Ruqyah with Qur'an, Dhikr, and Du`a'

A: The Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted Ruqyah (saying supplications over the sick seeking healing) using the Qur’an, the prescribed Adhkar (oft-recited invocations) and Du‘a’ (supplication to Allah); thus, Ruqyah is permitted as long as it is free of any Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or in worship) or meaningless words. In his Sahih (Book of Authentic Hadith), Muslim related that `Awf ibn Malik said, We used to perform Ruqyah (saying supplications over the sick seeking healing) in Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance) and so we asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What is your opinion about that?” He said, “Show me your Ruqyahs; there is nothing wrong with Ruqyah so long as it does not involve any Shirk.” The scholars unanimously agreed that it is permissible to use Ruqyah so long as it is in line with the conditions that are mentioned above; believing that it is merely a means that has no effect except by the Will of Allah the Exalted. As for wearing an object around the neck or tying it to a part of the body, it is forbidden and counted as Shirk when 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 upper 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, “Truly, it will only increase you in weakness. Cast it away from you, for if you die with it on you, you will never succeed.” (Part No. 1; Page No. 245) Imam Ahmad also narrated on the authority of `Uqbah ibn `Amir that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 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. According to another narration also reported by Imam Ahmad the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 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) heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say, Incantations, amulets and love-charms are Shirk. According to the most correct scholarly view wearing an object that contains Qur’anic Ayahs is also prohibited for three reasons: First, the generality of the prohibition in the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on wearing any amulets, and there is no evidence specifying otherwise. Second, the necessity of acting upon the principle of Sadd-ul-Dhara’i‘ (blocking the means leading to sins), as it may lead to wearing other objects. Third, what is worn is subject to being desecrated, as it is worn in the toilet, or while performing Istinja’ (cleansing the private parts with water after urination or defecation), or while having sexual intercourse and so on.As for writing a Surah or some Ayahs of the Qur’an on a board, a plate or a sheet, then rinsing them with water, saffron, or other substances and then to drink this water in the hope of obtaining blessings, being endowed with knowledge, earning money, enjoying health and safety and so on, it was not authentically established that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did this for himself or for others; nor did he permit the Muslims to do so, despite the fact that there were occasions when necessity might have warranted that. (Part No. 1; Page No. 246) Furthermore, it was not authentically established, as far as we know, that one of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) did this or permitted it. Therefore, it is better to abandon this act and to resort to what is established in the Shari‘ah. You should use Ruqyah with the Qur’an, the Beautiful Names of Allah, and the authentic Adhkar and Prophetic supplications. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with using Ruqyah that is meaningful and free of any vestige of Shirk. It is sufficient for one who wants to draw closer to Allah to use what Allah has prescribed, in the way He ordained, in the hope that Allah will forgive sins, relieve distress and grant beneficial knowledge. When people restrict themselves to what Allah (Exalted be He) has legislated, He will make it sufficient for them and they will not be in need of anything else.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!