Is Wearing Taweez Shirk?

Among the Companions it is established that `Abd Allah ibn `Amr used to make his small children wear ta`wiz and he certainly would not have done it if it consisted in shirk or led to it. This is confirmed by the Tabi`in who accepted the unconditional wearing of ta`wiz by both adults and children such as Sa`id ibn al-Musayyib, al-Dahhak, Ja`far al-Sadiq, and Ibn Sirin, and among those of later times Malik ibn Anas, as related by Qurtubi. Neither the latter nor Imam Nawawi objected to it, nor did the narrators of `Abd Allah ibn `Amr’s report such as Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Ahmad, and Abu Dawud.

Yahya related to me from Malik that Humayd ibn Qays al-Makki (Allah be well pleased with him) said, “A man came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 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, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Make talismans for them. Had anything been able to precede the decree, the evil eye would precede it.’ ”  (Muwatta – Imam Malik)

Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said from Sulayman ibn Yasar that `Urwa ibn az-Zubayr (Allah be well

pleased with him) told him that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) entered the house of Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. 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, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Why do you not find someone to make a talisman to protect it from the evil eye?’ ”  (Muwatta – Imam Malik)

When Egypt was conquered by the Muslims, there was a custom to throw a girl in the Nile River on the 11th night of one of the non-Arabic months in order that the Nile would continue to flow. It was believed that without throwing a girl into it, the Nile would not flow. Amr Ibn al-`As wrote to the Caliph `Umar concerning this custom. `Umar sent a message to the Nile saying:  “If you were flowing before by your own power, we do not want you to run; and if Allah is the one who makes you flow, we ask the Almighty to make you flow.” Amr Ibn al-`As threw the letter of `Umar into the Nile one day before the Christian commemoration of the crucifixion. The following morning they woke up to find the river flowing stronger and had gone up 48 feet in one night.  (Ibn Hajar, in Al-Sawa’iq). A large Taweez, written with black ink on cloth, is on display in the Museum attached to the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. It is written by non other than Ameer al-Momineen Sayyidina `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him).

The great Hanafi Jurist, Ibn Abidin states:

“Using of Ta’wizes 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 (du`as), then there is nothing wrong with using them (Radd al-Muhtar).

Imam Ibn Taymiyya (Allah have mercy on him) writes in his Fatawa:

“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.

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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