Monday, October 09, 2006

evil eye protection

I'm really not superstitious. In fact, for a while now I've been really getting into the idea (associated with Asharite theology) that God is not just the First Cause, but the Only Cause. In other words, in a radical and thorough sense, everything which happens in the world is directly caused and willed by Allah. So in addition to stars and talismans not influencing your destiny, matches don't really cause fires and medicine doesn't really cure diseases. Instead, God creates the medicine and the healing and God is just in the habit (the sunnah of Allah) of making one follow the other.

Alternatively, (to point to a commonly used example from the Quran on this point) since there is no necessary connection between fire and burning, it makes sense that God could say "O Fire! be thou cool, and (a means of) safety for Abraham!" when Nimrod tried to burn Abraham alive. Fire doesn't have the power to burn by itself.

In this view, there is also no such thing as a miracle because whether God follows his own habits or not, everything that happens is willed and created by Allah. The created world doesn't even have the power to sustain its own existence for an instant, so another consequence is that Allah is continually recreating the cosmos from moment to moment, almost like a projector shining successive picture frames on a screen.

But all the above is really a preface. To make a long story short, I mainly wanted to share that a few days ago I ran into some friends (a married couple) who generously gave me a beautiful blue fatima's hand. I had mentioned to them some "evil-eye" issues going on in my life along with my fascination with the khamsa and moments later they offered me one (which they had actually bought for themselves in Cairo). It is hanging on my shelf right now. It is definitely one of the most interesting presents I've gotten in a while. In any case, I wanted to be able to say how pleased I was with the gift, without people accusing me of shirk. I know very well that it has no power to help or harm, but ultimately that's not the point.

4 comments:

Nomadluv said...

Assalamu Alaikum,
Interesting points.....I've always thought about the evil eye it and how it works etc. just like I was sort of facinated with Jinns..actually as a child culture forced me to fear it. Anyway, but when u deeply reflect, you do arrive to the point that Allah ultimately creates and controls everything. It is at the point you gain some peace....and begin to rely and trust more in Allah.
Can't really write today....but just some thoughts...Really insightful blog you got here brotha.
-aisha

DA said...

I keep a hand of Fatima pendant. For me, it is merely a beautiful symbol that reminds one (including a Sunni like me), to love and respect the daughter of the prophet, Fatima (ra) the Ahul-l-Bayt. I mean, there are acts of symbolism which the Prophet (saws) knew would simply turn us in the right direction, that cannot harm or hurt us, such as kissing the stone of the Kaaba or entering a masjid with our right foot first. Allahu Alim, ya know?

Anyway, this was a very good piece. I am not usually too big on a lot of the news items (though in many cases I doubt I'm the target audience), but when you're in an expansive mood you definitely create some interesting writing.

DA said...

*Fatima and the Ahul-l-bayt as a whole.

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Thanks for the comments, both Aisha and Da. I guess the news items are kind of filler. It is easy to just go through a couple sites and throw in some links. Maybe I should try to go more for quality and ignore quantity?