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"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."

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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
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"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
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[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
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From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
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On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)
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“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Sunday, January 6, 2008

AR-RUQYAH

Al-Ruqyah with the Qur’an and the Du`a (the Prayer) in Islamic Medical Tradition

Nurdeen DEURASEH*
*Dr., Department of Government and Civilization Studies Faculty of Human Ecology Universiti Putra, Malaysia - E-mail: inasanis@hotmail.com

Summary

Nearly all primitives and the people in ancient civilization believe that God answers prayers if they are performed in the proper ritualistic way. After reading and analyzing the Ahadith of the Prophet (s.a.w) in Kitab al-Tibb of Sahih Bukhari, it is found that Islam has its own way of prevention and treatment of disease caused by Jinn and Devil, known to some people as supernatural powers. Imam al-Bukhari in his Sahih Bukahri has decided to provide special chapter relating to al-Ruqyah with the Qur’an and the Du`a (prayer).

Key words: The Medicine of the Prophet (al-Tibb al-Nabawi); Ruqyah with the Qur’an, Ruqyah with the Du`a (the Prayer); and Ruqyah with the Mu`awwidhat Verses.


Muslim’s Views on al-Ruqyah

Before we mention the common verses of the Qur’an and how they were used in ruqyah, let we look on briefly the Muslim’s view in regard to the use of the Qur’anic verses in ruqyah. We have to bear in mind that whatever the concept of Islam have been discussed, there is pro and contra on the issue. In this regard, there was a debate among the Muslims on ruqyah with reciting of Quranic verses, du`a and muawwidhat over a sick person for purpose of treatment of disease. Some people held of the opinion that it is not permissible especially for ordinary people to use the Qur’an to treat a disease by ruqyah. Others viewed, it is permissible to use it with the condition that the Raqi, the one who recites verse of the Qur’an or du`a, has sufficient knowledge and has to know recitation of the Qur’an, that he used in ruqyah, besides he has to be sound belief, righteous and pious (taqwa) person. This view is mainly based on the Qur’anic verses stating that man may use its verses in treatment of disease because al-Qur’an is itself cure (shifa’) as Allah (s.w.t) said: “We reveal of the Qur’an what is healing and merciful for the believers,” This verse indicates that al-Qur’an is not only a source of legal and illegal matters but also a source of healing. The term Shifa’, which is one of the names of the al-Qur’an, applies that al-Qur’an is a book of healing and restoration of health.

Al-Ruqyah with the Qur’an

Imam Bukhari listed down the Ahadith of the Prophet (s.a.w) on al-Ruqyah with the Qur’an in many chapters of kitab al-tibb. Among them are: chapter on al-Ruqya with the Qur’an and the Mu`wwidhat (Bab al-Ruqa bi al-Quran wa al-Mu`awwizat); chapter on ruqyah by reciting surah al-fatihah (Bab al-Ruqa bi Fatihat al-Kitab); chapter on the conditions required for ruqyah (Bab al-shurut fi al-ruqyah bi fatihah al-kitab); chapter on ruqyah for an evil eye (Bab ruqyah al-`ayn); chapter on the effect of the evil eye is a fact (Bab al`ayn haqq); chapter on treating snakebite and scorpion sting with ruqyah (Bab ruqyah al-hayyah wa al-uqrab); chapter on the ruqyah of the Prophet (Bab al-nafth fi al-ruqyah); chapter on the blowing saliva while treating with ruqyah (Bab mash al-raqi al-waj` biyadihi al-ymna); chapter on a woman treating a man with ruqyah (Bab al-mar’ah tarqa al-rajl); chapter on not treating with ruqyah (Bab man lam yarqa). In these chapters, Imam Bukhari reported that:

During the Prophet's fatal illness, he used to recite the Mu'awwidhat (Surat An-Nas and Surat Al-Falaq) and then blow his breath over his body. When his illness was aggravated, I used to recite those two Suras and blow my breath over him and make him rub his body with his own hand for its blessings. Ma'mar asked Al-Zuhri: How did the Prophet use to blow? Al-Zuhri said: He used to blow on his hands and then passed them over his face.

Some of the companions of the Prophet passed by some people staying at a place where there was water, and one of those people had been stung by a scorpion. A man from those staying near the water, came and said to the companions of the Prophet, "Is there anyone among you who can do Ruqya as near the water there is a person who has been stung by a scorpion." So one of the Prophet's companions went to him and recited Surat-al-Fatiha for a sheep as his fees. The patient got cured and the man brought the sheep to his companions who disliked that and said, "You have taken wages for reciting Allah's Book." When they arrived at Medina, they said, ' O Allah's Apostle! (This person) has taken wages for reciting Allah's Book" On that Allah's Apostle said, "You are most entitled to take wages for doing a Ruqya with Allah's Book.”
Abu Said al-Khidri said: A group of companions of God’s Messenger went on a journey. On their way, they came by a camp of Bodouins and solicited their hospitality. The Arab Bedouins refused to welcome them, so the companions stayed nearby and took a rest. Meanwhile, the chief of the Beduins became ill of a scorpion bite. His immediate circle tried everything they knew but no avail. Finally, they went and asked the companions if they had anything to cure their chief. One of the companions replied: “Indeed, Glory be to Allah (s.w.t), I know what effective prayers to recite as cure for poisonous bite. However, we asked you to lodge us and you refused to confer such hospitality, and I will not perform such prayers unless you make us an offer.” The Arab Bedouin then cheered them and promised to reward them with a group of sheep if they succeed in curing their chief. Immediately, the companion went to the chief’s tent and sprinkled him with his spittle while reciting the Opening Chapter (surah al-fatihah). When the companions left him, the chief had regained all his strength. After the Arab Bedouins fulfilled their promise, the companions said: “Let’s divide the reward.” The one who performed the ruqya prayers replied: “Do nothing until we get back to God’s Messenger and relate our story.” Later on, when they came before him and told him what happened, the Prophet (s.a.w) commented: How did you know that al-fatihah is a ruqya? Indeed, you were right. Now, divide what you have among you and allow a share in it for men too.

In the light of these ahadith we feel much more confident to conclude that it is permissible for raqi to treat a disease with Quranic verses. As mentioned before, the Raqi should understand and know the essence of the meaning of the Quran. He is not essentially to have knowledge of all branches of Qur’an in depth. Surah al-Fatihah, for example, has been recited easily and frequently five times a day in the prayers. The Prophet (s.a.w) had expected the Muslim is able to recite and use it for medical purpose. In connection to the medical benefit of surah al-fatihah, Ibn al-Qayyim in his al-Tibb al-nabawi said: “If one’s faith, soul, and spirit are strong, and if he adapts himself to the essence of the Opening Chapter (al-fatihah), and by Allah’s leave, by reciting its holy words and blowing them on the affected person followed by his spittle upon the victim, Allah willing, such reading will incur the reaction of the evil spirits and cause the elimination of their evil act--Allah knows best.”
We are aware that the recommendation to recite Surah al-Fatihah over a patient is strange and not logical to some people especially non Muslim, however, we have to understand that the social condition in the time of Prophet (s.a.w) where disease is well understood as the logical consequence of patient’s falling to the evil spirit, needed to be treated by the spirit power of verses of the Qur’an. Now, why is exactly surah al-fatihah commonly used in prevention and treatment of disease? Some commentators were of the opinion that the central point of medical benefits in surah al-fatihah which is known as umm al-kitab, is in the power and blessings of the words: “Thee we worship (iyyaka na`budu), and Thy help we seek (iyyaka nasta`in)” These words, worship (na’budu) and help (nasta`in), are the strongest elements of the most effective cure for illness. This is an extremely noble means because, we directly ask the help from the Healer (al-Shafi) whom we rely on, trust, shelter for recovery, recognizing one’s need and dependence upon the Sole Sustainer who acknowledges one’s need. This is why surah al-fatihah is one of recommended surah to be recited for recovering from illness, weather spiritual, mental or physical. In Bab Fadl Fatihat al-Kitab of Kitab Fada`il al-Quran, Imam Bukhari reported that:
Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Mu'alla: While I was praying, the Prophet called me but I did not respond to his call. Later I said, "O Allah's Apostle! I was praying." He said, "Didn't Allah say: 'O you who believe! Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Apostle when he calls you'?" (8.24). He then said, "Shall I not teach you the most superior Surah in the Qur'an?" He said, '(It is), 'Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. ' (i.e., Surat Al-Fatiha) which consists of seven repeatedly recited Verses and the Magnificent Qur'an which was given to me."
After mentioning the above hadith, Imam Bukhari reported that:

Abu Said Al-Khudri: While we were on one of our journeys, we dismounted at a place where a slave girl came and said, "The chief of this tribe has been stung by a scorpion and our men are not present; is there anybody among you who can treat him (by reciting something)?" Then one of our men went along with her though we did not think that he knew any such treatment. But he treated the chief by reciting something, and the sick man recovered whereupon he gave him thirty sheep and gave us milk to drink (as a reward). When he returned, we asked our friend, "Did you know how to treat with the recitation of something?" He said, "No, but I treated him only with the recitation of the Mother of the Book (i.e., Al-Fatiha)." We said, "Do not say anything (about it) till we reach or ask the Prophet so when we reached Medina, we mentioned that to the Prophet (in order to know whether the sheep which we had taken were lawful to take or not). The Prophet said, "How did he come to know that it (Al-Fatiha) could be used for treatment? Distribute your reward and assign for me one share thereof as well."

After Bab Fadl Fatihah, Imam Bukhari mentioned ahadith relating the spiritual powers of Surah al-Baqarah in Bab Fadl Surah al-Baqarah which consists 286 verses. One of them is verse 256 known as Ayat al-Kursi. In this regard, Imam Bukhari reported that Allah 's Apostle said: “…when you go to your bed, recite Ayat-al-Kursi, for then there will be a guard from Allah who will protect you all night long, and Satan will not be able to come near you till dawn." This view has foundation from the meaning of Ayat al-Kursi itself as Allah (s.w.t) says:

Allah! There is no god but He, the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) Before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).

In spite of the fact that we have no scientific and rational explanation of the saying of the Prophet: “when you go to your bed, recite Ayat-al-Kursi, for then there will be a guard from Allah who will protect you all night long, and Satan will not be able to come near you till dawn,” however, psychologically, there can be no doubt if the reader recites the verse sincerely with full of concentration to God alone, such a prayer can be considered as a means for protection, prevention from evil. Because, when he recites the verse, he believes that Allah (s.w.t) alone is the true God who is the only One worthy for worship. He is alone lives absolutely and everlasting who is looking after all of His creation and providing them with everything they need in maintaining their respective living process. Secondly, the reader believes that He is free from tiredness and never feels sleepy and by this He alone can controls all that are in the heavens, the earth with an absolute and all-embracing authority. Thirdly, the reader believes that He is at liberty absolutely to do as He pleases. He needs nobody and nothing but everybody and everything depends on Him. Fourthly, the reader believes that He knows completely the condition of all His creation, including everything they see or that which is not seen by them. This is because He alone is the supreme Administrator and therefore, His knowledge and greatness embracing the heavens and the earth. Lastly, the reader believes that He alone posses ultimate power by which there is no difficulty and burden for Him to watch over and look after the heavens and the earth and everything that is in and on both. All these indicate that He is not like any other person or things that we know or can imagine because His qualities and nature are Unique.

There is another Surah which is commonly used by Muslims in prevention and treatment of disease namely Surah Yasin. It is possible that those who are convinced of the benefit of Surah Yasin are aware of the saying of the Prophet (s.a.w) that “On the Day of Judgment, God will not account with the person who reads Surah Yasin, but will grant him forgiveness and will make him an intercessor for many others.” Whoever has traveled to Muslim countries may see the Muslim recites certain verses of Surah Yasin for different medical purposes. For instance, it is said that if one is suffering from toothache, verse 78, wadaraba lana mathalan wanasiya khalqahu qala man yuhyi al-`izam wahiya ramim, to the end of the Surah Yasin is advised to relieve the pain by writing the mentioned verse on paper and hung over the ear on the side of the aching tooth and it will cure the pain. In addition, Muslim uses certain verse of Surah Yasin to protect his property and his household. Thirdly, Muslim is of the opinion that if one has an enemy he wishes to harm and that without injury to himself or one whose love he wishes to gain, he recites seven parts of Surah Yasin. At each mubin part, which ending with the word mubin, which means open or clear, he ties a knot in a cord he has ready at hand. When the recitation is completed he nails the cord into the ground, then, he might get his desire.

We also find that Muslims have attempted to use the Qur’an not only by recitation of its verses but also by writing it on a certain materials. These are commonly practices in the Muslim world for the purpose of prevention, treatment as well as protection one’s property, his household and his person from Jinn and evil eye. The idea was that the evil spirits, Satan of mankind and Jinn can be protected by hanging the verses of Qur’an most notably by mu`awwidhat verses. According to Ibn Hajar the mu`awwidhat verse consisted in three major surahs of the Quran namely surah al-falaq, surah al-Nas and surah al-Ikhlas. In other words, the mu`awwidhat were used primarily in the case of spiritual disease to counteract the devil (Satan) that had taken hold of an individual in a general way or, more commonly, to derive out a devil from the body. As we have known that surah al-Ikhlas has special medical benefits since surah al-Ikhlas contains the perfect affirmation of God’s Unity. The confirmation of God’s Unity its self necessarily confirms that all perfection is His, as well as, all created beings betake themselves to Him in their needs: that is, creation, from highest to the lowest, seeks Him and directs itself towards Him. Surah al-Ikhlas denies begetter and begotten and any equal. His name the Eternal (al-Samad) confirms all perfection; the denial of any equal declares none is like unto Him. Therefore, it is said that Surah al-Ikhlas equals a third of the whole Qur’an.
Bear in mind that the Muslim think differently. For the Muslim, reciting al-mu`awwidhat, as the word means, is crucial for protection from the devil i.e., Satan and Jinn. In Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (Ruqyah of theProphet) of Kitab al-Tibb, Imam al-Bukhari, in order to show the spiritual benefit of mu`awwidhat, reported that 'Aisha (r.a) said: “Whenever Allah's Apostle went to bed, he used to recite Surat-al-Ikhlas, Surat-al-Falaq and Surat-an-Nas and then blow on his palms and pass them over his face and those parts of his body that his hands could reach. And when he fell ill, he used to order me, her wife, to do like that for him.” We are aware that it is too difficult for non Muslim to accept this, but as mentioned before, al-tibb al-nabawi is rational in its own orbit and time. There is rationality of reciting mu`awwidhat before going to the bed since we are not able to control ourselves during sleep. In this case, it is reasonable to recite the muawwidhat verses seeking to a protection from everything hateful. As we agreed, seeking refuge from the evil of which He has created by reciting surah al-mu`awwidhat, carry an immense impact on safety and protection against evils before they occur.

Al-Ruqyah with Du`a (Prayer)

Imam Bukhari interrelated al-Ruqyah by reciting the verses of the Qur’an with du`a. Its concept purely spiritual, not in any way medical, but it had psychological therapy consequences. Commonly, when a man was sick, the righteous Muslim prayed over him several du`a, however, it is possible that when a man was sick he himself made offering and prayed for healing, addressing himself directly to God, asking for healing by calling his names and attributes. The followings are among the du`a which the Prophet (s.a.w) and his companions accustomed to recite, whenever he visited the sick or if a sick person was brought to him. Imam Bukhari gives the example that Anas b. Malik was complained by Thabit about some chronic pain he suffered. On that Anas said, "Shall I treat you with the Ruqya of Allah's Apostle?" Thabit said, "Yes," Anas recited:

Allahumma rabb al-nas mudhhab al-ba`s ishfi anta al-shafi la shafi illa anta shifa`an la yughadiru saqama. (O Allah! The Lord of the people, the Remover of trouble! (Please) cure (Heal) (this patient), for You are the Healer. None brings about healing but You; a healing that will leave behind no ailment).

Sometimes, while the Prophet (s.a.w) recited du`a, he was touching and putting his hands on the face, eyes and other parts of sick body and recited:

Allahumma rabb al-nas adhhab al-ba`s washfihi wa anta al-shafi la shifa`a illa shifa`ka shafi` la yughadiru saqama (O Allah, the Lord of the people! Remove the trouble and heal the patient, for You are the Healer. No healing is of any avail but Yours; healing that will leave behind no ailment).

The wife of Prophet, A`ishah (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (s.a.w) used to recited the following du`a as ruqyah:

Imsahi al-ba`s rabb al-nas, biyadika al-shifa` la kashif lahu illa anta (Remove the trouble, O the Lord of the people, the cure is in Your Hands, and there is none except You who can remove it (the disease).

Bismillah tarbatu ardana, bariqatu ba`dana, yashfi saqimuna bi`idhni rabbina (In the Name of Allah The earth of our land and the saliva of some of us cure our patient).
Bismillah tarbatu ardina, wariqatu ba`dina, yashfi saqimuna, bi’idhni rabbina (In the Name of Allah" The earth of our land and the saliva of some of us cure our patient with the permission of our Lord." with a slight shower of saliva) while treating with a Ruqya).

In another interesting occasion, Ibn Mas`ud related that the Prophet (s.a.w) was performing the prayer (salah), and while he was in sujud (prostration), a scorpion stung him on the finger and then surried away. The Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Many the curse of Allah be on the scorpion, which has not respect for the Prophets, nor any one else.” He was then treated with draughts of salt and water, and they soaked the place where he had been stung in salt and water. Then, they recited Surah al-Ikhlas and the last two surah (surah nos. 113 and 114), until the swelling went away.

Conclusion

It is obvious that the treatment of disease in Islamic medical system comes in several forms. It is not just physical i.e., by using drugs, but also in the form of ruqyah with the verse of the Qur’an and Du`a. The latter is spiritual, mind and emotional approach, which is suitable to be treated the disease caused by Jinn and devil, known to some people as supernatural powers. In discussion ruqyah in Islamic Medical system, it is found that the medicine of the Prophet (al-tibb al-nabawi), within its own orbit and time, is logical. The premise may seem strange, but once it is scrutinized and known, its conclusion is reached by reasoning. Al-Ruqyah, with the Qur’an and the Du`a (the Prayer) upon the patient, for instance, is rational approach since it is used after knowing the cause of disease.

This article is part of my “Health and Medicine in the Light of the Book of Medicine (Kitab al-Tibb) in Sahih Bukhari”. It was prepared while I was a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) from March until June 2004. I would like to express my deepest thank and recognition to the Director of OCIS, Dr. F.A Nizami for giving me the golden opportunity to conduct my research at the University of Oxford as well as for the funding that I received for my research from the Centre. Similarly, I wish to express my gratitude to the Vice Chancellor, the Dean of Faculty of Human Ecology and the Head of the Department of Government and Civilization Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, for their moral support, encouragement and understanding. The author is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Universiti Putra Malaysia. He has published in The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine (USA); Islamic Culture (India); Arab Law Quarterly (London); Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine, and the International Medical Journal Malaysia. E-mail: inasanis@hotmail.com

Surah al-Isra’ (17): 82. Many verses of the Quran are known as: ’ayat al-shifa’ (for recovery from diseases), ’ayat al-husul al-sihhat (for gaining health), ’ayat al-hifz (for self protection), ayat al-istikfa (for atonement), ’ayat daf‘ al-shada’id (for warding off hardships), and ’ayat al-daf‘ al-darar wa saqm (for staving off injuries and ordeals). For this reason, when the Muslim faces certain problem, the raqi advised to write down the verse on particular on certain materials for the purpose of treatment of disease or protection.

The book of medicine (kitab al-tibb) of Sahih Bukhari (194-256/ 810-870) appears in the book 76, which consists of 58 chapters with 104 traditions. The titles of each chapter depicted the picture and the content of traditions regarding the medicine and what was related to it. This manifests Imam’s Bukhari vast knowledge of health and medicine as practiced in the time of Prophet (s.a.w) and even after. Thus, we understand that it is not merely its authenticity that makes this particular collection interested by Muslim scholars, but also the vital role it played in developing the concept of health, medicine, prevention and treatment of disease relevance to this age.

Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari Sahrh Sahih al-Bukhari, 13 vols. (Beirut: Dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyyah, 1989), 10: 215.

Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (s.a.w).
Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab al-Ruqa Bi Fatihat al-Kitab.
Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (s.a.w).

Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Tibb al-Nabawi, ed. Shu‘aib al-Arna’ut and ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Arna’ut. (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-Risalah, 1985), pp. 178 & 180; M. W. Dols, Majnun: the Madman in Medieval Islamic Society (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 257.
Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Ma‘ad fi Hady Khayr al-‘Ibad. ed. Shu‘aab al-Arna’ut and ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Arna’ut. 5 vols. Beirut: Mu’assasah al-Risalah, 4: 164.

Sahih Bukahri, Kitab Fada`il al-Quran, Bab Fadl Fatihat al-Kitab.
Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (s.a.w).

Whoever has traveled in Muslim countries, where Muslim occasionally celebrated the annual festivals, has seen the group of Muslims used to recite Ayat al-Kursi in a very significant way just as they recite in spare time and some of them recite the verse without thinking and knowing its medical benefits. First they recited Ayat al-Kursi followed by the salutation to Prophet Muhammad and his household in three times. Then, it followed by the recitation of Surah al-Fitihah in ten times. After finishing them, they raised the hands to the sky praying God. All fingers should be pointed upward and the suppliant should blow his breath upon them, and then express all his needs and desires.

Surah al-Baqarah (2): 256.
Ibn Hajar, Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari Sahrh Sahih al-Bukhari, 10: 239.
Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (s.a.w).
Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (s.a.w).
Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (s.a.w).
Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (s.a.w); see also Kitab al-Tibb of Sahih Bukhari, Bab Mashu al-Raqi al-Waja` Biyadihi al-Yumna.
Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (s.a.w).
Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tibb, Bab Ruqyah al-Nabiyy (s.a.w).


SOURCE

RUQYAH - A SPECIAL CURING PRAYER

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