Nazar, or the "Evil Eye", is a possible culprit when bad luck or hardship comes your way. I don't always understand this myself, but here is what I have heard about it. Hopefully people who know better than I can explain it better or more correctly in the comments.
When you are boastful or have something people could envy (even without being boastful about it), that envy could cause you bad luck. Someone described it "
One way to ward off this kind of nazar is to downplay the things you have. As a result of this, some people put a black smudge on a baby's forehead. It's like the black smudge is an imperfection and will stop envy of the cute baby.
Some people have remedies for nazar. If you think that some bad luck has come your way and it might be because of someone's nazar, you can pursue some of these remedies. I know some who go to hakeems or wise people to remedy possible nazar. My mother-in-law burns six red chilis - she says that usually burning a red chili will fill your house up with smoke and you won't be able to stop coughing. But if you have nazar on you and you burn the red chilis, there won't be any smoke at all and you'll know you were under nazar.
Another remedy I found online searching for cures for nazar: "
In Islam, when you fear that you are under this kind of influence, I've read that you should recite certain portions of the Quran - specifically Ayat-ul-Qursi and the four 'Quls'
One of my favorite stories that involves nazar is when we visited Pakistan with our son. My husband likes to jump around and be rough and funny, and he was carrying our son on his shoulders like a sack of potatoes saying at the top of his lungs "Bacha lay lo! Pyara hay, susta hay, acha hay!" Dhus dollar ka bacha lay lo!" (Come take a baby! It's lovely, it's cheap, it's good! Come get a ten dollar baby!) My mother in law smacked him on the arm so hard and told him to stop, it was too boastful and it would lead to nazar. It was so cute to see my husband as his mother's son, getting hit on the arm like that.
The reason I remembered this is because my in-laws house is currently suffering from the rain in Karachi. A friend suggested I take down the pictures of my husband's family home in Karachi just in case nazar was the culprit. My mother-in-law agreed with her, so I've removed the post with the pictures of the house for now.