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Are Physical Medicines Better or Ruqyah and Spiritual Medicine?

Praise be to Allaah.

Both the methods, physical medication as well as spiritual medicine are important. The psychological diseases such as anxiety, grief, mental illness etc. have a greater impact on the body than the physical diseases. These diseases are better treated by the means of Ruqya and spiritual medicine. Whereas, the diseases that are physical, they are better treated by the physical medication.

Narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him): “There is no believer who is stricken by anxiety, distress or grief, and he says, ‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka ibnu ‘abdika ibnu amatika, naasiyati bi yadika, maadin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka, as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw asta’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘indaka an taj’ala al-Qur’aan al-‘azeem rabee’a qalbi wa noora sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi wa ghammi (O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your maidservant. My forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or taught to any of Your creation, or revealed in Your Book, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Holy Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety and distress)’, but Allaah will relieve him.” This is one of the medicines prescribed in sharee’ah.

Similarly, one may say, “Laa ilaaha illa anta, subhaanaka, inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allaah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers)” [cf. al-Anbiyaa’ 21:87]

However, if a soul grows weak, the soul’s acceptance of remedies as prescribed in shariah also grows weak. People rely on physical medicine more than the spiritual medicine and almost do not believe in its power and hence many times are denied the quick healing. But if faith is strong, the spiritual remedies as prescribed in Islam have more lasting and complete effect and even faster than the physical medicines.

From a very famous hadith we come to know about the effect and strength of a ruqya when performed with faith. It is a story of a man whom the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sent on a campaign. He camped near some Arab tribe who were not very hospitable and did not show any interest in them. Then by the will of Allah, their chief got stung by the snake and was nearly dying. The tribe’s people came to them and asked them if any among them could perform ruqya? The sahaba said to them that they will not recite ruqya until certain amount of sheep are not paid to them. The tribal people agreed. Then one sahaba went and recited surah al-Faatiha over the chief and he got up as If nothing had happened to him.

This ruqya had such an effect because it came from a man whose heart was filled with strong faith.When they came back, the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “How did you know that it is a ruqyah?”

But in times like ours, we see weakness in Iman and religious commitment and people have started to rely on things other than prescribed shariya which is causing them more suffering. Sometimes, the medication does not work as the people who perform the ruqya are not pious and their intention is only to deceive people and consume their wealth. They are cheaters who deceive people by reciting devious recitations which has no effect at all on the person.

But as there is no contradiction between using permissible physical medicines as prescribed by doctors and using spiritual medicines such as ruqyah and seeking refuge with Allaah and other du’aa’s that are proven in sound reports, the two may be combined, as the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did. It was proven that he used both kinds of treatment, and he said, “Strive to pursue that which will benefit you and seek refuge with Allaah, and do not feel helpless.” And he said: “Seek treatment, O slaves of Allaah, but do not seek treatment with things which are haraam.”

And Allah knows best.

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