Claiming that a bad thing will happen to a beautiful thing when we praise it is really a superstition that has no backing. The person who sees something with a catching beauty should exercise Islamic manners in this regard by saying, “Ma shaa’ Allah” (“Whatever Allah willed”), which constitutes a protection from the ill feelings and evil eye.
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states the following: “There is no Islamic basis for this belief. This is a superstition. If one sees something good or beautiful, there is nothing wrong in praising it. When one sees something good, it is an Islamic manner to praise it and praise Allah also by saying, “Ma shaa’ Allah” (“Whatever Allah willed”) and then praise whatever you wish to praise.
There is a reference to that in the Qur’an in the story of a person who was advised by his good friend: “If only, when thou enteredst thy garden, thou hadst said: ‘That which Allah willeth (will come to pass)! There is no strength save in Allah! Though thou seest me as less than thee in wealth and children.’” (Al-Kahf 39) This is the Islamic way of praise.”
Moreover, Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah, Professor of the Islamic Studies & Comparative Religions at Al-Azhar University, concludes: “Saying “Ma shaa’ Allah” constitutes a protection that takes away the poison that comes out of the evil eyes. Hasad or envy can badly affect the person or the object deeply looked at with great psychological admiration and desire.”