The Hamsa (also spelled Khamsa) is a Middle Eastern amulet supposedly symbolizing the “Hand of God.” The Hamsa is shaped like an open hand and is used as a good-luck charm to ward off the evil eye and other curses. The amulet is believed by some to attract happiness, wealth, and good fortune. The Hamsa and other talismans, such as the rabbit’s foot, the horseshoe, and the bindi, are rooted in superstition and falsehood.
The word Hamsa is derived from an ancient word for “five,” probably in reference to the five fingers of the hand. Some Jewish traditions link the five fingers of the Hamsa to the five books of the Torah. Sunni Muslims associate it with the Five Pillars of Islam.
In Jewish tradition, the Hamsa is occasionally called the Hand of Miriam (referring to Moses’ sister). In the Muslim world, it can also be called the Hand of Fatima (the daughter of Mohammed). Most scholars believe the symbol predated both Muslim and Jewish cultures, however. Sometimes the Hamsa amulet displays an open eye in the palm of the hand. Other versions include fish, flowers, or Hebrew words in the design. In different cultures and contexts, the Hamsa may be presented fingers-up or fingers-down. The Hamsa is often worn as a piece of jewelry or hung in a home. In any case, the Hamsa is always portrayed as some manner of charm to ward off evil.
Like all man-made symbols, the exact meaning and connotations of the Hamsa vary depending on the cultural context. However, Christians have a call to abstain from silly superstitions and magic of all kinds (2 Kings 21:6; Colossians 2:8–10). There is no need for us to wear a magic talisman to protect us from evil. Some might say that wearing the Hamsa is merely a fashion statement, but the connotations associated with the symbol are such that it is better for a Christian to avoid it. We do not want to give the impression to others that we are seriously looking for good luck or magical protection from evil spirits.
Looking to the Hamsa as a good-luck charm shows a lack of faith in the one true God. The same God who created the universe has sufficient power to control the events in our lives. Those who are sealed by the Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22) do not need to fear the evil eye or any other curse in this world.