A: It was authentically reported from Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) on the authority of Khawlah bint Hakim that he (peace be upon him) said: When anyone lands at a place and then says "I seek refuge with the Perfect Words of Allah from the evil of what He has created," nothing will harm him until he leaves that place. (Related by Muslim in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith)It was also narrated on the authority of `Imran ibn Husayn that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: There is no Ruqyah (reciting Qur'an and supplicating over the sick seeking healing) better than that which is said as a treatment for an evil eye or (a sting of) a Humah. (Related by Ahmad) The Arabic word 'Humah' means the venomous animals such as snakes and scorpions. Also, it was narrated on the authority of `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to recite in his Ruqyah: In the Name of Allah. The dust of our land and the saliva of some of us can cure our patient with the Permission of Allah. (Related by Al-Bukhari) (Part No. 1; Page No. 269) These Hadiths indicate that a Muslim should combat the evil of poisonous animals, or the like, through Islamically lawful Ruqyah. This involves seeking refuge in Allah Alone and relying completely on the belief that He Alone can bring benefit or cause harm.It was narrated in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith of Al-Bukhari and Muslim that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: "Some of the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him) went on a journey until they reached some of the Arab tribes (at night). They asked the latter to treat them as their guests but they refused. The chief of that tribe was then bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion) and they tried their best to cure him but in vain. Some of them said (to the others), 'Nothing has benefited him, will you go to the people who resided here at night, it may be that some of them have something (as treatment),' They went to the group of the Sahabah and said, 'Our chief has been bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion) and we have tried everything but he has not benefited. Have you got anything (useful)?' One of them replied, 'Yes, by Allah! I can recite a Ruqyah for him, but as you have refused to accept us as your guests, I will not recite the Ruqyah for you unless you fix us some wages for it.' They agreed to pay them a flock of sheep. One of them then went and recited (Surah Al-Fatihah): All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). Over the chief who recovered as if he was released from chains, and got up and started walking, showing no signs of sickness. They paid them what they agreed to pay. Some of them (i.e. the Companions) then suggested to divide their earnings among themselves, but the one who performed the Ruqyah said, 'Do not divide them until we go to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and narrate the whole story to him, and wait for his order.' Therefore, they went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and narrated the story. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) asked, 'How did you come to know that Surah Al-Fatihah was recited as Ruqyah?' Then he added, 'You have done the right thing. Divide (what you have earned) and assign a share for me as well.' The Prophet (peace be upon him) then smiled. This is the narration of (Part No. 1; Page No. 270) Al-Bukhari.The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to seek Allah's refuge for Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn as related in the Hadith narrated on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both): The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to seek refuge in Allah for Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn and say, "Your forefather (i.e. Abraham) used to seek refuge in Allah for Isma`il (Ishmael) and Is-haq (Isaac) by reciting the following: 'O Allah! I seek Refuge with Your Perfect Words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.'" (Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Al-Tirmidhy, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and Ahmad) Snakes, scorpions and similar poisonous pests harm man by nature, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) described them as evil and harmful animals by saying: Five are the harmful animals which should be killed in the state of Ihram or otherwise... The Hadith included snakes and scorpions.Thus, the claims of these fraudulent people that snake charmers possess the qualities mentioned above, such as taming harmful, poisonous animals, controlling and confining them, curing persons bitten by these animals with their saliva, not being harmed or stung by these animals, immunizing the infants from the poison of scorpions and snakes through taking a dead scorpion mixed with the breastfeeding milk - all these claims are lies, falsehood, and myths. They involve seeking help from devils and relating to the jinn as well as cooperating with them in sin and transgression. These myths are meant to deceive the common, naive people. (Part No. 1; Page No. 271) Some snake charmers claim they are Awliya' (pious people) owing to the unusual events they practice. A Muslim should not be tempted by them or deceived by their claims; rather, he must reject them and keep away from them. He should warn people against their evil and believe that they commit acts of Bid`ah (innovation in religion) and heresy.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.