Islamic view point on talismans (Taweez)

Alhamdu li'Llah. Indeed all glory and praise is due to Allah subhanahu wata'ala. We glorify and praise him and we ask him for help and forgiveness. In Allah subhanahu wata'ala we seek refuge from the evils in ourselves and from our wrong doing. He whom Allah subhanahu wata'ala guides shall not be misguided, and he whom he misguides shall never be guided. I bear witness that there is no {true} elah {god} except Allah subhanahu wata'ala, alone without any partners; and I bear witness that Muhammad peace be upon him is His 'Abd (Devoted servent and worshiper) and Messenger. Verily, the best words are those of Alllah subhanahu wata'ala; the best guidance is that of Muhammmad peace be upon him; the worst matters {of creed or worship} are those innovated {by people}; for, every such innovated matter is a bid'ah; and every bidah is a misguidance that shall reside in the fire.

The cause of the degradation and downfall of the present day Muslims is not that they lack spritual guidance or are backward in Islamic education! The real reason for their back sliding stems from those Muslims that have started associating partners with Allah subhanahu wata'ala. They've even begun to rely on these so-called "partners" for asssistance in daily life.

The tragedy of it is the fact that some of our saints and teachers have had a leading role in this great deception. They mislead their community from the noble path of believing in the one and only Allah subhanahu wata'ala. These scholars and leaders improve their own economic worth by fabricating new fads and rituals while padding their own pockets. Of exactly such persons that Allah subhanahu wata'ala has said in the Holy Quran:

O Ya who believe! There are indeed many amongest the priests and anchorites who in falsehood devour the substenance of man and hinder them from the way of Aallah.

Sura Tauba (9:34)

It is a well known fact that these type of people not only sell their judgements and accept rewards for them, but they also lead the world into a vicious cycle of disbelief. They manifest this disbelief in the form of bizarre religious practices. As a result of these practices, their followers become addicted and can not cope with routine life without resorting to these "new" rituals for strength and security.

When a call is made for a return to purity and sincere faith in the unity of Allah subhanahu wata'ala, these are the people who with the aid of their gimmickry place obstacles in the path. So obvious are these road blocks that one is left in amazement by their actions. Like the priest and leaders of Children of Israel, these so-called aaleems (scholars) and their saints have raised the business of talisman to it's current zenith. These people closely resemble those exposed by Quranic aayats of Sura Al Baqarah:

And when there came to them an apostle from Allah, confirming what was with them, a Party of the People of the Book threw the Book of Allah behind their backs. As if (it had been something) they did not know!

They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon: the blashmers were, not Solomon, but the evil ones, teaching men magic, and such things as came down to Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (such things) without saying: 'we are only for trial; so do not blaspheme.

They learned from them the means to sow discord between husband and wife. But they could thus harm anyone except by Allah's permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of magic would have no share in the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls: if they but knew!

Al Baqarah (2:101 and 2:102)

Conduct a random search of the necks of most present day Muslims, the majority will be wearing a paper talisman, miniature Quran, rosary, thread or small razor, etc. Some will be wearing a metallic bracelet or thread around their leg, arm or stomach. They apparently believe these charms will avert bad luck evil spirits, ilness, etc. These talisman, threads, potions and their likes have not been sanctioned by the Holy Prophet peace be upon him have said about these practices:

Abdullah bin Masood radi allahu anhu reports that I have heard the Holy Prophet peace be upon him saying that blowing (dum), Taweez (talismans), threads and potions are all shirk.

Mishkaat Sharif, pg 389

The practice of love potions like talisman, etc., have also become very common. Many men and women resort to them to win another's love, even if the other person is legally married according to Islamic rites. Here is another traddition of our Prophet peace be upon him:

Uqba bin Amir Al Jehni radi allahu anhu relates that a group of people came to the Holy Prophet peace be upon him to make a religious pledge (Bait). The Holy Prophet peace be upon him accepted the pledge from nine of the groups and left one out. The companions asked the Holy Prophet peace be upon him as to why he did not accept the pledge of the one who was left out. The reply was:

"I did not make Bait with him because he was wearing a Talisman."

On hearing this that person drew the Talisman, out and destroyed it. Thereafter, the Holy Prophet peace be upon him accepted his pledge (bait) and said whoever wears a talisman, he associates partners with Allah (i.e. he practices Shirk).

Masnad Ahmed, Vol. 4 Pg. 156

Does this hadith not show that all types of talisman are forbidden? Otherwise the Holy Prophet peace be upon him would have definitely at first enquired whether the Taweez had any Quranic writings or the illustrious names of Allah subhanahu wata'ala. At the sight of the talisman, he turned his face away and refused the pledge. This conclusively proves that the practice of talisman is an evil practice, and not sanctioned by the Holy Prophet peace be upon him.

Talisman for cures

Let us see what the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has to say about these.

Esa Bin Hamza (Rahimahullah) says, I visited Abdullah Bin Akeem (Rahimahullah) during his sickness; he was suffering from a sickness called "Hamra". I asked him why he was not wearing the talisman that was meant for the sickness specifically. He relied, "May Allah save me from the talisman. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has said , whoever hangs anything he will be entrusted to that thing only.

Abu Dawood, Mishkat pg. 389; Tirmizi Vol. 2, pg. 28

This previous hadith once again proves that if one uses a talisman to avoid evil spirits or influences, to cure sickness or to remove any calamities, then Allah will not help him, and he will be entrusted to the talisman or potions to solve his problems.

When an earnest and sincere appeal is made to these commerical minded purveyors of talisman etc., to desist from these evil practices which will destroy their own faith (imaan) and their fate in the Hereafter, their only defence will come in the form of a hadith of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, which they will quote:

It was reported by Mohammed Bin Isak that Abdullah Bin Umar Bin Alaas relates that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him used to teach the following prayers for those who used to be frightened in their sleep:

"I seek refuge with the completer words of Allah from His anger and the mischief of the people and from the suggestions of the evil ones and their visits to me."

The report states further that Abdullah used to teach the prayers to those who could memorize and recite it and used to write it and hang it around those children who could not recite it.

Abu Dawood (543), Tirmizi Mishkat (217)

There are many reasons why this tradition should not be taken very seriously; some of them are:

  1. This tradition according to the scale of acceptance of hadiths is considered to be very poor (deaf) in quality by the majority of Muslims scholars.
  2. The companions who allegedly hung the talisman is himself a narrator of another hadith in which the Holy Prophet peace be upon him had frowned upon talisman; it reads as follows:
    Abdullah Bin Umar Bin Alaas states that I have heard the Holy Prophet peace be upon him say that "if I indulge in three things then it means that I cannot discriminate between what is right and what is wrong. The three things are: firstly, if I use a antidote (panecea) which contains alcohol or snakes meat. Secondly, if I hang a talisman and thirdly, if I practice poetry."
    How can a companion who states this hadith do a thing contrary to his teachings?
  3. The reporters, Mohammmed Bin Isak and Umar bin Shoib have been unanimously condemned as unreliable and called liars by various Muslim scholars like Immam Malik (Rahimahullah) and many others.
  4. Finally there are no companions radi allahu anhu of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him or the tabeens (those who saw the Companions only) who have santioned or allowed the Talisman. To attach their names to such practice is indeed a calumny.

The judgement of the Tabein

It has been said by Waki Saeed Bin Jabeer (Rahimahullah) that "whoever removes a taweez he has liberated a soul". Waki said that ibrahim Nakhi was the teacher of Imaam Hanifa (Rahimahullah) said that all the companions and Tabein have forbidden the use of Talisman regardless of whether it contained Quranic verses or ayats.

Many put forth the argument that the Quran itself proclaimed itself as a cire and healer. The answer to this is that the cure is not in hanging it around the neck but by using it as shown to us by Allah and His Holy Prophet peace be upon him. The Quran would be a healer and cure if it is read with understanding, benefiting from its contents and decorating the actions sincerely with the noble charateristics as showen in it. Honey has been called a cure in the Quran itself, but surely no one goes around carrying a bottle of honey around one's neck all the time. Similarly, the doctor's phamacopia contains all the cures but a sick person would not dare carry it around his neck for cure purposes. It is for such persons that the Holy Quran has said:

And most of them believe not in Allah without associating (others as partners) with Him

Surah Yusuf (12:106)

Talisman containing Quranic ayats are forbidden

One of the foremost Muslim scholars, Aabubaka Ral-Arabi (Rahimahullaah) has concluded that to wear the Quran is not according to the precepts of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him. The right thing is to obtain guidance from the Quran and not to wear it.

The threads and strings

The tying of threads and strings also becomes very common. Some use it for curing fever, some for averting fevers, some for averting spirits etc. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him forbids these practices of associating partners to Allah (SHIRK) even on animals, and had them removed.

Abu Bashir Al Anasari says: "I was with the Holy Prophet peace be upon him on a journey when he sent a proclamation with the message that under no circumstances any threads to be tied around the animals." (These things were relics of days before Islam when it was thought to protect the animals.)

Urwah (Rahimahullah) relates that Huzaifa Bin Alyam (Rahimahullah) once went to visit an ailing person. He saw a thread around the sick person's arm. Huzaifan cut the thread off and read the Quranic Ayats from Surah Yusuf:

And most of them believe not in Allah without associating (others as partners) with Him

Surah Yusuf (12:106)

Bracelets and medallion wearers will not enter paradise, but they will enter hell fire

Imraan Bin Hussain (Rahimahullah) reports that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him saw a copper bangle on a person's hand. He asked him the reason for the copper bangle and was told that it was for the treatment of the weakness and sickness in his arm. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him replied that on the contrary it will increase the weakness of the arm and if he were to die with it on, then he will not be successful in the hereafter (i.e. he will not enter paradise).

Ahmed, ibn-e-Hembal

Knife and razors on children

Some people believe that children are quickly affected by evil spirits. As a prevention, every house should have a steel knife, blade or scissors. If the child leaves the house, the steel object must be with the child. This is once again a legacy of the pre-Islamic days of ignorance. Let us see what the Holy Prophet's peace be upon him wife, Ayesha radi allahu anha had to say about this very common practice:

The mother of the faithful Ayesha radi allahu anha used to receive newly born children brought by their parents for her to pray to Allah for His blessings on them. On one occasion, she noticed a child wearing a blade and enquired what it was for, and was told that it was a prevention againest jinns.

Aysha radi allahu anha removed the blade and threw it away and forbade the parents from doing anything of that sort. She said that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him was strongly againest such actions and that is why she is forbidding them also.

Imam Bukhari, p#180 Adabul Mufrad


The peddlers of this religious fad have come out with innumerable stories or tales about jins (spirits) which greatly assist them in their business.

The stories of a Jinn posssessing people is a fraud. Even if thousands come forward with their own observations of Jinns and their effects it cannot be true. It is unfortunate that people bring forth reports of Saad Bin Ibadah radi allahu anhu was martyred by Jinn in Syria. The Muslim scholars all agree that this is completely wrong and a figment of their imagination. The same applies to the story of Abdullah Bin masood radi allahu anhu removing the effects of a Jinn. Such stories are created by the commerical minded. The truth is that so far history has not shown anyone being slain by jinns. Neither have police anywhere in this world come to the conclusion that a certain crime was done by jinns (or spirits).

Jabir Bin Abdullah radi allahu anhu reports that the Holy prophet peace be upon him was asked about these "Nushra" (the name given to the people who remove spirits). The reply was:

"It is the work of the Devil (Shaitan)".

Abu Dawood, Vol. 2, page 40

These purveyors of talisman, etc., are not only satisified by their actions but also go a step further and claim to be able to see the unknown and forecast the future. To some they say goods are under the shadow of a jinn and I know the way out. To others they say, if you loose any of your objects or goods come to us and we will show you where it is. For some they read their palms and claim to have observer somethings. They utter words their weakminded clients who do not offer any objections. To some members of the family, they will give a talisman, ask him to bury it at a certain fixed spot. Later they will direct other to the same spot and ask them to remove and destroy the talisman. They say it was buried by their enemies and was causing their troubles. In this way, they make whole families fight each other and indirectly filling their own pockets. May Allah save us from such people, Ameen.

Blowing on water (Dum)

This practice has also been caught on just like the talisman, threads, etc. You often see people lined up outside the mosques after the regular prayers with containers of water awaiting the namazees to blow on it. This is most evident on the last night of Tarawih in Ramadaan when large number of bottles are placed before the huffaz to blow on. All this being done in the name of religion! It is a pity that there is no one to explain to them that it is futile to expect any good from a thing which has been forbidden by the Holy Prophet peace be upon him!

Abu Said Kudri radi allahu anhu reports that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has forbidden us to blow on anything that is to be drunk.


Ibn Abbas radi allahu anhu reports that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has forbidden breathing or blowing on utensils.


These two traditions prove that what is now being practiced under the veil of religion is against the precepts and teaching of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him.

Other practices

Besides the blowing (Dum), there are many other similar things being done. Some write Quranic Ayats with saffron on plates and ask people to wash it with water and drink it to ease their pains and put away any troubles. To some talismans are given with varied instructions to burn them with certain prayers to purify their house of evil effects. Some open certain books to forsee the future; some make use of astrology to forecast the future; (some also use birds). To some, stones of different colors are given to forbidden practices. If no one wakes up now to guide the misled, then the future looks very bleak indeed.

To receive rewards

The usual pretence put forward by such business minded priests is that they are doing it for the good of the people and there is no gain for them, but the facts prove just opposite. The sole purpose is to profit themselves. To justify their actions they even resort to the Hadeeth of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him. The most popular tradition they resort to is as follows:

Abu Saeed Kudri radi allahu anhu reports that a group of the Copmanions went to an Arab tribe which refused to entertain or help them. At that time the chief of the tribe was stung by a poisonous insect. The tribesman came to the Companions and asked them if they had any antidotes or knew of any chanting to get rid of the poison, or could "blow" on it. One of the Companions radi allahu anhu said yes, but would help him if they agree to reward them for doing so. An agreement was reached for a certain number of the Tribesmen's flock. One of the Companions radi allahu anhu started reading Sura Fateha and after collecting his saliva, spat on the site of the sting and the chief was completely cured. As agreed the tribesman brought the animals to them as a reward. At this stage the Companions became hesitant and said we will not accept the animals until they have consulted the Holy Prophet peace be upon him. When they asked the Holy Prophet peace be upon him about this, he smiled and asked them as to how they knew about "dum" effects of Sura Fateha. He then advised them to accept the animals and asked them to keep his share also.

The narration of Suleman Bin Kitah has the addition that the tribesman sent us the animals and also some food which we ate.

Bukhari Vol. 2, page 854

The tradition Hadeeth clearly shows that this was not an ordinary occasion and the request for reward was because of their urgent needs.

Besides this Hadeeth, there are no pure Hadeeth to show that any of the Companions had asked for a reward, in such similar conditions. The narration by Kharja Bin Sal Salat has been ousted as of poor authenticity (deaf). Secondly, this was not a matter of reward which should have been only for the Companions and the Holy Prophet peace be upon him. So to conclude that this was a "reward", is wrong. The Holy Prophet's peace be upon him reply was only to ease their conscience because at a place where no food was available and the tribe was unhospitable, things would have become extremely hard for the Companions. Because of the extra ordinary circumstances, the Holy Prophet peace be upon him had consoled them so that they may not feel guilty or hurt. Otherwise the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has strictly forbidden us to make the Quran as a source of livlihood. There are many Hadeeths on this subjects, few of them are:

Abdul Rahman Bin Shabal Anasari reports that I have heard the Holy Prophet peace be upon him say "do read the Quran but do not make it a source of yhour livelihood".

Masnad Ahmad Vol 3, page 444

Buraidah radi allahu anhu reports that Rasulullah peace be upon him said. "He who reads the Quran so that he might thereby get something to eat from the people, shall so appear on the Day of Judgement that his face will only be a bone on which there will be no flesh."

Mishkat, page 193

This means that those who read the Holy Quran in order to fulfill the needs of this world will get no share in the hereafter. It is for this reason that Imaam Bukhari in his compliation of Sahih Bukhari, has devoted a whole chapter on the "sin committed by those who use the Quran for their livelihood; for showing off or use it as a source of debate." see Bukhari 756.

Ubadah bin Assamit said, 'I taught a surah of the Glorious Quran to a man who gave me a bow as a gift. I mentioned this to Rasulullah peace be upon him who said, "if you are prepared to put a yoke of Hell round your neck, you may accept it."

Abu Dawood 485

The performer (balancer) on a string at a circus is better than the priest who bends towards wealth, because the performer is gaining his livelihood from the world by worldly means whereas the priest (molvee) earns his livelihood from his faith (Imaan).

Markah Sharah Mishkat, Vol.2, page 225

From all that has been said we once again appeal and request all those who make the Quran as a source of livelihood, not to take any reward for teaching the Quran and not to sell commentaries on the Quran, etc. They should fear the wrath of Allah. Remember that the punishment the present generation is receving is a direct result of their acts of associating partners to Allah (shirk). If we do not desist from it and repent before Allah for our misdeeds and make a solemn promise to follow the pure faith of only one Allah, and submit to Allah's laws (Quran and Sunna) with complete submission, we will be destroyed completely, as Allah Himself says:

Travel through the Earth and see what was the end of those before you. Most of them worshipped others besides Allah.

Surah Rome 30:42

Yes, if we cleanse our Imaan (faith) from these impurities then will our uneasiness turn into peace and our degeration turn into respect and honour as promised by Allah Himself in the Quran:

It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong that are (truly) in security, for they are on (right) guidance.

Surah Anam, 6:82

In this Ayat, the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has himself interpreted the word "wrong" as asssociating partners with Allah (Shirk).

Bukhari, Muslim

In conlusion, let us pray that Allah saves the Muslims from these evil practices and the mischief of these commerically-minded persons and give us the guidance to follow the one and only pure faith of Allah.


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