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Hand of Fatima earrings - Hamsa

small turquoise ball

charm length 1 " 

3/4 "width



Excellent by  Ishara Labyris article from http://www.celebrerladeesse.net/la-hamsa-ou-main-de-fatima.html which explains the history and origin of Fatima Hamsa

The Hamsa or Hand of Fatima

The Hamsa, خمسة, literally "five" in Arabic, then romanized in Khamsa and Chamsa, is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It is often incorporated into jewelry and wall decorations to defend against the Evil Eye. This custom is believed to originate from a Phoenician practice in Carthage. The Hand of Fatima would protect wives, pregnant women and newborns, considered particularly vulnerable. Fatima brings healing, compassion to each and every one of all nations, and helps to find forgiveness and understanding.


The other name used to refer to the Hamsa (or Khamsa) is "Hand of Fatima", in honor of Fatima Zahra, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. The "Hamsa" hands often contain the symbol of the eye. The representations of the hand, the eye and the number five among the Arabs (and Berbers) are related to the protection against the evil eye, as exemplified by the saying "Khamsa fi ainek" ("five [fingers] in your eye"). Another formula used against the evil eye in Arabic is "Khamsa wa-khamis". Due to its significance in both Arab and Berber culture, the Hamsa is one of the national symbols of Algeria and appears in its emblem.

The Khamsa is the most popular of all the other amulets used to protect against the evil eye in Egypt, the others were the Eye and the Hirz (a silver box containing the verses of the Quran). The Hand (Khamsa) has long represented blessings, power and strength and that is why it is used to counter the evil eye. It is one of the most common jewelry components in the region.

Archaeological evidence shows that a hand with downward pointing fingers used as a protective amulet in the region is a practice older than monotheistic beliefs. It is believed that she was associated with Tanit, the supreme goddess of Carthage (Phenicia) whose hand (and sometimes the vulva) was used to protect against the evil eye.

Due to its popularity in Phenicia, the Hamsa is said to have gained Sephardic Jewish culture. The Jews sometimes call it "Hand of Miriam", in reference to the sister of Moses and Aaron in the Bible. The number five (hamesh in Hebrew) represents the five books of the Torah for the Jews. It also represents the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, "Heh", which represents one of the holy names of God. Many Jews believe that the five fingers of the Hamsa remind them to use their five senses to pray and praise God.


There are two main styles of Hamsa: the stylized Hamsa having two symmetrical thumbs and the Hamsa hand which is not symmetrical, resembling a real hand. They can be represented with the fingers pointing up or down.

The Hamsa as a charm is often worn as a necklace and can also be found in decorative elements of the house, on key chains or on other jewelry. Several artists use the image of the Hamsa in their jewelry, paintings, sculptures, wall decorations and amulets.

The renewed interest in Kabbalah and Judaic mysticism is a factor explaining the resurgence of Hamsa. In Judaic mysticism, the fish is a symbol of good fortune, and several hamsas are decorated with images of fish. Some Hamsas have written Hebrew prayers, such as the Sh'ma, Birkat HaBayit (Blessing for the House), or Tefilat HaDerech (Traveler's Prayer).

The Hamsa is often blue in color, made of turquoise. Blue is believed to be a color that reflects, like a mirror, and returns the evil energies of the Evil Eye.

Universal female amulet

Here is an excerpt from the book Beyond the exotic: women's histories in Islamic societies (translated by me): 

"A survey of ancient and modern amulets across the world surprisingly concludes that the image of the open right hand was a universally recognized sign and used for protection, from the Mesopotamian amulets of Qat Istar and Qat Inana, to the Mano Pantea, on the right hand of Buddha in the gestural mudra of teaching or protection and in the Hand of Fatima The human, common and universal experience of the emotions of jealousy and envy, the anger of pregnancy and of childbirth, dependence on fields, crops and herds revealed the reality behind this open right hand amulet.In all cultures and traditions where we find this amulet, particularly identified with a female personality of great energy and high status, it was customary to use it for protection, especially in the "feminine" experiences of conception, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, and even even within the domestic sphere, in the education of children, the preparation of food and so on. Beyond the different metals or stones used to make the amulet, there are functional differences in its use.

For the Qat Istar, also known as Qat Inanna, or “Hand of Ishtar (Hand of Inanna), we do not have a textual or scriptural basis of the Akkadians, Sumerians and Mesopotamians who used it. it had special meaning and had the power to heal disease. [...] Similarly, there was a series of anthropomorphic symbols representing divine protection, such as the Hand-of-Venus (or Aphrodite) and the Hand- de-Marie who protected from the evil eye and protected women in general, making them fertile, allowing full term pregnancies, allowing nurses to breastfeed and giving strength to the weaker. In addition, there seems to be a link between the Hand-of-Fatima and the Mano Pantea, or the Hand-of-the-All-Goddess, which was originally an Egyptian two-fingered amulet, for Isis and Osiris. This amulet invoked the protective spirits of the parents. of the Mano Pantea, the thumb was to represent Horusor "the child," and the first and second finger distinctly represented Isis and Osiris.

Among Muslims, especially the Shi'ites, the Hand of Fatima was a symbol of divine providence, generosity of hospitality and power, as well as an amulet against the evil eye. Fear of the evil eye is typically rooted in cultural systems that depend on rain and sun, in just proportions to grow their seeds and harvest good crops, and on the herding of goats or cattle.

Muslim mothers hung these representations of the Hand-of-Fatima, engraved in the jet or formed in silver, around the necks of their children. The magical and protective hand of the Daughter of the Prophet was versatile, and simultaneously represented the Holy Family (Muhammad, 'Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussein), the five pillars of Islam, and was a protection against Evil.

Fatima, Tanit, Ishtar

The name "Hamsa", Hand of Fatima, gives us the first way to find the possible origin of this amulet. The most famous of the Fatima today is Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Mohammed, and those who call Hamsa the Hand of Fatima do so with her in mind. It is not necessarily the only possible association, nor even the first that should come to mind. Fatima Zahra was not the first to call herself Fatima. The first name Fatima means "She who wipes" and long before being the name of Mohammed's daughter, Fatima was also the name of a local moon goddess. And long before Fatima, there was another moon goddess named Tanit, the patron goddess of Carthage, wife of Ba'al and related to fertility and war. Tanit is a later version of Anat. It is quite interesting to note that Tanit was represented by a sort of feminized aged cross, arms outstretched, palms raised on either side. It would be an exaggeration to say that this symbol resembles the Hamsa, but it is possible to imagine that the Hamsa is a later, developed version of it.

The tombs of Muslim women bear this symbol. The amulet in the shape of a hand can be called "Hand of Mary" in Christian tradition, "Hand of Fatima" for Muslims, "Hand of Ishtar" for Babylonians and "Hand of Isida" for Egyptians. Originally, all of these characters are linked to the great Neolithic goddess.