Taweez are amulets and talismans in the Middle East and are sometimes called Islamic amulets and Islamic talisman. Taweez have an ancient history in pre-Islamic Persia and they continue to be used throughout the region. The earliest amulets existed in prehistoric Iran as jewelry, while symbolic representations of Zoroastrian religion were attached by simple knots or written on parchment or clay tablets. Taweez are an important part of Shia religious practice and its origins date back to 400 A.D. Islamic experts believes the taweez was created with divine guidance. Some elaborate stamped metal designs continued during medieval times along with miniature collections of jewels studded with mediaeval Arabic inscriptions. The oldest Persian amulets are from the 5th century BC and are representations of animals. One of the earliest known examples is a gold lioness amulet from Susa dating to approximately 485 BC.

Taweez are made from different materials, such as stones and metals, with special powers attributed to them. They usually carry verses from the Quran or short texts to protect the bearer from the evil eye or other malevolent influences. There is a large number of taweez sellers in traditional markets in the region, however, modern taweez are mostly bought online or through specialised taweez shops. 

Despite the prevalent ideology prohibiting amulets, there are hundreds of taweez shops and amulet sellers throughout Iran and Pakistan that sell talisman, amulets and ointments. The Umayyad Caliphate in the early 9th century CE banned amulets, but this ban was lifted in the 10th century with no restrictions imposed. Although the Quran is considered a positive and peaceful text, in some parts of the world, especially among Muslim communities, Islamic amuletery has been used as a protective measure. In Saudi Arabia for example, many Saudis wear amulets made from different materials including animal bones or even pieces of metal.  

According to more than 300 people from Iran and many more from all sectors, such as artisans, common people, merchants, etc., taweez have a certain level of supernatural power in their role as ordinary objects that help people in different ways – by healing physical ills for example – which sets them apart from superstition or folklore.

Iranian people use talismans to deal with everyday life struggles such as poverty, joblessness, and unemployment. The use of talismans in iranian culture massively changed through the years. As islam and the Iranian revolution gained the ground, the number of taweez users sharply dropped among people who were not muslims. The taweez mostly affected middle-class people as Shiite Islam started dominating all aspects of their lives to a larger degree including their style and taste. Almost every Iranian household has at least one item of protection which they believe wards off evil and brings luck, happiness, health and success.

In everyday life, they were placed on cars, refilled bowls of water or hung over the doors until owners went to bed. On other occasions taweez dervishes would need them to protect them on their long journey. They also evolved into the holy war period where Muslims carried taweez to fight against Europeans who came with gunpowder weapons such as cannons. The number of taweez increased to such a point that the Ottoman authorities set up a special office for them. The office collected the taweez and sold them at fifty-baht each to Muslims who believed in their powers of protection, love and healing.

In Iran’s poor community, one amulet can help avoid police when moving drugs across borders and others are thought to protect from animals during hunting trips. Fishermen carry taweez in their boats over a magnetized metal ring and to protect against drowning or nighttime accidents. In the United States, such amulets are sometimes worn for protection from thieves and vandalism.