Is it lawful or not to recite Surah Al-Ikhlas, Al- Mu‘awwidhatayn (Surahs Al-Falaq and Al-Nas) and Al-Fatihah for the purpose of seeking healing? Did the Messenger (peace be upon him) or the Salaf (righteous predecessors) do so? Please, enlighten us.
Reciting Surah Al-Ikhlas, Mu‘awwidhatayn, Al-Fatihah and other Surahs is regarded as a permissible Ruqyah (reciting Qur’an and saying supplications over the sick seeking healing) which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) legislated by performing it himself and approving it for his Sahabah (Companions).
Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated in their two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith on the authority of Ma‘mar from Al-Zuhry from ‘Urwah that ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
In his last illness, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to blow breath (into his cupped hands) and recite Al-Mu‘awwidhatayn (Surahs Al-Falaq and Al-Nas) and then wipe over his body. But when his illness aggravated, I used to recite them over him and pass his own hand over his body for its blessing.
Ma‘mar asked Al-Zuhry “How did he use to blow breath?” He said,
“He used blow into his hands and then pass them over his face.”
Al-Bukhari narrated on the authority of Abu Sa‘id Al-Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him):
Some of the Sahabah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) came across one of the Arab tribes, but they refused to extend to them hospitality. Then the leader of that tribe was stung, so they asked (the Sahabah), “Do you have any remedy or someone who can recite supplications over the sick as a cure?” They said, “You refused to offer us hospitality, so we will not do anything until you give us something in return.” And they agreed on a flock of sheep, so one of them (the Sahabah) started reciting Umm Al-Qur’an (Surah Al-Fatihah); gathering his saliva and spitting on it (the snake-bite), and the man got cured. Then they brought the sheep, but they (the Sahabah) said, “We will not take them until we ask the Prophet (whether it is lawful).” When they asked him, he smiled and said, “How do you know that it (Surah Al-Fatihah) is a Ruqyah? Take them (the sheep) and assign a share for me.”
The first Hadith indicates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did recite Al-Mu‘awwidhatayn over himself during his illness, while the second shows his approval of his Sahabah’s recitation of Al-Fatihah as Ruqyah.