Sunday, July 14, 2024
No menu items!

Fingers crossed, knock on wood, bless you

Fatwaa ID: 1685

Question:
Assalam u alaykum wrwb.

There are commonly used phrases here by the non-muslims for example, “fingers crossed” or “knock on wood” or “bless you” etc…. I am not sure if these phrases have negative connotations l, but if used without knowing what the background is, does it count as a sin?

Answer:
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

In principle, ignorance is not bliss. Seeking knowledge regarding things involving us is necessary. One must do things consciously with knowledge. Hence, one will be accountable for doing something wrong ignorantly. Obviously, istighfaar and tawbah is the way forward when one realizes his wrong.

As Muslims, we are sensitive to our beliefs and values. We should not do or say things just because others are saying it, especially if it has religious or unIslamic connotations. We have our prestine way, the sunnah.

“Fingers crossed” has three meanings and uses: praying and seeking good luck, warding off evil spirits and getting away from a lie. All three usages find their origins in the Christian faith. The crossing of the finger indicates towards the cross, and depending on the form, the trinity. A Muslim must avoid using this phrase as well as crossing the fingers in that manner.

“Knock on wood”, the phrase and action, too comes from superstitious pagan and/or Christian practices. It is done to ward off evil spirits and seek good luck. A Muslim must avoid this. Good comes from Allaah Ta’aala alone, and He alone can protect us from evil. We seek His grace and protection only.

“Bless you” is a du’aa. It is the English form of “Allaahumma baarik” or “Baarakallaahu feek”. While it is commonly said by non-Muslims, it is permissible for Muslims to say it as well. The blessing is obviously sought from Allaah Ta’aala. As for saying it to a Muslim when he sneezes, then one should use the prophetic du’aa instead: “Yarhamukallaah”.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
https://askthemufti.us/

02/08/1445 AH – 08/25/2023 CE | AMG1-3382

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


https://www.oxfordreference.com/display/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095650380#
https://www.history.com/news/why-do-people-knock-on-wood-for-luck

__________________
Disclaimer

Darul Iftaa New York answers questions on issues pertaining to Shari’ah. These questions and answers are placed for public view on askthemufti.us for educational purposes. The rulings given here are based on the questions posed and should be read in conjunction with the questions. Many answers are unique to a particular scenario and cannot be taken as a basis to establish a ruling in another situation. 

Darul Iftaa New York bears no responsibility with regard to its answers being used out of their intended contexts, nor with regard to any loss or damage that may be caused by acting on its answers or not doing so.

References and links to other websites should not be taken as an endorsement of all contents of those websites. 

Answers may not be used as evidence in any court of law without prior written consent of Darul Iftaa New York.