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The Evil Eye (2)


The Evil eye; just what is it that causes such powerful superstitious beliefs?

By Charles L Harmon.

evil eye and hamsa hand

Evil eye protection: 14k White Gold 18 in. Thin Chain & 1 in. (26mm) tall HAMSA Hand of God Pendant, w/ 1.00 Carat - Click image for more info

 

Evil eye

The evil eye* is a look that is superstitiously believed by many cultures to be able to cause injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. The term also refers to the power attributed to certain persons of inflicting injury or bad luck by such an envious or ill-wishing look. Some believe envy of the person with the evil eye can inflict unspeakable suffering on the envious subject.

The idea expressed by the term evil eye causes many cultures to pursue protective measures against it. The concept and how much significance it carries vary widely among different cultures, primarily the Middle East.

The idea of the evil eye appears several times in translations of the Old Testament. It was a widely extended belief between many Mediterranean tribes and cultures. Classical Greece probably learned this belief from ancient Egypt, and later passed it to ancient Rome. Belief in the evil eye during antiquity is based on the evidence in ancient sources like Aristophanes, Athenaeus, Plutarch, and Heliodorus. There are also speculations that claim Socrates possessed the evil eye and that his disciples and admirers were fascinated by Socrates’insistently glaring eyes.

Where Evil eye belief is strongest

Belief in the evil eye is strongest in the Middle East, East and West Africa, Central America, South Asia, Central Asia, and Europe, especially the Mediterranean region; it has also spread to other areas, including northern Europe, particularly in the Celtic regions, and the Americas, where it was brought by European colonists and Middle Eastern immigrants.

Belief in the evil eye is found in Islamic doctrine, based upon the statement of Prophet Muhammad, “The influence of an evil eye is a fact…” [Sahih Muslim, Book 26, Number 5427]. Aside from beliefs based upon authentic Islamic texts, a number of unsubstantiated beliefs about the evil eye are found in folk religion, typically revolving around the use of amulets or talismans as a means of protection.

The Evil eye in the United States

Back some 55 years ago in 1946, the American magician Henri Gamache published a text called Terrors of the Evil Eye Exposed! It was later reprinted as Protection against Evil. The book offered directions how to defend oneself against the evil eye. Gamache’s work brought evil eye beliefs to the attention of African American voodoo practitioners in the Southern United States. Belief in the evil eye or superstitions related to it in the USA is not common, however, it’s possible that those from other countries where the belief in the evil eye is common, that belief is still present in people that have migrated to the U.S. from those countries.

Protective Talismans and Cures

Attempts to ward off the curse of the evil eye has resulted in a number of talismans in many cultures. As a class, they are called “apotropaic” talismans, meaning that they turn away or turn back harm.

Disks or balls, consisting of concentric blue and white circles representing an evil eye are common apotropaic talismans in the Middle East, found on the prows of Mediterranean boats and elsewhere; in some forms of the folklore, the staring eyes are supposed to bend the malicious gaze back to the sorcerer.

A blue eye can also be found on some forms of the hamsa hand, an apotropaic hand-shaped talisman against the evil eye found in the Middle East. The word hamsa, also spelled khamsa and hamesh, means “five” referring to the fingers of the hand.

In Jewish culture, the hamsa is called the Hand of Miriam;

In some Muslim populated cultures, the hamsa is called the Hand of Fatima. However, it is considered a superstition to practicing or religious Muslims that any symbol or object protects against the evil eye. In Islam, only God can protect against the evil eye.

The Evil eye is worldwide

In most languages the word for evil eye translates literally into English as “bad eye,” “evil eye,” “evil look,” or just “the eye.” However, there are some variants on this general pattern around the world.

In the USA those who do not take the evil eye literally or seriously, either by reason of the culture in which they were raised or because they simply do not believe in such things, the phrase, “to give someone the evil eye” usually means simply to glare at the person in anger or disgust. No harm or evil is meant or implied.

Copyright © SuperstitionLane.com


* Portions of this document were taken from Wikipedia

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Questions about the Evil Eye



Chris asks…

What is the superstition behind the “evil eye”?

 


 

Suzi Q answers:

The Evil eye superstition is a look that is believed by many cultures to be able to cause injury or bad luck on the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. The term also refers to the power, superstitiously attributed to certain persons, of inflicting injury or bad luck by such a look.

The idea that the term denotes causes many cultures to pursue protective measures against it. The concept and its significance vary widely among different cultures. The idea appears several times in the Old Testament. It was a widely extended belief between many Mediterranean tribes and cultures: Classical Greece probably learned this belief from Ancient Egypt, and later passed it to Ancient Rome.-

read more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_eye




Sandy asks…

muslims: EVIL EYE…religion or superstition???

u know how ppl say, oh make sure you read this n that so the evil eye dont come on you..or whatever…and like…always make sure people say mashallah if they compliment you and stuff, and they like put black kohl on their babies head is that a religious thing or a superstitous thing???
n also, i know people are supposed to say mashallah but you know when they dont, idk why, but sometimes if im not too tight with them it jus feels like im boasting, or like..being vain or something…if you keep on telling someone ‘oh say mashallah then’ or something
im confused about this ‘evil eye‘ thing..cz my nan is really really religious BUT she comes out with the most ABSURD superstitions sometimes…

all help truly appreciated =)

 

 

Suzi Q answers:

There is no such super stition in Islaam. Wat ur Nan talks about is called Ayin (evil eye) In Arabic & Nazar in Urdu & this is pesent in every religion. We as Muslims can’t deny it coz Rasulullah (s) has taught us esp Duwa’s 4 it like ayat al Kursi, Surat Al Ikhlas & the 2 Moawzaat, “Aozo be Kalimaat illahi Taamah, min Ayin laamah, wa min kul Shaytaanin wa Hamah” Rasulullah would read it on his Grandsons to save them from Ayin. Some times people can really get sick from (ayin) & becoz small kids r more fragile they get ayin quicker.
*We must remember that we must take protection after we have read the Duwa’s of protection Nothing will harm us InshAllah but we must do these things with out putting blames on others saying they have given us an evil eye coz it all happens with the will of allah.




Joseph asks…

A question about the evil eye necklaces?

Usually there are necklaces or charms that depict the evil eye, and the eye is usually blue. However, I’ve seen some eyes that were black. What is the difference between the blue eye and the black eye?

And to make the question more fun to read, do you have any extra interesting information about the evil eye superstitions or other superstitions/beliefs?

 

 

Suzi Q answers:

The eye is usually blue because it was thought that this color wards off demons .. The “eye” shape comes from the ancient Egyptian belief that the Eye of Horus protects them from evil ..

I have seen a black eye once or twice .. Mainly drawn on the HAMSA (khamsa or kaff fatima) .. It basically is not very different from the blue eye … The color Onyx is also believed to have magical healing abilities …

The Turkish call it “NAZAR” …




Jenny asks…

In superstition, is it blue eyes which can cast the evil eye? Or is it that blue eyes are immune to it?

 

 

Suzi Q answers:

In Turkey there is an amulet that is used as protection from the evil eye. This eye is blue.
If you go to Turkey this eye is all over, its very popular.
If you have one on display in your house it is mean to protect your home from the evil eye and all the evil eye superstitions related to it.




Charles asks…

Why are Green and Blue eyed people considered to have the “Evil Eye”?

In a lot of superstitions I’ve noticed that there is the belief of the Evil Eye. Why are people with blue or green eyes considered to have a greater influence? What are some other superstitions on the green eye color? Thanks!

 

 

Suzi Q answers:

My boyfriend’s great grandmother pulled me to the side and said I have the eyes of the devil. So having blue or green eyes is not that much of a gift or good thing to a lot of people.

Some people seem to think “pure” whites have blonde hair and blue eyes and anyone that has a different combination isn’t completely white which is why that combination seems to be the most loved or cherished. I think it’s boring on most people (including myself).




William asks…

What is the origin of the evil eye pendants among Muslims?

In countries like Turkey and Iraq and other places they sell ‘evil eyes’, which are usually blue discs with a white circle and a black dot in the center. It’s meant to look like an eye and its purpose is to ward-off hased (envy), and I think magic too. I don’t believe in this trash of superstition but I wish to know more about it and what cultures have it. Thanks.

 

 

Suzi Q answers:

I once met a OLD MAN at a Greek Day Fest and we swore to me it’s a Greek “thing” the sailors use to keep evil away… As long as it’s being watched evil can’t be done!

..as FOR MUSLIMS, what you spoke of Turkey and Iraq, This Hamsa hand, called a Hand of Fatima by Muslims and a Hand of Miriam among Jews, contains the eye motif that wards off the evil eye. Belief in the evil eye is found in Islamic doctrine, based upon the verse of the Qur’an, “And from the evil of the envier when he envies,” [Chapter al-Falaq, verse 5]and the statement of Prophet Muhammad, “The influence of an evil eye is a fact…” [Sahih Muslim, Book 26, Number 5427] Authentic practices of warding off the evil eye are also commonly practiced by Muslims: rather than directly expressing appreciation of, for example, a child’s beauty, it is customary to say Masha’Allah, that is, “God has willed it”, or invoking God’s blessings upon the object or person that is being admired. Aside from beliefs based upon authentic Islamic texts, a number of unsubstantiated evil eye superstitions are found in folk religion, typically revolving around the use of amulets or talismans as a means of protection.

.. As for the origin it’s a guess BUT he oldest instance of belief in the evil eye dates back to biblical Israel. There are many instances of people casting the evil eye (ayin hara) in both the Tanakh and the Talmud. Ashkenazi Jews in Europe and the Americas routinely exclaim Keyn aynhoreh! (also spelled Kein ayin hara!), meaning “No evil eye!” in Yiddish, to ward off a jinx after something or someone has been rashly praised or good news has been spoken aloud.

Predates Islam By a few centuries.

PEACE




Mandy asks…

Why did Mohammad believe in superstitions such as the evil eye?

Its a very common belief in the middle east

why did mohammad believe in it?
lit chick,
That goes to prove how islam is deeply rooted in superstitious beliefs

 

 

Suzi Q answers:

He was deceived by the devil.

1 Timothy 4:1 – “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,”




Robert asks…

Is there a way to protect yourself against the evil eye?

If you think the evil eye is just a superstition then please don’t answer just to tell me that… ur just wasting ur time and mine, so please don’t…. thank you..

 

 

A mirror!




Maria asks…

What is an “evil eye”?

Is this real? What is it?

I think i know people who say something like ‘nazar’ or ‘nozor’, like something bad happening to them. I don’t know, I thought it was some kind of superstition. What exactly is theevil eye
NOUB, read my screen name.

 

 

Suzi Q answers:

This is a link explaining what it is and how you can protect yourself from it:

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/20954

InshAllah anyone under it will soon be recovered.

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