RUQYA

COMMON RUQYA Q&A

Q: Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: We heard of some people who treat others by means of the Qur’aan; they recite Qur’aan and du’aa’s that are prescribed in sharee’ah over water or olive oil as a remedy for witchcraft, the evil eye and madness (the touch of the shaytaan), and they receive payment for that. Is this permissible according to sharee’ah? Does reciting over water or olive oil come under the same ruling as reciting over the sick person himself? 

 

A: He replied: There is nothing wrong with receiving payment for reciting ruqyah for one who is sick, because it is proven in al-Saheehayn that a group of the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) set out on a journey and travelled until they made came near one of the Arab tribes. (These people were either kaafirs or very stingy, as Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned in al-Madaarij). They asked them for hospitality but they refused to do so. Then the leader of that tribe was stung, and they tried everything but nothing helped him. Then some of them said, Why don’t you go to those people who are staying (nearby)? Maybe some of them have something. So they went to them and said, O people, our leader has been stung and we have tried everything and nothing helped him. Do any of you have something? One of them said, Yes, by Allaah. I will perform ruqyah for him, but by Allaah we asked you for hospitality and you did not give us anything, so we will not perform ruqyah for you unless you give us something in return. So they agreed on a flock of sheep, then he started to blow on him and recite Al-hamdu Lillaahi Rabb il-‘Aalameen. Then he recovered quickly from his complaint and started walking, and there was nothing wrong with him. Then they have them what they had agreed to, and some of them (the Sahaabah) said, Let us share it out. The one who had performed ruqyah said, Do not do anything until we come to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and tell him what happened, and we will wait and see what he tells us to do. So they came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and told him what had happened. He said, “How did you know that it is a ruqyah?” Then he said, “You did the right thing.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2115) and Muslim(4080). 

 

There is nothing wrong with reciting over water or olive oil to treat the sick person, the one on whom a spell has been cast or the one who is insane, but reciting over the patient and blowing over him is better and preferable. Abu Dawood (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated with a hasan isnaad that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited over water for Thaabit ibn Qays ibn Shammaas and poured it over him. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is nothing wrong with ruqyah that does not involve shirk.” Muslim (4079). This saheeh hadeeth is general in meaning and includes ruqyah recited over the patient himself and ruqyah recited over water and olive oil etc. And Allaah is the Source of strength. End quote. Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (19/338). 

 

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked about a man who performed ruqyah for people in return for payment, and he did not know anything but that which was proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he referred to the books of trustworthy scholars concerning that. 

They replied: If the situation is as you describe and you treat the sick with ruqyahs that are prescribed in sharee’ah, and you do not recite any ruqyahs except those that are proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and you are keen to refer concerning that to that which was stated by the great scholar Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) in his well known books, and what was written by the great scholar Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) in Zaad al-Ma’aad and other similar books by Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, then you work is permissible, and your efforts are appreciated and will be rewarded in sha Allaah. And there is nothing wrong with you receiving payment for that, because of the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) to which you referred in your question. End quote. 

 

The hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri is the hadeeth mentioned above, about reciting al-Faatihah as a ruqyah for the man who had been stung by a scorpion. 

 

As ruqyah is permissible and it is permissible to receive payment for it, it makes no difference whether that is in your home or in a rented place, or in separate premises, so as to ward off hardship for the family at home. There is no basis for those who object to that on the grounds that it is not known that the salaf earned a living in this manner; once it is proven that job is permissible and that being paid for it is permissible, the view that this profession is haraam is the view of one who speaks without knowledge. 

 

Al-Bukhaari said in his Saheeh in Kitaab al-Ijaarah (the Book of Employment): Chapter on what is given for reciting the Opening of the Book (al-Faatihah) as a ruqyah for an Arab tribe. Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “The most deserving thing for which you receive payment is the Book of Allaah.” End quote. 

 

[Islam Q&A]

Q: Some people who recite ruqyah for those who are possessed or who suffer epilepsy recite Qur’aan over water and blow into it, then they tell the sick person to wash with this water. What is the ruling on doing that?.

 

A: Praise be to Allaah.  Blowing into water is of two types: 

 

1 – If this is done with the intention of seeking barakah (blessing) from the saliva of the one who blows into it, this is undoubtedly haraam, because the saliva of any person is not a means of blessing and healing, and there is no one from whose relics blessing may be sought except Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Blessing cannot be sought from the relics of anyone else. Blessing was sought from the relics of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) during his life and after his death, if those relics remained.

 

Umm Salaamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) had a small bell-shaped vessel of silver in which she kept some hairs of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), from which the sick sought healing. If a sick person came to her she would pour some water over these hairs and stir it, then give it to the sick person. But apart from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), it is not permissible to seek blessing from the saliva of anyone, or from his sweat or his garment, etc. Rather this is haraam and is a kind of shirk. If the blowing into the water is done for the sake of seeking blessings from the saliva of the one who blows on it, then it is haraam and is a kind of shirk. That is because everyone who attributes an effect to something with no evidence from sharee’ah or proof in reality, has committed a kind of shirk, because he is making his blowing as a cause of healing alongside Allaah, and proving that something is a cause of something else is to be based on shar’i evidence. Everyone who follows a means that Allaah has not made to be a cause, either according to reality or sharee’ah, has committed a kind of shirk. 

 

2 – If a person blows with saliva after reciting Qur’aan, such as al-Faatihah – which is a kind of ruqyah and is the greatest kind of ruqyah that may be recited over a sick person – so he recites al-Faatihah then blows into the water – there is nothing wrong with this. Some of the salaf did this, and it is effective and beneficial by Allaah’s leave. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to blow into his hands when going to sleep, after reciting Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, and Qul A’oodhu bi Rabbi’l-Falaq and Qul ‘A’oodhu bi Rabbi’l-Naas, then he would wipe his hands over his face and whatever he could of his body. And Allaah is the Source of strength. 

 

[Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/107.]

Q: Modern medicine treats disease with physical medicine only. Is this sufficient, or should we use ruqyah? Which of them is better?

 

A: Praise be to Allaah. There is no doubt that man suffers psychological diseases, such as anxiety about the future and grief for the past. Psychological diseases may have a greater impact on the body than physical diseases. Treating these diseases by means of something prescribed in sharee’ah – i.e., ruqyah – is more successful than treating them by means of physical medicines, as is well known.

Among the means of treating them: the saheeh haseeth narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him): “There is no believer who is stricken by anxiety, distress or grief, and he says,

 

‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka ibnu ‘abdika ibnu amatika, naasiyati bi yadika, maadin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka, as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw asta’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘indaka an taj’ala al-Qur’aan al-‘azeem rabee’a qalbi wa noora sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi wa ghammi (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your maidservant. My forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or taught to any of Your creation, or revealed in Your Book, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Holy Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety and distress)’, but Allaah will relieve him.”

 

This is one of the medicines prescribed in sharee’ah. Similarly, one may say, “Laa ilaaha illa anta, subhaanaka, inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allaah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers)” [cf. al-Anbiyaa’ 21:87]

 

If you want to know more, please refer to the writings of the scholars on the topic of adhkaar (dhikr, remembering Allaah), such as al-Waabil al-Sayyib by Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Kalim al-Tayyib by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Adhkaar by al-Nawawi, and Zaad al-Ma’aad, by Ibn al-Qayyim.

 

But when faith grows weak, the soul’s acceptance of remedies prescribed in sharee’ah also grows weak. People nowadays have begun to rely on physical medicines more than on the spiritual remedies prescribed in Islam. But when faith is strong, the spiritual remedies prescribed in Islam have a more complete effect; their effect may be faster than that of physical medicines. We are all aware of the story of the man whom the Messenger SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent on a campaign. He camped near some Arabs, but those people near whom he camped did not show him any hospitality. Allaah willed that their chief should be stung by a snake, and they said to one another, “Go to those people who are camped (near us), maybe you will find a raaqi (one who recites ruqyah, i.e., incantations or prayers for healing) with them.” The Sahaabah said to them, “We will not recite ruqyah for your chief until you give us such and such number of sheep.” They said, “We agree.” Then one of the Sahaabah went and recited over the one who had been stung; he recited Soorat al-Faatihah only, then that person who had been stung got up as if he was released from a chain. 

 

This recitation of al-Faatihah had such an effect in this man because it came from a heart that was filled with faith. When they came back, the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “How did you know that it is a ruqyah?”

 

But in our own times there is this weakness of religious commitment and faith, and people have started to rely on outward physical matters, and this is causing them further suffering.

 

On the other hand there are those who cheat people and deceive them,  claiming to be pious reciters of Qur’aan, but they consume people’s wealth unlawfully. People are of two extremes, one which thinks that recitation of Qur’aan has no effect at all, and the other extreme composed of cheaters who deceive people by reciting devious recitations, and some are moderate. [Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/465, 466]

 

But as there is no contradiction between using permissible physical medicines as prescribed by doctors and using spiritual medicines such as ruqyah and seeking refuge with Allaah and other du’aa’s that are proven in sound reports, the two may be combined, as the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did. It was proven that he used both kinds of treatment, and he said, “Strive to pursue that which will benefit you and seek refuge with Allaah, and do not feel helpless.” And he said: “Seek treatment, O slaves of Allaah, but do not seek treatment with things which are haraam.” 

 

[Islam Q&A, Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid]

Q: I would like to know if it is permissible to perform ruqyah on a non-muslim person as a form of da'wah, that is if it gives good results, the person may start to be interested in islam and later convert? Of course, that person would be informed that there is no power in the ruqyah itself , but that whatever happens is up to Allah's will.

 

A: Praise be to Allaah. There is no reason why one cannot do this. Allaah has created healing in the Qur’aan, as He has created healing in honey and oil and other things. These are means of healing and Allaah is the Healer, so there is nothing wrong with performing ruqyah for this person, especially since you hope that this kaafir may become a Muslim.

 

There is also a report in a saheeh hadeeth that supports that idea that it is permissible to perform ruqyah for a non-Muslim. Abu Sa’eed (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: A group of the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) set out on a journey and travelled until they made came near one of the Arab tribes. (These people were either kaafirs or very stingy, as Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned in al-Madaarij). They asked them for hospitality but they refused to do so. Then the leader of that tribe was stung, and they tried everything but nothing helped him. Then some of them said, Why don’t you go to those people who are staying (nearby)? Maybe some of them have something. So they went to them and said, O people, our leader has been stung and we have tried everything and nothing helped him. Do any of you have something? One of them said, Yes, by Allaah. I will perform ruqyah for him, but by Allaah we asked you for hospitality and you did not give us anything, so we will not perform ruqyah for you unless you give us something in return. So they agreed on a flock of sheep, then he started to blow on him and recite Al-hamdu Lillaahi Rabb il-‘Aalameen. Then he recovered quickly from his complaint and started walking, and there was nothing wrong with him. Then they have them what they had agreed to, and some of them (the Sahaabah) said, Let us share it out. The one who had performed ruqyah said, Do not do anything until we come to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and tell him what happened, and we will wait and see what he tells us to do. So they came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and told him what had happened. He said, “How did you know that it is a ruqyah?” Then he said, “You did the right thing. Share them out, and give me a share.” And the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) smiled. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2276, and by Muslim, 2201).

 

There follow some quotes from the commentary of Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) on the hadeeth and some additional details.

 

“They asked them for hospitality” means they asked them to regard them as guests. According to the report of Al-A’mash narrated by scholars others than al-Tirmidhi, it says: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent thirty of us and we camped near some people and asked them for a hospitable reception.

 

“was stung” means, he was stung by a scorpion.

 

“and they tried everything” means, they tried every kind of treatment that they usually did to treat him for the scorpion sting, they made the utmost effort to find the right treatment for him.

 

“So they went to them”. In the hadeeth of Jaabir, al-Bazzaar added: “And said to them, We have heard that your companion has come with light and healing. They said, Yes.”

 

“Do any of you have something?” Abu Dawood added in his report: “that could help our companion.” 

 

“One of them said” According to the report of Abu Dawood: “A man among the people said, Yes, I will perform ruqyah.” The one who said this was Abu Sa’eed, the narrator of the report. His wording was: “I said, Yes, I (have something). But I will not perform ruqyah for him until you give us some sheep.”

 

This also appears in the report of Sulaymaan ibn Qattah, with the words: “I came to him and performed ruqyah for him by reciting the Opening of the Book [al-Faatihah].”

 

“So they agreed” means, they reached an agreement

 

“on a flock of sheep”… according to the report of al-A’mash: “They said, we will give you thirty ewes.”

“then he started to blow on him” means, he blew or spat lightly on him, with little saliva.

 

Ibn Abi Hamzah said: the blowing in ruqyah should come after the recitation, so as to carry the barakah (blessing) of the recitation to the parts of the body over which the saliva passes, so that the barakah travels in his saliva when he blows. 

 

“recite Al-hamdu Lillaahi Rabb il-‘Aalameen” According to the report of Shu’bah: “He started to recite the Opening of the Book over him.” According to the report of Al-A’mash, he recited it seven times.

 

“Then he recovered quickly”. The meaning of nashata (translated here as “recovered”) is: he got up quickly. From the same root comes the expression rajul nasheet, meaning an active and energetic man.

“from his complaint” The word ‘iqaal (translated here as “complaint”) could refer to the rope used to tie the foreleg of an animal.

 

“and there was nothing wrong with him” means, his problem was gone. A problem may be described as qalabah (wa maa bihi min qalabah – translated here as “and there was nothing wrong with him”) because the one who is suffering from the problem may be turned (yuqallab) this way and that in order to find out where the problem is coming from.

 

“How did you know that it is a ruqyah?” Al-Daawoodi said: it means, what told you …? In the report of Ma’bad ibn Seereen it says: “And what told him?” This is something which is said to express astonishment and also admiration of a thing, which is quite appropritae in this case. Shu’bah added in his report: And it was not mentioned that he – i.e., the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – disapproved of it. Sulaymaan ibn Qattah added in his report, after the phrase “How did you know that it is a ruqyah?”, “I said: it came to me like an inspiration” i.e., I was inspired to do it.

 

“and give me a share” means, give me some of them – as if he wanted to be extra friendly towards them. 

 

The hadeeth indicates that it is permissible to perform ruqyah by reciting the Book of Allaah, and that it comes under the same category as dhikr and al-du’aa’ al-ma’thoor (du’aa’s reported in the Qur’aan and Sunnah), and also other du’aa’s so long as they do not contradict what is in the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

The hadeeth also indicates that one may respond in kind to a person who does not treat one honourably, as the Sahaabah did by withholding the ruqyah from those people who had not shown them hospitality.

 

The hadeeth also indicates that in the absence of a specific text, one may make ijtihaad. It also demonstrates the esteem in which the Qur’aan was held in the hearts of the Sahaabah, especially Soorat al-Faatihah, and it shows that if provision (rizq) is decreed for someone, the person in whose hands it is cannot withhold it from him. Those people withheld their hospitality but Allaah had decreed that the Sahaabah should have a share of their wealth, and they withheld it, so Allaah caused the scorion to sting their chief so that the Sahaabah would get what had been decreed for them. It also demonstrates the great wisdom of Allaah in that the one who was singled out for punishment was their leader who had been foremost in withholding hospitality, because people usually follow the commands of their leaders. Since he has led them in withholding hospitality, he was singled out for the punishment whereas his people were not, which was a most fitting punishment.

 

In al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah it says: There is no dispute among the fuqahaa concerning the fact that it is permissible for a Muslim to perform ruqyah for a kaafir. They take as evidence the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) which has been quoted above (f – 14). … Their evidence is that the tribe near whom they camped and from whom they sought hospitality were kuffaar, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not denounce that.

And Allaah knows best. 

 

[Islam Q&A, Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid]

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