The Right Way to do Ruqyah
Ruqyah is a form of spiritual cure given to us by Allah azz wa jall to heal ourselves from sickness. All cure is from Allah and whether we choose to take medicines or seek ruqyah, ultimately they will only benefit us if Allah wills and Allah does as He wills, He is the Most Wise.
In the last article I stated the proof for ruqyah from the Qur'an and Sunnah and In sha Allah, now I will be going in-depth on how to perform ruqyah and what are the permissible and impermissible methods of ruqyah.
Ruqyah is a spiritual cure which needs to be used in line with a certain mindset. I have a lot of people ask me why the effects of ruqyah don't seem to be working for them, when they feel they are affected by evil eye, black magic and so on. If I ask them if they're praying, the reply is 'No, but I'm listening to Surah Baqarah and saying my duas'. And therein lies the problem.
While I appreciate it can be hard to pray when one feels unwell, ruqyah comes with an entire lifestyle. If your lifestyle is not changing from the trial you are facing then you have not learnt from it! How can we be so arrogant as to expect Allah to help us while we go about ignoring His commands that are made obligatory upon us?
When a person falls sick it is only a means for Allah azz wa jall to grant them reward for their patience. A trial that you or someone you care about may be facing is a wake up call from Allah, either to change your condition or to keep going and worship Allah in an even better manner than before.
Trials change people, they open our eyes. There lies in trials a hidden blessing, one which we slowly unravel or never really comprehend until we see the fruits of it in the akhira where Allah will make manifest His ultimate justice.
Different tools for treating illness in Islam
The tools for treating sickness in Islam include, taking medicine (those not containing haram ingredients such as alcohol) particularly Prophetic medicine (herbal remedies recommended by the Prophet ﷺ), hijamah (cupping) and ruqyah (including duas and worship).
Ruqyah that is free from shirk, bi'dah and the haraam is permissible. In fact all ruqyah has been classified into belonging to either 'ruqyah Ash Shar'iah' or 'ruqyah Ash shirkiyah'.
What exactly do I mean by Shirk? Shirk is calling upon anyone or anything other than Allah and believing that it can benefit you. I cannot STRESS this point enough and anyone in the field of ruqyah worth their salt will tell you how important this is.
You cannot expect Allah to cure you when you are associating partners with Allah or calling to other than Allah for cure. In fact, you cannot expect any good in your life at all, if you are associating partners with Allah. This is one of the most common knowledge concepts of Islam and yet, shockingly, shirk is rife amongst Muslims especially in dealing with the treatment of black magic, evil eye and jinn possession.
This is largely due to the fact of ignorance of Islamic rulings on treating this type of affliction and also the lack of authentic resources and raqis (someone who performs ruqyah) to help such people.
It's important to understand that when we're dealing with the Unseen, we are faced with evils and the work of Shaytaan. We have to treat these according to what is made permissible by Allah and avoid falling into the trap of Shaytaan instead! What good is using shirk against Shaytaan when you have just given him exactly what he desires?
What good is seeking a few moments of worldly health by visiting a magician when you have potentially destroyed your entire akhirah? So you can see, it is vital to understand these concepts of what you are dealing with and the wider implications that such a trial should be having on your life. If you are faced with black magic, the reality of Shaytaan, the magicians and enemies of Allah have been shown to you. So, turn to Allah, perfect your tawheed and tawakkul in Allah and then turn to the methods prescribed for you.
Impermissible methods of Ruqyah
Some of the popular impermissible methods of ruqyah which are used to treat black magic evil eye and possession include:
- Calling upon anyone other than Allah
- Calling upon the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ or His Companions
- Blind superstitions
- Fortune-telling or going to see a fortune teller and the use of amulets/charms.
The use of amulets and charms (taweez) is a topic worthy of its own discussion as it is THE most popular form of deception used by magicians (both pretending to be Muslim and non-Muslim) and is 98% of the time actual black magic itself!
The controversy with amulets is that many of the authors trick the masses into believing they contain Qur'an. However, in the rare chance they do contain Qur'an, then this is a bi'dah as there are no authentic hadith of the Prophet ﷺ ever recommending this as a treatment; while reading the Qur'an was mentioned, wearing it around one's neck was not.
The blessing of the Qur'an lies in reciting it and believing cure comes from Allah, not hanging it on ourselves or our walls and expecting blessing from that alone. We should strive to gain knowledge from the authentic hadith to protect ourselves and ensure we are doing things the right way, not the way that seems the most convenient.
There have been serious consequences to people's lives and health as a result of visiting such people and using the incorrect means to treat.
In line with avoiding the impermissible a person should first ensure they are praying every salah and performing that which is obligatory upon them in terms of duties. After this, the halal means of ruqyah can be performed and In sha Allah a person will not only feel better (people have converted to Islam solely through seeing the power of Qur'an when used for treating illness), but be rewarded for their efforts as well.
Permissible methods of Ruqyah
The first and highly recommended method as it is directly from the Sunnah is to cup one's hands, blow into them and recite Qur'anic surahs or ayat and then pass this over as much of the body as possible.
Aisha (رضي الله عنها) said: "When someone fell ill from the Prophet's family he did 'nafath' on them (to blow three times over them reciting the two chapters of seeking refuge, Soorah al-Falaq and Soorah Naas). When he himself fell ill, the illness which lead to his death I would (similarly) do 'nafath' on him and would wipe him with his own hands for it was more blessed than my hands. [Saheeh Muslim].
You can do this for yourself or upon others and can be used for all types of illnesses.
The second method you can use is to recite Qur'an or authentic duas from the Sunnah upon water, blow onto it and drink this or give to the afflicted person. This water is blessed water and should be treated as such (i.e. no wasting), it can be kept for long periods of time although the longer it is kept the less effective it will be.
Reciting and drinking straight away has the best results. The more that is recited upon the water the stronger the effect will be for the individual.
Thirdly, ruqyah can be performed by placing one's right hand on the forehead or affected area (e.g. on the chest if you are experiencing chest pain) and reciting certain surahs and ayahs of the Qur'an. This can be done for oneself or for another as ruqyah can be performed for others.
The main surahs used for ruqyah include the last two surahs of the Qur'an; Surah Al-Falaq and Surah Nas, Surah Fatiha and Surah Baqarah. However, it is important to remember any surahs of the Qur'an can be used.
Al-Bukhari narrated on the authority of Abu Saýid Al-Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him):
Some of the Sahabah of the Prophet ﷺ came across one of the Arab tribes, but they refused to extend to them hospitality. Then the leader of that tribe was stung, so they asked (the Sahabah), "Do you have any remedy or someone who can recite supplications over the sick as a cure?."
They said, "You refused to offer us hospitality, so we will not do anything until you give us something in return." And they agreed on a flock of sheep, so one of them (the Sahabah) started reciting Umm Al-Qur'an (Surah Al-Fatihah); gathering his saliva and spitting on it (the snake-bite), and the man got cured.
Then they brought the sheep, but they (the Sahabah) said, "We will not take them until we ask the Prophet (whether it is lawful)." When they asked him, he smiled and said; "How do you know that it (Surah Al-Fatihah) is a Ruqyah? Take them (the sheep) and assign a share for me".
You can also call upon Allah by His names and attributes, recite duas from the Sunnah and make personal duas. There are duas from the Sunnah for healing many of which can be found online and in supplication books from Islamic stores. I recommend 'Fortress of the Muslim' compiled by Sa'id bin Wahf Al-Qahtani and his book 'Supplications and treatment with Ruqyah'.
Whilst these are duas for shifa, reciting the daily Sunnah morning and evening duas also work as protection from illness and evils. I would further recommend reciting the Sunnah supplications for stress and anxiety to help with the emotional impact suffering from an illness can have.
Sister Aiysha blogs at Beat Sihr