The Hamsa, or Khamsah, is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history, the hamsa is believed to provide defense against the evil eye.
In Islam, it is also known as the Hand of Fatima, so named to commemorate Muhammad's daughter. Jews refer to it as the hand of Miriam in remembrance of the biblical Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron. Khamsa is an Arabic word that literally means "five", but also "the five fingers of the hand".
One theory postulates a connection between the khamsa and the Mano Pantea, or Hand of the All Goddess, an amulet known to ancient Egyptians as the Two Fingers. In this amulet, the Two Fingers represent Isis and Osiris and the thumb, their child Horus and it was used to invoke the protective spirits of parents over their child.
The Khamsa holds recognition as a bearer of good fortune among Christians in the region as well. Levantine Christians call it the hand of Mary.
According to the Muslims legend, while the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, Fatima was preparing the dinner, her husband came home with a concubine. She was so jealous that accidentally put her hand in boiling water but she could not feel pain. For Muslim believers the Hand od Miriam is therefore a symbol of seriousness and self-control.
Hand of Fatima also represents femininity. It is referred as the woman's holy hand. It is believe to be having extraordinary characteristics that use to protect people from evil and other dangers. The Hand, particularly the open right hand, is a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power, and strength, and is seen as potent in deflecting the evil eye.