Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Some people say ta’wizes [amulets] are impermissible and entail disbelief. What is the view of Sunni Islam regarding this matter?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum,

In the Musannaf of Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shayba, the permissibility of hanging a ta`wiz is reported from many of the Companions and early Muslims (Salaf), including:

Sa`id ibn al-Musayyib, `Ata’, Mujahid, Abd Allah ibn `Amr, Ibn Sirin, `Abayd Allah ibn Abd Allah ibn `Umar, and others (Allah be well pleased with them all). [Musannaf, 5.439]

As for that which is reported from some, including Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him), that hanging ta`wizes is shirk, this is understood to mean those that resemble the one’s used in Jahiliyya, or if used thinking that it is the ta`wiz itself that cures or protects, not Allah, or if it contains impermissible invocations or one’s whose meaning is not known, as explained by Allama Abu Sa`id al-Khadimi in his al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya. [4.171-172]

In the Fatawa al-Hindiyya, one of the primary references in the Hanafi school, it says:

“There is nothing wrong with hanging ta`wizes, but one should take them off before going to the toilet and before intercourse.” [5.356]

In the Mawsu`a Fiqhiyya (Awqaf, Kuwait), it states that the linguistic meaning of ta`wif is derived from seeking protection or refuge. The type that is prohibited is like the ones used in pre-Islamic times, and  is a major sin and can even lead to kufr. The type that is permitted according to the vast majority (jumhur) of the scholars is that which comprises the Words of Allah (Qur’an) or His Names, with the condition that the person not think that it has any effect by itself; rather, it protects or heals by the Will and Power of Allah.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

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