Also known as Hamsa, Chamsa and Hamesh hand, the Hand of Fatima is an Islamic symbol that commemorates Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad and the wife of Hazrat Ali. Since ages, it has been a popular amulet used to ward off the evil or envious eye and bring good luck, protection, good health, and abundance. Designed as an open hand with an eye in the palm, the symbol is worn as an ornament, used as a wall-hanging above doorways or even drawn on possessions to keep away misfortune.
The Hand of Fatima or Hamsa is supposed to symbolize Fatima’s tough life and her struggle for dignity. Thereby, it denotes resistance against difficulties, patience, faith, and loyalty. It represents the all-prevailing energy of peace, truth, and goodness and symbolizes the Goddess whose hand radiates love and protects from evil intent.
The five fingers of the Hand of Fatima represent the family of Prophet Muhammad including himself, Fatima, Hazrat Ali, and Fatima & Ali’s sons, Hussein and Hasan. It is also widely believed that the five fingers stand for the five requirements, tenets or pillars of Islam – to profess the faith, to pray, to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, to give alms and to fast.
The Hand of Fatima symbol is used as a protective talisman by several cultures and religions other than Muslims, such as Jews, Christians, Egyptians and North Africans. It is also considered to be a powerful pagan fertility symbol. The Hamsa has emerged as an important Jewish symbol and a kabbalistic amulet. The Jews refer to it as the Hand of Miriam, the biblical sister of Aaron and Moses. Some Jewish Hamsas include other icons like fish, Star of David, and the Shema.
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