Generally, the basic reasons for which a person
wears a ta‘vīz are protection and earning the blessings of God. It is thought
that certain words – Qur’ānic or other – if written in the ta‘vīz would protect
a person from evil and attract the blessings of Allah.
It needs to be submitted that Islam does not recognize any
ta‘vīz as a means of protecting oneself from harm, or for waiving away any evil
or misfortune, or to attract well-being and happiness. All of these come from
God alone. A true Muslim should seek refuge from evil, misfortune and harm by
pleading to the Almighty, and he or she should desire happiness, well-being and
joys by asking from the Almighty. That was the way of the Prophet Muhammad (sws)
and indeed, the way of all other prophets. Beyond that, even reciting the Qur’ān
without understanding it cannot be helpful, for the Qur’ān is a message that
invites the reader to reflect on what it says, with the intent of implementing
its teachings in his or her everyday life.
Thus we have no account of the Prophet (sws) using a ta‘vīz
for the attainment of certain aims, and neither did he ever issue any such items
to others – and we must not forget that he was an example for us all. Added to
this is, obviously, the argument that the Prophet (sws) never allowed religion
to become a slave of magic and sorcery. In fact, if at all, such references are
found in religion, they have been on the part of the disbelievers and not the
believers. For example the Qur’ān says:
And the unbelievers would almost trip you up with their
eyes when they hear the Message and they say: ‘Surely he is possessed!’ But it
is nothing less than a Message to all the worlds. (68:51-52)
Even though the context of these verses is beyond the
scope of the issue at hand, it is worthwhile to notice how both the Messenger of
Allah, through whom the revelation of the Qur’ān was carried out, and the verses
of Allah have been declared free of being carriers of magic and sorcery. So, how
can it be imagined that certain ‘divine’ words can do magic simply by hanging
them over a mirror or wearing them around the neck, etc.?
In the end, I would like to share the concern that, at
times, it does become very difficult for us to shun tradition; nevertheless, in
the end, one has to make a choice between tradition and religion.