This is what I have found so far:

"In conclusion, we may note that a leather neck band, also called kilada, on the camel to avert the evil eye, especially if a bell hang from it, is suggested in one tradition." First Encyclopaedia of Islam: 1913-1936

"Silver bracelets or anklets, most often trimmed with tiny bells, are the most popular choice for children. The sound of the bells would protect the young wearer from evil spirits . . ." Saudi Arabia, Volumes 13-15

"Another group is one which is superstitious and which believes that someone may cast an evil spell upon their animals and they hang these collars [with bells] or ta'awidh around their necks." al-mawrid

I am looking for any additional information. In particular, I am seeking sources that are more detailed on the matter since the sources that I've found barely cover the topic. I am also curious as to whether bells were hung in homes for protection from the evil eye. It would be nice if these sources mention time period as well. Thank you.

  • 1
    @MarkC.Wallace Okay, I will add my research. Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 18:52
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    Good job on research. You found three sources, but I'm not clear on what you are looking for in addition to the above. Can you clarify? Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 1:03
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    OK, that helps but please put your clarifications in the question rather in comments. Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 5:56
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    @HaseebFaisal - nicely done; making a good question better. Welcome to the site. Wish I had the expertise to give you an answer; but I'll look forward to someone else's answer.
    – MCW
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 16:11
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    There are definitely some pre-islamic references, but you may have to look at Greek and Roman sources to see if they influenced use in the Arabic regions. Include apotropaic in your searches.
    – justCal
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


History documents a shift in use from gongs (as was common in Greek Orthodox societies) to bells in the Middle East only after the arrival of Crusaders (and Catholic clergy with them) in the 12th century and later. cnewa.org

It would be difficult to imagine that large bells would have available, present, and used in public ceremony on the Arabian peninsula before that time, and likely only much later. christianity.com

  • 3
    This would be improved by including your sources.
    – Steve Bird
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 22:13
  • Please edit your answer with your sources (citing the relevant information they contain) rather than adding information in comments. Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 4:21
  • There's a vast difference between large bells (such as for summoning people) and smaller ones for decoration or apotropaic purposes. (The latter kind go back in the Middle East much further than the Crusades; the Bible describes the Jewish high priest's robe as having bells around its lower hem, and the Mishnah (2nd century) speaks of princes' clothing being decorated with bells.) So this doesn't answer the question at all.
    – Meir
    Commented Jul 7, 2021 at 13:44

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