Hiding pregnancy and childbirth for fear of evil eye
Fatwa No: 348016

  • Fatwa Date:20-8-2017 - Thul-Qi'dah 28, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I have a question about a 'thing' that has been going on in our community, and I was wondering what our religion says about it. There are many sisters in our community that are keeping their pregnancies secret by not telling about it to anyone - not even their family or friends. They say that they are afraid of people giving the baby the evil eye. Not only that, but when their baby has arrived (i.e. they have given birth), they keep it secret and do not tell anyone about it nor announce it. Is it appropriate for a muslim to do so? My opinion is that this is of bad manners and causes problems, and my opinion is that everyone should feel happiness and joy and know when a baby gets born into the world. It is not like this happens every day; it is a big thing when a baby gets born. I think it is a bad excuse to say that they are afraid of the evil eye because we have supplications which our Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, taught us, and nothing will happen if Allaah has not decided it. Our Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, used to announce it when a baby was born, so why do something so complicated? What does Islam say about this?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

There are some texts that indicate, or rather encourage, showing and speaking about the blessings of Allah; Allah says (what means): {But as for the favor of your Lord, report [it].} [Quran 93:11]

Al-Qurtubi said in his Tafseer (exegesis) about the above verse, “It means spreading what Allah has blessed you with through gratefulness and praise. Speaking about the blessings of Allah and acknowledging them is a form of gratitude.” 

Abu Qatadah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “If someone sees a good dream, let him tell others about it, but he should not inform except those whom he loves.

In contrast, there are other texts about hiding blessings out of fear of the evil eye and other correct objectives. This is how the incident between Prophet Ya'qoob (Jacob), may Allah exalt his mention, and his sons, was interpreted; Allah says (what means): {And he said: O my sons, do not enter from one gate but enter from different gates; and I cannot avail you against [the decree of] Allah at all. The decision is only for Allah; upon Him I have relied, and upon Him let those who would rely [indeed] rely.} [Quran 12: 67]

Ibn Katheer reported in his Tafseer from Ibn ‘Abbaas and others, “He (Jacob) feared the evil eye for them, because they were handsome and looked beautiful and graceful. He feared that people might direct the evil eye at them.

In these matters, it depends on the person's interest, and the ruling differs according to different circumstances and different people.

So a person informs the one who wishes good for him, and hides it from someone from whom he fears envy. But one should be careful of exaggerating in the matter of hiding blessings and fearing the evil eye lest it becomes Waswaas (obsessive whisperings) and a disease of the heart, particularly about pregnancy and childbirth. The basic principle in such things is joy and happiness, so it should not be hidden except to the extent of need.

It is more appropriate for a Muslim to protect himself with Ruqyah (healing through Quranic recitation and supplications) and Athkaar (pl. of Thikr [expressions of remembrance of Allah]) in all cases; for more benefit, please refer to fatwa 24972.

Allah knows best.

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