Question # 469: Assalamu alaikum, I hope you can help answer my question. When I was a university student years ago I had black magic done to me making me feel very ill therefore for the duration of my study I wore a taweez to protect me. I have recently come to know when you wear a taweez you have committed shirk. Had I had known at the time I would not have worn a taweez and instead have recited Surah Falak and An-naas for protection. Please can you tell me what one must do to make amends and is this kind of shirk forgiveable?
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).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: Wearing amulets (Urdu: ta’wiz; Arabic: taʿwidh) is haraam as it constitutes shirk. However, in your case, since you did not know that wearing it was shirk, you are not to be blamed. Nevertheless, for any committed sin, all one has to do is to turn to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), seek His forgiveness for one’s sin, and resolve not to return to it again. No matter how great the sin is, the forgiveness, generosity, and kindness of Allah are greater. This includes all sins, even shirk. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said that the one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin. He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also said that the gate of repentance remains open so long at the death rattle has not reached a person’s throat. Lastly, we should remember that we should think good of Allah and believe in His forgiveness and that He will accept our repentance.
Long Answer: There is scholarly consensus that it is haraam to wear amulets (Urdu: ta’wiz; Arabic: taʿwidh) as it constitutes shirk. It was narrated from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir al-Juhani that a group came to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) [to swear their allegiance (bay’ah) to him]. He accepted the bay’ah of nine of them but not of one of them. They said, “O Messenger of Allah, you accepted the bay’ah of nine but not of this one.” He said, “He is wearing an amulet.” The man put his hand (in his shirt) and took it off, then he (the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم)) accepted his bay’ah. He said, ‘Whoever wears an amulet has committed shirk.” (Narrated by Ahmad; classed as sahih by Shaykh al-Albani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah)
Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: “Amulets refer to all that is hung on the bodies of young children and sick persons, such as trinkets, seashells, rags, and papers on which some talismans or unknown words are inscribed, and the same applies to the ones bearing Quranic verses, according to the most likely correct opinion of scholars. All of these items are called amulets or charms, and they are all prohibited. Rather, they fall into the category of minor shirk (associating partners with Allah) as evidenced by the relevant hadith; the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Incantations, amulets, and Tiwalah (love-charms) are all shirk.” (Ahmad; and Abu Dawood with a hasan chain of narration) He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also said: “Whoever wears an amulet, may Allah not fulfill his need; whoever wears a seashell, may Allah not give him peace; and whoever wears an amulet has committed shirk.” Ibraaheem ibn Yazeed An-Nakha‘I said: “They – i.e. the students of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood – held that all amulets, whether those that contain verses from the Quran or otherwise, are disliked, in a sense that denotes prohibition […] What I mentioned is the chosen opinion of well-versed researching scholars regarding the amulets bearing Quranic verses. However, if the amulets bear non-Quranic writings, then there is no disagreement among the scholars regarding their prohibition due to the mentioned evidence.”
However, in your case, since you did not know that wearing it was shirk, you are not to be regarded as a mushrik or a sinner because of this action. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend” (Soorah al-Ahzaab, 33:5) and “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error” (Soorah al-Baqarah 2:286)
And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “My ummah is excused for their mistakes, what they forget and what they are forced to do.” [(A hasan hadith related by Ibn Majah, and al-Bayhaqee and others; reference: 40 Hadith Nawawi – Hadith 39)]
This evidence indicates that whoever commits a sin but does not know it is a sin, is not to blame and that Allah has forgiven him.
[As for repentance from this sin,] Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has told us that he will forgive all sins for the one who repents to Him. He (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “Say: ‘O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful’” (Soorah al-Zumar, 39:53)
This includes all sins, even shirk. Whoever repents, Allah will accept his repentance.
With regard repentance from shirk in particular and the acceptance thereof, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “68. And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. 69. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; 70. Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Soorah al-Furqaan, 25:68-70)
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) mentions the kufr and shirk of the Christians, then calls them to repent. He (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “73. Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity). But there is no Ilaah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilaah (God —Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them. 74. Will they not turn with repentance to Allah and ask His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Soorah al-Ma’idah, 5:73-74)
No matter how great the sin, the forgiveness, generosity, and kindness of Allah is greater.
All you have to do is to turn to Allah, regret what you did, and resolve not to do it again. And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.” (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi and classed as hasan by al-Albani)
If a person repents to Allah, Allah accepts his repentance and forgives him. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “And He it is Who accepts repentance from His slaves, and forgives sins” (Soorah al-Shoora 42:25); and “And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)” (Soorah Ta-Ha, 20:82)
We have to think well of our Lord and hope that He will accept our repentance, for Allah says, “I am as My slave thinks I am.” A hadith qudsi narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim with a sahih isnad: “I am as My slave thinks I am, so let him think whatever he wants.”
The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Allah will accept His slave’s repentance so long as the death rattle has not yet reached his throat.” (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’)
(The above reply is based on the following resources:
- Answer provided by Islamqa.info on similar topics
- Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar)
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.