Is it permissible to wear an amulet (ta’awīdh) in Islam, with an intention that it will help protect and cure? Do Islamic teachings support this or is this considered shirk (act of disbelief in God)?
Thank you for your question. Our prayer for everyone is that Allāh Almighty protects one and all from all forms of physical and spiritual sicknesses.
The best way for spiritual protection and cure is through continuous recitation of the Qur’ān and authentic prophetic supplications, without the need to hang amulets.
Ibn Al-Juhanī (may Allāh be pleased with him) stated that the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said to him, “Shall I guide you to the best thing that those who seek protection use for protection?” He replied, “Of course, O Messenger of Allāh!” The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, “Say, I seek refuge with the Lord of Al-Falaq.’ (Sūrah Falaq, Qur’ānic chapter 113) and ‘Say, I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind.’ (Sūrah Nās, Qur’ānic chapter 114). These two chapters [are the best protection].” (Nasa’ī, Tafsīr ibn Kathīr)
That being said, it must be noted that most Islamic jurists deem it permissible to wear an amulet (ta’awīdh), provided the following conditions are met:
The amulet should only contain words and writings that are Islamically upright, such as the names of Allāh or known prophetic supplications.
The one wearing the amulet must believe that Almighty Allāh is the only Being that protects and provides cure from all harms and sicknesses. The amulet must only be adopted as a means, similar to how one resorts to medicine, when sick, while knowing well that Allāh is the only Shāfī (Provider of cure).
Abdullāh ibn ‘Amr (may Allāh be pleased with him), who is amongst the Companions and students of the Prophet Muḥammad (peace be upon him), is known to have written the words of a specific supplication from the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) in an amulet. He then tied this around the neck of his children. (See Bukhārī, Sunan Abī Dāwūd and Tirmidhī)
A number of other Companions, successors, pious predecessors and Islamic scholars have also been reported to have approved such amulets. (See Muṣannaf ibn Abī Shaybah)
The prohibition of amulets in some ḥadīths, is regarding the amulets that were worn in the days of ignorance pre-Islam. These contained words of shirk, incorporated pagan deities as the dispensing powers, and were worn assuming the amulet itself provided cure and protection. (Fatḥ al Bārī li al Asqalānī)
A note of caution must be presented here. In today’s time, there are many individuals who claim to provide spiritual healing through amulets and spells, but their procedures do not fall under the required above criteria.
We pray Allāh heal one and all.
And Allāh Knows Best
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