Ruqya (Part 3): Characteristics of a Raqi

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

The practitioner of ruqya is called Raqi (رَاقِي), the plural of which is Ruqat (رُقَاة).

The Raqi administers ruqya treatment on the sick and those affected with sihr (magic), jinn-possession and evil eye.

It is a general responsibility on the Muslim community to treat the sick, and more so those that are oppressed by magicians and devils in the form of sihr and possession.

Beyond possessing the knowledge and skillset to conduct ruqya, the Raqi must exhibit the following characteristics.

The Raqi is precautious. Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim, both veterans in this field, describe the fight against magicians and devils as warfare and jihad. The Raqi will be the target of their attacks. He must adopt routine spiritual measures to safeguard himself, his home and his family: daily recitations, adhkar, seeking knowledge, inviting righteous people etc.

The Raqi is calm and resilient. The shayatin will intimidate the Raqi by various means. They will threaten him directly, and if that fails, they will threaten the safety of his family; they will harass him at his home, interfere in his relationships and even attempt to physically harm him — all in the hopes of stopping the Raqi from treating the patient. The Raqi must not panic or show any sign of fear. If he flinches or panics, they will be emboldened. It will be a complete disaster if both the Raqi and patient are scared. The Raqi must remain resilient to their tactics.

The Raqi is vigilant. The shayatin want the Raqi to stop reciting. They will attempt to deceive him. They may lie to his face or pretend to have left the body. They may even draw him into long conversations thus reducing the time for recitation. The Raqi must not be gullible or easily convinced by the devil's words. He must remain on guard and attentive to their tricks, never distracted from the actual treatment.

The Raqi is empathetic. There is a lack of support for patients outside of the ruqya session. It's not uncommon for family and friends to be complacent in their duty of care towards the patient, or even skeptical of the entire situation. The Raqi must appreciate the uphill struggle the patient faces alone and unknowing of what to expect. He must not frighten or demoralise the patient, but continuously reassure, motivate and advise him.

The Raqi is confidential. The patient's private life may be disclosed during treatment. The Raqi must respect patient confidentiality and not divulge private or sensitive information.

The Raqi is upright. The Raqi must recognise that Allah alone is His protector and Curer. He must recognise that a single word of tawhid (like Bismillah or Allahu Akbar or a verse of the Quran) is enough to cut through all the plots and attacks of the magicians and devils; they are utterly powerless and incapable in front of Allah's words; they hurt and burn at its mention, unable to resist. The Raqi must have total reliance upon Allah and having good expectations of Him that He will respond to the call of the oppressed and the efforts of those that fight in His cause; that He will break the spell, undo the evil eye and force the devils to flee in terror or die in anguish, and heal the patient swiftly. The Raqi must remain upright in his private and public dealings, calling on Allah for help and steadfastness, and maintain a strong bond with Him and the Hereafter so that the devils can never sway him even if they promise the entire world to him.

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