Is Wearing Taweez Shirk?

Q: Is wearing a tawiz (ruqya or amulet) shirk?

Statements by Salafi-wahabis like Shaykh Omar Bakri Mohammed & others such as Bilal Philips, ibn Baz, and Al-Albani:

Whosoever wears the hijab or so-called taweez that includes pictures, numbers, signs, characters or strange wording that has no meaning, or  even writes some Qur’anic words on a piece of paper and puts it around the neck all these are means and forms of shirk.

A: Now let us look at the evidence from Quran, hadith and respectable scholars.

Allah says: “And We reveal of the Qur’an what is a healing and a mercy for the believers, and the wrong-doers are not increased except in loss” (17:82)

It has been said that he who does not seek cure through the Qur’an, Allah does not cure him. The scholars interpret that verse in two ways however:

The first is that cure is for the hearts, by the removal of ignorance and doubt which hinder the understanding of miracles and matters pointing to Allah Almighty;

The second, that cure is for outward diseases, through the use of healing verses [ruqya] and seeking refuge

Qurtubi then lists instructions for making a kind of ruqya called nushra: various verses are recited over a clean container which is then filled with water; the water is then used for wudu‘ by someone who already has a valid wudu‘, and who also soaks his Head and limbs with it but does not use it for ghusl or istinja‘; it may be drunk; he then prays two rak`as at the conclusion of which he asks for healing, and so for three days. Qurtubi cites Ibn `Abd al-Barr’s statement whereby the Prophet’s condemnation of nushra concerns whatever contradicts the Qur’an and Sunna, not what conforms to it.

Qurtubi continues: “The Prophet said: Cure for my Community is in but three verses of Allah’s Book, a mouthful of honey, or cupping. He also said: Ruqya is allowed as long as there is no idolatry [shirk]; and if you can help your brother, help him.

Malik ibn Anas said: To hang writings of Allah’s Names upon oneself is permitted for healing and blessing but not for

protection against the evil eye [see Abu Hayyan, Tafsir al bahr al-muhit 6:74]. `Abd Allah ibn `Amr used to hang a protective invocation taught by the Prophet around the necks of his young children. (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi – hasan)

`A’isha said: “Whatever is worn after the descent of calamity is not an amulet (laysa min al-tama’im).”…

As for seeking cure (istishfa‘) with the Qur’an whether worn on oneself or not then it is no shirk at all: the Prophet said: “Whoever hangs something (upon oneself), he is left to it for protection.” Therefore who hangs Qur’an is certainly taken under Allah’s protection, and He will not leave him to other than Him. Wearing a ruqya is accepted by: Ibn al-Musayyib, ad-Dahhak, Ja`far as-Sadiq, and Ibn Sirin.”

We ask, “How did he miss the explanation of Imaam Nawawi in his in al-Majmu’ sharh al-muhadhdhab?:

One may adduce as evidence for their permissibility [amulets (ta`wiz) containing protective or healing words (ruqya, hijab)] the hadith of `Amr ibn Shu`ayb, from his father, from his grandfather [`Amr ibn al-`As], that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) 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. `Abd Allah ibn `Amr [in Tirmidhi and 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.

The hadith is related in Abu Dawud, … Nawawi included it in his Adhkar…. (#264).

Awf ibn Malik said: We would use ruqya in Jahiliyya, so we said: “O Messenger of Allah, what do you say about this?” He replied: “Show me your protective words (a`ridu `alayya ruqakum), there is no harm in ruqya as long as it contains no shirk.” [Muslim and Abu Dawud ]

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