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Taweez- Religious Pendant

A Taweez is a locket that is generally associated with Islam although one can also find ones that are associated with Hinduism too. It usually contains verses from the Quran or other prayers and symbols related to Islam inscribed on the metal portion of the Taweez. This metal or black cloth pendant is usually threaded through a thick black string. Many wear it around the neck while some also wear it around the arm.

Metal Taweez with Inscription (Image: http://www.indoamulets.com)

Metal Taweez with Inscription (Image: http://www.indoamulets.com)

Background

The Taweez is generally worn by most Sufis as well as a minority of Muslims and the belief is that a Taweez will help remove and protect the wearer from any evil or affliction that may be brought upon them through black magic. Not only that, but it is also believed to bring good luck. As such, it is can be called an amulet or a talisman. However, the use of a Taweez is considered by many Muslims to be a form of Shirk. Shirk refers to the sin of practicing idolatry and polytheism. However, some proponents argue that wearing of a Taweez is permissible in Islam as long as certain conditions are met. The most important part is that it should only be used for protection and for healing. They should also consist the name of Allah and his attributes and should be written in Arabic. A Taweez should not consist of anything that can be Kufr, or disbelief. The wearer should also believe that the words themselves should not have any effect by themselves. Rather, the words are empowered to protect by Allah.

Types and Significance

There are a number of different types of Taweez in different shapes and sizes that are being used depending on the need the person has. There are Taweez for love, for wealth, for success and so forth. However, basic Taweez are based on the four elements namely earth, fire, water and air.

Earth Taweez: Earth Taweez are generally written in ink or with Zafran on a piece of paper or is carved on metal. The appropriate method of using such a Taweez is by burying it in soil.

Fire Taweez: This particular type is also written on a piece of paper with ink or Zafran or carved on metal. However, it has to be put in the fire or placed near a source of heat for it to take effect.

Water Taweez: These types are also written or carved the same way as the Earth and Fire Taweez and the proper method to use them is by throwing them into a water body such as a river or lake.

Air Taweez: This particular type of Taweez is also written in the same way. However, air Taweez are hanged from a roof or a tree.

Black Cloth Taweez (Image: http://www.simplyislam.com)

Taweez for the Neck (Image: http://www.simplyislam.com)

Influence

The popularity of the Taweez has transferred over to Hinduism as well. Hindu Taweez generally have the Om or Aum symbol that is considered to be sacred to their religion. The Taweez has also been used to complete the look of highly religious characters in Bollywood movies. Usually, the look is completed with kohl on the waterline of the eyes (even if the character is male) and rolled up shirt sleeves. This overall religious stereotype has faded in Indian cinema over the years, although this symbol can still be seen on and off.

Interesting Facts

  • Taweez is also spelled Ta’wiz or Tawiz.
  • A Taweez can also refer to other type of amulets which could be a pendant, carvings on metal and even framed Duas.
  • Most scholars in the Middle East object to the use of this religious pendant.
  • The proper way to destroy a Taweez is to tear it or break it up into 4 pieces. Then the Allahu Samad needs to be read 101 times over the pieces before being disposed in flowing water.
  • A Taweez is called a Muska in Turkey.

Reference Links

Categories:   Mythological Influences