Tuesday 1 Rabi‘ al-awwal 1444 - 27 September 2022
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Eye Twitching in Islam: A Bad Omen?

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Publication : 08-05-2004

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Question

My right eye has been twitching for more than a week. Some people have told me that this is a bad omen. What do you advise me?

Summary of answer

There is no connection between eye twitching and bad luck. Rather this is a kind of superstition which the Muslim must beware of.

Praise be to Allah.

Eye twitching and bad luck: Any connection?

There is no connection between what you have mentioned about your eye twitching and bad luck . Rather this is a kind of superstition which the Muslim must beware of, because it is one of the actions of Jahiliyyah.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade superstitious belief in bad omens and he said that this is a form of minor shirk that is contrary to the Tawhid in which we must believe. This is because superstition is a trick by means of which the Shaytan seeks to cause fear and whisper into people’s hearts. What is meant by superstition here is regarding something that one sees, hears or knows as a bad omen

Prohibition of superstition in the Sunnah

The Prophet’s prohibition of superstition is mentioned in more than one hadith, for example: 

1- The hadهth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no ‘adwa (contagion except by the will of Allah) and no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens).” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5757; Muslim, 102. 

2- Abu Dawعd (3910) and al-Tirmidhi (1614) narrated, in a report that was classed as sahih by al-Tirmidhi, that Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Tiyarah is shirk, tiyarah is shirk,’ but there is none of us who… but Allah takes it away by means of trust in Him (tawakkul).” The words “there is none of us who…” are the words of Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him), not of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). What this means is that there is no one among us who does not experience some kind of tiyarah and superstition in his heart, but Allah takes that away from the heart by means of the person putting his trust in Him and delegating his affairs to Him. 

3- Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no ‘adawa and no tiyarah, but I like optimism.” They said: “What is optimism?” He said: A good word.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5756; Muslim, 2220.  

These ahadith clearly indicate that superstition is haram and warn against it, because it involves the heart being attached to something other than Allah. Everyone who believes that some things may have an effect of bringing benefits or causing harm when Allah has not caused them to be so, has committed the sin of minor shirk, and has opened the door to the Shaytan to make him afraid and cause him mental, physical or financial harm.

Hence the Lawgiver forbids superstition and declares it to be false, and tells us that it has no effect of either bringing benefits or warding off harm. 

Once you have understood this, then if any such thoughts occur to you, you must fear Allah and put your trust in Him and seek His help. You should not pay any attention to these bad thoughts and false notions. 

Remedy for superstition in Islam

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has told us the remedy for superstition, which was narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (2/220) and classed as sahih by al-Albani in al-Sahihah (1065), from the hadith of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “If tiyarah stops a man from doing what he needs to, then he has committed shirk.” They said: “What is the expiation for that?’ He said: “To say: ‘Allahumma la khayra illa khayruka wa la tayra illa tayruka, wa la ilaha ghayruka (O Allah, there is no goodness except Your goodness, and no birds except Your birds, and no god except You).” [Translator’s note: birds are mentioned here because the Arabs of the Jahiliyyah had a superstitious belief in bird omens and would make decisions based on observations of bird movements] 

Be optimistic and think well of your Lord 

The believer should not be pessimistic or superstitious, rather he should always be optimistic and think well of His Lord. If he hears something or sees something he should hope for the best, even if it seems to be otherwise. He should hope for good from his Lord in all circumstances. This is how the believer is, for all his affairs are good, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and that does not apply for anyone except the believer. If something good happens to him he gives thanks, and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him he bears it with patience, and that is good for him.” (Sahih Muslim, 2999) 

Thus the believer is always in a state of contentment and peace of mind, putting his trust in Allah and far removed from worries and distress which the Shaytan, who loves to cause grief to the believers although he cannot do them any harm, tries to whisper into his heart. We ask Allah to keep us and you safe and sound from all bad things. 

For more information, please see Fatawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin, 2/210.

And Allah knows best. 

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Source: Islam Q&A