Ruqa (incantation), Talismans and Amulets
Narrated Abu Bashir Al-Ansari (May Allah be pleased with him): He was in the company of Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon
him) on one of his journeys, Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) sent a messenger ordering: “There shall not remain any necklace of bowstring or any other
kind of necklace round the necks of camels except it is cut off’ (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) saying: “Ar-Ruqa, At-Tama’im and At-Tiwalah are all acts of Shirk (polytheism),” (Musnad Ahmad;
At-Tama’im is the act of putting an amulet around the necks of children to save them from the effects of evil eye! If the amulet contains the verses of the Qur’an or Allah’s Names or Attributes then it is allowed by some ancestors and disallowed by some. Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased
with him) was among those who disapproved it, Ar-Ruqa or Al-Aza’im is the act of reciting incantations, charm etc.
Those are allowed in which there is no trace of Shirk (polytheism), Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) has permitted it in case of being bitten by poisonous insects or disturbed under the effect of an evil eye, At-Tiwalah (bewitchment) is something done by those who claim they can cause a woman to be more beloved by her husband or vice-versa.
Abdullah bin Ukaim narrated the following Marfu’ Hadith: “Whoever uses, attaches or wears a talisman to himself, will have that talisman put in charge of him” (Ahmad & Trimidhi)
Ahmad reported the tradition of Ruwaifi’ (May Allah be pleased with him) who said that Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said to him:
“O Ruwaifi’, it may be that you will live a longer time after me, so inform people that
whoever ties a knot in his beard, places any string or cord around the neck (as a charm), or cleans himself (after toilet) with animal dung or bone, then Muhammad (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) has disowned him (has nothing to do with him).”
Sa’id bin Jubair said:
“Whoever cut an amulet or talisman from anyone, it would be equal to liberating a slave.”
It was Waki’, who recorded it and he reported from Ibrahim Nakh’i that they used to dislike every type of amulets and talismans whether that contained the verses of Qur’an or anything else,
[They were the companions of Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him)
Important issues of the Chapter
1) Explanation of incantations (Ar-Ruqa) and amulets (At- Tama’im).
2) Explanation of bewitchment (At-Tiwalah).
3) That all the three above-mentioned are acts of Shirk without exception.
4) Reciting an incantation (Ruqyah), using words of truth, for seeking protection from evil eye or scorpion bite is not like Shirk.
5) Ulama have different opinions about using the amulets containing the verses of Qur’an.
6) Putting on necklaces on animals against evil eye amounts to committing Shirk.
7) Anyone tying the bowstring (or committing such practices) has been warned of severe punishment.
8) The reward of a person who cuts off an amulet of someone.
9) The statement of Ibrahim Nakh’i that early Muslims used to avoid amulets whether it contained Qur’anic verses or anything else is not contradictory as the reference here is to the companions of Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him).