Ruqyah Myths

We have dedicated this page to exploring some of the common myths in circulation regarding Ruqyah and shedding some light on possible risks. One should know that many cases of so called possession are due to psychological illness, mistakenly understood to be spirit-possession. The reason behind the prevalence of this misconception to some extent, is the practice of some exorcists (raaqis) who have made exorcism a way of obtaining money from the common masses. They convince people into believing that they have been possessed by jinn as a way of earning money in the name of treatment.

When discussing the world of the jinn and unseen (Gha'ib), it is worth remembering that Islam came to remove superstitions and false beliefs. However, we find in the world of Ruqyah and jinn, those who have a tendency to believe in superstitions, are being drawn to this subject and misguiding themselves as well as others, commonly making statements without any basis. So be very mindful of what you are told in terms of the subject of jinn and do not allow yourself to be drawn into false beliefs.

Just like in the field of magic the majority of people who claim that they can do magic are actually plain tricksters. As is often the case that they cannot do anything, except maybe write out a fake amulet (taweez) in order to impress etc. Unfortunately, similar people exist in the field of Ruqyah too. It is important to know for someone looking into Ruqyah, that just because someone can bring up a jinn by reciting Quran, does not necessarily mean they know what they are doing. As such, many of the myths associated with Ruqyah are in fact propagated by these type of Raaqis themselves. Below are some of the most common myths that we have come across.

Please note: The vast majority of sincere raaqis will be just as appalled and shocked that this is happening in the name of Islam. However we have highlighted some issues for your consideration so you can make an informed choice when seeking Ruqyah.

Common Myths

1. The jinn is residing within the blood in the veins of the patient.

This is based upon the Hadith relating to Muhammad (saw) walking one of his wives home, late one night. When the prophet (saw) saw two of his companions rushing past, he (saw) summoned them to witness that indeed the woman he (saw) was walking with, was his wife. The Sahaba (ra) said "subhanallah, we would never have doubted you". In response to this the prophet Muhammad (saw) said "verily Satan runs in the human in the veins, and I feared that he, satan cast something bad in your hearts."

From Safiyyah bint 'Huyeiyy (ra) said the Prophet (saw) was performing I'tikaaf, thus I came to him visiting him at night, thus I talked with him and then I stood up to return, so he stood with me to return me. And her house was in the house of Usamah bin Zaid, thus two people from Ansar walked by them and then when they saw the Prophet (saw) they hastened. Thus the Prophet (saw) said: "walk slowly, verily this is Safiyyah Bint Huyeiyy", they both said "Sub'hanallah O Messenger of Allah" He said "verily the Satan runs in the human in the veins. And I feared that he (Satan) cast something bad in your hearts". In another version he (saw) said: "Verily the Satan runs in the son of Adam in the veins".
[Muslim - 2175 and Bukhari - 2035]

As we can see the Hadith is clearly indicating suspicion or a false impression. Even if this Hadith is taken literally it does not make any distinction between those who are affected by jinn and those who are not. It is referring to all human beings. Therefore, it cannot be taken as evidence to suggest that the shayateen jinn reside in the veins of the patient. Furthermore, many Raaqis prescribe hijama for the purpose of eliminating the jinn or sihr from the veins of a patient. However, any hijama therapist will know that hijama is not performed directly on the veins! Medically speaking hijama draws stagnated blood from the body, not healthy blood from the veins, which would actually defeat the purpose of hijama.

Bubbling Blood Myth

Another myth we hear of is when hijama is carried out on patients, certain practitioners claim that the steamed cups and bubbling blood is a sign of black magic or jinn. This is simply not the case. Below is a simple video experiment demonstrating what happens to any liquid once you create a vacuum suction around it.

2. The patient does not feel the pain.

The patient does not feel the pain is probably one of the most prominent myths in Ruqyah. This one myth alone has led some raaqis to practically humiliate the patient or cause such extreme pain that the patient declares "I am cured" just to escape the raaqi. This is a common belief held by many raaqis which generally leads them to use evermore physical methods, even though the vast majority of evidence suggests otherwise. Patients may scream that they are experiencing pain but these medieval ruqyah practitioners continue in denial and claim that it is the jinn experiencing the pain and not the patient. In some unfortunate cases people have been killed by raaqis who will still insist the patient did not feel the pain.

Medieval Ruqyah Practices

It is with sadness that we present this video of raaqis practising in the name of Quran and Sunnah. As you can see there are serious concerns with these practices which have no logical basis, let alone Quran and Sunnah. However we feel people have the right to know what they might be subjected to just because someone says they do Ruqyah. The video shows so called 'techniques' varying from stepping on a patients stomach, beating with a stick to slapping a patients face whilst holding a sword to their neck. All this is being actually advertised as Ruqyah treatment. We know experimentation is allowed in Ruqyah however one does wonder if our Beloved Prophet (saw) and his noble companions saw such practises, would they have approved? It's the jinn syndrome. Some raaqis appear to function under the understanding that if a patient isn't screaming and shouting. it's really not effective Ruqyah and as such their methods reflect this attitude.

Some people who may have been through these 'treatments' will state that they felt better. This is not due to the drastic physical treatment they have undergone but it will have been the effect of the Quranic recitation during the treatment that actually caused the patient to feel better.

Other dangerous practises

Ruqyah baths with near boiling or feezing water

Ruqyah baths with normal temperature water are an effective means for certain types of jinn. However some raaqis appear to just relish in seeing their patients in agony. This is simply a dangerous practise for whatever reason these raaqis seem to believe you can boil a jinn out of a patient, or freeze it to death.

Electric shocks

Some raaqis use taser guns to electrocute the patient and some even use the mains electricity. Apart from being illegal and risking causing death, these types of practises bring Islam into disrepute and really does make it look medieval.

Scaan / Hermal

Some raaqis prescribe Scaan or Hermal, to take as a drink. They claim it is a cure for Sihr, Hasad and evil eye. Almost every symptom you mention they will say it cures it. If this product is taken in excess or beyond its recommended dosage it can prove to be dangerous and land you in hospital. It may also bring about severe depressant action on the nervous system.

Smelling salts

Many Raaqis use this under a patients nose and say that the jinn dislike them. However if you were to hold these under anyones nose they would also dislike it just as much. There have been cases where raaqis have damaged the lining of a persons nose because they have held these salts under them for for too long.

Milk, olive oil and blackseed oil etc

This can take various forms, from raaqis selling 'special milk', to forcing a patient to drink extremely large amounts of liquid, until they vomit in order to bring up the sihr they supposedly ate. For example 5 bottles of black seed oil or 20 litres of milk etc. We are not against prescribing these things in sensible quantities and as part of a normal Ruqyah programme, where they have proven effective.

I have done Ruqyah and am not cured?

Even after many of the above barbaric and medieval methods, most patients are still not cured. This is then usually explained away by the raaqi, with the following mythical claims: (along with being told that the patient is not pious enough.)

Strong magic / Sihr, stubborn jinn

I have been to a few Raaqis and they have tried to help me but to no avail and they have said it is due to especially strong magic or stubborn jinn ?

We believe the fact that you have not been cured is not due to the strength of the jinn or Magic but rather the weakness of the raaqi, either in terms of his knowledge or technique in treating you. There is nothing more powerful than the verses of Allah but we must know how to use and apply them in removing the jinn or Magic. Not every raaqi will be able to extract or deal with every type of jinn or Magic and we would advise the raaqi who fails to cure a person, to stop using these terms, as they make a person feel weaker in their illness and denote strength for the disbelieving shayateen jinn. And we know Allah says: "verily the plot of shaytaan is weak". So rather it would be more appropriate for the raaqi to acknowledge their own limitations and refer you to someone who may have more knowledge and experience than them.

Jinn jumping in and out of the patient's body

Often patients are told by raaqis that the jinn left them but has now returned. During a Ruqyah session, a jinn may come up and perhaps speak either in its own voice or through the patient's voice. Sometimes during a Ruqyah the patient snaps back to their normal personality and the raaqi tells the person, the jinn has gone or 'jumped out'. However, all that has happened is the patient has snapped back to his normal self and the jinn is still very much there. When the patient returns home, they notice the jinn is still present within them. At this point the raaqi, who the patient no doubt contacts, tells him the jinn has returned. All that is needed to find out whether the jinn is still present within the patient or has in fact left, is to take a break during the Ruqyah, ask the patient to make wudu and then to recite on the patient again and you will find the jinn still there.

Sihr / magic being repeated

Many raaqis, when they fail to cure the patient, they claim the magic is being repeated and create an impression that the magician is watching them all the time. Sitting day and night just dedicated to ruin their life. This is a classic story used by raaqis who fail to remove the jinn. Rather than admit they could not get it out they just blame the magician again. The Raaqi has no proof that the magic has been redone. He did not see the magician redo it, so how does he know? Simply because the jinn is still there, is the proof being offered that the magic has been 'redone'. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this is happening and to make matters worse, it is causing further trauma to the patient, who envisages someone going to a magician again and again, to destroy his or her life and the lives of their family. Rather what is evident is that the raaqi was simply unable to rid the patient of the jinn. Or as in many cases, the patient has multiple jinn and when one is eliminated, the next one steps up.

Logically, in most cases the patient is just one of many victims of the magician. Commonly magicians have large numbers of clients and victims. For illustration purposes, lets assume a magician receives 5 clients a day. This works out to 1300 in a year. Now if the magician did magic on a victim 2 years ago, this would be 2600 people ago! It is unlikely they would even remember you. And most people only find out, many years after the magic was actually done.

Consumed or eaten Sihr

This has come into fashion with many raaqis diagnosing their patients with eaten Sihr, simply because they vomit or have stomach movements during the Ruqyah. Patients are then given many concoctions designed to make them vomit or diarrhoea to help remove the assumed eaten Sihr. Unfortunately, even after the painful purging effects of these concoctions many patients are still left with the jinns in their body and their associated symptoms. Someone with a basic knowledge of Ruqyah will be able to confirm that even in cases of simple possession which does not involve Sihr, a jinn generally settles in the stomach and when recited upon the person will vomit. This does not mean the person has eaten the sihr.

External jinn

Many people will state physical symptoms such as seeing things move or feel certain sensations or hearing noises etc and when the raaqi recites on them, due to a lack of reaction, they are then misinformed that they are affected by 'external jinn'. Although there is such a thing as external Jinn, if a person is feeling an effect most of the time, the Jinn has always been internal and its just a matter of repeating the Ruqyah to force it to surface.

If the jinn leaves, you will be worse off

Some raaqis when failing to remove the Jinn from a person, resort to telling the patient that if they were to make the jinn leave, the patient will be depressed or worse off. As the jinn has been with them for so long that, when removed it will leave a void in them. One has to ask well why did they try to treat or make it leave in the first place if they knew that was going to be the impact? Also, if a person is possessed by a shayateen, how could forcing it out ever be a negative thing?

Famous Quran reciters doing Ruqyah tours

As Ruqyah is a treatment that requires continued investigation and support over a period of time, how can someone simply passing by on a tour, offer a patient this? Unfortunately this is just simply a moneymaking exercise, taking advantage of vulnerable people. Somehow it is imagined that the fame of the reciter will have an additional effect on the Ruqyah. In severe cases we have seen these famous reciters and their organisers dumbfounded when they have come across a particularly powerful Jinn.

The 1 hour Ruqyah

As soon as the raaqi has placed a fixed 1 hour time limit on a Ruqyah session, often the jinn knows that all it needs to do is hold on for that 1 hour. The raaqi is also aware of this phenomena. However the common masses who are unaware of this, spend a lot of time and money to get to these appointments, only to return home disappointed.

Note that we are not against a raaqi charging per hour for their time, for as many hours that it may take to remove the jinn. However to limit a session to 1 hour just gives the Jinn impetus to hang in there and infact it helps certain types of Jinn in their arrogance and stubbornness.

Group Ruqyah

Here we are referring to group Ruqyah i.e mass Ruqyahs involving large numbers of people in halls, community centres etc. (This is not referrring to cases of just a few people being treated in a room together). We find this a common practise amongst some raaqis who mainly do this to lower costs for the average person. However it ignores the basic fundamentals of Ruqyah. The only people who seem to benefit somewhat from these types of session are those who react vividly, so the organisers may start dealing with them individually. But anyone who does not have a overtly visible reaction, will simply be ignored and left feeling it was just a waste of time.

Jinn catching

Despite the Islamic legality of this method being brought into question by some notable scholars in the field of Ruqyah, unfortunately due to desperation some people will try anything. Note that we are not advocating or discussing the legality of the method, we are simply trying to shed some light on the actual 'claimed success' of this method, so you can decide for yourself.

Briefly, jinn catching is a method used whereby the raaqi claims to draw out the jinn from the body of the patient, by using the verses of the Quran into a 3rd party, who is designated the 'jinn catcher'. The first thing to note is that the raaqi recites on the 3rd party i.e the catcher, as opposed to on you, the patient. The patient should know that what appears to have been 'caught' or turns up in the catcher, has not been proven at all to be related to the patient. This is just a myth and at times it may appear to know some facts regarding the patient but this in no way proves the jinn is from the patient.

The proponents of this method claim that when the jinn is captured inside the body of the catcher, it is out of its comfort zone and therefore it is much weaker and is easily destroyed or converted. Every now and then the catcher raises his index finger, to suggest that the jinn, which has entered his body has taken the Shahada etc.

It is also common for the majority of the clients of 'jinn catching', to be taken through the following process:

1. You will be told that you have eaten the Sihr and prescribed senna tea and Ruqyah water / baths for two weeks, to supposedly clear this Sihr from the body.
2. You will be requested to undergo Ruqyah and hijama treatment in combination. After following this treatment for the prescribed time and finding you still have the jinn with you:
3. You will be advised the Sihr has been 'redone' so you need go to step 1 again.

We have come across many patients who have been told they have been cleared of the Sihr, without actually being recited upon to establish the truth. So people have gone away believing they were cured. However when noticing their symptoms continued, they checked with other raaqis who recited Ruqyah on the actual patient as opposed to a 3rd party, they found that they reacted just like they did before. So nothing had actually changed and many people felt cheated by this method.

The truth of 'jinn catching'?

Any independent observer to jinn catching will notice that the vast majority of jinn that turn up in the catcher, are all saying a similar story i.e the person has eaten the Sihr. And most people are put through a standard program with standard claims. Unfortunately, when patients find that their case has not been resolved and they are still left with the jinns in their body, they are told by the raaqi that the reason is because the magic has been 'redone' and they need to repeat the treatment. Thereby the patient is left going in circles without any progress. The magic 'being repeated' myth has been explained above, as this is a standard claim used by many raaqis in almost any situation in which they do not know what to do.

A note of caution to any would be 'catcher'

We would advise the catcher before they sign up to assisting their brothers and sisters in Islam by volunteering themselves as a vessel to act as catcher, that the long term effects of this practice are not known. There are some cases of people of have previously been known to act as the catcher, who are now in a very bad state of affairs.

The superstitous attitude

As you can see from the above myths, many things are being done and said in the field of Ruqyah, without any logical evidence, let alone Qu'ran and Sunnah. So we would remind you that Islam came to remove superstitions and false beliefs.

One should always remember that the knowledge of the Gha'ib (unseen), which includes information concerning the angels, is only known to Allah as mentioned in the Quran.

Allah says: Say: 'None in the heavens and the earth knows the Gha'ib (Unseen) except Allah [Surah Al-Naml (Chapter 27) - 65]

He (Allah alone) the All-Knower of the Gha'ib (unseen) and he reveals to none His Gha'ib (unseen). Except to a Messenger (from mankind) whom He has chosen (He informs him of unseen as much as He likes) and then He makes a band of watching guards (angels) to march before him and behind him. [Surah Al-Jinn (Chapter 72) - 26-27]

Thus, Allah does not reveal any information of the Gha'ib to anyone except to His Messengers from amongst humans and angels. Allah has restricted this information because reporting about the Gha'ib is among the signs of prophethood. Allah revealed many matters of the Gha'ib to our Prophet Muhammad (saw) who informed us of them, like the angels, jinn, hereafter and others. It is important to mention here that even the Messenger of Allah (saw) did not have the absolute knowledge of the Gha'ib. He only knew that which was revealed to him through revelation from Allah. Allah says in the Quran: Say (O Muhammad saw), 'I don't tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor (that) I know the unseen but, I follow what is revealed to me by inspiration.[Surah Al-An'am (Chapter 6) - 50]

Consequently, the Prophet (saw) is our one and only source of information about the Gha'ib. However, with the completion of revelation from Allah, our source to the knowledge about the Gha'ib has ceased. We therefore, have to suffice with what has reached us from the Messenger about the Gha'ib - and any statement made concerning the Gha'ib has to backed with proofs from the Quran and the Sunnah.

One of the reasons why the children of Adam go astray while speaking about the unseen is when they make false and baseless claims. Such was the case of the Arab pagans at the time of Allah's Messenger (saw), who made many claims about the matters of the Gha'ib without any genuine source of information. Allah rebuked them saying: Or have they a stairway (to Heaven), by means of which they listen? Then let their listeners produce some manifest proof. [Surah At-Tur (Chapter 52) - 38]

An example is when the Arabs went on a journey of business or significance they used to release birds into the air and if it flew to the right is was deemed good luck and if the bird flew to the left it was deemed bad luck. May Allah protect us from such nonsense and so please be mindful of unfounded statements regarding the jinn as most of these statements have no value in islam despite making interesting talk time in coffee shops. But if one is not careful seemingly innocent statements can become a cause for a person slowly stepping into shirk as the Quran states: "O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan."

Another of their astray claims and superstitions was that angels are females and they mixed this idea with that which is far removed from the truth - that these females are daughters of Allah (Na'oudhubillah). The Quran refuted them and pointed out that they had no sound evidence for their claims. It is strange indeed that they attributed daughters to Allah, when they themselves hated daughters.

Allah says in Surah as-Saffat:'Now ask them (O Muhammad), 'Are there daughters for your Lord and sons for them? Or did We create the angels females while they were witnesses? Verily, it is of their falsehood that they (Quraysh pagans) say, 'Allah has begotten offspring or children (i.e. angels are the daughters of Allah)?' And, verily, they are liars! Has He (then) chosen daughters rather than sons? What is the matter with you? How do you decide? Will you not then remember? Or is there for you a plain authority?'
[Surah As-Saffat (Chapter 37) - 149-156]

Thus, the best manner in which the Angels are described is 'slaves of Allah' and they cannot be described as males or females. Allah has described the true status of the angels in a number of places in the Quran: 'And they say, 'The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son (or children).' Glory to Him! They [those whom they call children of Allah i.e. the angels, 'Iesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), 'Uzair (Ezra), etc.], are but honored slaves.'
[Surah Al-Ambiya (Chapter 21) - 26]

Arab superstitions were not limited to the world of the unseen. Some Arabs used to regards the stars as the cause of rainfall when this is not the case.

The evidence for that is the hadith narrated by al-Bukharee (801) and Muslim (104) from Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani who said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) led us in praying Fajr at al-Hudaybiyah, following rainfall during the night. When he had finished praying, he turned to the people and said, 'Do you know what your Lord has said?' They said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'This morning one of My slaves became a believer in Me and one became a disbeliever. As for the one who said, 'We have been given rain by virtue of Allah and His mercy,' he is a believer in Me and a disbeliever in the stars. But as for the one who said, 'We have been given rain by such and such a star,' he is a disbeliever in Me and a believer in the stars.'"
[Sahih Bukhari - 801 and Sahih Muslim - 104]

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