Question # 338: I have seen many Muslims women, especially college going Muslim girls wearing bindi on their foreheads as fashion. To me, this is meant for Hindus. What is the ruling for such fashion for such Muslim women?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: A bindi (aka as bindu) means “point, drop, dot or small particle” is a colored dot worn on the center of the forehead, originally by Hindu women. The word bindu dates back to early Hindu scripture. In Hinduism, bindu is associated with third-eye, the subconscious mind, believed to reveal insights about the future. In modern context, the red bindi is generally a sign of marriage, while a black bindi is often worn before marriage to ward off the evil eye. Hence, wearing bindi is a sign of Hindu women and Muslim women (whether married or unmarried) should always observe hijaab, which includes not adorning oneself with anything which resembles the disbelievers. As for warding off evil is concerned, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is our protector and insight about the future is something that He has kept for Himself.

Long Answer: A bindi (Hindi word; aka as bindu in Sanskrit, meaning “point, drop, dot or small particle”) is a colored dot worn on the center of the forehead, originally by Hindu and Jain women. The word bindu dates back to the hymn of creation (known as Nasadiya Sukta) in the Rigveda [(a Hindu scripture – one of the four sacred canonical texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas)]. Bindu is considered the point at which creation begins and may become unity. It is also described as “the sacred symbol of the cosmos in its unmanifested state”. [Further,] Bindi in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism is associated with ajna chakra[1], and Bindu is known as the third-eye chakra. Bindu is the point or dot around which the mandala (literally “circle”) is created, representing the universe. The bindi has a historical and cultural presence in the region of Greater India.

[The vermilion (red or maroon in color), traditionally used exclusively for bindis, is called ‘sindura‘ or ‘sindoor‘.] …In Hinduism, it’s part of the Suhaag or lucky trousseau at marriages and is affixed to the girl’s forehead on her wedding and thereafter always worn. Unmarried girls optionally wore small ornamental spangles on their foreheads. A widow was not allowed to wear bindi or any ornamentation associated with married women. [Further, the red bindi is generally a sign of marriage. A black bindi is often worn before marriage to ward off the evil eye.] In modern times, self-adhesive bindis are available in various materials… They are sometimes worn purely for decorative purpose or style statement without any religious or cultural affiliation. (Wikipedia.org)

According to Dr. Zakir Naik, President, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF): “Wearing a bindi or mangalsutra is a sign of Hindu women. The Islamic dress code does not permit a Muslim to wear any sign, symbol or mark which is especially significant of a non-Muslim…

[As for warding off evil,] Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), our Creator, is the best to protect human beings. We do not require any red [or black] dot… to protect us from evil. It is mentioned in the Qur’an: “Say: Shall I take for my protector any other than Allah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth?” (Soorah Anam, 6:14) and in several other places in the Qur’an including Soorah Al-Imran, 3:150 and Soorah Al-Hajj, 22:78 that “Allah is your Protector, and He is the best of helpers.” (Common Questions asked by Hindus about Islam) [Hence, per Islam, faith in such things contradict true belief in Allah’s Rububiyah (Lordship) by attributing to created objects the power to avert evil and bring good fortune. Such beliefs, in fact, provide the ideological basis for idol worship in most pagan societies. No doubt, the Muslims have to protect themselves against the devils among the evil jinn and mankind, by having strong faith in Allah and by putting his trust in Him and seeking refuge with Him and beseeching Him, reciting the prayers for protection (ruqyah) narrated from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم).]

As for the insights about the future, this is something that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has kept for Himself; Al-Bukhari narrated in his Saheeh that ‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها) said: “Whoever tells you that he knows what will happen tomorrow is lying.” Then she recited, “No person knows what he will earn tomorrow.”  Further, as for fortune-tellers, it was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها) said: Some people asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) about fortune-tellers, and he said: “They are nothing.” They said: O Messenger of Allah, they say something and it comes true. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “That is a word of truth which the jinni snatches and cackles into the ear of his familiar like the cackling of a hen, and they mix more than one hundred lies with it.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam

[1] Ajna or third-eye chakra, is the sixth primary chakra in the body according to Hindu tradition. It is supposedly a part of the brain which can be made more powerful through meditation, yoga and other spiritual practices. In Hindu tradition, it signifies the subconscious mind, the direct link to the Brahman. While a person’s two eyes see the physical world, the third eye is believed to reveal insights about the future. The third-eye chakra is said to connect people to their intuition, give them the ability to communicate with the world, or help them receive messages from the past and the future.