Today I would like to talk about using the Quran as a remedy for illnesses. There are some people that say that the Quran can only be used for guidance. Whilst I agree that Quran has a come as guidance, but I believe that it can also be a source of healing for spiritual, physical and mental illesses.
Many scholars have written books where they extract remedies and solutions from the Holy Qur’ān for a wide variety of problems. The books are a collection of verses of the Qur’ān, along with procedures for their application, which the scholars found to be effective in producing certain results by the will of Allāh Ta’ālā.
The Qur’ān contains shifā’. Allāh Ta’ālā says:
“And We send down from the Qur’ān that which is a remedy and mercy for the believers.” (Qur’ān, 17:82)
It is reported from Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) that he said:
“Make use of two remedies: honey and the Qur’an.”
Abū Sa’īd al-Khudrī reported that a group of the Sahābah, while on a journey, passed by a town where they requested food. The people refused to entertain them. Shortly thereafter, the chief of the people fell seriously ill, so in desperation, they asked the Sahābah if anyone could perform treatment on him. They agreed, on condition that they give them some food in exchange. One of the Sahābah then recited Sūrah al-Fātihah seven times on the chief, while spiting on him, and he was cured. They took this news back the Rasūlullāh, and he said: “How did you know that it is a ruqyah? You did well. Distribute (the meat) and give me a share.”
It is clear from this hadīth that this group of Sahābah did not receive instruction from Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) to perform treatment in this way. Instead, the one who performed the treatment applied his mind and performed the treatment based on the general understanding that the Qur’ān is a shifā’.
The Qur’ān contains many remedies which the scholars and pious people from the ummah discovered through experimentation, experience and exercising their judgement. Ibn Taymiyyah narrated some examples from the Sahābah and early Muslims using treatments from the Qur’ān, that were not narrated from Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), including washing the ink used to write some verses of Qur’ān and then giving it to the sick person to drink.
Hence, the remedies prescribed in books fall under the category of tried and tested treatments from the Qur’ān. They are akin to Ruqyahs and Ta’wīdhāt which are permissible in the Sharī’ah with certain conditions.
This is certainly not regarded as magic (sihr). Magic is a craft and discipline that may be taught, learnt and experimented with. It has its own set of principles and theories. The distinguishing feature of magic is that it is achieved by carrying out some despicable ritualistic act, uttering some incantation or holding a wicked belief, which draw the help of devils to create some effect. Magic can be ascertained by its association with mockery of religion, Allāh and the symbols of religion, and committing harām and ugly acts, and so on.
Hence, treatment using the Qur’ān when done in a permissible and respectable manner cannot be regarded as sihr.
In fact, the Qur’ān records that the non-Muslims would falsely declare the revelation of Allāh to be “magic”. They would say: “Two sorceries (i.e. the Qur’ān and Torah) supporting one another.” (28:48) The Qur’ān, however, is not magic, as it is not something that proceeds from the devils, nor does it contain anything impure. The Qur’ān says:
“This Qur’an is not brought down by devils. It neither suits them, nor are they able.” (Qur’ān, 26:210-11)
In summary, the remedies prescribed in certain books are based on experiences and judgement of the treatments found in the Holy Qur’ān. They does not propose any impermissible method, nor do they evoke the rituals or beliefs associated with sihr. Hence, any accusations against the author should be judged based on the above.