Eye-in-hand amulet: what is it?

Print anything with Printful

The eye amulet, also known as the hamsa, is a symbol of protection found in various cultures. It can be worn as jewelry or used in decorative art. In Judaism, it protects from the evil eye, while in Islam it may be depicted on a wall plaque. It is also used as a protective symbol by people with pagan beliefs. Some wear it as a sign of peace between Jews and Arabs.

Today if you see the eye amulet in the hand, you may be looking at the Jewish or Arabic symbol called the hamsa. The symbol is actually much older than Judaism, and you’ll find representations of it in numerous cultures, often as a piece of jewelry worn for protection. Instead of an amulet, the symbol could be woven into decorative art in murals or plaques.

The earliest use of eye in hand is related to various groups of people. Some say the symbol was worn by the Phoenicians and was a symbol of the goddess Tanit. Others suggest that the symbol may have originated in India, honoring one of the gods or goddesses of the Hindu religion.

There are different types of eye amulet designs in hand. In some, the eye is in the center of a clearly defined hand with four fingers and the thumb sideways. In others, only the fingers are represented. A common symmetrical presentation is a three-fingered hand with thumbs on either side. The amulet can be bejeweled, made of various metals, and very artistic depending on where you buy it. Fingers can point up or down.

In Judaism, the hamsa is a symbol that protects the wearer from the evil eye. It can be called the Hand of Miriam, after the sister of Moses, or it can be a symbol representing the five books of the Torah. The amulet can be worn, used on key rings or make a decorative wall plaque, and larger ones can feature special prayers.

Islamic people tend not to wear the eye amulet in their hand, as most sects of Islam strictly forbid the wearing of any kind of protective jewellery. The name, hamsa, however, is Islamic. Instead, the symbol may be depicted on a wall plaque and may contain prayers in Arabic. Muslims may call the hamsa the Eye of Fatima, who was a daughter of Mohammed. In Sunni Islam, the five fingers of the hand can represent the Five Pillars of Islam.

You may also see the eye in hand amulet worn as a specific protective symbol by people with pagan beliefs. Again, the idea of ​​repelling evil or an evil gaze may be the predominant symbolic connection. In Sicily, even Catholics can wear the amulet, as popular legend in that area has created a belief in some that people can indeed cast the “evil eye” with a glance.
You may see both Jews and Arabs wearing the hamsa not as good luck, but as a hope for peace. Since the symbol is present in both belief systems, some young Arabs and Jews have taken to wearing it as a sign of peace between these two religious groups. It could therefore be not so much a charm, but a means of expressing the wish that the war between Islam and Judaism end.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content