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Permissibility of Ta’weez (Naksh)

Imam Hajjaj (ra) says, “Those who saw Sayyiduna Sa’eed ibn Jubair (ra) writing ta’weez
for those who came to him related to me (regarding this matter), Imam Hajjaj (ra) further
says, “I asked Ataa regarding it”, He replied, “We have not heard anyone disliking it but
from you, the people of Iraaq”. (Ibn Abi Shaiba vol5 p434)

How can a great Tab’ee (successors of the sahabah) like ‘Ataa (The Mufti of makka at a
time when the sahabah were still present) deny hearing anyone disliking the usage of
ta’weez? Was he not aware that it is shirk and bid’ah? Why did he not just say that it was
impermissible?

Auf Ibn Malik (ra) says: “We would use amulets (Ruqyah) in the days of ignorance, so
we asked Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam regarding it”, he said “bring to me your
amulets, thereafter he said: ‘There is nothing wrong with amulets if they do contain shirk
(in them)”. (Muslim vol2p224 in the book of medicine)
The fuqaha have written that if they have writings in a language that is unknown, then it
is impermissible otherwise it will be permissible.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (ra) says “Tamimah is a necklace put around the neck in the days of
ignorance, and they would believe that this would ward off evil and calamity”.
(Fathul Bari vol10p166 and Ahsanul Fatawa vol8p257)
As we can see, it was due to their harboring such a belief why it was called shirk.
However if someone does not have such belief, it will be permissible.

Sayyidatuna Aisha (ra) says: “Tamimah is not that which is hung after the calamity, but
Tamimah is that which is hung before calamity”. (Sharh ma’nil Athar vol2p323, and
Hakim declared it saheeh, Targheeb vol5271)

Amr ibn Shu’aib narrates from his father who narrates from his grandfather Abdullah ibn
Amr (ra) that Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: “When anyone of you gets
frightened in his sleep, let him recite this du’a, (thereafter he mentioned the du’a) so
Abdullah Ibn ‘Amar (ra) would teach this du’a to those of his children who could read, as
for those who could not, he would write it and hang it around their necks”. (Musannaf Ibn
Abi Shaibah vol5p439 in the book of medicine. Imam Tirmizi also narrates it and
classifies it Hasan ghareeb Vol2 p192 and Imaam Abu Daud also narrates it without a
comment vol2p187)

Here we find a Sahabi, the likes of Abdullah ibn ‘Amar (ra) hanging ta’weez for his
children, how can he dare to carry out such an act if it was shirk and bid’ah?

“The son of Abdullah ibn Umar radhiyallahu anhum was seen with a thread tied on his
upper arm”.
(Ibn Abi Shaibah vol5p439)
Did sayyiduna Ibn Umar (ra) not know that it was shirk and bid’ah and not warn his
children to refrain from it?

Sayyiduna A’ta (The Mufti of Makkah) says: “There is nothing wrong in hanging the
Quraan (i.e. as ta’weez)
(Ibn Abi Shaibah vol5p440)

Sayyiduna Ibn Sireen (ra) (The Mufti of Madinah) did not consider anything wrong in
using the (verses) of the Quraan (as Ta’weez) (Ibn Abi Shaibah vol5p439)

Sayyiduna Sa’eed Ibn Musaayib (ra) was asked regarding taweez, he replied: “There is
nothing wrong with it as long as it is wrapped in leather”. (Ibn Abi Shaibah vol5p439)

Ataa (the mufti of Makka) was asked regarding a woman in her periods having a ta’weez
on her, He replied,
“If it is in leather, it should be taken off, and if it is in a silver amulet, she has a choice (to
take it off or not)”.
(Ibn Abi Shaibah vol5p439)

Abu Jaf’ar (as-sadiq) did not see anything wrong in writing the Quraan in leather and
hanging it (on someone) (Ibn Abi Shaibah vol5p439)

Imam Mujahid (ra) (a mufassir of the Quraan and a great student of Ibn Abbas (ra))
would write ta’weez for people and hang it on them. (Ibn Abi Shaibah vol5p439)
How can he write these for the people if it was shirk? Was he propagating shirk and
bid’ah?

Imam Yunus ibn Habban (ra) says “I asked Abu Ja’far (ra) regarding ta’weez hung on
children, so he gave permission. (Ibn Abi Shaibah vol5p440)

Imam Dhahhaak (ra) did not consider anything wrong if a person hangs any verses of the
Quraan (as taweez) as long as it is taken off at the time of bathing and relieving ones self.
(Ibn Abi Shaibah vol5p440)

Sa’eed ibn Jubair (ra) narrates from Ibn Abbas (ra) that he said: “When the delivery of a
child becomes difficult for a woman and the verses “The day they will see it, (it will be)
as if they had not tarried (in this world) except an afternoon or a morning. “Naaziaat
46”and “On the day when they will see that (torment) with which they are promised, (it
will be) as if they had not stayed more than an hour in a single day. “Al-Ahqaaf 35” and
the words “Bismillahi laa ilaaha illa hual haleemul kareem” and “Subhaanallahi
rabbissamaawaatissab’e wa rabbil arshil ‘azeem” are written on a piece of paper and
soaked in water and given to her to drink (the delivery becomes easy)”. ((Ibn Abi Shaiba
vol5 p433)

The likes of ‘Ataa, Sa’eed Ibn Musayyib, Ibn Sireen, Mujaahid rahmatullahi ‘alaihim and
others were issuing these Fataawa at the time when the Sahabah (ra) were present in their
midst, and many a time the Sahabah (ra) would tell the people and sometimes themselves
asked these great Tabe’oon regarding important religious issues.

Were these great Tabioon blind of the fact that to use ta’weez is shirk? Has any muslim
any courage to say that they did not know the ahaadith mentioned above? We will leave it
to you to decide.

As for the ahaadith indicating towards it being shirk, the hadith of Auf ibn Malik
radhiyallahu ‘anh answers that.
(i.e. as long as there are no words of shirk in them it is permissible). Furthermore the
hadith of Ibn Masood (ra) regarding it being shirk, has a narrator named Ibn Akhee
Zainub (ra) who is majhool (unknown) (Bazlul Majhood vol6 p216) and even if the
hadith is proved saheeh it can not have a literal meaning as we will see. Hafiz Ibn Hajr
(ra) commentates that the people who fully trust these amulets and regard them as being
their safeguard from evil and calamity, only then will it be classified as a form of shirk.
We should also note that there are different ways of cures from illnesses. Some take
medicine and others will use ta’wez as the hadith in Bukhari about the Sahabah going to a
place and one of them curing the leader of that place by reciting Surah fatihah.

Saydutuan Aisha (ra) says that: “Rasulullah ( ) would order her to do ruqyah (i.e.
ta’weez) and blow on herself to save herself from the evil eye”. (Muslim in the book of
medicine)

Mulla Ali Qari (ra) writes:


“Those that contain the verses of the Quran, qualities and attributes of Allah and those
Dua’s that are narrated from Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, are all permissible
and Mustahab to use, whether it be Ta’weez, ruqyah or to blow as a form of ta’weez.
However those that are written in Hebrew etc, will be prohibited due to the possibility of
shirk (polytheism) in them”. (Mirqaat volp321)

Allamah ibn Abideen (ra) has written similar fatawa in Raddul Muhtaar (which is the
most authentic book of fatwa according to the Ahnaaf).
We can conclude that those that are utilized in the correct manner will be permissible and
those that are utilized in an incorrect manner will be impermissible. Sayyiduna Ibrahim
Nakh’ee’s (ra) saying that the followers of Sayyiduna Ibn Mas’ood disliked the usage of
ta’weez is because in Kufa (where they resided) the Rawafidh (Shee’ah) were of the
belief that Ta’weez is the actual source of protection, and that was the reason why they
refrained from using it. As for those who don’t have such belief, then we saw its
permissibility in the above-mentioned ahaadith. Therefore the fatwa of shirk should be
given with caution.

Note: It should be remembered that to use ta,weez is only permissible and not necessary,
my intention is not to prove that hanging ta’weez is a good thing but I have just taken the
opportunity to prove that it is permissible and not shirk, bid’ah or haraam. However, it is
better not to use them but rather recite the du’as mentioned in the ahaadith, which was the
practice of most of our Salaf (predecessors) as seen in the books of ahaadith.