If you have ever been to Khan El Khallili or to any jewelry store in Egypt, I am sure you have probably come across a pendant or a charm in the shape of an eye or a hand. Some of these eyes have a blue stone in the place of the iris. You can even find them to hang in your car or in your house. The reason why these eyes and hands are so popular is because Egyptians like many other cultures are superstitious and they believe that the ‘eye’ can ward off other peoples ‘evil eye’.
What is the evil eye? It is believed, that some people have the power to look at someone in an envious way that can cause bad luck or injury to befall them. People who would give you the evil eye are said to be jealous or just plain bad. There are some measure that can be taken to ward off the evil eye, some people wear the eye or the hand on their necklaces or have them hanging on the door of their houses or at the entrance of their houses to ward off those who wish to cause harm away. (Yes, I wear an eye)
I haven’t been having the best year at work or health wise. At work someone has been spreading rumors about me and the administration have caught wind of them and have come to question me on a couple of occasions. Plus the atmosphere at work is very negative and is starting to take a toll on me. Health wise I have had tendonitis of the achilis heel in my right leg and my left heel bone pierced through the muscle and tissue in my left foot (both at the same time. You can’t imagine the pain I was in. I had to have 4 months of physio therapy), tonsillitis twice, sprained knee, chronic diarrhea for a week, and now a chest and pysnus infection. I eat healthy foods and I take vitamins and stay away from carbonated drinks and caffeine, at work I’m the energized bunny and I bend over backwards to ensure that my students have a great learning experience. Call me superstitious but I’m seriously beginning to think that there is some truth to it. So, I decided to do a little research to find out where ‘the evil eye’ came from and to see if there was any truth to it.
This is what Wikipedia had on the subject;
In many forms of the evil eye belief, a person — otherwise not malefic in any way — can harm adults, children, livestock, or a possession, simply by looking at them with envy. The word “evil” can be seen as somewhat misleading in this context, because it suggests that someone has intentionally “cursed” the victim. A better understanding of the term “evil eye” can be gained from the old English word for casting the evil eye, namely “overlooking,” implying that the gaze has remained focused on the coveted object, person, or animal for too long.
While some cultures hold that the evil eye is an involuntary jinx cast unintentionally by people unlucky enough to be cursed with the power to bestow it by their gaze, others hold that, while perhaps not strictly voluntary, the power is called forth by the sin of envy’
Belief in the evil eye is strongest in the Middle East, East and West Africa, Central America, South Asia, Central Asia, and Europe, especially the Mediterranean region; it has also spread to other areas, including northern Europe, particularly in the Celtic regions, and the Americas, where it was brought by European colonists and Middle Eastern immigrants.
Belief in the evil eye is found in Islamic doctrine, based upon the statement of Prophet Muhammad, “The influence of an evil eye is a fact…” [Sahih Muslim, Book 26, Number 5427]. Authentic practices of warding off the evil eye are also commonly practiced by Muslims: rather than directly expressing appreciation of, for example, a child’s beauty, it is customary to say Masha’Allah, that is, “God has willed it”, or invoking God’s blessings upon the object or person that is being admired. Aside from beliefs based upon authentic Islamic texts, a number of unsubstantiated beliefs about the evil eye are found in folk religion, typically revolving around the use of amulets or talismans as a means of protection.
A blue eye can also be found on some forms of the hamsa hand, an apotropaic hand-shaped amulet against the evil eye found in the Middle East. The word hamsa, also spelled khamsa and hamesh, means “five” referring to the fingers of the hand. In Jewish culture, the hamsa is called the Hand of Miriam; in Muslim culture, the Hand of Fatima
It is tradition among many Muslims, that if a compliment is to be made, you are always supposed to say “Masha’Allah” (ما شاء الله) to ward off the evil eye; it literally means “It is as God has willed”. It is a testimony from someone that he/she believes that either good or bad will only happen if God wants it to. Persian speakers in Afghanistan use the phrase “Nam-e Khoda” (translated, “The name of God”) occasionally in place of “Mashallah”, as well as another phrase with a similar purpose: “Chashmi bad dur” (translated, “May the evil eye be far”) also used in Urdu. These phrases are found in Tajiki as well, but in a slightly different form.
I am still not sure if it is true or not but if it is, someone has done one hell of a number on me!!!