Men Performing Ruqyah on Women Should Not Touch Them


Men Performing Ruqyah on Women Should Not Touch Them
The High Esteemed Scholar Shaikh Saalih bin Muhammad al Luhaydan (حفظه الله تعالى)


Question:What is the ruling on the action that is performed by some individuals while conducting ruqya, which is, the touching of the person (being treated), especially placing the hand on the head of a foreign (non-relative) female? They place their hands on her head, or the area of pain, and other places. Is this action permissible and is there a hadeeth that informs of this?

Answer: It is not permissible for a man to touch any part of the body of a foreign woman, even if he does so from above her clothing (without skin contact). There are many sensitive parts of the body that become affected even if they are touched from above the clothing, and once a woman is touched in these areas, things will occur.[1]

Firstly: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did not instruct the person performing ruqyah to touch the person being treated! The manner of conducting ruqyah, by way of Quran, is that the person reads the verses which he deems to be effective in curing, then he blows air (from his mouth) – with (a small) portion of saliva – onto the area which he intends to be cured. If he is conducting ruqyah upon a person who has pain in his head, or he has trouble breathing, or other than this, he should blow on that area of the body, but he does not touch the person with his hand. There are some individuals who perform ruqyah but they are unaware of (the correct) manners of performing it, which have come in the Sunnah and their effects. These people feel that as long as they are performing ruqyah, it is permissible for them to touch from the right to the left (all parts of the body). Without a doubt, this is clear evil. Likewise, there is no reason for placing one’s hand on the head (of the sick person). Ruqyah is not performed with the hands, nor is it based on the feelings of the person performing it. Some individuals even use electric volts, and other (unlegislated) means, and they don’t use (legislated) supplications. When Jibreel performed ruqyah on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), He (Jibreel) said:

بِاسْمِ اللهِ أَرْقِيكَ، مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ يُؤْذِيكَ
“In the Name of Allah, I (seek to) cure you from everything that harms you.”[2]


It took place that Abu Sa’eed al Khudri (رضي الله عنه) performed ruqyah on a disbeliever who was bitten, after his (the disbeliever’s) tribe sought all means of curing him, but they failed. Abu Sa’eed (رضي الله عنه) and those who were with him had (earlier) sought from the disbeliever to be accepted as guests, but they rejected their request.[3] This took place during an Islamic expedition. (When a poisonous insect bit the leader of these disbelievers) they said to one another: It’s possible that the group of individuals (Abu Sa’eed and those on the journey with him) have someone amongst them who can cure him. They approached the Muslims and said: Is there anyone amongst you who can cure? They (the Muslims) replied: No. Abu Sa’eed (رضي الله عنه) replied: In fact, I can treat him but we have sought from you to shelter us and you rejected our request, so I will not treat him until you pay something in return. Consequently, they agreed to give him a number of sheep. Then Abu Sa’eed (رضي الله عنه) accompanied them (to their leader) and read Surah al Fatihah over him 7 times. Every time he completed recitation of the surah he would blow a (small) portion of saliva on the area which needed treatment. Upon completing the seventh recitation, the man stood up as if he had been untied.

The Shaikh commented: It’s possible (some of) the listeners (to the audio) know the meaning of this term: ‘untied’. When a camel’s leg is tied to his hooves, he cannot walk. Once this tie is removed, he jumps (and walks).

The man stood up as if he had been untied, and then the companions (of Abu Sa’eed) took what was paid to them, but some of them were reluctant to accept it. They said: How can someone take payment for the Glorious Quran! Consequently, they did not divide the payment of sheep until they approached the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) along with the payment, and they informed him of what occurred. Upon hearing this, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:


إن خَيْرَ ما أخَذْتُم عليهِ أُجرة القرآنَ الكريمَ، اقتسِموا واضرِبوا لي مَعكُم بسَهْمٍ
The best thing that one would take payment for is The Glorious Quran. Divide (the sheep), and give me a portion.[4]


The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) wanted to assure them of the permissibility of accepting the payment.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) then said to Abu Sa’eed (رضي الله عنه), after he was informed that he had recited Surah al Fatihah to cure the man:

وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ أَنَّهَا رُقْيَةٌ؟
What made you aware that it (Surah al Fatihah) is a cure?


When the companion (Abu Sa’eed) noticed that this surah began with the exultation and glorification of Allah, the praise of Him, then informing of the worship of Him, and then invoking Him with supplication, he realized the greatness of this surah and consequently, he used it for ruqyah, and it was the best form of treatment.

Indeed help is sought from Allah.

Translation by: Mustafa George DeBerry

Riyadh, K.S.A

1st of Rajab 1434 |30th of April, 2014



[1] Scholars have also mentioned that it is not permissible for the man performing ruqyah on a female, to be alone with her. This is based on the statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم):

لَا يَخْلُوَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ بِامْرَأَةٍ، فَإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ ثَالِثُهُمَا

“None of you (men) should be alone with a female, for verily the Shaytan will be the third of them.”

Musnad of Imam Ahmad #114

[2] Sahih Muslim #2186

[3] Abu Sa’eed (رضي الله عنه) and those with him were on a journey.

[4] Sahih al Bukhari #5749 (with a similar wording)

Posted on May 4, 2014, in Fatawas / Questions To The Scholars. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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