All the matters related to the life of a Muslim are dealt with in Islam. Among all the recommendations and legislation are included ahkaam that is about health. Good health is Allah’s blessing as is mentioned here (the hadeeth of the prophet)
“Ibn Abaas reported, the messenger of Allah (saw) said, There are two
blessings in which many people incur loss, good health and free time.
Saheeh Al Bukhari”
At times though, we may see our health is declining and mere dependence on medicines or the other extreme of shunning them altogether, we must turn to authentic sources and look for assistance.
Here is a humble effort to describe Ruqyah where spiritual means are used to cure ailments that are physical.
What is ruqyah?
You cannot translate Ruqyah to ‘incantation’ which could bring to the mind images of sorcery and magic which are illegal according to Islam. And the simple term ‘by spiritual means’ may not describe the full meaning.
Ruqyah is the recitation of the Qur’an, parts like the Al-Fatihah or make supplication using words that are from the Hadith of the Prophet.
Ruqyah is using of ayats from the Qur’an or the supplications from the Prophet so as to cure yourself or somebody else from ill health and evil eye.
Is it allowed to perform Ruqyah?
Buraidah bin Al Husaib said that Ruqyah is not permitted except for treating a poisonous ting or evil eye.
Iibn Abass narrated to us that the Prophet (saw) said,
“All the nations were made to pass before me and I saw a prophet with a small group with him, and a prophet with two or three people and a prophet with none. Then there appeared a large group of people which I took to be my nation, but I was told that those were of Musa and his people. Later a larger group appeared and I was told that those were
my people. Among them were seventy thousand who would enter paradise without reckoning or punishment’they are those who do not treat themselves with ruqyah, nor do they believe in bad or good omens, nor do they get themselves branded (cauterized), but they put their trust in their Lord.”
So, Is ruqyah to be performed only for stings and evil eye?
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
“These people are praised because they did not ask anyone to recite ruqyah for them, and ruqyah is a type of du`aa’, so they did not ask others to pray for them. The phrase ‘and they did not recite ruqyah’ which is mentioned in the hadith is a mistake (on the part of the narrator), for their ruqyah for themselves and for others is a good
deed. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recited ruqyah for himself and for others but he did not ask anyone to recite ruqyah for him. His reciting ruqyah for himself and others was like his making du`aa’ for himself and others; this is something that is enjoined, for all the Prophets asked of Allah and prayed to Him, as Allah tells us
in the stories of Adam, Ibraheem, Musa and others.”(Majmu` al-Fatawa, 1/182)
A respected Saudi Muslim author and lecturer, Sheikh M.S. Al-Munajjid said that according to the Prophet the 70,000 who can enter Paradise without any punishment will be those who refrained from reciting ruqyah and had no belief in bad omens.
When is ruqyah prohibited?
Ruqyah was practiced in the preislamic days and we said, “O Allah’s messenger! What is your opinion about it?” He said, ” let me know your ruqyah and said, there is no harm in the ruqyah which does not contain shirk.”
Saheeh Muslim Al Khattabi had said that Allah’s messengers practiced ruqyah for others or for his sake. Sometimes people were commanded to practice it and it was hence legal. If the ruqyah contains the name of Allah or some of the beautiful verses of the Qur’an, it is even recommended. However, if it has non Arabic words that indicate polytheism or disbelief, then it is forbidden. (Fath ul majeed chap 8)