Ruqya – a Special Curing Prayer

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Do you know that you can use specialized duaa and Qur’anic verses to cure the sick?

We are told in the Qur’an that Prophet Ibraheem, alayhis salam, said, “And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me.” [26:80]

The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, said: “There is a remedy for every malady, and when the remedy is applied to the disease it cures it with the permission of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.” (Muslim) Also, the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “Make use of the two remedies: honey and the Qur’an.” (Tirmithi)

The use of spiritual forms of healing, such as payers and meditation have become quite popular. This is in part a result of a resurgence in religion and so-called “New Age” beliefs. Major medical centers and health care institutions are even studying the effects of salah on healing. For Islamic purposes, the use of specialized prayers (duaa) or Qur’anic verses are known as ruqyah. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and his companions used this method of healing, as evidenced by many ahadeeth in Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmithi and others. Muslims are advised to provide ruqiyah for Muslims and even non-Muslims that are sick. The sick are also able to provide ruqiyah for themselves. Ruqyah is a valuable tool for treating a variety of disorders and diseases. This may include snake or scorpion bite, the evil eye (or envy), and psychological problems that Jinn may cause.

Aisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, used the following duaa when family members were sick, “Allahumma Rabban-nas, adh-hibil-ba’s, washfi, Antash-Shafee, la shifa’a, ilia shifa’uk, shifa’an la yughadiru saqaman. (O Allah, Lord of mankind! Remove this disease and cure him. You are the Great Curer, there is no cure but through You that leaves behind no disease.)” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, told Amr ibnul Aas, “Place your hand where you feel pain and say ‘Bismillah’ three times, and then repeat seven times A’oudho bi’izzatil-lahi wa qudratihi min sharri ma ajidu wa ‘uhadhir. (I seek refuge with Allah and with His Power from the evil that afflicts me and that which I apprehend.)” (Muslim)

Suratul-Fatihah, the opening surah of the Qur’an, is also recommended as a cure for sicknesses and diseases. Allah’s Messenger said, “Fatihatul Kitab contains healing for every disease.” (Tirmithi)

Bukhari has reported that several of the Prophet’s companions used Suratul-Fatihah as a treatment for a snake or scorpion bite. They returned to the Prophet and asked the permissibility of receiving a sheep in payment for providing the ruqiyah. The Prophet then asked how they knew that Suratul-Fatihah was a ruqiyah. He added that they had done the right thing. Bukhari has also reported that Suratul Falaq and Suratun Nas (surahs 113 and 114) are also protections against illness and evil. One hadeeth has reported that the Prophet would recite mu’awwidhat (Suratul Falaq and Suratun Nas). He would then blow his breath into his hands and rub his hands over his body, hoping for its blessings. Tirmithi has reported that the Prophet used to seek protection against jinn and the evil eye until Suratul Falaq and Suratun Nas were revealed. After they were revealed, he held to them and discarded everything beside them.

There are those who believe wearing charms with certain surahs or verses on them are a protection. Others believe that placing these charms on infants will protect them from Jinn and the evil eye or believe that having decorative wall-hangings with Qur’an is a protection. Some may write these verses or surahs on a piece of paper. They then dip the paper into a glass of water and drink the water. These actions are not the prescribed actions by the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, and may come close to shirk. Allah and His Messenger have given us directions for using prayer ‘whether duaa or ruqyah’ and the Qur’an for healing. We must accept these directions and use them accurately while trusting in Allah’s Will and Might.

Vivian bint Vondal Taylor