Posted: Sep 15 2015
The HAMSA hand is referenced in religious texts all over the world; Also known as hamesh, hamesh hand, humes hand, khamsa, chamsa & hamza.
Hamsa is Arabic for 'five' and stands for the fingers on a hand. Often seen as a open hand shaped amulet, with two thumbs out, usually with an eye in the centre of the palm. It is kept in the home or worn as jewelry as a form of protection against the evil or envious eye. It can be worn or hung with the palm up or down.
Many different cultures and religions agree that his talismanic symbol is believed to protect the wearer from harm against evil forces, bringing abundance, fertility, luck and good health. Hamsa hand symbology is believed to predate most modern religions. My favourite of the beliefs is that the five fingers of the hamsa hand remind its wearer to use their five senses to praise God.
Given as a gift the Hamsa hand is viewed as the extending of one’s hand toward another, in a gesture of peace, blessing, fellowship and generosity.
In Hebrew the five fingered hand symbolizes the five books of the Torah. In Judaism its also known as the Hand of Miriam, the sister of Moses. Seen as a powerful protection amulet as Miriam protected Moses as a baby.
In the Islamic faith, the hamsa hand symbolizes The Hand of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. The Hand of Fatima represents femininity, and is referred as the woman's holy hand. It is believed to have extraordinary characteristics that can protect people from evil and other dangers. <*2>
In Arabic, it is “khamesh.” In the Sunni culture, the hamsa is associated with the Five Pillars of Islam. For the Shi’tes, it symbolizes the Five People of the Cloak. <*1>
In Christianity it has been viewed as the hand of the Virgin Mary. Symbolizing protection and fertility.
One theory connects the hamsa and the Mano Pantea (or Hand-of-the-All-Goddess). In this amulet, the fingers represent Isis and Osiris and their child Horus. It was used to invoke the protective spirits of parents over their child. The eye represents the sky god, Horus, suggesting that the sun and moon are the eyes of Horus and therefore man cannot escape from the eye of conscience. <*3>
Regardless the source or the religion, suffice it to say the Hamsa hand is a symbol of protection, prosperity and good luck.
*1> jewelryinfoplace.com 2010
*2>Lenhart, Sandy. "Hand of Fatima Meaning - Origin and Variations". Ezine Articles. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013
*3> Sobol, 2005