Folk Islamic Ritual #8: The Evil Eye

The folk Islamic worldview focuses on spiritual powers that are always present around us. In the view of folk Muslims, some of the most common opposing spiritual forces are jinn, demons, and the evil eye. Jinn and demons are similar but distinct. Demons (usually called Shaytan or Iblis in Urdu) are evil and more powerful than jinn. In contrast, jinn function as troublemakers who cause misfortune and trouble. The English word “genie” derives from the Arabic root jinn. Muslims often attribute tripping or other accidents to jinn. Another spiritual force is the evil eye.

Folk Islamic Ritual #6: Zikr and the 99 Names of Allah

One way that folk Muslims seek to interact with this spiritual realm is through protective amulets called tawiz. Another common practice is called zikr (Arabic dhikr), which often uses the 99 names of Allah.