Source: Bida’ an-Nas Fil-Qur’an, by Abu Anas, Ali bin Husain Abu Loaz, published by Dar al-Watan.
1) Therapy with the Qur’an and believing in charms and omens
It is permissible to use the Qur’an for healing, as it is mentioned in the Sahih that Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated:
“A group of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) proceeded on a journey till they dismounted near one of the Arab tribes and requested them to entertain them as their guests, but they (the tribe people) refused to entertain them. Then the chief of that tribe was bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion) and he was given all sorts of treatment, but all in vain. Some of them said, “Will you go to the group (those travelers) who have dismounted near us and see if one of them has something useful?” They came to them and said, “O people! Our leader has been bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion) and we have treated him with everything but nothing benefited him. Does anyone of you have anything useful?” One of them replied, “Yes, by Allah, I know how to treat with a Ruqya. But, by Allah, we wanted you to receive us as your guests but you refused. I will not treat your patient with a Ruqya till you fix for us something as wages.” Consequently they agreed to give those travellers a flock of sheep. The man went with them (the people of the tribe) and started spitting (on the bite) and reciting Surat al-Fatiha till the patient was healed and started walking as if he had not been sick. When the tribe people paid them their wages they had agreed upon, some of them (the Prophet’s Companions) said, “Distribute (the sheep).” But the one who treated with the Ruqya said, “Do not do that till we go to Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) and mention to him what has happened, and see what he will order us to do.” So they came to Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) and mentioned the story to him and he said, “How do you know that Surat al-Fatiha is a Ruqya? You have done the right thing. Divide (what you have received) and assign for me a share with you.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
This Hadith is an evidence that it is permissible to use the Qur’an for healing. However, using charms is not permitted according to the most correct point of view. The scholars have stated that many Ahadith prove that it is forbidden to wear a talisman in order for it not to be a means for Shirk. [Fatawa of Permanent Committee no. 2392].
2) Writing an incantation and letting the ill person wear it
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) permitted the use of Ruqyah incantation with Qur’an and supplications, as long as it is not Shirk (seeking protection from other than Allah) or using meaningless words or words that contain polytheism. ‘Auf bin Malik al-Ashja’ (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated: “We used Ruqyah in Jahiliyah (period of ignorance – before Islam) and we said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! What about Ruqyah?’ He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: ‘Let me see your Ruqyah. There is nothing wrong with Ar-Ruqaa as long as it is not Shirk (association of others with Allah).’” [Muslim]
The scholars are in consensus that it is permissible to use Ruqyah as mentioned earlier, provided that the belief should be that it will not have an effect except with the Will of Allah.
As for wearing something on one’s neck or tying it to any part of the body, if it is anything other than Qur’an then it is unlawful and is considered Shirk, as Imam Ahmad (Rahimahullaah) mentioned in his Musnad that ‘Imran bin Hussain narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) saw a man wearing a bangle made of brass and he said: “What is that?” The man replied: “It is (to protect) from al-Waahinah[*].” The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Remove it, for verily it will not increase you except in weakness and verily if you died while wearing it, you would never be successful.”
Imam Ahmed (Rahimahullaah) reported from ‘Uqbah bin ‘Aamir that it is Marfoo’ (attributed to the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)) which states, “Whoever hangs a charm (i.e. putting it on himself or others), may Allah not fulfill (his objective) for him. And whoever hangs a sea shell (i.e. putting it on himself or others), may Allah not grant him peace and tranquility.”
Imam Ahmed also reported that ‘Uqba ibn Aamir narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He who wears (or hangs) a charm, has committed Shirk (polytheism).” [Ahmad]
Reported Ahmed and Abu Dawoud on the authority of Ibn Mas’ud (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhuma): I heard Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) say: “Verily, Ruqaa, Tamaa’im (charms) and Tiwalah are Shirk.”
This Hadith emphasizes that all Ruqaa are forms of Shirk, and every Tamaa’im (charm) is a form of Shirk and every Tiwalah is a form of Shirk. This generality has been given a specific exception only in regards to the Ruqaa. The Ruqaa was given a specific exclusion by the Prophet’s (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) statement: “There is nothing wrong with the Ruqaa as long as it is not a Shirk.”
Tiwalah is something that the people make claiming that it will make the woman more beloved to her husband or the man to his wife.
Even if what he she wears are verses of the Qur’an, it is still not permissible for three reasons:
1) All the Ahadith about forbidding someone to wear charms are general and there are no exceptions.
2) Not to leave any room for excuses for wearing anything other than Qur’an.
3) Wearing such verses of the Qur’an will expose them to indecency if the person wearing it goes to relieve him/herself in the bathroom, or while having sexual intercourse, etc.
3) Writing the Qur’an on paper, then soaking the paper in water and giving it to the patient to drink
Writing a Surah or verses from the Qur’an on a board, clay or a book, then washing it with water or saffron, and drinking that water hoping for a blessing, gaining beneficial knowledge, or earning money or good health etc.; we do not know wthe Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) ever did that for himself or for others. He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) never even allowed his Companions to do it, nor did he give permission to his nation, although there were valid reasons to do so.
Therefore, it is best to avoid such acts and instead use the Ruqya incantation with the Qur’an, Allah’s Beautiful Names, the authentic Prophetic supplications and remembrances, and other statements that are clear with no sign of polytheism in them. This is in order to seek nearness to Allah with what He has ordained and permitted, hoping for the reward and that Allah Almighty may grant him beneficial knowledge. Allah will enrich and suffice anyone who uses what He has prescribed. [Fatawa of Permanent Committee no. 1528]
It is quoted that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to recite the Ruqyah on a patient directly and blow onto his body, and also that he used to ask Allah’s protection for the sick and say: “I seek refuge in the perfect Words of Allah for you from the evil of what He created.”
Narrated Abu Hurayrah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu): A man who was stung by a scorpion was brought to the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). He said: “Had he said the following words:
أعيذك بكلمات الله التامات من شر ما خلق ، لم تضرك
‘‘I seek refuge in the perfect Words of Allah from the evil of what He created,’ he would not have been stung,” or he said, “It would not have harmed him.’” [Muslim]
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to seek refuge with Allah for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and say: “Your forefather (i.e. Ibrahim) used to seek refuge with Allah for Ishmael and Isaac by reciting the following:
أَعُوذُ بِكلماتِ اللهِ التَّامَّةِ مِن كُلِّ شَيْطانٍ وهَامَّة ، ومن كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لّامة
‘O Allah! I seek refuge with Your Perfect Words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.'” [Al-Bukhari]
Abu Sa’eid (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) reported that Gabriel (‘Alayhissalaam) came to Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) and said: “O Muhammad, do you have a complaint?” Thereupon he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Yes.” He (Gabriel) said:
بِسْم الله أَرْقَيك ، من كُلِّ شَيءٍ يُؤْذِيكَ ، مِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ نَفْسٍ أو عَيْنِ حَاسِدٍ ، الله يَشْفِيك ، بسم الله أَرْقِيك
“In the Name of Allah I recite Ruqyah to treat you from everything that may harm you and from the evil of every soul or eye of he who envies, May Allah cure you. With the Name of Allah, I recite Ruqyah for you.” [Muslim]
As for writing the Holy Qur’an on papers or plates or vessels then washing those and giving the water to the patient to drink, some of the scholars permitted it and said it was part of the Ruqyah. However, it is preferable, as previously mentioned, to recite the Qur’an on the patient directly or on the water which the patient can drink, and this is best as per evidence from the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). Allah knows best. [Fatawa of Shaikh al-Fawzan al-Muntaqa, part1 pp 72-73]
4- Writing the Qur’an on a board, then washing it and drinking the water hoping it will increase knowledge or wealth
Writing a chapter or verses of the Qur’an on a board, a plate or paper, then washing it with water or saffron or other than that, and drinking this hoping to receive blessing, knowledge, wealth or good health; this has not been practiced by the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), whether for himself or for others, nor did he permit any of his Companions or his nation to do it. None of his Companions performed such acts after him, nor did they give the permission for others to do so.
Therefore, it is better to avoid such acts and to use the Ruqya that is prescribed in the Islamic law, by using Qur’an, Allah’s Beautiful Names, and all the authentic invocations as well as any others which are understood and have no polytheism in them, in order to draw nearer to Allah with what Allah has ordained, and to ask Allah to remove his worries and to bless him with beneficial knowledge. And he who is sufficed with what Allah has permitted; Allah will make that sufficient for him. [Fatawa of Permanent Committee no. 1257]
[*] (I.e. a type of illness that weakens the body)
- Innovations regarding the Qu'ran
- Reciting the Qur'an for the Dead
- Completion of the Qur'an
- Accepting the Fee for Reciting the Qu'ran