Ruqyah for Children
13 August, 2015
When is it necessary to perform ruqyah on children, and how should it be done?
When it comes to children, ruqyah is often easier than for adults, and results can often be obtained more quickly. Having said that, we can divide ruqyah cases in children into three categories:
- Concern over children, without confirmed symptoms. This can include medical problems that don't seem to have an answer, or a general feeling that they have been afflicted by the evil eye, or that they are "just not themselves." I do not recommend a full ruqyah programme for children at this stage; rather, I would recommend the 7 day programme, missing out the honey for children less than one year of age. The reading can be done by the parent, and the programme is generally well tolerated in people of all ages.
- Confirmed symptoms, without a strong reaction from the child, and without the jinn taking over. Symptoms can be as a result of treatment in the first case mentioned above, or when the child is displaying clear symptoms, but without a jinni/ manifesting itself. For these children, I recommend the full ruqyah programme, but the ruqyah can be performed in a very passive way. That means that the child doesn't have to sit like a statue, and there should be nothing that will scare the child, such as shouting. There is no need for the hijaamah section to be applied either. For the majority of children, I have found that this treatment is enough to get rid of all symptoms, without any discomfort to the child, and without any of the usual jinn-related antics.
- Severe cases, in which the jinn takes over the child, and the child becomes either extremely vocal, and even violent. Once again, I would recommend the full ruqyah programme, without hijaamah, but it may be necessary to be a little more active, keeping the child near, and pushing the ruqyah a little more.
In all of the above cases, the following should be noted:
- At all times, the safety and comfort of the child is paramount. This child is not an adult, so don't treat them like one. The child should feel totally comfortable with the ruqyah, or as close to that as can be achieved. Keep them relaxed and happy, smile, and regularly check that they are OK. You can also play with them, like asking them to read on you. If you are coming only for ruqyah, then try to be around the child for a little while outside of the ruqyah session, to help them feel more comfortable with you.
- NEVER hit a child. Ever. Hitting a ruqyah patient isn't a good idea at the best of times, and can lead to a rather long prison sentence, but hitting a child could cause them serious injury, and many children have died as a result of 'beating the jinn'. All you have done in this case is to do the work of the shayṭān for them. If the jinn is moving around in the body, a gentle massage of the affected area is more than enough. It will relax the child and put pressure on the jinn. It is also very 'forgiving' in the sense that if you get the wrong place, it will not cause any harm to the child at all.
- The hardest thing about ruqyah for children is that children are not able to explain their experiences and feelings like adults. They may naturally be fidgety and move around. This should not be misunderstood as a jinn problem. Take time to observe the child, both inside and outside of the ruqyah, to establish a baseline, in terms of the behaviour of the child, and what might be considered abnormal.
- If the child is old enough to understand, try to discuss with them, and most importantly, remove the fear of the shayṭān from them. Fear of the shayṭān can be much worse in children than adults, and we don't want the children scared to go to sleep. Make light of the issue, and tell them how weak the shayṭān is, and how he runs away from the Qur'an. Teach them simple things to say to protect themselves, like some of the things mentioned here.
- As in all cases, if the jinn speaks, don't attempt to engage the jinn in conversation, just ask them to "accept Islam and leave, or if you refuse, then leave and don't come back." Don't accept any bargaining or agreement, and don't believe any of the stories.
- There isn't one best time to perform ruqyah, but if you notice the symptoms are bad at a certain time, such as after Maghrib, then do it when you feel the symptoms are strongest. Otherwise whenever the child is the most comfortable.
- Be willing to change the time and the method, depending on progress. At the same time, don't change too quickly, as this encourages the shayṭān to manipulate you.
Allāh knows best.