What To Do About Hasad (The Evil Eye)
Many people ask, is the evil eye even real? If so, how does one avoid it? Do you hide everything good from others? Can you even go on social media or do any public speaking? The Prophet (PBUH) said,
“Beware of envy, for it consumes good deeds just as fire consumes wood or grass.” (Abī Dāwūd 4903)
In Islam, the evil eye is a reality. It can be powerful. The scholars explain that it is from Allah’s Will. Sometimes, Allah SWT creates harmful effects from the evil or jealous glances and looks of others.
However, as humans, we have the power to ward off the hasad if we learn to protect ourselves using the medicine from the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). Here are some safety measures we can take:
1. We should recite the 3 Quls (Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad, Falaq, and Naas) every morning and every night, ideally 3 times. It is also recommended to say them once after every prayer, and best before going to sleep at night. This should be done with the presence of your heart and mind.
2. We should recite Ayat al-Kursi every morning and every night. It is also ideal to recite it after every prayer, and before going to sleep at night. You should reflect on the powerful meanings of these verses as well.
3. We should constantly supplicate (make dua) to Allah, to protect us from the evil eye. One the best prophetic supplication’s (Bukhari, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, and others) we have been given for hasad is:
أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّةِ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ وَهَامَّةٍ وَمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لَامَّةٍ
a`udhu bi kalimaatillahi ttaammati min kulli shaytaanin wa haamma wa min kulli `aynin laamma
I seek refuge in the most perfect words of Allah from every devil, harmful thing, and accusing eye.
4. We should try to supplicate (make dua) before all major acts we want to accomplish. We should ask Allah SWT to give us success (tawfiq), sincerity (ikhlas), and make the action a means of attaining the love and good pleasure (rida) of Allah the Most Merciful.
Make these recitations and dua a part of your life daily, and don’t forget to say them for your spouse and children too. Then remind your family to say it for themselves daily as well. Some beautiful words which I now live by of Sayyidi Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi who said:
كُنْ مَعَ الله *** تَرَ اللهَ مَعَك
“Be with Allah. You will find Allah with you”.
We can be with Allah by turning to Him in all our affairs. By obeying His commands out of love, gratefulness, true worship, and servitude. We can find Allah with us because, He is “closer to you than your jugular vein,”. And Allah SWT never, ever lets the efforts of those who seek Him, go unanswered.
So the answer to the questions at the beginning of this article are, no - you don’t need to go into hiding, nor avoid speaking of the good in your life. But there is a responsibility that we have, and that is, not to be boastful, arrogant, and full of pride. There is a thin line between being proud and being confident. Likewise, there is a thin line between being positive and making others feel bad because of your blessings.
Islam teaches us not to boast of our blessings to the world, because it is human nature to want the things we do not have. The Prophet (PBUH) said,
“Resort to secrecy for the fulfillment and success of your needs, for verily, every one who has a blessing is envied.” [reported by At-Tabaraani]
It’s the nafsi, nafsi (me, myself, and I) within ourselves that we have to curb, and then there’s our intention. When we speak or show our blessings, in public or otherwise, what’s our true intention? That’s a question we need to always ask ourselves before we share our blessings, because most times, our intentions may not be as pure as we think. In order to have the right intention, whatever we do has to be purely for the sake of Allah. Then, if worldly benefit is derived from it, it’s a bonus! And if it doesn’t, we are still left pleased that we did it for the sake of Allah and will be rewarded.
What I have found to be my guide, after my intention to please Allah, is to ensure that whatever I am doing, especially in the public eye, I do it for a greater good. What this means, is that I ask myself often, “why am I doing this?” and “will people benefit from this?”. Then, if I feel comfortable that it fulfills those requirements, I follow the guidelines pertaining to recitations and dua, and go ahead and share my goodness with a clear mind.