Omens in Islam

Omens in Islam

Across the world, there are several symbols that are associated with bad luck. Things like black cats, crows, and certain numbers are seen as bad omens, forecasting doom and misfortune. Most people have little knowledge of where these negative associations originated from, yet still see them as unlucky and try to avoid them. As Muslims, we don’t believe in luck, bad omens, or superstitions. Bad omens are a form of shirk as it’s essentially a belief that something other than Allah (ﷻ) has the power to affect our fate.

 

In Islam, we do however believe in good omens and being optimistic, and these are both encouraged in the sunnah. The prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘There is no spreading of infection (except if Allah wills it) and no evil omen, and I am pleased by a good omen – and a good omen is a good word.’ Similarly, it is reported from Ibn Abbas (ra) that ‘the Prophet (ﷺ) would seek good omens (fa’l) and not evil ones and he would become pleased by a good name.’ Good omens (fa’l) are therefore permitted as long as they are of a positive nature and are linked back to Allah (ﷻ).

 

A good omen can be described as something that you interpret as a good sign which causes you to feel optimistic and increase in good thoughts of Allah (ﷻ). An example of this can be seen during the treaty of Hudaybiyah when Suhail ibn Amr came to the Messenger (ﷺ) to negotiate with the Muslims on behalf of the polytheists. When the Prophet (ﷺ) heard the name Suhail, he interpreted this as a good sign and said to his companions ‘May Allah make easy (sahula) your affairs for you.’ This is because the name Suhail comes from a word which means to make easy.

 

The Prophet (ﷺ) was always optimistic and positive and would seek out the best interpretation in every situation. To follow in his footsteps, we should let go of any superstitious beliefs we have related to Friday 13th or anything else, and instead, focus on the good around us and link it back to Allah (ﷻ).