Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) said:

Undoubtedly a person may suffer from psychological or mental diseases, such as anxiety about the future and regret for the past. Psychological diseases affect the body more than physical diseases affect it. Treating these diseases by means of the things prescribed in sharee’ah – i.e., ruqyah – is more effective than treating them with physical medicines, as is well known.

One of the means of treating them is mentioned in the saheeh hadeeth from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him):

“There is no-one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says:

‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka ibn ‘abdika ibn amatija naasyati bi yadika, maada fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka. As’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghayb ‘indaka an taj’al al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’ huzni wa dhihaab hammi

(O Allah, 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 revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’an the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety),’ but Allah will take away his distress and grief, and replace it with joy.”

This is one of the remedies prescribed in sharee’ah.

One can also say:

“Laa ilaaha illa Anta, subhaanaka inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen

(none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers)”

[al-Anbiya 21:87 – interpretation of the meaning].

Whoever wants to know more than that should refer to what the scholars have written about dhikr, such as al-Waabil al-Sayyib by Ibn al-Qayyim; al-Kalim al-Tayyib by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Tayimiyyah; al-Adhkaar by al-Nawawi; Zaad al-Ma’aad by Ibn al-Qayyim.

But because people’s faith is weak nowadays, they are less receptive to the remedies prescribed in sharee’ah. So people nowadays have started to rely on physical medicines more than on the remedies prescribed in sharee’ah. But when a person’s faith is strong, the remedies prescribed in sharee’ah are completely effective, and may work faster than physical medicine.

We all know about the story of the man whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent on a campaign and he camped near some Arab people, but those people near whom he camped showed him no hospitality at all. Allah willed that their leader should be stung by a scorpion, and they said to one another, “Go to those people who have camped nearby, perhaps you will find a raaqi (one who can recite ruqyah) with them.” The Sahaabah said to them, “We will not recite ruqyah for your leader unless you give us such and such a number of sheep.” They said, “Fine.” So one of the Sahaabah went and recited ruqyah for the one who had been stung. He recited Soorat al-Faatihah only, and the one who had been stung got up as if released from a chain.

Reciting al-Faatihah had such an effect on this man because it came from a heart that was filled with faith.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked him,

“How did you come to know that it (Soorat al-Faatihah) could be recited as a ruqyah?”

But in these times when religious commitment and faith have become weak, people have started to rely on external physical medicines, and they are suffering as a result.

But on the other hand there are charlatans who play with people’s minds; they are clever and able to trick people, claiming that they are good reciters of ruqyah when in fact they are consuming people’s wealth unlawfully. So people are caught between two extremes; one extreme is those who think that ruqyah has no effect at all, and the other is those tricksters who play with people’s minds by reciting false and deceitful readings. And there are some who are moderate in their approach to this issue.

Source: Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/465, 465/6

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