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This is a question that may bewilder many practicing Muslims. To start off, let’s try to understand what a taweez/talisman is and what it’s essentially created for.
A taweez or talisman is a spiritual item made according to the ancient traditions of the Arabs and Islam.
One great Sufi teacher, Al-Buni, considers taweez to be a spiritual item containing compressed energy which could be used for both good and bad purposes. In the spiritual context, this energy can be so powerful that it may cause massive destruction (if used in negative ways). Although taweez can work equally well for people belonging to all religions or ethnic backgrounds, it’s been mainly used by Muslim and Hindu people since time immemorial.
Talismans that are created by Mulsim spiritual practitioners contain powerful symbols, prayers, and magical verses from the holy Quran. These items are mainly worn to help protect wearers from dark influences and bring about good luck in their lives. Most taweez created in line with Islamic traditions are based on four key elements of water, air, earth, and fire.
Is wearing taweez even permissible?
The short answer is “Yes”. For the long answer, it’s necessary to go through what the Islamic literature says in reference to creating, wearing, and keeping talismans. Here are a few references that should provide sufficient evidence in support of the fact that talismans are permissible in Islam.
- Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says, “We send down in Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers.” (17:82). Hence it’s clear that a taweez which contains the words of Allah has the power to cure people of spiritual and physical illnesses.
- In his Tafsir of the Quran, Allama Alusi Al-Hanafi writes: “According to Imam Malik, it’s permissible for a Muslim to tie around their neck a taweez that contain the name of Allah (swt). In Rooh-ul-Maani, imam Baqir has also stated that such a taweez can be tied around the neck of a child.
- According to Imam Al-Qurtubi: “The taweez which a Muslim can wear are those written with prayers evidently from the Quran and hadith only.”
- One of the key references of the Hanafi school of thought, Fatawa Al-Hindiyya, states: “Keeping taweez is permissible, but the wearer shouldn’t keep them on while going to the toilet or during intercourse.” [5.356]
- According to Musannaf of Imam Abu Bakr, Ibn Abi Shayba, many early Muslims (Salaf) and Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have confirmed the permissibility of carrying a taweez. Among them include Saeed Ibn Al-Musayyib, Abd Allah ibn Amr, Ata Mujahid, Ibn Sirin, Abayd Allah Ibn Abd Allah ibn Umar, and others. [Musannaf, 5.439]
- Allama Shami Hanafi in Rud-ul-Mukhtar writes that ‘it is allowed to make a Taweez and tie it around the neck.’
Many other Muslim scholars, practitioners, and sahabahs such as Imam Ibn Taymiya, Ibn Abbas, Sayyiduna Ali, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, Abu Basheer, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, Humayd ibn Qays al Makki, and Imam Bayhaqi have also written fatwa (or otherwise mentioned) that writing, hanging, or wearing taweez/talisman is normally permissible, though extreme care should be observed for how a taweez is created and used.
In the final analysis, those who read the Quran and are well versed in the sharia laws know that there is no ban on wearing taweez as far as the holy book of Allah (swt) and sharia rules are concerned. There’s no single ayah (verse) in the Quran that instructs us to refrain from creating or wearing taweez. In other words, a Muslim is permitted to wear a taweez provided that s/he is able to follow the rules and the necessary instructions that come along with the spiritual item.