“[Of these stories mention] When Joseph said to his father, “O my father, indeed I have seen [in a dream] eleven stars and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrating to me. He said, “O my son, do not relate your vision to your brothers or they will contrive against you a plan. Indeed Satan, to man, is a manifest enemy.” [Surah Yusuf, 12: 4,5]

Ibn Katheer in his explanation of this ayah says, “….Ya`qub feared that if Yusuf narrated his vision to any of his brothers, they would envy him and conspire evil plots against him.[1]

Yes, brothers and sisters in Islam, the evil eye is true. The Prophet SAW said:

The evil eye is real, and if anything were to overtake the divine decree (al-qadar) it would be the evil eye.[2]

This is a trait that Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala mentions in the Qur’an and our Prophet SAW has warned us about:

The disease of previous nations has crawled its way to you: envy and hatred.[3]

What is Evil Eye?

The Arabic word al-‘ayn (translated as the evil eye) refers to when a person harms another with his eye. [4] Its counterpart is hasad (jealousy), which is the hoping in the removal of the blessing from the one who is envied.

Simply put, when one sees his brother blessed with what Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala has given him, he hopes that his blessing disappears from him for no reason except for his envy towards him.

Origin of Jealousy

Jealousy is an ancient disease that finds its roots in Iblis, when he envied our father, Adam Alayhi salam for the virtues Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala had blessed him with. Out of his envy and arrogance, he refused to prostrate to Adam Alayhi salam claiming that he was better than him. Due to this, Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala sent him down to the earth and he became the leader of the evil and the wicked, a caller to every evil on earth till eternity, a caller to the fire. All this because of his jealousy.

Some Stories of Envy in the Qur’an:

Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala has revealed stories in the Qur’an pertaining to envy and jealousy so that we derive lessons from it and be warned, that indeed evil eye is true!

  1. And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter], “I will surely kill you.” Said [the former], “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].” [5]

Ibn Katheer says in his tafseer, “Allah describes the evil end and consequence of transgression, envy and injustice in the story of the two sons of Adam, Habil and Qabil. One of them fought against the other and killed him out of envy and transgression, because of the bounty that Allah gave his brother and because the sacrifice that he sincerely offered to Allah was accepted. The murdered brother earned forgiveness for his sins and was admitted into Paradise, while the murderer failed and earned a losing deal in both the lives.

  1. “And he said, “O my sons, do not enter from one gate but enter from different gates…..” [6]

In the explanation of this verse, Ibn Katheer says, “Allah says that Ya`qub, ordered his children, when he sent Binyamin with them to Egypt, to enter from different gates rather than all of them entering from one gate. Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak Qatadah, As-Suddi and several others said that he feared the evil eye for them, because they were handsome and looked beautiful and graceful. He feared that people might direct the evil eye at them, because the evil eye truly harms, by Allah’s decree, and brings down the mighty warrior-rider from his horse.”

The evil eye truly harms, by Allah’s decree, and brings down the mighty warrior-rider from his horse.

     3.   “Those to whom We gave the Scripture know him as they know their own sons. But indeed, a party of them conceal the truth while they know [it].” [7]

Why did the Jews not accept the message from our Prophet SAW? Not because of ignorance but sheer jealousy, as he was from the Arabs and not from the Jews!

How to stop oneself from afflicting others with the Evil Eye?

Jealousy is inbuilt in all of us. We cannot escape it. It may be very hard to remove it altogether, but the least we could do is to make an effort in this direction. Let us see how:

1. Ask for Allah’s bounty for the person you envy as well as yourself! Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala says:

“….And ask Allah of his bounty. Indeed Allah is ever, of all things, Knowing.” [8]

AllahAllah Subhanahu-wa-Taala is the Most Kind, the Most Generous. He will bless you with the things you desire if it is good for you.

2. Supplicate for the Brother you envy: Ask Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala to bless him in what he has. The best way of doing so is by saying, ‘Allahumma Barik lahu’: ‘May Allah bless him.’ [9]

This has mult-fold actions:

  1. Angels will supplicate the same for you. [10]
  2. You have averted the affliction of the evil eye that you may have caused to your brother.
  3. By making dua’ from your brother, you are expelling negative feelings that you may have towards him from yourself.
  4. Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala will recognize your efforts and will reward you, in shaa’ Allah.

3. Belief in Allah’s Qadaa and Qadr: You need to know that what AllahAllah Subhanahu-wa-Taala has blessed your brother is because of Allah’s qadr and Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala knows what is best for us. Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala says:

“And do not wish for that by which Allah has made some of you exceed others…..” [11]

If you reject what has been destined for your brother claiming that he is not deserving of it, you are in turn rejecting the decree of AllahAllah Subhanahu-wa-Taala. You are actually claiming to be more knowledgeable than Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala!

Your jealousy is the cause for envy, displeasure, unhappiness and ungratefulness in your life. Why do you bring upon such grief upon yourself when you know that nothing is in your hand as AllahAllah Subhanahu-wa-Taala says:

“Whatever Allah grants to people of mercy – none can withhold it; and whatever He withholds – none can release it thereafter. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” [12]

4. Seek refuge in Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala: Shaytan only wishes harm for you. He is always poisoning your mind and heart with evil thoughts. Hence, always seek refuge from the accursed Shaytan in Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala.

5. Love Good for your Brother: Anas MALE radi-allahu-anhu related that the ProphetSAW said:

“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [13]

How can we be envious of each other when our Prophet SAW has put such a strong statement before us? We want the world for ourselves! What for? Only to act superior? If yes, then we need to check ourselves as soon as possible. We need to rectify ourselves before death envelopes us and leaves us no room to repent.

6. Don’t set fire to your Righteous Deeds:

“Jealousy eats away at good deeds, just as fire eats away at firewood.” [14]

Are you willing to venture into this futile trade?

Having discussed the measures to prevent us from being the source of evil eye affliction, I would also like to touch upon the flip side of the ‘Evil Eye Coin’ – the ones who are affected by the evil eye. The cures for this are well known. You can read more about it here. Hence, I will not go into those details. What I particularly want to highlight is the source of this problem.

In today’s world, the trend is ‘picture posting’ and ‘status updates’, be it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Whatsapp,, the list is endless. Every single moment of our lives is on public display. The valuable time that we spend with our loved ones is put up for others to view, the sole intention being to let people know how ‘happy’ or ‘blessed’ we are and to earn millions of likes and awestruck comments. Stop for a moment and think. What you have just done is invited the world to afflict you with the evil eye! Brothers and sisters in Islam, Allah Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala has blessed you with things that maybe others are striving for all their lives to attain. Your flaunting these blessings is definitely going to make someone’s heart burn. You are yourself igniting your brother’s heart to harm you.

Are we having such low-self esteem that we seek others acknowledgements for our blessings? If you really want to share your happiness, share it with the ones who love you dearly, the ones who care for you, the ones who would never wish ill for you and see your bounties grow because these people in your life would only make more dua’ for you.

If you really want to share your happiness, share it with the ones who love you dearly, the ones who care for you, the ones who would never wish ill for you and see your bounties grow because these people in your life would only make more dua’ for you.

A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He does not belittle him, does not forsake him, does not betray him and does not show contempt for him. Fear Allah! For evil eye and jealousy are one of the most destructive traits that has spread in the ummah today. Protect yourself and protect your brother!


[1] Tafseer Ibn Katheer: http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php

[2] Narrated by Muslim: 2188, from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas

[3] Tirmidhi, Tabaran and Hakim

[4] islamqa.info/en

[5] Surah Al- Mai’dah, 5:27

[6] Surah Yusuf, 12:67

[7] Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:146

[8] Surah An-Nisa’, 4: 32

[9] To a female: Allahumma Barik laha (may Allah bless her) and for an object: BarakAllahu laka fiha (may Allah bless it)

[10] Abud-Darda’ reported: “I heard the Messenger of Allah SAW saying, “Whenever a Muslim supplicates for his (Muslim) brother in his absence, the angels say: `May the same be for you too.’” [Muslim]

[11] Surah An-Nisa’, 4:32

[12] Surah Al-Faatir, 35:2

[13] Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim

[14] Sunan Ibn Majah



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4 replies on “The Envious Eye”

  • Alms1969@yahoo.com'
    Aliyu Musa Misau
    December 27, 2014 at 5:27 am


    Quite helpful article. Thanks.

  • adahussain75@gmail.com'
    Ada Bint Fayaz
    December 28, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Assalamualaikum warehmatullahi wabarakatuh sis..
    Allahumma Bariklaha may Allah increase u and me in knowledge and grant us the best of both the worlds Ameen Ya Rab ♥
    Jazak Allahuqairan sisso 🙂 for the post

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  • […] Ibn Katheer in his explanation of this ayah says, “….Ya`qub feared that if Yusuf narrated his vision to any of his brothers, they would envy him and conspire evil plots against him.” [1] […]