi al-Hanafi in his Tafsir of the Qur’an writes:
“According to Imam Malik ‘It is permitted to put around the neck the taweez written with the name of Allah.’ Imam Baqir also stated it is permitted to put such a taweez around the neck of a child” (Ruh al-Mani, chapter 15, under Sura al-Mu’minun, verse 97)
Allama Shami al-Hanafi writes:
“It is permitted to write a taweez and put it around the neck… It would be better if a person recites the du’as taught by the Prophet (saw). But if a person cannot read or is too young to recite then it is permitted for that person to put it around the neck” (Rad al-Mukhtar, Chapter on ‘Qira’at’; Sa’idi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, Chapter on Tibb)
The Hanafi Jurist Ibn Abidin states:
“Using of taweezs will be impermissible if they are written in a non-Arabic language in that its meaning is not known. They may consist of black magic, disbelief or impermissible invocations. However, if they consist of Qur’anic verses or prescribed supplications (duas), then there is nothing wrong with using them." (Radd al-Muhtar)
Scholars agreed it is haram to wear taweez (amulets) if they are made with anything other than Qur’an or hadith, but they differed concerning those that are made with Qur’an or duas from ahadith. Some said that it is permissible to wear them and some said that that is not permissible. The view it is permitted is more likely to be correct given the overwhelming number of narrations on the matter along with confirmed saying of successor generations.
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