Many fake Ruqyah healers have appeared in Saudi Arabia offering their services to clients affected by genies or black magic. Some of these practitioners misuse this spiritual treatment system followed by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions, reports said.
Ruqyah means reciting Qur’an and saying supplications reported from the Prophet (pbuh) over the sick seeking cure, in addition to application of other good and lawful supplications. It has been successful in treating people possessed by evil eye and black magic.
Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sanad, president of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) has disclosed that some Ruqyah performers touched women and violated their honor.
In a 96-page book authored by him, Al-Sanad explains how some weak-minded people exploited the system for immoral purposes. Some healers memorized only two parts of the Holy Qur’an while others only the last part.
“These are the most ignorant people and they adopted Ruqyah as a healing system just to imitate others. Some of them have taken it as a profession after watching treatment of a relative by Ruqyah,” he pointed out.
According to Al-Sanad, the majority of fake healers had poor education. “Some of them have secondary education while many others were illiterate who cannot read or write,” he added. Some of them claim that they can communicate with genies in order to impress their customers.
In his book, Al-Sanad revealed amazing stories of fake Ruqyah healers. A practitioner did it at the water supply plant while another one did it in the tooth paste. “We have also received reports of Ruqyah performers through telephone and WhatsApp,” he added.
Some of these fake healers repeated a particular verse of the Qur’an while some others advised their clients to keep a specific verse of the Qur’an in their house to protect against genies and sorcerers and some others advise their clients to read azan into a cup of water and drink it.
“There are practitioners who recite the Qur’an and pray for the whole family members and protect the whole house from sorcerers by doing Ruqyah at its corners,” the Haia chief said.
Dr. Al-Sanad accused some practitioners of charging huge fees reaching up to SR10,000 for a session while some others demanded accommodation saying they came from a far off place. Some healers charged huge prices for materials used in the process while some others frightened their customers by telling them they are affected by sorcerers and black magic.
“Many people believe in these fake practitioners fully and agree with whatever they do and tell and this helps the weak-minded to exploit them,” Al-Sanad said. Some people are ready to spend any amount of money on Ruqyah and go to a particular practitioner even after crossing long distances.
Meanwhile, eight cases have been filed against fake Ruqyah practitioners at courts for sexual abuse during treatment and practicing the therapy without license. A British practitioner of Arab origin was one of the culprits. He provided Ruqyah therapy without a license and used to charge SR35,000 for a session. He was also accused of sexually harassing women while providing the therapy which included hijama or cupping.
A criminal court sentenced a Saudi man to 30 lashes for practicing Ruqyah without any license and took a written undertaking from him that he would not do it again. Another fake practitioner, who used the therapy to harass women, was sentenced to six months jail and 150 lashes.
Lawyer Khaled Aburashid said those who practice Ruqyah illegally deserved deterrent punishment. He said the public prosecutor has been given the authority to investigate excesses in such therapies including sexual abuse.
In 2013, Gulzar Ahmad aka Gulzar peer, a self-styled preacher in Kashmir, was accused of raping four girls at his seminary. However, he was later released in 2015 due to ‘lack of evidence and discrepancy in the investigation.’