We brought in a servant, and now after seven months, one day after she left the washroom, we found some hair that was tied up in an unnatural manner, wrapped around four times with a thread. The hair does not belong to anyone in the family. Then we examined her handbag and we found four more bundles of the same hair, each one wrapped around four times with a thread. What should we do with this hair? Please note that it is not the hair of the servant either.
Praise be to Allah
Rolling up hair and tying it with thread is one of the methods used by practitioners of witchcraft. They tie up these bundles and blow onto them, reciting their false incantations. Whoever finds any such thing should undo the knots and pull the bundle apart whilst reciting al-mu’awwidhat (chapters of Quran seeking protection with Allah). Then he should destroy it by burning it and so on. Zayd ibn Arqam (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: A Jewish man used to enter upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who trusted him. He tied some knots and placed them in a well belonging to a man from among the Ansar (early inhabitants of Madinah who welcomed immigrants from Makkan). He suffered because of this for several days – or, according to the hadeeth (narration) of ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her), for six months – then two angels came to visit him. One sat at his head and the other at his feet. One of them said, “Do you know what is ailing him?” He said: “So and so who used to enter upon him tied some knots for him and threw them into the well of so and so, the Ansari. He should send a man to him to take the bundle out, and he will find that the water has turned yellow.” Then Jibreel (peace be upon him) came to him, bringing the revelation of al-Mu’awwadhatayn, and he told him that a Jewish man had bewitched him and that the materials used were in the well of so and so. Then he sent a man – according to another isnad (chain of narration), he sent ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) – who found that the water had turned yellow. He took out the bundle and brought it to him, and he told him to untie it and recite a verse of Quran. He started to recite and untie it, and every time he untied a knot, he felt a little better, until he was fully recovered.” [al-Haakim, al-Nasaa’i, Ahmad, and al-Tabarani].
Shaykh Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: One of the remedies for witchcraft, which is also one of the most effective remedies, is to try hard to find out where the material has been put, whether in the ground, in the mountains, and so on. If that can be found out, and it can be taken out and destroyed, the spell will be broken. He also said: Efforts should be made to find out what the witch has done. If he has put some hair, for example, in a certain place, or put it in a comb and so on, if it is known that he has put it in a certain place, it should be taken out and burned or destroyed. Then its effects will be cancelled out and what the witch wanted to do will be annulled.
You should beware of this servant and try to send her back to her country. The household members should also try to protect themselves by reciting the dhikrs (words of remembrance) prescribed in sharee’ah (Islamic law), such as the dhikrs for morning and evening, when going to sleep, when entering and leaving the house, and when eating and drinking.
There are means of protecting oneself against the dangers of witchcraft before it happens, the most important and beneficial of which is protecting oneself by reciting the dhikrs, du’as (supplications) and prayers for protection that are prescribed in sharee’ah, such as reciting Ayat al-Kursiy (a verse in the second chapter) after every obligatory prayer, after the dhikrs that are prescribed after the salam (conclusion of prayer). It may also be recited when going to sleep. Ayat al-Kursiy is the greatest verse in the Holy Quran, in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Al-Hayyul-Qayyoom (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists). Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursiy extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.” [2:255]
One may also recite Qul Huwa Allahu ahad, Qul ‘Aoodhu bi Rabb il-Falaq and Qul ‘a’oodhu bi Rabb il-nas (i.e., the last three chapters of the Quran) following every obligatory prayer, and recite these three chapters three times at the beginning of the day, after Fajr (early morning) prayer, and at the beginning of the night, after Maghrib (sunset).
Another dhikr is to recite the last two verses of Surat al-Baqarah at the beginning of the night. In these verses Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers” — and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”
Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Patron, Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” [2:285-286]
It is narrated in a saheeh (authentic) report that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever recites Ayat al-Kursiy at night will have protectors from Allah and no devil will come near him until morning comes.” And it is reported in a saheeh report that he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said: “Whoever recites the last two verses of Surat al-Baqarah at night, that will suffice him.” The meaning – and Allah knows best – is that they will suffice him against all evil.
You should also frequently recite duas seeking refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created”, night and day, when stopping in any place in the city or in the desert, by air or by sea, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever makes a stop then says: ‘A’oodhu bi kalimat Allah il-tammati min sharri ma khalaq (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created),’ nothing will harm him until he moves on from that place.”
At the beginning of the day and at the beginning of the night, the Muslim should say three times: “Bismillah illathi la yadurru ma’a ismihi shay’un fi’l-ard wa la fi’l-sama’ wa huwa al-samee’ ul-‘aleem (In the name of Allah with Whose name nothing is harmed on earth nor in heaven, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing)” because it is narrated in a saheeh report that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) encouraged that, and that is a means a protection against all evil.
These dhikrs and prayers for protection are among the greatest means of protecting oneself against the evils of witchcraft and other evils, for the one who recites them regularly and with sincerity, faith and trust in Allah, depending on Him and keeping their minds and hearts open to what the evidence says. They are also one of the greatest weapons for removing the effects of witchcraft once it has taken place; as well as that one should beseech Allah a great deal and ask Him to relieve the harm.
Another du’a that has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for treating sickness caused by witchcraft and other things, and which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used as a ruqyah (incantation) to treat his companions, is: “Allahumma Rabb al-Nas, adhhib al-bas washfi, anta al-Shafiy, la shifa a illa shifa uka, shifa an la yughadiru saqaman (O Allah, Lord of mankind, remove the evil and grant healing, for You are the Healer. There is no healing except Your healing, which does not leave any sickness).” This should be recited three times.
And there is the ruqyah with which Jibreel (peace be upon him) treated the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Bismillah urqeek, min kulli shay in yu dheek, wa min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘aynin hasidin Alaah yushfeek, bismillah urqeek (In the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allah heal you, in the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you).” This should also be repeated three times.
And Allah knows best.