Charms, amulets, and love-potions

Q: A person applied to Riyadh Principality for a license to sell Ruqyahs (i.e., recitations for healing) and amulets containing Qur’anic Ayahs in the market. The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) asked him to obtain a license from the Principality. The Principality has suggested that Your Eminence issue the license after being convinced by the applicant and that you lay down the regulations and the rules which will protect the people from exploitation. We would like to know your opinion in this concern, and the possibility of granting such licenses for those who meet the laid down criteria. Please accept our best regards.


A: A Fatwa (legal opinion by a qualified Muslim scholar) has already been issued regarding the ruling on writing Qur’an or Prophetic supplications on paper or on a plate, then wiping it with water for the patient to drink as a cure. (Part No. 1; Page No. 258) As far as we know, it has not been authentically established that the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Rightly Guided Caliphs, or the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) did this and indeed all goodness lies in following the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and that of his successors and Companions. Following is the text of the Fatwa: The Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted Ruqyah (recitation over the sick for the purposes of healing and protection) using Qur’an, Adhkar (prescribed supplications) and invocations, as long as they do not contain any phrases of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) or meaningless words. In his Sahih (authentic Book of Hadith), Muslim related that `Awf ibn Malik said: We used to perform Ruqyah in Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance) and so we asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What do you think about it?” He said, “Show me your Ruqyahs; there is nothing wrong with Ruqyah so long as it does not involve any Shirk.” Scholars unanimously agreed on the permissibility of Ruqyah so long as it is used in the above-mentioned manner; believing that it is merely a means that has no effect except by the Will of Allah the Exalted. As for wearing anything around the neck or tying it to other parts of the body, it is forbidden and considered Shirk if it involves anything other than the Qur’an. Imam Ahmad narrated in his Musnad that `Imran ibn Al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) said, The Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a man wearing a brass ring on his arm, so he said, “Waihaka (an expression of mercy or pain felt for those in distress)! What is this?” The man replied, “This is to protect from pain in the shoulder and the arm.” He (peace be upon him) said, “It will only increase you in weakness. Cast it away from you, for if you die with it on you, you will never succeed.” He also narrated from `Uqbah ibn `Amir that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, “Whoever wears an amulet, may Allah not fulfill it (i.e., his want) for him, and whoever wears a sea-shell, may Allah not give him peace.” In another narration also reported by Imam Ahmad “Anyone who wears an amulet has committed Shirk.” Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud also narrated that Ibn Mas‘ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say, (Part No. 1; Page No. 259)  “Incantations, amulets and love-charms are Shirk.” If a person wears Ayahs of the Qur’an, the most correct scholarly opinion is that it is also forbidden for three reasons: First: The generality of the prohibition in the Hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on hanging any amulets, while there is no evidence specifying otherwise. Second: Sadd-al-Dhara’i‘(blocking the means leading to sins), as it might lead to wearing other objects. Third: What is worn is subject to being disrespected, as it is worn in the toilet, or while cleansing the private parts after urination or defecation, or while engaged in sexual intercourse and so on.As for writing a Surah or some Ayahs of the Qur’an in a plate or on paper, rinsing it with water, saffron, or others, and then drinking this water for obtaining blessing, beneficial knowledge, money, health, safety, etc., it is not authentically established that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did this for himself or others, or permitted anyone of the Muslims to do it, although conditions warranted it. It is not authentically established as far as we know that one of the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) did this or permitted it. Thus, it is best to refrain from this and adhere to what is confirmed in Shari‘ah (Islamic law), which is Ruqyah by reciting the Qur’an, the Beautiful Names of Allah, the authentic Adhkar, and Prophetic supplications whose meanings are clear and do not contain any vestige of Shirk. In order to draw nearer to Allah we must do so in the manner He has legislated, so that He will forgive our sins, relieve our troubles and grant us beneficial knowledge, and this will suffice. (Part No. 1; Page No. 260) Whoever is pleased with what is legislated by Allah will be in need of nothing else. May Allah grant us success.Accordingly, this man should not be granted the license to sell the mentioned Ruqyahs and amulets; rather he should be prevented from selling them.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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