Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta



no. 1938 for the year 2004 which includes the following:

A woman married her work colleague and since then her in-laws consider her bad luck because of the myriad of troubles that befell them since the marriage. Please bear in mind that similar problems were troubling them even before the marriage, but the in-laws insist that their son's wife is the cause of bad luck- she has been both physically and psychologically harmed by such allegations which have damaged her reputation and dignity.

She would like to know the ruling concerning resorting to charlatans and sorcerers.


Pessimism is among the things which Islam abolished and warned against. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet [pbuh] said, "There is no infectious disease nor [bad] omens and I prefer optimism." They [the companions) said, "What is optimism?" He replied, "A good word" [Muslim and Bukhari].

Qabisa ibn al-Mukhariq narrated that he heard the Prophet [pbuh] say, "Divination through the interpretation of the flight of birds, drawing lines on the ground and taking omens are all practices of jibt [worshipping other than Allah]" [Related by abu Dawud with a good chain of transmission].

Buraida [may Allah be pleased with him] narrated that the Prophet [pbuh] was never pessimistic. 'Urwa ibn 'Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "Omens were mentioned before the Prophet [pbuh] and he said, 'The best of it is a good omen; do not turn away a Muslim, and if one of you sees something which he does not like, he is to say, 'O Allah! Only You bring good and only You ward off evil. There is no might or power save through You' " [Reported by abu Dawud with a good chain].

A Muslim who believes in bad omens may experience what he was pessimistic of and which created suspicions in his mind precisely because he attributed the incident to bad omens and not to the will of Allah, and this may ultimately be a punishment for his erroneous beliefs. This is because pessimism is a lack of trust in Allah Almighty.

There are no bad omens in a woman

What has been mentioned in some hadiths may give the impression that bad omens are attributed to horses, women and houses such as the hadith narrated by 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) who narrated that the Prophet [pbuh] said,

"There is no infectious disease or [bad] omens, but pessimism is in three: a horse, a woman and a house" [Muslim and Bukhari].

What is meant in the context of these hadiths, is a person's personal incompatibility with these [three] things, which he usually cannot do without and which have a great impact upon his life either negatively or positively. This is further explained in another narration which states that the Prophet [pbuh] said,

"Three things are a source of happiness: a wife who pleases you when you see her and whom you can trust with her honor and your wealth in your absence, a fast riding animal which catches up with your companions and a spacious house with many rooms. Unhappiness is found in three things: a woman whose appearance displeases you when you see her and who talks back and whom you cannot trust to safeguard her chastity and your property in your absence, a slow riding animal which follows you when you strike it and which, if you leave alone, does not catch up with your companions and a small house which does not have many rooms."

Charlatans, sorcerers and fortune tellers
Islamic law prohibits resorting to charlatans and sorcerers and relying upon them for good luck or warding off evil. 'Umran ibn Hasin (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet [pbuh] said, "He is not one of us who believes a [bad] omen or has someone predict it for him, divine the future or has someone do it for him, practices magic or has someone do it for him. Whoever visits a fortuneteller, and believes in what he says has denied what was revealed to Mohammed [pbuh]." [Reported by al-Bazar with a good chain of transmission]

Visiting soothsayers and believing them is a reason for not having one's prayers accepted. The Prophet [pbuh] said, "The prayers of one who solicits a soothsayer and believes in what he tells him will not be accepted for forty nights" [Reported by Muslim from the hadiths narrated from some of the Prophet's wives].

The Ruling
The above demonstrates that it is forbidden in Islamic law to be pessimistic of one's wife because all matters have causes which are decreed by the will of Allah Almighty. A wife has no hand in the good or evil that a man may experience.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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