The Arabic word al-‘ayn (translated as the evil eye) refers to when a person harms another with his eye. It starts when the person likes a thing, then his evil feelings affect it, by means of his repeated looking at the object of his jealousy. Allāh commanded His prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), to seek refuge with Him from the envier, as He said (interpretation of the meaning): “And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” 
Everyone who puts the evil eye on another is envious, but not every envier puts the evil eye on another. The word hāsid (envier) is more general in meaning than the word ‘ayn (one who puts the evil eye on another), so seeking refuge with Allāh from the one who envies includes seeking refuge with Him from the one who puts the evil eye on another. The evil eye is like an arrow which comes from the soul of the one who envies and the one who puts the evil eye on another towards the one who is envied and on whom the evil eye is put; sometimes it hits him and sometimes it misses. If the target is exposed and unprotected, it will affect him, but if the target is cautious and armed, the arrow will have no effect and may even come back on the one who launched it. 
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawzīyyah said: Everyone who gives the evil eye is jealous, but not everyone who is jealous gives the evil eye… then he said: It begins when the person likes something, then his evil soul dwells on the matter, and by continually looking at the person who has the thing of which he feels jealous, he directs his venom towards him. A person may put the evil eye on himself, or he may put the evil eye on someone else without intending to, because it is a part of his nature. This is the worst type of human being. Our companions and other fuqahā’ (expert in Islamic jurisprudence) said: if someone is known for this, he should be detained by the imām (leader), who should spend on him and provide for him until he dies. This idea is absolutely correct. 
Although it is correct that the evil eye comes from people who feel jealous (hasad), it may also come from a person who is not jealous but merely likes something, because of the hadith: “Whoever among you sees something in himself or in his possessions or in his brother that he likes, let him pray for blessing for it, because the evil eye is real.” 
This hadith explains that a person may harm himself or his wealth – and no one feels jealous of himself – but he may harm himself with the evil eye by admiring himself, as Ibn al-Qayyim said: “And a man may put the evil eye on himself.” . So it is even more possible that he may harm his wife in the same way. A man may harm his wife with the evil eye by looking at her and noticing her beauty and admiring her, even if he does not actually say to her “You are beautiful.” It is mustahabb for him to say, “Allaahumma baarik fihaa (O Allāh, bless her).”
HOW TO MAKE WUDHU WATER IF AFFLICTED BY EVIL EYE
If it is known or suspected that a person has been afflicted by the evil eye, then the one who put the evil eye on him should wash himself for his brother. So a vessel of water should be brought, and he should:
- Put his hand in it and rinse out his mouth into the vessel
- Then he should wash his face in the vessel
- Then put his left hand into the vessel and wash his right knee
- Then put his right hand in the vessel and wash his left knee
- Then he should wash inside his garment. Then the water should be poured over the head of the one on whom he put the evil eye, pouring it from behind in one go. Then he will be healed, by Allāh’s leave.
HOW TO PROTECT ONESELF AGAINST THE EVIL EYE
When a person is close to Allāh, always remembering Him (dhikr) and reading Qur’ān, he is less likely to be affected by the evil eye and other kinds of harm from the devils of mankind and jinn.
ADHKAAR FOR PROTECTION
“A’oodhu bi kalimaat-Illaah it-taamah min kulli shaytaanin wa haammah wa min kulli ‘aynin laammah”
I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allāh from every devil and vermin and from every envious eye.
(Narrated by al-Bukhari (3191) from the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbās). The meaning of “vermin” (haammah) is lethally poisonous animals and insects. The meaning of “envious” (laammah) is that which causes harm because of jealousy (hasad).
“A’oodhu bi kalimaat-Illaah it-taammaati min sharri maa khalaq”
I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allāh from the evil of that which He has created.
(Narrated by Muslim, al-Dhikr wa’l-Duʿāʾ, 4881)
“A’oodhu bi kalimat-illah il-tammati min ghadabihi wa ‘iqabihi, wa min sharri ‘ibadihi wa min hamazat al-shayateeni wa an yahduroon”
I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allāh from His wrath and punishment, from the evil of His slaves and from the evil promptings of the devils and from their presence.
(Collected by Abu Dawud 4/13 and At-Tirmidhi 5/541.
“Bismillaahi arqeeka min kulli shay’in yu’dheeka, min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘aynin haasid Allaahu yashfeek, bismillaahi arqeek”
In the name of Allāh I perform ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allāh heal you, in the name of Allāh I perform ruqyah for you.
(Narrated by Muslim, al-Salaam, 4056)
- Al-Falaq 113, 5
- Adapted from Zad al-Ma’ad
- Zad al-Ma’ad, 4/167
- Narrated by Ibn al-Sunni in ‘Aml al-Yawm wa’l-Laylah, p. 168; and by al-Hakim, 4/216. Classed as saheeh by al-Albani in al-Kalim al-Tayyib, 243
- Zad al-Ma’ad, 4/167