Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Ruqyah (plural: ruqa) derives from the past-tense verb raqa. It consists of words said or written in the form of dud or Dhikr for the purpose of protection or cure. It is sometimes accompanied with other actions, such as blowing or wiping over the thing to which it is applied.
A synonym for ruqyah in Arabic is "ta'with" and "tawithah", from which derives the description "al-Muawwidhat" (the protecting ones) for the last three suras of the Quran, and "al-Muawwidhatan" (the two protecting ones) for the last two suras only (cited below).
People from most cultures and religions use various forms of ruqa. They are usually referred to in English as spells, charms, incantations, and so on. Most of those ruqa contain magic, shirk, senseless words, lies, etc. Because of this, the Prophet (Peace and Blessing upon Him) prohibited using ruqa at first. Ibn Masud (RA) reported that the Prophet (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:
Indeed, ruqa, amulets, and tiwala*, are all acts of shirk. Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani in as-Sahihah no. 331.
(*Tiwala: Beads or other objects, usually worn around the neck, believed by some people to have the power of making a husband love his wife.)

Later on, he (Peace and Blessing upon Him) allowed people to use only the ruqa that he approved, or that did not contain shirk. Jabir Bin 'Abdillah (RA) reported that Allah's Messenger (Peace and Blessing upon Him) prohibited ruqa. Then, some people from the tribe of 'Umr Bin Hazam came to him and said, "We have a ruqyah that we used to use for scorpion and snake stings; but you have now prohibited using ruqa." And they showed it to him. He (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:
I do not see anything wrong in it. Anyone among you who can benefit his brother should do so. Muslim

There are some important conditions that must be satisfied in a ruqyah to make it permissible. They were summarized by Ibn Hajar (AR):
"There is a consensus among the 'ulama that ruqa are permissible when they satisfy three conditions:
1 - To be with Allah's words or His names and attributes
2 - To be in Arabic or of an intelligible meaning
3 - And to believe that they do not have effect by themselves but by Allah ('Azza wa Jalla)."  Fath ul Bari 10/240

In what follows, we discuss each of these conditions:
1. Must Be with Allah's Words, Names, or Attributes
As we will see below, all forms of ruqa reported in the Sunnah satisfy this condition. They either consist of specific portions of the Quran, such as al-Fatiha or Ayat ul-Kursiy, or contain a praise of Allah ('Azza wa Jalla) and an invocation of His help and protection.

2. Must Be with Clearly Understood Words
This is an important condition that must be satisfied in order to eliminate any magic factors from the ruqyah.

3. Believing That the True Benefit Is from Allah ('Azza wa Jalla)

Similar to our earlier discussion of medicines, one must always believe that the true and ultimate protector is Allah ('Azza wa Jalla) alone, and that ruqa and medications are means that He created and He controls as He wills. Thus trust must be put in Him and not in the means that He created. Allah ('Azza wa Jalla) commands His Messenger (Peace and Blessing upon Him):
«So seek refuge with Allah (only); verily, it is He who is all-Hearer, all-Seer.» (Al Ghafir 40:56).

In what follows, there are additional guidelines that should be taken into consideration what performing a ruqyah.
1. Adhering to What Is Reported in the Sunnah
Ruqyah is a form of supplication. As is the case with other supplications, it is permissible to use any words that fulfill the above conditions. This is approved by Allah's Messenger (Peace and Blessing upon Him) who said:
There is nothing wrong with ruqa as long as they do not involve shirk. Muslim
However, rather than experimenting with ruqa that may or may not be useful, and rather than being doubtful as to whether a specific ruqyah fulfills the correct conditions and guidelines, it is best to adhere to the ruqa that have been reported in the Sunnah.

'Awf Bin Malik al-Ashja'i (RA) narrated that he said to the Prophet (Peace and Blessing upon Him), "O Allah's Messenger! We used to apply ruqa during Jahiliyyah. What do you think of that?" He (Peace and Blessing upon Him) replied:
Present your ruqa to me. There is nothing wrong with them as long as they do not involve shirk. Muslim

Ibn Masud's wife Zaynab (RA) narrated that he saw on her neck a string and asked her, "What is this?" She replied, "It is a string on which a ruqyah was made for me." He cut it off her neck and said:
"You, family of Ibn Masud, are in no need for shirk. Truly, I heard Allah's Messenger (Peace and Blessing upon Him) say: Indeed, ruqa, amulets, and tiwala, are all acts of shirk.
She said, "Why do you say this? I was having spasms of pain in my eye; so I went to such and such a Jewish man, and whenever he treated it with ruqyah, it soothed it." He replied:
"That is the doing of Satan. He (Satan) pinches it with his hand; and when the ruqyah is applied to it, he removes his hand. It would have been sufficient for you to say what Allah's Messenger (Peace and Blessing upon Him) used to say:
‘Athhib il-ba's, rabb an-nas, washfi ant ash-shafi, la shifa illa shifa uk, shifaan la yughadiru saqama.
Meaning: Remove the affliction, Lord of the people, and cure - You are the one who cures, and there is no cure except from Youa cure that will not leave any sickness. Recorded by Abu Dawud; judged hasan by al-Albani (Mishkat ul-Masabih no. 4552).

The Prophet (Peace and Blessing upon Him) explicitly prohibited all magical ruqa. Jabir reported that the Prophet (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:
Nashrah*  is of the doing of Satan. Recorded by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (as-Sahihah no. 2760).
(*A magical spell done to counter another magical spell.)

One may never go to a magician for help, regardless of whether the magician were true or false. False magicians are liars who pretend things to attract people's awe, money, or both. True magicians rely on jinns and the devil, and apply procedures containing kufr to produce their spells. Thus all of their spells, including ruqa, are prohibited, and any Muslim who seeks their help belies his belief in the Prophet (Peace and Blessing upon Him). Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet (Peace and Blessing upon Him) said:
Whoever goes to a soothsayer or fortuneteller and believes in what he says has indeed rejected that which has been revealed to Muhammad. Recorded by Ahmad and al-Hakim. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Sahih ul-Jami no. 5939).

As indicated in the Quran, (the magicians can never be successful) (Taha 20:69), nor (can they benefit anyone) (al-Baqarah 2:102). Because of all of this, and from the rule established earlier that Allah did not make our cure in anything that He prohibited, we clearly conclude that it is not permissible at all to seek a ruqyah from a magician.

As has been indicated earlier, a ruqyah must be in intelligible and well-understandable words. Otherwise, it could contain shirk, magic, or other evils covered by cryptic characters and mysterious words.

Some people require that a ruqyah be accompanied with bizarre actions or conditions, such as applying it in a graveyard or bathroom, or applying it to a person who is unclean or covered with najasah. These and other similar requirements, beside conflicting with what has been reported in the Sunnah, demonstrate a devilish tendency that must be totally avoided.
As for writing a ruqyah on a piece of paper and attaching it to the body of the patient, or soaking the paper in water and making him drink that water, or blowing and spitting over a water container while reading it and then making him drink that water, all of this has no basis in the Sunnah (There are some authentic reports indicating that Imam Ahmad (AR) and some other 'ulama of the salaf have allowed some of these actions, but this by no means gives them a stamp of approval without a supportive evidence from the Sunnah.), and should therefore be totally avoided.

A ruqyah may not include evil words, such as cursing, offensive descriptions, or profanity. All of this is prohibited, and, as has been indicated earlier, Allah did not make our cure in anything prohibited.

Neither the person applying a ruqyah, nor the person to whom it is applied may assume that it has an independent power of cure or protection. They must both put their full trust in Allah, rely fully on Him, and believe that the ruqyah is a means that He created for them. As Ibn Al-Qayyim indicates (Al Jawab Al Kafi), one should view a ruqyah like one does a sword: it can be of no use without three conditions:
a) It should be strong and sharp.
b) The person using it should be well versed and experienced.
c) There should be no obstacles hindering it from being most effective.

Various forms of supplications for prevention or healing, some of which may be classified as ruqa, have been presented in this site. In what follows, we include some more, or refer to earlier ones, as the discussion warrants.

Abu Said al-Khudri (RA) reported that Jibril came to the Prophet (Peace and Blessing upon Him) and said:, "O Muhammad, are you sick?" He replied, Yes. He said:
"Bismillahi arqik, min kulli shayin yuthik, min sharri kulli nafsin aw ayni hasid - With Allah's Name I shelter you (give you ruqyah), from all that ails you, from the evil of every soul, or that of the envious eyes. May Allah cure you; with Allah's Name I shelter you." Muslim and others.

'Aishah (RA) reported that Allah's Messenger (Peace and Blessing upon Him) came into her house and saw with her a woman who was treating her with ruqyah. He told her:
Treat her (only) with Allah's Book. Recorded by Ibn Hibban; verified to be authentic by al-Albani in as-Sahihah no. 1931.
In what follows, we present ruqa with specific suras or ayat as is recorded in the Sunnah.

1. Surah Al-Fatihah ( ayat 1-7 ) :
2. Surah Al-Baqarah ( ayat 1-5 ) :
3. Surah Al-Baqarah ( ayat 102 ) :
4. Surah Al-Baqarah ( ayat 163-164 ) :
5. Surah Al-Baqarah ( ayat 255 ) :
6. Surah Al-Baqarah ( ayat 285-286 ) :
7. Surah Al-’Imran ( ayat 18-19 ) :
8. Surah Al-A’raf ( ayat 54-56 ) :
9. Surah Al-A’raf ( ayat 117-122 ) :
10. Surah Yunus ( ayat 81-82 ) :
11. Surah Thaha ( ayat 69 ) :
12. Surah Al-Mukminin ( ayat 115-118 ) :
13. Surah As-Shaffat ( ayat 1-10 ) :
14. Surah Al-Ahqaf ( ayat 29-32 ) :
15. Surah Ar-Rahman ( ayat 33-36 ) :
16. Surah Al-Hasyr ( ayat 21-24 ) :
17. Surah Al-Jin ( ayat 1-9 ) :
18. Surah A1-Ikhlas ( ayat 1-4 ) :
19. Surah Al-Falaq ( ayat 1-5 ) :
20. Surah An-Nas ( ayat 1-6 ) :

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