Magic (Sihr), Possession (Masaha) and evil eye (Ayn)


When speaking about Ruqyah, these 3 terms Sihr, Masaha and Evil Eye are quite often used interchangeably by people but in fact they are 3 very different things. Below is a brief outline of the three terms and their differences.


The general meaning of Sihr is to make something appear in a form other than its real form i.e an illusion. However when it comes to Ruqyah, 'Sihr' usually refers to a 'spell' cast upon someone.


Is generally the term used for when a Jinn enters upon a person.

Evil Eye

In the case of evil eye, there is no established hadith which indicates the involvment of Jinn in this issue. It is simply caused by jealousy or envy between humans. Please note, nowadays people often confuse evil eye with bad luck and in Islam there is no such thing as bad luck.

Sihr / Magic

It is important to note is that there is no such thing as black magic or white magic or even red, yellow or blue. The Quran and Sunnah do not mention colours of magic but mentions it as a crime. Magic and Jinn both exist in Islam and have been proven by the Quran and Hadith. It is evident from the Quran and the Hadith that Jinn are the creations of Allah and are made from fire. Evil Jinn are also referred to as Shayateen.

They followed what the Shayateen (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaymaan (Solomon). Sulaymaan did not disbelieve, but the Shayateen (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic[Surah Al-Baqarah - verse 102]

Allah informs us that they (the Shayateen) committed kufr by teaching men magic. Then He says :
...and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Haaroot and Maaroot, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, 'We are for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).'[Surah Al-Baqarah - verse 102]

For more detailed information on Sihr, visit the Sihr in detail page.

Possession / Masaha

Possession is where a Jinn enters a human to cause mischief. Many people believe that just because they are possessed it must be sihr Magic which actually is not the case. Usually in cases of possession the Jinn is simply a deputy of shaytaan trying to cause mischief

There is some evidence of Jinn possession from the Sunnah (although disputed by some scholars). One of the hadith is:, Ya'la Ibn Murah (ra), who says: "I saw Allah's Messenger (saw) do three things which no one before or after me saw. I went with him on a trip. On the way, we passed by a woman sitting at the roadside with a young boy. She called out, 'O Messenger of Allah, this boy is afflicted with a trial, and from him we have also been afflicted with a trial. I don't know how many times per day he is seized by fits.' He (saw) said: 'Give him to me.' So she lifted him up to the Prophet (saw).

He (saw) then placed the boy between himself and the middle of the saddle, opened the boy's mouth and blew in it three times, saying, 'In the name of Allah, I am the slave of Allah, get out, enemy of Allah!' Then he gave the boy back to her and said: 'Meet us on our return at this same place and inform us how he has fared.' We then went. On our return, we found her in the same place with three sheep. When he said to her, 'How has your son fared?' She replied: 'By the One who sent you with the truth, we have not detected anything (unusual) in his behavior up to this time' [Musnad Ahmad (vol: 4, p. 170).

This narration describes how Allah's Messenger (saw) commanded the Jinn possessing the boy, to leave.

Evil Eye / Ayn

The treatment for evil eye differs from Magic and Possession. The treatment for evil eye is bathing with wudhu water of the one who afflicted you. See the hadith below. The word haasid (envier) is more general in meaning than the word 'ayn' (one who puts the evil eye on another), so seeking refuge with Allah from the one who envies includes seeking refuge with Him from the one who puts the evil eye on another. The exact mechanisim of the evil eye is unknown however is has been mentioned in the Quran.

Allah says: And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes through hatredness when they hear the Reminder (the Quran) and they say: 'verily, he (Muhammad (saw)) is a madman! [Surah Al-Qalam - verse 51]

Ibn 'Abbaas and others said, commenting on this verse: this means, they put the evil eye on you with their glances. The Prophet (saw) said: "The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye. When you are asked to take a bath (to provide a cure) from the influence of the evil eye, you should take a bath." Narrated by Muslim. Al-Nasaa'i and Ibn Maajah narrated that 'Aamir ibn Rabee'ah passed by Sahl ibn Haneef when he was bathing and he quoted the hadith.

Jibreel used to do Ruqyah for the Prophet (saw) and say: "Bismillaahi arqeeka min kulli shay'in yu'dheeka, min sharri kulli nafsin aw 'aynin haasid Allaahu yashfeek, bismillaahi arqeek (In the name of Allah I perform Ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allah heal you, in the name of Allah I perform Ruqyah for you)."

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet (saw) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and say: Your forefather (i.e. Abraham) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Ishmael and Isaac by reciting the following: 'O Allah! I seek Refuge with Your Perfect Words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.' Bukhari

Abu Dawood narrated that 'Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The person who had put the evil eye on another would be ordered to do wudoo', then the person who had been afflicted would wash himself (with that water). [Sahih Abu Dawood]

If it is known or suspected that a person has been afflicted by the evil eye, then the one who put the evil eye on him should be ordered to wash himself for his brother. Ibn Shihaab Az-Zuhree said: The method of washing as described by our scholars is as follows: the person with the evil eye should be given a vessel of water and told to wash his body with the same water in the following order, without placing the vessel on the floor:

  • To rinse one's mouth, then spit the wasted water back into the vessel,
  • To wash one's face with the water in the vessel,
  • To wash one's right arm with one's left hand and one's left arm with one's right hand,
  • To wash one's right elbow with one's left hand and one's left elbow with one's right hand,
  • To wash one's right foot with one's right hand and one's left foot with one's right hand,
  • To wash one's right knee with one's left hand and one's left knee with one's right hand
  • To wash the parts under the sheet.

According to Al-Qaazii ibn Al-'Arab, the parts under the sheet refers to whatever parts of the body are covered by the sheet.

Afterwards, the wasted water in vessel should be poured on the affected person's head and back, in one go. It will, by Allah's leave, cure the affected person almost instantly.


Dear reader, we think its best mentioned that in these day of ignorance if someone was to request another person to do wudu because of evil eye either the person would laugh at them or you may end up in a fist fight as they may feel insulted so we would advise please do try to fulfil the Sunnah but keep in mind in trying to do some good you should not cause more harm! So it maybe better to cure oneself with one of the reciting Ruyahs mentioned above.

Back to top