The Meaning of Hamsa: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever wondered about the definition of hamsa? This article will provide you with all of the info you need on the word hamsa, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word hamsa mean?

According to Ishka and Jewish Gift Place, the hamsa is a type of ancient Middle Eastern amulet that symbolizes the Hand of God. Many faiths, including Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism see it as a protective sign that is meant to bring health, luck, happiness and good fortune. This is known by many other names in different cultures, including hamsa, hamsa hand, hamesh, hamesh hand, khamsa, chamsa, and khamsah which is an Arabic word that means “five”. This is also sometimes called the Hand of Miriam (or the Hand of Mary to Levantine Christians), named after Moses and Aaron’s sister in the Bible and other religious texts. In Islam, it is known as the Hand of Fatima, who was the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. A protective hand was first referenced in Deuteronomy.

There are two different styles of hamsa hands. First, there is a stylized hamsa hand with two symmetrical thumbs. There are also hamsa hands that are not symmetrical and look more like actual hands with only one thumb. The hamsa can either be worn with the fingers pointing up or the fingers pointing down. Wearing this in either direction is supposed to bring the owner happiness, peace, and prosperity, as well as protection from the ayin ha’ra, or the evil eye. The hand facing down is also supposed to bless people with fertility and answers to prayers and manifestations. Many artists use the hamsa hand in art including jewelry, paintings, sculptures, wall hamsas, and amulets. You can purchase hamsas for yourself and display or wear them in a variety of different ways. Sometimes, people choose to wear them on jewelry. They will wear them out of the house for protection against evil. Other times, people display them in the home to ward off evil from the home. People may also choose to wear them to bring prosperity, or they might display one at work for career success. The hamsa can be used in a wide variety of ways to bring good fortune.

The Hamsa prayer is as follows: “Let no sadness come to this heart, let no trouble come to these arms, let no conflict come to these eyes, let my soul be filled with the blessing of joy and peace.” The hamsa pre-dates the Muslim and Jewish religions and, from archeological digs in the Middle East, historians have discoverered that this symbol riginated with the Phoenicians in ancient Mesopotamia and was used as a protective symbol for an ancient Middle Eastern goddess. This symbol has been associated with female energy and protection from evil for centuries. 

The word hamsa means five, which is symbolic because there are five digits on the hand. It also has special meaning in Jewish and Islamic tradition. Five, or the number hamesh in Hebrew, is meant to represent the five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), as well as the fifth letter of the Hebew alphabet “heh” which is one of God’s holy names. In Islam, it represents the five pillars of Islam for Sunnis an the five people of the cloak for Shi’ites. People in the Middle East have adopted the hamsa as a symbol of peace.

This palm-shaped amulet depicting the open right hand represents different things with each of the fingers, each relating to different chakras. The thumb is meant to represent the fire element and solar plexus chakra. The forefinger represents the air element and the heart chakra. The middle finger represents the ethereal elements and the throat chakra. The ring finger represents the earth element and root chakra, and the pinky finger represents the water element and sacral chakra.

In modern times, the hamsa has increased in popularity and you can find a wide variety of different styles of hamsa to wear. These include key chains, jewelry items, and more of the other main styles such as a  hamsa bracelet, hamsa necklace, the hand of Fatima pendant, flat-weaving, embroidery, door-knockers, automobile ornamentation, and more according to Evil Eye Store.

On some hamsas you may even find a blue eye. This is meant to symbolize the protection from the evil eye. In Native American culture, some who stare at a pregnant woman or child, or a person who is too affectionate with children may produce a malicious effect on their lives, whether or not by intent. This belief may have arisen because people are not used to local customs in which people praise the beauty of children. Therefore, in Greece and Turkey amulets against the evil eye take the form of blue eyes.

This powerful sign of protection is meant to bring the owner success and is a universal sign of good will. If the hamsa hand faces up, it is seen as a sign of protection and warding off against evil and insecurities. If the fingers of the hamsa hand are facing down, this is meant to bring good luck and the owner success. People might hang a hamsa facing up on baby carriages for protection from the hand of Mother Mary.

Overall, the word hamsa refers to an amulet that is meant as a sign of protection, energy flow, harmony and abundance to the wearer of the hamsa hand. This is meant to bring good luck and fortune for all, and this symbol is used in many different religions by Buddhists, Hindus, Jes and Christians alike. 


  1. The Hamsa Hand Meaning – The Hand of God / Hand of Fatima | Jewish Gift Place 
  2. What is the meaning of the Hamsa? | ISHKA 
  3. Hamsa Meaning in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hand … | Evil Eye Store