Spiritual Healing and Islam

Spritual Healing has many misconceptions so it only makes logical sense to clarify the true Islamic Perspective. In Islam the methodology of practising the various forms of spiritual healing is referred to as “Ruqyah”, this tradition is as ancient as the religion itself. The belief of using divine spiritual energy to counteract the negative and sometimes satanic forces within Allah’s ﷻ creation has always been a recognized science with our illustrious tradition. As a matter of fact it was the Prophet Muhammad who affirmed the existence of black magic (sihr), evil eye (al-ayn), jinns (creation created from smokeless fire) and the destructive force of envy (hassad). The Messenger equipped His nation with the necessary means to counteract such influences through his blessed practices (Sunnah), which has been passed down as a continuous river of mercy from one generation to the next.

This classical Islamic practice has been a source of healing for millions throughout history and continues to be so by the will of Allah ﷻ. All power stems from Allah ﷻ, He ﷻ is the Almighty who can effect and cure in any way as He ﷻ wishes. It is Allah ﷻ who is the ultimate cause and effect. Therefore it is Allah ﷻ who has empowered His beloved Messenger to benefit all of creation, through his miracles, knowledge and supplications. It is Allah ﷻ who chooses to honour his slave when he makes him a channel for mankind to reap benefits from; this is the station of sainthood (Wilayah) which belongs exclusively to the friends of Allah ﷻ.

The Glorious Quran is the primary tool for healing all ailments, regardless if they are physical, psychological or spiritual in nature. When the divine words are recited and blown onto an ailing patient it contains the God given power to change state from that of disease to ease, this methodology of healing is termed as “Ruqyah”. In the subcontinent it is most commonly referred to as “Dham”.

وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ
“And when I fall ill, it is He (Allah ﷻ) who cures me [Quran, Ash-Shu'ara, 26:80]

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا
“And We send down in the Quran that which is a cure and Mercy for Believers… [Quran, Al-Isra, 17:82]

The concept of protection against negative and evil forces is very much apparent within the Islamic tradition; this is personified by our Master Sayidunah Muhammad , His Noble family and the Illustrious Companions in the following examples; (May infinite peace and blessings be upon them all)

Narrated by the Mother of the Believers, Lady Aisha:
“During the Prophet’s fatal illness, He used to recite the “Mu’auwidhat” (Surah al-Falaq and Surah an-Nas the final two chapters of the Quran) then blow His breath over His body. When His illness was aggravated I used to recite those two Surah’s and blow my breath over Him and make Him rub His own body with His own hands, for its blessings.” (It was asked: How did the Prophet use to blow? It was said: He used to blow on His hands and pass them over His face.)
(Related in Sahih al-Bukhari)

Narrated by Sayidunah Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Some of the Companions of the Prophet came across a tribe amongst the tribes of the Arabs, that tribe did not entertain them, while they were in that state. The chief of the tribe was bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion). They said to the companions of the Prophet , “have you got any medicine with you or anybody who can treat with “Ruqya”? … One of the companions began to recite Surah Al-Fatiha and gathered his saliva and spat at the bite. The chief was cured instantly…..”
(Related in Sahih al- Bukahri)

Narrated by Umm Salama:
that the Prophet () saw in her house a girl whose face had a black spot. He said. “She is under the effect of an evil eye; so treat her with a Ruqya.”
(Related in Sahih al-Bukhari)

Narrated by Sayidunah Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “The effect of an evil eye is a fact.”
(Related in Sahih al-Bukhari)

In the Holy Quran, Allah ﷻ informs us of the reality of magic in the following verse:

الشَّيَاطِينَ كَفَرُوا يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ
“…The devils disbelieved, they teach people magic…” (Quran, Al-Baqarah , 2:102)

The aforementioned traditions illustrate the reality of the evil forces of magic, envy, evil eye and its perpetrators, however “Ruqya” is not just limited to tackling these spiritual issues, it has the power and capacity to cure us from physical ailments and illnesses too. We mentioned in the Hadith that the companion of the Messenger recited Surah Fatiha over the Arab chief’s venomous bite, applied His saliva and cured him. The due analysis of this incident leads us down two particular paths, either it is solely down to the recitation of the verses which enables the cure or it is dependent upon the strength of faith and piety of the one who is performing the “Ruqya”, as in the case of the aforementioned Hadith, thus the latter of the two positions is undeniably veracious.

Having established this fact, we must comprehend that we now unfortunately live in a day and age which is post the advent of the companions and the pious predecessors. Spiritual needs and cures cannot come at the hands of every Zaid, Bakr or Amr.

This is the reason why Allah ﷻ has appointed his chosen slaves who are most commonly referred to as the “Awliyah” (friends of God) to cure mankind of its spiritual, psychological and physical needs, they are the true seekers of the Inward and outward knowledge, which is the perfection of faith. It is for that reason they are referred to as the Inheritors of the Prophet Muhammad , spreading His light, blessings and reflecting His miracles throughout this entire world.

Narrated By Abu Al Darda:
The Messenger said, “Scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets”
(Related by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Ahmad)

Imam Fudayl ibn Iyad, who was a great Imam from the 2nd century, upon hearing this hadith, he commented, “The people of spiritual wisdom are the real inheritors of the Prophets.”

This illustrates that the true inheritors of the Prophets are not just limited to the outward knowledge of the scriptures, howver they have been blessed with the inward manifestations of spiritual insight, knowledge and Prophetic illumination. The hidden transmissions are commonly referred to as Kashf (unveiling) and Ilham (inspiration).