Tattayur – superstition

Disease: Tattayur (superstition)

Tattayur comes from a Jahili concept called Teera (which is a root arabic word from Tair, bird). When Arabs wanted to make a decision on something they would go to a flock of birds, and run at it. If the birds went to the left they took it as a bad omen. If the birds went to the right they took it as a good omen.

Yemeenis right, comes from the fact that Yemen lies on the right.

Shamal is left- comes from the fact that Sham is on the left.

A digression on maps/geography

The Muslims traditionally put the South on the top and the North on the bottom of the world map. Idrisi was the first map maker of the world (a Muslim). He put the south on top and north on the bottom of the map. The Europeans realised the significance of the South being on top, it puts Africa over the top of Europe and nothing over the top of Arabia, so they actually flipped it.

In Arabic language south is referred to as up, and north to as bottom. Australians caught on to this, and made maps with the South up. It’s actually interesting to look at a southern map, we realise how close Ireland is to Morroco and Germany to England. etc. Muslims need to make maps with the South on top again.


Teera is a superstition. Mutattayyir is a pessimist.This action was based on the ignorance that everything belongs to Allah, and Muslims should have a good opinion of Allah. Tattayur is of two types:

1. Those that are dangerous in the normative state- e.g if you see something really harmful like a Cobra, then you should avoid. It is incumbent by Shariah to avoid harm coming to you.

2. Having a bad opinion based on no proof- eg. black cats, ladders, knock on wood (based on Pagan worship of trees), that’s teera.

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said “You’ll never be free of three things….” and one of them is Tattayur. Superstitions are a part of our nature. The cure of tattayur is if you feel “a bad omen”, lets say you see a ladder and you don’t want to walk under it…then just get over your nafs, and do it! Don’t make dua against people, and actually don’t belittle any Muslim because you never know he/she may be a Walee of Allah.



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