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Incantations and Amulets with Quranic Ayahs – Permanent Committee

June 21, 2009


There are some people who write amulets for sick, insane, and psychiatric patients including in them parts of the Qurýan and Sunnah we never vouch for the sound creed of such people. We advised them against doing so, but they refused to listen, saying: We write only what is in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), which is not prohibited. Some of these amulets are worn by the patients themselves, or by an impure woman such as a menstruating woman, or a woman in her postnatal, or an insane, an under age child who does not know how to clean himself. Is this permissible?


The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) permitted incantations with Qur’anic recitation, and supplications, as long as they do not include Shirk, or meaningless words. Muslim narrated in his Sahih that Auf bin Malik said: We used to use incantations in the pre-Islamic era, so we asked the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam): What formula should we recite for that purpose? He said: Let me hear what you say. There is no harm in incantations as long as they do not include Shirk in them. [2]

Scholars have unanimously agreed on the permissibility of incantations provided they meet the above condition, and believing that it has no effect without the Will of Allaah.

It is rather, Shirk according to the Hadith which is narrated by Imam Ahmad in which Imran bin Husain, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) saw a man wearing a copper bangle on his arm, and he asked him: What is this? He said: I am wearing it for cephalic weakness. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Remove it, for it will not increase you in anything except weakness, and if you should die while you are wearing it, you would never be successful. [3]

In another version narrated by Ahmad, the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: He who wears an amulet commits Shirk. [4]

It is also narrated by Ahmad and others that Ibn Mas’ud, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah saying: Verily, incantations amulets and Tiwalah [5] are Shirk. [6]

If the worn amulet contains Qur’anic words, then it is, prohibited according to the preponderant opinion for three reasons:

  1. The general prohibition of wearing any kind of amulets according to the Prophetic traditions with no exception.
  2. Leaving no excuse for wearing amulets that contain other than Qur’anic formulas.
  3. Amulets that are worn are usually subject to disrespect by taking them into washrooms, or wearing them during intercourse or the like.

As for writing a Surah or a Verse on a slate or on a sheet, and washing the writing with water and saffron, to drink that water for the hope of gaining blessings, knowledge, wealth, good health, or the like, we have never heard that such was done by the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) for himself or for someone else. He neither permitted any of his Companions to do so, nor did he give the permission to his Ummah to do so, even though the needs for doing so are existent.

Based on the above, it is better to avoid doing so, and be content with what is authentically approved of incantations of Qur’anic recitation, the beautiful Names of Allaah, the authentic supplications, or the like, whose meaning are clear and they are free from the blemishes of Shirk.

One should seek nearness to Allaah by doing only the permissible things for the hope of gaining reward, relief, and gaining beneficial knowledge. This should be sufficient, and he who is content with what Allaah has legitimized, Allaah renders him free from the need of someone else. It is only Allaah Who grants success.

[1] The term incantations is used throughout the book to refer to a recitation formula for healing, whereas amulet is the written formula for the same purpose.

[2] Muslim no. 2200

[3] Ibn Majah no. 3531 and Ahmad 4:445

[4] Ahmad 4:154, Abu Ya’la no. 1759 and Al-Hakim 4:417

[5] Tiwalah, a spell which is used to make a man love his wife, or the other way round.

[6] Abu Dawud no. 3883, Ahmad 1:381 and Al-Hakim 4:418

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
Fatawa Islamiyah Vol. 1 Page 34


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