How should one perform ruqyah?


A lady from Kashmir wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, stating that [in the Shi‘i tradition] a supplication often recited over incurable patients by way of ruqyah is as follows:

يَا مَنِ اسْمُہُ دَواءٌ وَذِکْرُہُ شِفاءٌ

[“O He Whose name is a remedy, and Whose remembrance is a cure.”]

She asked about the source of this supplication and its authenticity. Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 9 April 2022, provided the following response to her query:

“To the best of my knowledge, there is not any supplication [proven from authentic ahadith] that corresponds to what you have written in your letter. However, in the ahadith, it is mentioned that the Holy Prophetsa himself as well as his Companions, the Sahabahra, would recite Surah al-Fatihah, the mu‘awwizatayn (i.e., Surah al-Falaq and Surah an-Nas), and some other supplications while performing ruqyah over ailments such as fever, various diseases, and bites from snakes and scorpions, among other things.

“For instance, a hadith recounts an episode where a group of Companions embarked on a journey and halted near a tribe. They asked the tribe for some food, but the people of the tribe refused to entertain them. Subsequently, the tribe’s chief was bitten by a snake or a scorpion, and despite all attempts, he did not recover. Someone suggested consulting the travellers, as they might know of a cure. Upon enquiry, a companion from among the Companions replied that he indeed knew of a method of ruqyah but, due to the tribe’s refusal to provide any hospitality, he would not administer it. Following the tribe’s pledge to give a flock of sheep [as remuneration] to the Companions, the companion recited Surah al-Fatihah over the tribe’s chief, who recovered so completely due to the blessing of Surah al-Fatihah that it seemed as though he had never been bitten. The Companions took the sheep from the tribe. One of them proposed to divide the sheep among them. Still, the companion who had performed ruqyah suggested that they should not do so until they had presented the matter to the Holy Prophetsa and learned of his command. When they went to the Holy Prophetsa and related the entire event, he asked, ‘How did you know that Surah al-Fatihah could be used as ruqyah? You did exactly right. Distribute the sheep among yourselves, and set aside a portion for me.’ Saying this, the Holy Prophetsa smiled. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab at-tibb, Bab an-nafthi fi r-ruqyah)

“Hazrat Aishara narrates that the Holy Prophetsa would recite the following supplication while performing ruqyah:

أَذْهِبْ الْبَاسَ رَبَّ النَّاسِ بِيَدِكَ الشّفَاءُ لَا كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلَّا أَنْتَ

“‘O Lord of the people! Remove the trouble, for the cure is in Your Hands, and there is none except You, who can remove it [the disease] .’ (Sahih Muslim, Kitab as-salam, Bab istihbabi ruqyati l-marid)

“Similarly, we learn from the ahadith that the Holy Prophetsa would also blow lightly while performing ruqyah. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab at-tibb, Bab an-nafthi fi r-ruqyati)

“This exact practice is also found in the lives of the Promised Messiahas and his Companions. As such, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra narrates:

“‘Once, this humble one travelled from Lahore to Qadian along with a few other members of the Jamaat from Lahore. The late Sufi Ahmad Din Sahib requested that I make a request on his behalf and ask the Promised Messiahas to perform ruqyah over his chest. As Hazrat Sahibas was passing through the alleyway before entering the interior of the house, I stepped forward to introduce Sufi Sahib and convey his request. Huzooras performed ruqyah by reciting something, (and then blew over) Sufi Sahib’s chest and proceeded to go inside.’ (Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, Zikr-e-Habib, […], p. 137)

“Similarly, Hazrat Pir Sirajul Haqq Nu‘manira recounts:

“‘There was an instance when I travelled from Sarsawa to the noble hamlet of Qadian to be at the service of the Promised Messiahas. Our leader and guide, Hazrat Noor-ud-Deen, Khalifatul Masih Ira, was also present. He was sitting there after having offered the morning prayer and the Promised Messiahas was also present. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira asked, ‘Pir Sahib! We have observed many pirs performing rituals and charms. Do you also recall any particular ritual that, upon witnessing, we too might be convinced of its efficacy?’ I responded by saying, ‘Yes, I do remember one’. He said, ‘Show us.’ I requested, ‘Please, wait for the appropriate time, then I will show you.’ The Promised Messiahas remarked, ‘Sahibzadah Sahib must remember them; these rituals have been passed down from his elders.’ After about two hours, a man suffering from pleurisy—which meant he was in severe spinal pain—came in. I said, ‘Please, observe as I perform a ritual on him.’ Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira replied, ‘Yes, perform the ritual.’ The Promised Messiahas also said, ‘Yes, perform the ritual.’ I performed the ruqyah on that person and God Almighty completely relieved him of his pain and granted him healing. Once he was relieved, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira commented, ‘This may be mesmerism.’ At that time, I had neither heard of mesmerism nor known what it was. The Promised Messiahas asked, ‘Sahibzadah Sahib! What did you recite?’ I replied, ‘Hazrat! (May Allah’s peace be upon Muhammadsa and upon you), I recited al-Fatihah.’ (Tazkira-tul-Mahdi, 1914, Zia-ul-Islam Press, Qadian, p. 186)

“Thus, the practice of ruqyah is proven by the Holy Prophetas, the Promised Messiahas and their noble Companions. In this practice, God Almighty, out of His sheer grace, bestows healing upon the afflicted due to the blessings of the recited Quranic verses, pure invocations, and prayers of the noble individuals.”

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