Muslim scholars unanimously maintain that it is haram (unlawful) to wear amulets that contain anything other than Qur’anic verses, but they differed as regards those which do contain verses or surahs of the Qur’an. Some of them say that wearing amulets containing Qur’anic verses or chapters is permissible, while others consider them impermissible.
The view which is deemed to be the most correct is that wearing such amulets is not permitted because of the general meaning of the hadiths speaking about amulets, and in order to prevent any means that might lead to shirk (associating partners with Allah or polytheism).
To shed more light on the issue of wearing amulets especially those containing verses from the Glorious Qur’an, here is the Fatwa issued by Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author; it goes as follows:
“Amulets (tamimah, pl. tama’im) are things made from pearls or bones and worn on the necks of children or adults or hung up in houses or cars, in order to ward off evil – especially the evil eye – or to bring some benefits.
Zaynab, the wife of `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, reported that `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) stated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying: “Spells, amulets and love-charms are (forms of) shirk.” `Abdullah said, “Why do you say this? By Allah, when I was weeping eczema, I kept going to so and so, the Jew, who did a spell for me and made the thing calm down.” `Abdullah said: “That was just the work of Satan, who was picking it with his hand, and when (the Jew) uttered the spell, he stopped. All you needed to do was to say as the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say: Adh-hib al-ba’s Rabb an-Nas ishfi anta ash-Shafi la shifa’a illa shifa’uka shifa’an la yughadiru saqaman (Remove the harm, O Lord of mankind, and heal, You are the Healer. There is no healing but Yours, a healing which leaves no disease behind.’” (Reported by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)
`Uqbah ibn `Amir Al-Juhani (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that a group came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) to pledge their allegiance (bay`ah) to him. He accepted the allegiance of nine of them but not of one of them. They said, “O Messenger of Allah, you accepted the allegiance of nine but not of this one.” He (the Prophet) said, “He is wearing an amulet.” The man put his hand (in his shirt) and took it off, then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) accepted his allegiance. He (peace and blessings be upon him) then said,“Whoever wears an amulet has committed shirk.” (Reported by Ahmad)
These are the comments of the scholars on the various kinds of amulets and the rulings that govern each kind. These comments contain important and useful points.
Sheikh Sulayman ibn `Abd Al-Wahhab states: “The Companions of the Prophet, their successors, and those who came after them have differed as to whether it is permissible to wear amulets which only contain words from the Qur’an or those that contains Allah’s Names and Attributes.
The first group including `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`As (may Allah be pleased with him) and other Companions said that having amulets is permissible. This group backed their view by citing the aforementioned hadith. Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim adheres to this view.
Another group of scholars maintain that wearing amulets is not permissible. This was the view of Ibn Mas`ud and Ibn `Abbas, and is the apparent meaning of the view of Hudhayfah. This was also the view of a group of the Tabi`un (successors), including the Companions of Ibn Mas`ud and Ahmad, according to one report which was chosen by most of his companions. It was also the view of the later scholars, who quoted this and similar hadiths as a supporting evidence for their view.
This opinion appears to be in favor of prohibition of amulets in general; whether they contain Qur’anic verses or not.
Abu Dawud reported that `Isa ibn Hamzah said: “I entered upon ‘Abdullah ibn `Akim and his face was red due to high fever. I said, ‘Why don’t you wear an amulet?’ He said, ‘We seek refuge with Allah from that. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) states: “Whoever wears anything (meaning an amulet) will be entrusted to its care…” (Reported by Abu-Dawud)
Amulets containing Qur’anic verses:
Concerning amulets that contain clearly-written verses from the Qur’an or authentic hadiths, there is a difference among the Companions of the Prophet, their successors and those who follow them, which maybe clarified as follows:
Some of them state that it is not allowed, but rather reprehensible (Makruh). This is the opinion of `Abdullah ibn `Amr, `Uqbah ibn `Amir, and `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud and his companions such as Al-Aswad and `Alqamah, and those who came after them such as Ibrahim An-Nakh`i and others (may Allah be pleased with them all).
Undoubtedly not allowing that acts as a precautionary measure to prevent means that lead to wrong beliefs, especially in our own times. If most of the Sahabah (Prophet’s Companions) and Tabi`un (their successors) regarded it as Makruh in those noble times when the faith in their hearts was greater than a mountain, then regarding it as Makruh in these times of trials and tribulations is more appropriate and is more on the safe side. So how about when this concession has led people to things which are purely unlawful and they have made it a means to those things? For example, they take amulets as a means of seeking refuge, as they make them contain some verses from the Qur’an or surah, then underneath it they put some devilish mumbo-jumbo, the meaning of which no one knows except one who has read their books.
Part of the negative effects of amulets is that they divert the hearts of the common folk from putting their trust in Allah and make them dependent on the things that they have written, and most of them make people live in constant fear of what may or may not happen.
It’s the habit of a sorcerer or a fraudulent man to come to the person he wants to trick out of his money, knowing that the person is of weak faith, and say to him: “Such and such is going to happen to your family or your wealth or to you,” He may also say, “You have a
qarin (constant companion) from among the jinn,” then go on describing things to him and telling him things about himself that the Satan whispers to him, to make him think that he has true insight and that he cares about him and wants to bring him some benefit.
When the heart of the ignorant fool is filled with fear of what he has been told, he turns away from his Lord and turns to this charlatan with all his heart and soul; he puts his trust in him and relies on him instead of Allah, and says to him, “What is the way out from the things that you have described? What is the means of warding them off?” It is as if he (the charlatan) has control over benefit and harm, at which point his hopes are raised and he becomes more greedy, wondering how much he will be able to take. So he tells him, “If you give me such and such, I will write an amulet for that which will be this long and this wide” – he describes it and speaks to him in a nice manner. Then he hangs up this amulet to protect him from such and such diseases. Do you think, after all that we have mentioned, that this belief is a form of minor shirk? It means that one is ascribing to Allah someone else in worship, putting one’s trust in someone other than Him, turning to someone other than Him, relying on the deeds of created beings and trying to divert people from their religion. Can the Satan do any of these tricks except with the help of his devilish brethren among mankind?
Allah Almighty says: “Say: ‘Who can guard and protect you in the night or in the day from the (punishment of the) Most Gracious (Allah)?’ Nay, but they turn away from the remembrance of their Lord.” (Al-Anbiya’: 42)
Then along with the devilish mumbo-jumbo, he writes on the amulet something from the Qur’an, and hangs it up when he maybe in a state of impurity, in a state of minor or major impurity, and he never shows any respect towards it or keeps it away from other things.
The Qur’an was revealed to be recited and followed; its commandments to be obeyed and its prohibitions heeded, its information to be believed and its limits to be adhered to, its parables and stories to serve as lessons.
And if they (amulets) contain nothing but the two revelations (i.e. Qur’an and authentic hadiths) then this is shirk without a doubt, and is more akin to the azlam (arrows used during the pre-Islamic period of ignorance for seeking luck or help in decision making) in being far-removed from the characteristics of Islam.
However, if amulets contain anything other than the two revelations and instead contain mumbo-jumbo from the Jews or worshippers of temples, stars or angels, or those who use the services of the jinn, etc., or they are made of pearls, strings, iron rings, etc., then this is shirk, i.e., hanging them up or wearing them is shirk, beyond a doubt, because they are not among the permissible means or known forms of treating disease.”
Sheikh Al-Albani, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “This deviance and misguidance is still widespread among the Bedouin, peasants and some of the city-dwellers. Examples include the pearls, which some drivers put in their cars, hanging them from the rear-view mirror. Some of them hang an old shoe on the front or back of the car; some hang a horseshoe on the front of their house or shop. All of that is to ward off the evil eye, or so they claim. And there are other things which are widespread because of ignorance of (pure) Monotheism and the things which nullify it; such as actions of shirk and idolatry which the Messengers were only sent and the Books were only revealed to put an end to.
In conclusion, those who believe in pure Monotheism (tawhid) should keep as far away as possible from such things. The faith in their hearts is too great to permit anything of this sort to enter their hearts. Their status is too high and their certainty of faith is too strong for them to put their trust in anyone other than Allah or to seek the protection of anyone other than Him.”