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Masha'Allah and the evil eye concept?


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Author Topic: Masha'Allah and the evil eye concept?  (Read 7672 times)
MuslimanMahlon
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« on: December 29, 2011, 05:06:03 pm »

Okay, so I've known of this concept even before becoming muslim, and well, I'm muslim, and I don't get.
This is what I know of it: When anyone gives you a compliment, they must say masha'Allah, even if they aren't muslim!
Now, I don't know any history on the evil eye concept, on where it came from, and the superstition behind it. But what I believe without understanding is, that it is a lot of baloney. Now, I understand we must implore  God for the bounties in life, and for everythang that goes on in life, as it is only through his will. That is why we use Alhamdu'Allah, subhana'Allah, insha'Allah, and masha'Allah.. Only, masha'Allah is the only common phrase with some weird superstition behind it, and why is that? Without knowing anythang, my logic tells me it is, for no other better choice of words, stupid to imply non-Muslims to use it. I joked with a friend and said why not just teach one all about Islam, instead of limiting it to one thang, all because of some "evil eye". Tell a non-Muslim to say "insha'Allah" because all things happen only through Allahs will. Tell a non-Muslim to say "Alhamdu'Allah", because all praise belongs to allah and Allah only. Tell a non-Muslim to say "Masha'Allah" because all the bountiful thangs in life are here because of Allah, but don't tell a non-Muslim to say it because the evil eye is lurking behind the corner...

Just wanted to bring this up for some discussion. Wanted to get some answers as to what is the history behind it and why?
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“Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion — and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion… while truth again reverts to a new minority.”

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 11:29:33 pm »

Yeah, it's worth discussing for a few important clarifications for everyone.   I'll try to make it easier by discussing 'evil eye' and 'MashAllah' separately.

Evil eye

The concept of the evil eye is an old one.  I don't know for how many generations and in how many communities it's been prevalent since how long.  At some point in ancient times it apparently got mixed up with superstitions, probably involving the ill-will or curse of those who envy.  Indeed it's baloney.  In reality it's a very plain issue.  It simply refers to jealous people.  I'm not sure of the Hadith stance on this concept and neither does that interest me.  But according to the Noble Quran, it's taken as a very practical negative aspect referring to jealousy and envy in the hearts of people towards others.   As we all know from the practical view point, jealousy is a very destructive and detestable human characteristic.  It has tremendous potential of destroying relationships with family and friends with long-term consequences.  Jealous folks are often considered assholes because that's how they act. Unfortunately there are many who get carried away and consumed by it on the basis of rivalry and competitive attitudes for material benefits.

If you have read Surah Al-Falaq (Chapter 113), along with Surah An-Nas (Chapter 114), it's known as one of the two cries for protection in Allah Almighty from evil.  Surah Al-Falaq instructs us to seek refuge in Allah from the evil of darkness (which could refer to the darkness of night and darkness of one's mind i.e. ignorance), witchcraft and envy.  Envy or jealousy is known as "hasad" in Arabic. 

"Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the Daybreak
From the evil of that which He created;
From the evil of the darkness when it is intense,
And from the evil of malignant witchcraft,
And from the evil of the envier when he envieth."
Surah Al-Falaq (113:1-5).


Thus, what's commonly referred to as the "evil eye" and it's involvement with superstition is not taken as superstition in the Quran but it's just the common negative human trait of jealousy.  And the fact that Allah tells us to seek refuge in Him from the jealousy of the human heart & mind is enough evidence to elucidate the unhappiness and unpleasantness it can inflict in our lives.  The "evil of the malignant witchcraft" is a condemnation of superstitious practices and the use of these practices to curse people.  Not that such practices by themselves have any power in them, but it's the crooked intent of the people who garner and practice them makes them evil. 


MashAllah

The literal meaning of "Mash'Allah" is "what Allah wishes."  However, being used so commonly in our daily conversations, it's actual meaning has changed.   As you must have observed, "MashAllah" is usually uttered when we are given some good news or we see something positive or nice.  It's now become more or less the English equivalent of "oh my goodness" or "wow" which I agree is quite irrelevant because it's not really said with the thought of Allah.   But going back to the original, mentioning "MashAllah" with reference to its actual meaning of "what Allah wishes" is uttered at the receipt of good news as a gesture to counter the idea of envy that may arise in the hearts & minds of the envious ones.  This does make a lot of sense.  It's a gesture to promote contentment and reject envy at a time when a person might be prone to acquiring envy.  Unfortunately, those who are jealous by nature continue being jealous.  But the term "MashAllah" or "what Allah wishes" indicates that everything comes from Allah, and therfore instead of envying something nice that's been granted to someone else, we ought to be thankful for the good things Allah has given to us and turn to Him with all our requests. 

"And covet not the thing in which Allah hath made some of you excel others. Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned. (Envy not one another) but ask Allah of His bounty. Lo! Allah is ever Knower of all things."  (4:32) An-Nissa.

If I've missed on any points you had in mind, please let me know.
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2011, 12:33:05 am »

Concept of evil eye has evolved into a superstition from the characteristic of jealousy.  In Pakistan it's known as "nazar lag jana" which means somewhat like 'struck by the (evil) eye.'  LOL.  In addition to the feeling of jealousy, this concept also brings about a very silly idea that if your happy situation is admired too much by others, secretly or openly, the desires engulfed within their admiration could bring bad luck.  Total shit.  Makes no sense. 

Sister Heba has explained it all very well ..  the concept of 'evil eye' as well as the mention of "Mash'Allah."
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2011, 04:06:48 am »

I think the Quran has explained the concept of jealousy in a very straight-forward and practical manner.  It says don't acquire the habit of being jealous and seek refuge in Allah from the evil intent of the jealous folks. 

Unfortunately human nature loves to make simple issues complicated with superstitious stories and myths.  So they wove this tale of 'evil eye' of a jealous person that supposed to be strong enough to cause injury or even death on whoever it falls .. meaning whoever becomes the target of that person's jealousy.  This tale exists in almost all cultures that have deviated from the Divine Faith. You will also find that in many communities traditional parents and grandparents put a black spot on a child's face (like a mole) with eyebrow pencil or charcoal or black/blue ink that symbolizes a blemish on the child's sweetness or beauty to keep the "evil eye" away. 

Needless to say, these are un-Islamic ideas.  Merely a jealous person's physical eye or eyes cannot harm anyone.  Jealousy becomes hurtful when a jealous person stoops to unethical behavior like back-biting, trying to spoil your chances of success thru conspiracy or slander, and generally not being your well-wisher. 

If still someone asks how to avoid the "evil eye," just tell them to wear UV protection sunglasses ..... lol  Grin

The term MashAllah, as sister said, has shifted from its real definition.  Correctly it means "Allah has willed it" or "what Allah wishes."  Therefor, by definition it can be used at almost all times because everything happens by the will and wishes of Allah.   When "MashAllah" is expressed at happy moments it basically conveys the meaning that 'to me whatever Allah has willed for me, and to you whatever Allah has willed for you.'  It's like not making anyone feel deprived at the good news of someone else and yes, it's meant to lessen the chances of envy that anyone might feel.  That' the way I read it too.   But then again, people have changed that too and traditionally use it only to symbolise a compliment. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2011, 05:18:34 am »

Salaam brother RM, sis Heba, Rose and br. PT   Smiley   enjoying reading this discussion .. informative one.
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 04:24:14 am »

Salaams and hi sis Zeynab   Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 02:31:16 am »

Salaams sista Zeynab & sista Heba (= and jazak'Allah for the initial response Heba. On point.
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“Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion — and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion… while truth again reverts to a new minority.”

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 05:00:53 am »

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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2013, 06:32:48 am »

 salamem


Jazak Allah . Good info really nice to read ,also intersting & educative discussion. Guys  ! Regarding Mashallah, I would like to add little bit more the importance of saying MashaAllah (God Has Willed It) from The Noble Quran . It is Quranic word ,,MashaAllah is not only an arabic expression of apprecation , thankfulness towards Allah but also expressing the belief that what so happens only happens because of the will of Allah. surah al kahf carry the whole depth ,context, meaning and importance of this phrase Mashallah which is heavy in meaning yet light in words. !!!
Verses 18:32-44 from Surah Al-Kahf of the Quran are a story of two men. One man was blessed with gardens of fruit and wealth. The other man had nothing but had a strong belief in Allah. The man who was blessed with everything did not thank Allah and acted arrogantly and in the end, everything that he had perished this story from the Quran reminds us that we should use say “Mashallah  – God Has Willed It or What Allah Willed” or more completely"  Masha' Allah La quwwata illa billah" Allah has willed it, there is no power except Allah” when mentioning the good things that he has given to us or to anyone else.
 
 
 
وَلَوْلَا إِذْ دَخَلْتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلْتَ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ إِن تَرَنِ أَنَا أَقَلَّ مِنكَ مَالًا وَوَلَدًا
 
Walawla ith dakhalta jannataka qulta ma shaa Allahu la quwwata illa biAllahi in tarani ana aqalla minka malan wawaladan
 
If only, when thou enteredst thy garden, thou hadst said: That which Allah willeth (will come to pass)! There is no strength save in Allah! Though thou seest me as less than thee in wealth and children 18:39
 
This ayah is a dialogue between a Believer and a kaafir. The kaafir said about his garden which Allah had given him,18:39 It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden,That which Allah wills (will come to pass)! There is no power but with Allah
 
For better understandings complete dialogue 18:32 -44
 
Coin for them a similitude: Two men, unto one of whom We had assigned two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date-palms and had put between them tillage.
 
Each of the gardens gave its fruit and withheld naught thereof. And We caused a river to gush forth therein.
 
And he had fruit. And he said unto his comrade, when he spake with him: I am more than thee in wealth, and stronger in respect of men
 
And he went into his garden, while he (thus) wronged himself. He said: I think not that all this will ever perish.
 
I think not that the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back unto my Lord I surely shall find better than this as a resort
 
I think not that the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back unto my Lord I surely shall find better than this as a resort.
 
His comrade, when he (thus) spake with him, exclaimed: Disbelievest thou in Him Who created thee of dust, then of a drop (of seed), and then fashioned thee a man?
 
But He is Allah, my Lord, and I ascribe unto my Lord no partner.
 
If only, when thou enteredst thy garden, thou hadst said: That which Allah willeth (will come to pass)! There is no strength save in Allah! Though thou seest me as less than thee in wealth and children,
 
Yet it may be that my Lord will give me better than thy garden, and will send on it a bolt from heaven, and some morning it will be a smooth hillside,
 
Or some morning the water thereof will be lost in the earth so that thou canst not make search for it.
 
And his fruit was beset (with destruction). Then began he to wring his hands for all that he had spent upon it, when (now) it was all ruined on its trellises, and to say: Would that I had ascribed no partner to my Lord!
 
And he had no troop of men to help him as against Allah, nor could he save himself.
 
In this case is protection only from Allah, the True, He is Best for reward, and best for consequence.
 
Message !

we need to undersatnd the  lessones from the following verses of surah al kahf so please all brothers & sisters ! Avoid to be arrogant or proud if u are blessed in earthly life don't forget it's not alone ur own efforts or talent it's Allah who grant u blessings .Be grateful for ur special blessings with humbleness,be fearful to Allah , He can take back anything anytime. Allah have the power over everything in the universe.
Turn not thy cheek in scorn toward folk, nor walk with pertness in the land. Lo! Allah loveth not each braggart boaster.31:18

 Dear believers don't get jealous or too impressed with anyone's blessing both situations fortunate or unfortunate are earthly life matters only ,but actually are the test of this life ,accept and appreciate each other's blessing ,say Mashallah ,glorify the Lord  who is worthy, the most highest , purify ur heart from the feelings of jealousy  and try to get best in akhirah because believers don't get jealous

Do not be jealous of those who are blessed 4:54
 
 Please correct me if m wrong  Smiley
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Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.9:111
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2013, 07:13:58 pm »

Thank you sister Muslima.  You're absolutely right.   I especially appreciate your quoting Verse 18:39 and the Divine Words "ma shaa Allahu la quwwata illa biAllahi"

Of course I've read this passage of Surah Al-Kahf many times, and I really love Surah Al-Kahf.   It didnt' strike me the word "ma shaaAllahu ....."  was specifically stated here. 

The root meaning of "Mash'Allah" seems to be a very similar concept of "Insh'Allah" .... whatever Allah wishes and if Allah wills, respectively.  Right?

Thanks agains sis Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2013, 08:11:05 pm »

Thank you sister Muslima.  You're absolutely right.   I especially appreciate your quoting Verse 18:39 and the Divine Words "ma shaa Allahu la quwwata illa biAllahi"

The root meaning of "Mash'Allah" seems to be a very similar concept of "Insh'Allah" .... whatever Allah wishes and if Allah wills, respectively.  Right?


Smiley Thanks & U are welcome sis  heba Jazak Allah !  Yes u are right here

Mashallah , usually we says mashallah too as it is already done  by the will of Allah  ,mean Allah has willed it .

Inshallah... "if Allah wills", we use this to hope for something in the  future .
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Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.9:111
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2013, 08:34:27 pm »

Yes, exactly .. "Insh'Allah" is for the future .... as Allah wills for the future.
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