Occult culture is a big and varied thing in the Arab world. We've turned interpreting dreams  into a science and nearly everyone's mom has a personal basara.

One thing we're all guilty of believing in is the evil eye; otherwise known as 'hasad. From generation to generation, dos and donts have passed on, all in an attempt to keep 'hasad at bay.

1. Burn some bakhour in the house

If someone is traveling, make sure to burn some bakhour in the house prior to his/her departure. Also, make sure to let this person go under the burning bakhour as well as a Quran ... because who wants to deal with the evil spirits when on vacation? Do this, and you won't have to.

2. Saying mash'allah/smallah before and after you compliment someone


Always make sure to complement any compliment that rolls of your tongue with "mash'allah or smallah" unless you're willing to risk getting yelled at for being maliciously nice.

How many times have you told your friend he/she looked incredible only to see them stumbling on a set of stairs moments later? That's all because you didn't say smallah. Believe it.

3. Wearing "ayat el kursi"

The Quranic verse is believed to keep the evil at bay. There have been numerous jewelry ateliers that have put a more chic twist on traditional Quranic verses that can be worn basically anytime, anywhere.

4. "Knock on wood"


I mean it couldn't hurt to knock on wood to serve as a drum beat for mashallah/smallah. Heik heik you're already in the process of complementing your compliments.

5. Put money in the "dafe' bala" jar

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Pick out a jar to be used for these types of situations. Any time someone gets sick, any time someone is in repeated accidents of misfortune, add some bills to the jar. When the jar gets full, take it to a local charity for donation. Not only will you feel better, but you'll make others better too!

6. Sacrifice a sheep (for good fortune)

When a new baby is born, it's always seen as "halal" and sometimes even mandatory by some families (because of tradition) to sacrifice a sheep in honor of the occasion.

Basically, do some good fortune for some good fortune. Makes sense.

7. And finally, wearing "something blue"

Whether it's wearing a kharze zar'aa around your neck, pinning a blue pin to your baby's onesie, or putting a blue eye on the entrance of your home, "something blue" isn't only reserved for weddings in the west.