Use of Taweez and Suras for protection.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

Q. With regards to one of the questions being asked in this website subject being “Superstitions in Islam”.. I would like to know, does a tabeej fall under this category as well? I know of persons who recommend this being worn as a means of getting rid of Jinns and keeping them away from affecting persons, is this a practice of our Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) and could you give an explanation of how this can result in the “getting rid” or “keeping away” of Jinns in a person? I am a bit confused as I am not sure if by wearing this for means of protection shows that you are solely putting your trust in this piece of item to keep away Jinns and not placing your trust on Allah (S.W.T)?

A. The following are some guidelines regarding the use of Taweez and Suras for protection which have been given by the sound and reliable Scholars. These can be used as general guidelines to know that which is permissible or prohibited on this matter.

1) With respect to the act of reciting verses of the Holy Quran and dua’s upon oneself and others for the removal of harms/protection from jinns and satans, this is permissible as it is evident in many authentic narrations.

2) With respect to the act of writing verses or duas on a piece of paper, which will then be placed on a person, this falls under the rule of wearing an amulet. Regarding this, the great scholar Shaikh Abdur Rahman Ibn Hasan Ash Shaikh has written the following in his famous work Fathul Majeed Sharh kitaab At Tauheed, ‘One should know that the men of knowledge from among the companions and their followers and those who came after them have disputed over the legality of wearing necklaces of amulets that contain verses of the Glorious Quran, or Allah’s names or Attributes. Some of them declared it to be legal, foremost among whom was Abdullah ibn Amr bin As and Abu Jafar Al Baqir. A second party declared it to be illegal, foremost among whom were Abdullah bin Masood, Abdullah bin Abbas, Huzaifah ibn Yaman and Uqba bin Amir.

This statement has also been recorded by many scholars and as a result, some scholars from the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah have allowed the usage of Taweez, (wrongfully referred to as ‘tabeegh’)on the condition that it does not contain any words of shirk or kufr. Those who allow this have allowed it with the same conditions that make Ruqyah (incantation) permissible. (Ruqyah is the act of reciting verses of the Holy Quran/Allah’s names and attributes or surahs as a means of curing a sickness/disease or removing harm. It is a kind of treatment where, after reciting, a person blows his breath over a sick person or a part of his body. This is lawful according to the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah since it is evident from the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). Regarding this, the great scholar Imam Suyooti has stated, ‘Scholars agreed that for a Ruqyah (incantation) to be legal, it must meet three conditions, which are:-

(1) A Ruqyah must be practiced with Allah’s words, Names or Attributes.
(2) A Ruqyah must be said in Arabic.
(3) There must be belief that a Ruqyah can do nothing to man by itself, but it is dependent on the Divine Decree. (Fathul Majeed Sharh Kitabut Tawheed). The same has been written by Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani in his famous book, Al Fathul Baari vol. 1 pg 195.

It is also narrated that Auf Ibn Malik (RA) said, ‘We practiced Ruqyah (incantation) in the Pre Islamic days and we said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! What is your opinion about it? He (Prophet) said, let me know your incantation and said, ‘There is no harm in the Ruqyah (incantation) which does not have shirk (polytheism). (Sahih Muslim).

Jabir Ibn Abdullah (RA) reported, ‘Allah’s Messenger prohibited Ruqyah (incantation). Then the people of Amr Ibn Hazm came to Allah’s Messenger and said, ‘We know an incantation, which we use for curing the sting of the scorpion but you have prohibited it. They recited (the words of the incantation) before him, whereupon he (the Prophet) said, ‘I do not see any harm (in it), so he who among you is competent to do good to his brother should do that‘. (Sahih Muslim)

Based on the allowance which has been given for Ruqyah (incantation) as seen above, many scholars have stated that the same ruling would be applied for the act of writing verses of the Holy Quran/Allah’s names and attributes and duas on a piece of paper (or other material) when these are within the same conditions made for Ruqyah as mentioned before.

They have also stated that Taweez written in this manner and used by people with the correct beliefs, do not fall under the prohibited amulets which are recorded in some traditions. As for those that are prohibited, it is because of the wrong beliefs and Shirk that they are based upon.

So, if a person wears a Taweez (which contains Quranic verses, duas) then his belief must be that Allah alone is the Curer, and the One to bring relief to him, to remove the effects of Jinns etc.. He must not put his belief on the ‘Taweez’. It may be asked, ‘well then, what is the use of the Taweez, if we are to put our trust entirely on Allah?’ To answer this question, let us look at another narration.

Aisha (RA) reported that when any person fell ill with a disease or he had any ailment or he had any injury, the Messenger of Allah (SA) placed his forefingers upon the ground and then lifted it by reciting the name of Allah, and he said, ‘the dirt of our ground with the saliva of one of us would serve as a means whereby our illness would be cured with the permission of Allah. (Sahih Muslim)

Here, we see that although the Messenger of Allah could have sufficed with the mere recitation of a dua, he proceeded to take the dust/dirt of the ground upon which he applied his saliva and placed it upon the person who needed cure. This goes to show that there is a reason and wisdom for doing this. Here, it was sufficient for the Prophet (SA) to tell the man (the sick patient) to place his trust in Allah, and pray to Him to be cured. It was also sufficient for him to ask Allah to cure the sick. But instead of these, we see that he went ahead to do another practice which included the use of his saliva and the dirt of the ground. The question is ‘Did the Prophet (SA) put his trust on the dirt and his saliva?’ Obviously not, however, he knew that there were benefits in this act. As such, while placing his entire trust in Allah (which the sick was also required to do), he (the Prophet (SA) ) included other practices which, on their own do not carry much significance, but when done in the way prescribed, it is beneficial. So too, a piece of paper has no special significance, however, when the glorious names and words of Allah are placed on it, and one’s entire trust (Tawakul ) is on Allah, then it will have a great benefit and effect. Hence, there are many such actions which have been narrated from the great scholars of the past that are connected to the issue of curing the sick etc. and are all accepted in Islam. The great Scholars of the past from among the pious predecessors and those after them have found benefits from certain permissible acts and have thus, informed others of it so that they may also benefit from those cures.

In this regard, Hafiz Ibn Al Qayyim has mentioned that it is permissible for one to write verses and duas with saffron in a clean plate, or clean paper, then it should be washed for the patient to drink the washing. (Zaadul-Ma’ad).

Shaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz, while referring to this says ‘there is no harm in that’ (Fatawa Islamiyah vol.1 pg. 50)

It is therefore evident that many scholars of the past have prescribed certain practices that fall within the general allowance of the shariah. These, according to their experiences, have proved to be effective and are not within any sort of prohibition in the shariah.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.