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If you are someone who loves jewelry that has a meaning and cultural significance, then you might have heard of HAMSA or the Hand of Fatima. Chances are that you have seen it but don’t know exactly what it means. Don’t worry, not many people do. That is not a problem, read this article to have a better understanding of the symbol and its various meanings.
The HAMSA is a hand shaped piece of jewelry that most commonly hangs from a necklace. While the necklace is the most common form for the Hand of Fatima to take, it is also found as an inscription, as a statue or candle holder, as an inscription, or in various other forms. As a symbol, the hand can be either facing up or down, rarely is it found facing to either side.
Since before many modern religions began, the HAMSA has been a symbol of protection and positivity. This hand is a symbol that can be found across religions as a sign of protection. The exact reasoning and meaning of the symbol varies and we will cover multiple different meanings in this article.
In just Judiasm, the HAMSA has multiple meanings alone. At the simplest level, it is used to represent the five sense of the owner of the medallion but it gets deeper than that. The name comes from the number five in Hebrew which is Hamesh. The fifth letter in the Hewbrew alphabet is hey and this also happens to be one of the names for god. Combined, the two form HAMSA.
By focusing so heavily on the number five, HAMSA can also be viewed as representing the five books that make up the Torah. Judiasm also refers to the HAMSA as the Hand of Miriam.
Some cultures use the HAMSA as a form of protection against the Evil Eye. This is a type of look that is believed to impart bad luck or evil forces against a person. Almost every culture has some form of the evil eye and in Western culture many people refer to it as the stink eye.
As protection against the evil eye it is believed to redirect the intended evil forces back upon the sender.
Cultures also believe that it can bring peace, happiness, and prosperity to the wearer. Making them not only protected but happier and healthier,
increasing their quality of life. It can also be a sign of harmony.
Some Christians choose to wear the HAMSA as a symbol of protection against the evil eye. At the same time though, many believe that it is an unchristian symbol. They believe that it is a pagan symbol or a superstition from the East which means that they can’t wear it. However, there are far more Christians that feel comfortable wearing it than those who don’t.
Arabic cultures refer to the HAMSA as Khamesh or The Hand of Fatima. Each different Arabic sect views the hand slightly differently. For the Shi’tes, the hand is used to represent the Five People of The Cloak. The Prophet Mohammed and those that surrounded him. For the Sunni’s it is the symbol of the Five Pillars of Islam, or the different focuses of the Islamic religions. Lastly, for the Islamic faith, it represents the Prophet Mohammed’s daughter.
More recently in history, the Hamsa Hand has become a sign of peace. People have started to dawn the Hand of Fatima as a symbol that there should be peace in the Middle East. It was chosen because it predates most of the modern religions and as an object found in all religions, is something that should bring unity. Because the symbol is believed to have originated in the Middle East, it is even more significant as a tool for peace in that area.
Today, people from all cultures wear the Hand of Fatima for a variety of reasons. Some just like the appearance, while others use it as a symbol of protection. Others use it as a symbol of their activist nature. While they have always been popular as a religious symbol, they are becoming increasingly more popular and demand for them is going up.
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