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Evil Eye (Islam)

Informant GP is my grandfather who has been a Muslim is whole life. My father’s side of the family has been Muslim for many generations. My grandpa is a devout Muslim who follows the Quran and all the practices described within it. Unfortunately my grandpa’s generation is the last generation in my dad’s side of the family to practice Islam. My father and my aunt and uncles do not practice it, so even though I know many of the things they believe and practice, I don’t know the reason behind it.

So my class was talking about this thing called the evil eye that is believed by many religions and cultures, is there something like that for Islam?

GP: “There is actually! I don’t know what it is like in other religions but for Islam, the evil eye is an eye that everyone can get. The evil eye appears when someone gets greedy. What I mean is like… when someone sees something they like but it belongs to someone else, they envy them right? This envy shows in their eye, theres a certain look people give when they are envious of someone else. This jealous way of looking at someone is the evil eye and when you look at someone with that gaze, you are casting the evil eye on them. Once you cast the evil eye on them, it will affect the other person in a bad way, for example they might get bad luck or something.”

Is there any protection against the evil eye then, because I know in class we talked about this 

GP: “Yes there is. When the evil eye is cast upon you and someone notices, they will ask you to take a bath to wash away the evil eye and its bad influence.”

Thoughts: The Islamic version of the evil eye is very similar to the ones that we have discussed in class. They’re all variation of basically the same thing. I think after listening to my grandpa tell me about the evil eye, I believe their version is rooted in teaching people not to feel jealous of others and to be grateful for what you have, because if you do get jealous of other people bad things will happen.

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