Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bridge Between 2 Worlds

Have you ever had trouble explaining certain religious ideas/concepts/beliefs to people who don't share the same religion/belief system?
The other day I was trying to explain the concept of the evil eye to my mum and sister, and as I heard myself talk I wondered whether it even made sense to me. I strongly believe in the evil eye but find it so hard to explain to non-Muslims. It just ends up sounding so superstitious and backwards.
Has anyone else had an experience like this?

On a side note, I'm finally done moving so inshallah I'll have more time to blog and comment now!


Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Yeah my friend tried to make sense of the evil eye to me, but he sounded superstitious to me.
I can respect the belief though because it has been a concept in cultures from ancient times.

Candice said...

What *is* the evil eye exactly? From what I understand it's someone envying your things, and the effect is that something bad happens to the envied thing?

I'm kind of unsure about what it is so I don't have much to say, but the whole thing kinda seemed weird and supersticious to me so I can understand others feeling that way unless it's explained perfectly. And even then!

Alia Makki said...

Explaining superstitions to skeptics? I do that all the time. You only need to be an expert in both skeptic pragmatism and folk superstitions, to be able to simplify the language.

Here, you might find some light here: On Superstitions, Gong Xi Fa Cai, and Islamic Belief in Palmistry.

Then again, I would wonder why you'd want to explain it in the first place to people who are not open for it. Knowing the reason to you effort in explaining (whether it is to entertain, to preach and convert others, or to sell) changes your tone and language; consequently changing everything else.

So, yeah, why do you want to tell them about that?

Stephanie said...

Salam Alaikum--Alhumdulillah, I'm sure you're thrilled to be done moving. And yes, I think the evil eye and the jinn are the 2 single most difficult things to explain to a non-muslim. They sound like superstition and I've even had to remind myself at times that these things are real.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Stacy - I've heard from many people that the evil eye is mentioned in the Qur'an as well as hadith, but I have yet to research that so I'm not sure.
I think to some extent it is superstition, and sometimes I annoy myself because of the extent I take it to - sometimes I won't say something on my blog because I'm scared someone will be envious and it won't happen.
Thanks for posting!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Candice - yes, it's someone envying something you have/are and that affecting that thing/trait. It does sound superstitious but I've heard from many people that it is mentioned in the Qur'an and hadith. I need to research that though.
Thanks for posting =)

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Alia - the people I was talking to were definitely open to it. I think if someone had explained it to me before I became religious I'd also have had trouble understanding it.
Thanks for posting :)

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Stephanie: you said exactly what I was trying to say! And yes, jinn are also a problem haha. Thanks for posting =)

Sarah the Seeker said...

Why do you believe it? Just because it's part of Islam? Or do you have personal reasons for believing in it/does it make sense to you?

Good to see you back, missed your posts!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Sarah - I'm not sure how exactly I started believing in it. I do noice that when I tell a lot of people about something it doesn't happen, and when I tell very few people it usually does. Maybe I'm imagining that, lol.
I still need to do my own research about whether it's in the Qur'an, because if it is then that's a pretty good reason to believe in it.
Thanks for posting! And yeah I'm done with moving so I should be posting more now :)

Anonymous said...

The concept of the evil eye is just nonsense, God can not be defeated and if you have unshakeable faith then no harm can come on you by way of the evil eye or anything else for that matter.

People who go to mystics or sheikhs to be cured of jins or the evil eye are sinning, only God can heal you.

These so called religious men who claim to be able to drive out evil spirits or create potions to protect you against evil forces are challenging Gods authority and may themselves be agents of the devil.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Anon - I wouldn't go so far as to think someone/thing can "cure" me of the evil eye. My point was simply that I find it difficult to tell a lot of people about certain things because I'm worried that they will be envious and that this might have an effect on happenings.
Like I said before, many people have told me that the evil eye is mentioned in the Qur'an and hadith, and if this is the case, then believing in God means believing in what He has said.

Yasemin said...

I tried to explain to my mom that "my God, my God why hast thou forsaken me" was proof that something was wrong with the Trinity. She looked at me like I was retarded so I just gave up LOL.

Trying to explain the evil eye to her sounds like my worst nightmare.

I don't worry about the evil eye like I should. For instance, as soon as my pregnancy test comes back positive (in the DISTANT future), as soon as I know the gender, you'll all be the first to know :) Love you lots!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hi Yasemin :) Lol @ the trinity thing. Let me know how you explain the evil eye to your mum :P

Inshallah it will come back positive! Can't wait to hear that news :D

Jasmine said...

Yes, I understand the problem! I find using metaphor and similie very helpful when trying to explain things. Also, the concept of evil eye goes across quite a lot of religions so that should make it easier to find parallels to use.

I say: "giving evils" - which is London street slang for the same concept.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hey Jasmine - yeah metaphors are a good idea. And you're right - the concept of the evil eye can be found in lots of cultures and religions.

Thanks for posting =)

Sara said...

Asalam Aailaikom. I do belive in the evil eye because sometimes people can look at you and resent you for having something. This in arabic is called "hasad". But as far as the power of the evil eye, I dont belive. I dont belive an "eye" for something can make it go wrong.. does that make sense??

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Hi Sara - yes that makes sense :D that's really interesting. If it is mentioned in the Qur'an, I wonder whether God was just saying "the evil eye exists" or whether He was saying "it exists and can harm you". Maybe like you said the evil eye just exists, but can't really affect you.

Thanks for posting :)