What Is a Hamsa? Symbol? Evil Eye amulet? Meaning & History

What Is a Hamsa? Symbol? Evil Eye amulet? Meaning & History

Hamsa is a popular amulet in Islamic and Jewish culture in the form of an open palm, sometimes called the "hand of God." But in fact, Hamsa is the oldest amulet that was used in the Middle East long before the formation of monotheism, it was associated with the Sumerian goddess of fertility - Inanna, and the Akkadian Ishtar. These were primarily women's amulets that helped to get pregnant and bear a child, protecting women from illness and the evil eye.

In the Muslim world, the hamsa has another name - "the hand of Fatima." According to legend, Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, was stirring hot halvah when her husband Ali brought his new wife into the house. Frustrated, Fatima dropped the spoon, but did not notice it and continued to stir the halva with her hand, not feeling pain due to mental anguish. Touched by her suffering, Ali abandoned his second wife.

In Jewish traditional culture, the hamsa appeared under the influence of Muslims: the Jews who lived in Islamic countries were the first to use this amulet. Both Muslims and Jews use amulets to protect themselves from the evil eye: they are hung in cars and houses, worn as jewelry, and with keys as a key ring. They come in various sizes, both modest and richly decorated, and fragments of prayers can sometimes be seen on them.

In some Christian usages, it is referred to as the Hand of Mary. It's an image recognized and used as a sign of protection many times and in many cultures throughout history, traditionally believed to provide defense against the evil eye, a powerful notion in many of those cultures.

The recent revival of interest in Kabbalah, in part due to the efforts of celebrities including Madonna, Brittany Spears, and Demi Moore, has brought with it a new public for kabbalah accessories, including hamsas.
Today it is considered a universal protective symbol that brings its owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.

Unique hamsa necklaces by Inna Zlotnik shop now



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