The evil eye moneymaker

Islam, the Holy Quran and the Prophet’s (PBUH) sayings have taught us about the evil eye and how to protect ourselves from it, by way of charity and prayers that never need a holy man’s assistance. Unfortunately, as is the norm, many cultures suffer from their own creativity when it comes to folklore, overwhelming their perception. However, I feel the need to repeat that belief in the evil eye has a religious basis in various respected religions, including ours – Islam.

Nonetheless, it should not be exaggerated or abused to the point where we allow others to manipulate our belief in it. For example, in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations, criminals who con honest believers can easily claim that we are fighting Islam itself when we question why they need our money to pray for our health, instead of doing it ourselves? And how is it that they alone own Allah’s ability to heal? These people who are claiming to be “sheikhs” have been given a heroic role in the society due to people’s poor awareness of their own religion and psychology, or physiology.

Sheikh Faisal Al-Hashimi, who has a PhD in Islamic studies, has stated numerous times in his lectures that you can deal with whatever is paranormal only by your own personal prayers. But if you believe that only this or that sheikh can do this for you, this may cause problems in the purity and simplicity of the our Islamic belief.

Coming from an educated family – my father is a businessman, my mother is a teacher and my older sister is a psychologist – I felt that my family was very secure from un-Islamic folktales that say that the evil eye’s cure is by the will of some random mystical sheikh and not of his Creator. Sadly, all this went awry when a relative of mine suffered from terrible neck and back pains for an entire year. She was surrounded by her friends in the office who kept “peer-pressuring” her into the belief that her physical pain was the work of the devil! The rest is self-explanatory.

Her pain persisted for a long time, which damaged her emotionally and challenged her belief about her faith and made her pain even more horrific. Her friends suggested she follow the advice of people who claim to be sheikhs, who told her to never seek medical help because it is a sign of disbelief, and never tell anybody about it because the less you think about it, the weaker the devil’s work will become.

After suffering for a long time, despite paying for these swindler ‘sheikhs’ intervention, she finally broke down and went to Germany to fix it in a less than 20-minute surgery. If she had kept listening to the folktale remedies of these so-called ‘sheikhs’ she could have died.

Please don’t misunderstand me. There are very many righteous sheikhs who lead a clean path and who offer right guidance. But those who take money and offer healing powers are not always to be trusted.

So, in much clearer terms, in the golden age of Islam, Muslims followed their holy book’s teachings and their Prophet’s (PBUH) sayings that taught them that only by your own prayers you can protect yourself from the evil eye. And when you suffer from physical symptoms, it is out of your own piety that you seek legitimate and scientific care. Please, let us save the rest.

By Jeri Al-Jeri
[email protected]

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