Hamsa, Hand of Fatima (Eye in Hand, Khamsa, Hamesh Hand)

This ancient symbol, most commonly known as the Hamsa (Chamsa) or Hamesh hand, is used as a protective amulet by both Jews and Muslims. The name hamsa is derived from the Semitic root meaning “five.”

The hand symbol is called the Hand of Fatima by Muslims, named for the daughter of Mohamed, and is sometimes said to symbolize the five pillars or tenets of Islam. In Jewish use, it is sometimes called the hand of Miriam, after the biblical heroine.

The eye in hand is considered a powerful talisman against the ‘evil eye,’ and is usually worn around the neck or hung on walls or over the doors of homes and businesses.

A nineteenth century Jewish Hamsa

Related Symbols:

Heart in HandNidstang

{ 5 trackbacks }

Religious Symbol Dictionary | symboldictionary.net
November 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm
Introduction-Hamsa | Art religieux
May 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm
Exemple 1:Hamsa | Art religieux
May 21, 2015 at 3:11 pm
Exemple 2: Hamsa | Art religieux
May 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm
Conclusion: Hamsa | Art religieux
May 21, 2015 at 3:29 pm

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Aiken August 4, 2016 at 12:42 pm

I inherited a Hand of Fatima that one of my ancestors in the French Foreign Legion got in North Africa about 150 years ago. It has an inscription on the hand that I am unable to translate It looks like either Hebrew or Arabic an appears to be a single word or phrase. Any idea about where I could get it translated? I could post an enlargement of the script if someone could do it on-line.
Thanks

Tom

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Jennifer August 20, 2016 at 4:35 am

Go ahead and post it, we’ll give it our best. :)

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Filistine September 16, 2014 at 8:16 am

This is absolutely npt allowed in Islam. The Muslims who use this hand for protection or a symbol for protection have actually fallen into a form of polytheism. The prophet Muhammad pbuh warned against amulets and called them polytheism.

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Jennifer September 18, 2014 at 6:35 am

Nonetheless they are quite common. The same dichotomy can be found in Catholic populations with various pre-Christian charms.

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hector September 18, 2013 at 12:32 am

i need help with a few symbols on a tattoo that is the hamsa but it has symbols around it that i cant seem to unlock if anyone can plz help me email me and ill send the picture

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Karima February 17, 2014 at 11:48 am

Hi Hector, I think my Mum would be able to help with the symbols, she is Arabic, and I’m sure she would know!.

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Del and Judi Charlton November 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Hi Judi,

Can u pass this page onto Del. He was particularly interest in the jewish hamsah symbol.
our tree of life is hung and looks fantastic
Thanx
Barry Gordon

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