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What is the ruling of consulting with “Islamic healers” and the ruling for asking for help from the jinn?


Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

The first issue that we would like to present is the opinions of scholars regarding the scope of what is considered as Islamic healer. In the context of alternative treatment in Malaysia, Islamic healer is known as someone that practises ruqyah and involves in alternative treatment or a treatment that complement modern medicine.

A fatwa from Syeikh Jibrin cited from al-Lu’lu al-Makin states:

In truth, ruqyah is permissible for anyone that has a good recitation, understand the meaning, hold on to the correct aqidah, perform good deeds and has a good character. It is not a prerequisite for him to learn the knowledge of furu’ (branch) religious issues or has a deep understanding of it. This is in accordance with the incident where Abu Said recite al-Fatihah as ruqyah for a person who was lost and stung by a poisonous animal. He said: We did not know (al-Fatihah) is a ruqyah verse. As stated by a hadith by al-Bukhari and Muslim. Furthermore, he must have good intentions and the purpose is to benefit other Muslims and not for monetary gains.” See al-Lu’lu al-Makin (22).

However, for Islamic healers that recite ruqyah or others, he must fulfil the conditions set for ruqyah. This is to differentiate the ruqyah that is in accordance with Islamic teachings and ruqyah that contradict Islamic teachings.

Here, we include three conditions set by Imam al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in his book al-Fath al-Bari:

The scholars have agreed on the permissibility of treatment if it follows these three conditions:

  • Ruqyah used must be from the verses of the Quran or Allah SWT’s names and attributes
  • It must be in Arabic or any language that its meanings are understood
  • Believe that the ruqyah has no power in healing except with the will of Allah SWT”

See al-Fath al-Bari (10/240)

Syeikhul Islam Ibn Taimiyyah states in his book Majmu’ al-Fatawa:

However, treating a patient that is possessed by jinn using ruqyah and seeking protection from Allah SWT has to follow these two rules:

  • If the ruqyah and the words of seeking refuge are understandable or using words or phrases that are permissible in Islam or a form of supplication (du’a) or remembrance of Allah (zikr), then the ruqyah is permissible. If this is the situation, then treatment for patients possessed by jinn can be done.”

In a sahih hadith of the Prophet PBUH, it is stated that the Prophet PBUH permits ruqyah, as long as there are no elements of shirk in it. The Prophet PBUH said: “He who is competent amongst you to benefit his brother should do so.”

  • If in the treatment, there are prohibited phrases, such as phrases that contain elements of shirk, or the meanings are not understood and may lead to disbelief, then it is impermissible to seek treatment from him, and it is prohibited to want to use these phrases or vow to use these phrases, even if sometimes, when he uses these phrases, the jinn would exit the body of the patient. The reason being, whatever is prohibited by Allah SWT and the Prophet PBUH would bring greater harm than benefit.”

In Majmu’ al-Fatawa (19/13), Syeikhul Islam Ibn Taimiyyah also wrote: “Thus, the Islamic scholars prohibit any treatment where the meanings are not understood, for it could be the reason for a person to fall into shirk even without him realizing it.

Imam al-Nawawi said in his book Syarh Sahih Muslim (14/141-142):

Ruqyah that should be avoided are ruqyah from the practices of disbelievers, treatment with unknown words or phrases, and treatment using a language other than Arabic, where its meanings are not understood. All of these is prohibited, for there is a possibility that it contains disbelief and anything that leads to disbelief or the undesirable.

As for treatment using the verses of the Quran and zikr that their meanings are understood, then it is not prohibited and is considered as sunnah. The scholars agreed that it is permissible to treat patients using the verses of the Quran and zikr towards Allah SWT.

Imam al-Syauqani said: “It is permissible for ruqyah that uses the verses of the Quran, followed by zikr and supplication that is ma’thur, for supplication that is not ma’thur, it is permissible if it does not contradict supplication that is ma’thur.” See Nail al-Autar(10/440)

In our opinion, Islamic healer should be someone who has a correct aqidah and good character does not commit any major sin and does not continuously commit minor sins that would degrade himself, and someone who does not commit shirk towards Allah SWT and does not make his services of ruqyah as his source of income.

According to the above scholars’ opinions, it can be concluded that consulting with Islamic healer is permissible if the ruqyah used in his treatment fulfils the conditions mentioned above and does not contradict the conditions and principles of ruqyah treatment as an alternative treatment in Islam.

The second issue is regarding the ruling of asking for help from the jinn.

Syeikh Dr Wahbah al-Zuhaili was asked: “Is it permissible to ask help from Muslim jinn? And what is the ruling if Muslims ask the service from Muslim jinn? What is the ruling of asking for help from jinn in general?” Syeikh then answered: “It is prohibited to ask the help of jinn in any type of circumstances. It is a reprehensible act in syara’. This is in accordance with a statement of Allah SWT:

وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ رِجَالٌ مِنَ الْإِنْسِ يَعُوذُونَ بِرِجَالٍ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَزَادُوهُمْ رَهَقًا

“And there were men from mankind who sought refuge in men from the jinn, so they [only] increased them in burden.”

Surah al-Jinn (6)

See Maqalah Syeikh Dr Abdul Qader bin Muhammad al-Ghamidi entitled Hukm al-Isti’anah bi al-Jin fi al-Mubahat(The Rulings of Asking for Help from Jinn in Permissible Matters).

Lajnah Daimah (a fatwa institution) issued the following fatwa when asked by a man about the ruling of asking help from jinn:

It is prohibited for him to ask help from jinn and Muslims are prohibited to seek his help in treating any illness or other requests through the help of jinn. Treatments by doctors using the medication are permissible and are safe from any form of sorcery. In a hadith from the Prophet PBUH, he said: "He who goes to one who claims on matters of the Unseen and believes in him, his Salat (prayers) will not be accepted for forty days. In another narration, the Prophet PBUH said: “Whoever went to shamans or fortune tellers and believe what was told to them. Indeed, he has transgressed what has been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. This man and his friends are among the jinn (includes shamans and fortune tellers), thus none should seek his help and he is not to be trusted.”

According to the scholars’ opinion above, we are inclined towards the opinion that prohibits asking help from jinn.

By this explanation, may Allah SWT give us understanding and His protection from anything that is harmful to us. Amin.