The hand of Fatima is one of the most beloved and popular protection symbols in the world. Even though there’s an ongoing debate about the origin of this sign of protection, some believe the hand symbolism goes as far back as prehistoric times.
Commonly known as hamsa — the Arabic word for the number five — the hand of Fatima is often found depicted together with the Greek or Turkish eye symbol (nazar). Nazar is also known as the "all-seeing eye" that watches out for those who carry it.
By wearing the hamsa amulet, people believed they were protected against “the evil eye” (i.e., when someone sends you a malicious glare without your knowledge). Many cultures believe the evil eye is a type of psychic attack that can lead to bad luck, injury, illness, and misfortune.
The hamsa is deeply connected with the number five, which, according to numerology, symbolizes the balance between the material and the spiritual realms. It's a powerful number that represents protection, abundance, and strength.
Despite its varying symbolism, the hamsa hand has always been deeply intertwined with feminine energy. Throughout centuries and different cultures, it has been a talisman primarily carried by women to protect them from harmful intent and to encourage feelings of peace, goodness, and truth.
The hand of Fatima represents the right hand, considered the hand of God. It’s especially cherished as an ornament that brings good fortune and health. In Middle Eastern countries and North African regions, it’s commonly painted on houses, forged onto door knobs, or braided in little girl's hair.
Even if you didn’t grow up knowing about the hand of Fatima, you might be drawn to it as a protection amulet and as a way to connect with the divine feminine.
The Hand of Fatima Symbolism in Religion
The hamsa symbol has been used for thousands of years as a pagan fertility symbol. Many women believe it supports healthy pregnancies and boosts fertility and lactation.
More recently, the hand of Fatima has become a symbol of peace adopted by activists in war-affected areas of the Middle East. This ancient symbol is used to reinforce the belief that there are more things that unite us than separate us.
While the hamsa hand is common in pagan traditions, it’s also a familiar motif in several religions around the world.
Buddhism and Hinduism
You may be surprised to learn that the hamsa is part of the Buddhist and Hindu faiths. Both religions believe that this symbol represents the different chakras, the five senses, and the various energies flowing through your body. According to these traditions, each finger of the hamsa hand is connected to specific elements and chakras.
- Thumb: represents the sense of sight and element of fire; energetically linked to the solar plexus chakra
- Forefinger: related to touch and the air element; associated with the heart chakra
- Middle finger: symbolizes hearing and the ether element; energetically related to the throat chakra
- Ring finger: linked to the sense of smell and the earth element; connected to the root chakra
- Pinky finger: associated with the sense of taste and element of water; energetically connected to the sacral chakra
Becoming aware of this connection is especially important for your meditation and yoga practice while doing mudras. These hand and finger gestures are said to activate and balance the chakras. If you love gemstone jewelry, consider wearing your chakra healing crystals on the corresponding chakra fingers.
In the Christian faith, the hand of Fatima is said to represent the hand of the Virgin Mary. It's commonly portrayed with a fish in the center, and it’s supposed to represent power, strength, and femininity. Even though it’s not one of the main symbols in this religion, many Christians wear hamsa necklaces or bracelets alongside the holy cross as protection amulets.
In the Islamic faith, the hand of Fatima is also called khamsa. Named after Fatima Zahar, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed, the symbol represents Zahar’s struggle for dignity. By wearing the hamsa hand, Muslim women believe that it encourages them to develop their resilience, patience, faith, and loyalty.
In the Sunni culture, the five fingers of the hand represent the five pillars of Islam, while for the Shi'ites, it symbolizes the five people of the cloak.
In Jewish culture, the hamsa is also known as chamsa or the "hand of Miriam," sister of Moses and Aaron. Another common name for this symbol is hamesh, meaning five. It represents the five books of the Torah and the "Hand of God."
Like Buddhism, this symbol serves as a reminder to use your five senses when praying to God. It's considered a holy and highly respected icon of Judaism and Kabbalah, and it's usually depicted together with the star of David.
How to Use the Hand of Fatima
If you've ever traveled around Middle Eastern countries or northern Africa, you might have noticed the hand of Fatima everywhere: hanging from the rearview mirror of the taxi that picked you up at the airport to shining as a beautiful door knob on a majestic wooden door. Legend says that every Moroccan woman owns at least one piece of hamsa jewelry.
If you're planning on getting a hamsa amulet, here are a few guidelines on how to use it:
- Hand facing down: If you decide to place your hand of Fatima with the fingers towards the ground, it's believed that it will open you up to all of the abundance and goodness of the universe. If you're planning to start a family, placing your amulet in this position is believed to support fertility
- Hand facing up: By placing your hamsa with its fingers towards the sky, you're using it as a protection talisman. Not only is it supposed to protect you against harmful vibrations and the evil eye, but it also shields you from your own negative thoughts. It's considered a universal sign against evil.
Where to Use Your Hamsa Amulet
There are plenty of options when it comes to getting a hand of Fatima. From key chains and wall hangings to hamsa necklaces, T-shirts, and even stickers, it's quite easy to harness the protective powers of this symbol. Below are some of the most common ways to use this hand-shaped amulet.
- Car protection: Attach a hamsa keychain to your car keys or hang it on your rearview mirror, being mindful not to block your road visibility. Many believe that by doing so, you'll be protected from accidents and other traffic inconveniences.
- House protection: Place a wall hanging in the room you consider the most appropriate. A popular option is to place a hamsa hand on your front door (or on top of your front door) as it is believed to repel any bad energy from entering the house.
- Personal protection: If you prefer to carry the protective energy of the hamsa hand wherever you go, the easiest way to do this is with jewelry. Wearing a necklace or hamsa bracelet is said to safeguard and balance the wearer's energy.
The saying goes that if your hamsa cracks, it means it has protected you from terribly bad luck. Again, there are no set rules when it comes to where and how you can use your talisman. Just listen to your intuition and follow your instinct.
Hand of Fatima: Protect Your Energy and Connect With Your Feminine Power
By wearing or owning a hamsa symbol, you're following a tradition that has been around since the times of ancient Egyptians and even earlier. The hand of Fatima is cherished for its purported power to bring good luck, prosperity, and protection to all who carry it.
This talisman also has a unique and particular connection to women. Many believe it helps you connect with your feminine power and nurture those qualities inherent to each woman: kindness, strength, patience, and empathy.
Remember the relationship between your chakras and the fingers of the hand when choosing your chakra crystal jewelry. Wearing chakra stones on their corresponding fingers is said to magnify the vibration of the gemstone and enhance a deeper bond between these healing tools and your energy centers. This can support a more balanced mind, body, and spirit.