The figure of a hand, showing three straight fingers in the middle of (a) two curved thumbs or (b) one curved thumb and the pinky finger, is known as hamsa. This ancient symbol is believed to shield the bearer from the “evil eye”, and bad luck.

The hamsa amulets come in different forms like necklaces, key chains, wall decorations and expensive jewelry. The use of hamsa amulets is quite popular in both Jews and Middle East Arabs.

The Hamsa Origin

There is no certainty to the origin of hamsa, but it is commonly known to originate from two distinct ideologies.

“Hamsa” seems to be derived from the Hebrew word “hamesh,” which basically means five.  This can be termed as closest to the origin, as “hamsa” is characterized by the five fingers. Some believe it to be associated with the five books of the Torah. Others relate it to the Hand of Miriam, sister of Moses’. Some Jews relate hamsa to the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is He, and refers to God.

The Islamic version of hamsa relates it to the Hand of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. The Muslims believe that the five projections in the hamsa symbolize the five fundamental pillars of Islamic faith.

Symbolic symmetry of Hamsa

Mostly the hamsa symbols have an identically common feature “the three extended middle fingers.” The variation however comes by the way the two outer fingers “the thumb and the pinky finger” appear.  Sometimes these appear to be slightly curved, pointing outwards. These can also appear as straight but a little shorter than the middle fingers. Despite these two variations, the two outer most fingers in any single instance always appear to be symmetrical.

As basically hamsas are believed to provide protection against the “evil eye” sometimes an eye would be displayed in the palm of the hand. Fish are also believed to be unaffected by the evil eye so images of fish also often appear on the hamsas.

The evil eye is believed to be that certain “look” which can bring bad luck for the person who is being looked at. The evil eye phenomenon of bringing ill fate has known to originate both intentionally or unintentionally. For instance a simple envious look could cause the same damage as the evil eye casted by someone with certain powers to do so.

No matter what way the evil eye is casted, it is certainly going to bring bad luck for you and your family. The damages resulting from evil eye can be diverse like loss of health, loss of wealth, poverty or your failure to prosper and grow.