Spiritual Healing in Islamic Sufi Tradition

Healing"Consciously or unconsciously every being is capable of healing himself or others. This instinct is inborn in insects, birds, and beasts, as well as in man. All these find their own medicine and heal themselves and each other in various ways. In ancient days the doctors and healers learned much from animals about the treatment of disease.

This shows that natural intuition has manifested in the lower creation as well as in the higher." - Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Healing and the Mind World

[] What is Spiritual Healing in Islamic Sufi Tradition?

Islamic sufi tradition is rich in the practice of spiritual healing. From earlier Biblical and Quranic apostles to Muhammad, the last messenger of God and then later passed down to sufi masters - spiritual healing has always been part of golden heritage and lineage of the sufis.

The Sufi healing method is an Islamic healing method using Divine spiritual power practiced exclusively by the Sufis for centuries. The basic principle in Sufi Healing is that the True Healer is God Himself, the Sufis only act as mediators.

The sufi healers are spiritual teachers within Islam and one of their responsibilities is to maintain and transmit the hidden, deeper knowledge contained in the Holy Qur'an. For the sufis, the supreme object of life is to serve and obey God, to emulate His divine attributes, and thereby to earn His pleasure. Among the service to humanity, that which the Sufis consider superior to most others is the healing of the sick. Their method is called the Sufi Healing (credit).

Sufi Spiritual healing generally incorporates holy energy work, herbal and natural remedies belonging to ancient wisdom and other healing methods particularly used by Prophet Muhammad himself. Spiritual healing in sufi way often time involves the fusion between:
1. Faith - but not in the context of belief subset or theology which is mind-centric, but heart-centered faith and intuitive knowing, based on deep gnosis.
2. Sincerity - the quality that is connected to the yearning and calling of the human heart. Working on the inner heart, its polishing and getting rid of the rust.
and 3. Self-examination - deep look and recognition of the self, its shadow.

Sufi healing modalities involves with purification, breath work, rhythm, deep intuition, deep listening, presence and holy glance of the master, sacred words and its vibration.

Spiritual healing in sufi tradition acknowledge the Divine as The Highest Source of Healing and the healer works as a conduit between The Source of Healing and the one who needs healing. The very word "spiritual" in the context of spiritual healing refers to the divine nature of the energy, which comes from One Invisible, Unseen All Intelligent Source. The healing energy from This Source is available to all.

[] Origin in Islamic Wisdom Tradition

By its universal embrace Islam accepts all the enlightened beings, the messengers and prophets as God send. The Quran declares (2:285), "... make no distinction between one and another of His messengers." And among the chosen messengers and prophets sent over different period to humanity, one gift that was bestowed upon them was the ability to heal spiritually.

Jesus Christ, revered as one of the greatest messenger in Islam, is an archetypal example of spiritual healer. His Prophetic mission embodied deep spiritual healing work. It was a great gift given to him by the Divine to manifest miracle by healing. And Jesus Christ himself testified that the gift given to him is also available to all and healing is a sacred spiritual work:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do..." John 14:12

"Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils…," Matt. 10:8

Sufi spiritual healers inherited the methods that God’s messengers were using, and from one generation to another (through heart to heart transmission) have practiced these methods up to the present time. In the Islamic tradition, healers utilize both medicinal remedies and spiritual means. The spiritual techniques follow esoteric scientific principles which utilize the patient’s latent energy and the power contained in the devotions and supplications and meditations of the prophets, messengers, and "wise men" of God.

Prophet Muhammad alluding to the inner heart once said, "Surely there is in the body a small piece of flesh; if it is good, the whole body is good, and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted, and that is surely the heart." The center of human conscious is the inner heart. One of the main characteristics of sufi healers is that they work with this inner heart. Pir Murad, a sufi saint once commented, "Restoring one dead heart to the eternal life is better than restoring life to a thousand dead bodies." A great sufi master Bayazid al-Bistami said, "A single atom of God's love in one's heart is worth more than a hundred thousand paradises."

Prophet Muhammad was once in a session where he was curing people through spiritual methods when he was asked whether or not remedies should be sought from medicines. He said, "Yes, you must seek remedy from medicine, because whatever disease God has created in this world, He has also created its remedy as well. But there is one disease for which He has not created any remedy, which is old age (and death)."

Ayat of Quran[] The Quran and Healing

Each and every prescribed Quranic verse has its unique healing property which differs from those of other verses. One of the major characteristics of sufi spiritual healing is the use of the healing properties of sacred verses of Quran. In the holy tradition, the Prophet Muahammad mentioned the healing properties of particular verses and sections (surah) of the Quran for different remedies.

Healing in the language of Islam is known as shifa'. The following are called "Ayat Al-Shifa" or Six Verses Of Healing, used in Sufi Spiritual Healing:

1. Wayansurkum AAalayhim wayashfi sudoora qawmin mumineena.
- Quran, Tauba 9:14

"And God shall heal the inner heart of the believers."

2. Ya ayyuha alnnasu qad jaatkum mawAAithatun min rabbikum washifaon lima fee alssudoori wahudan warahmatun lilmumineena.
- Yunus 10:57

"Mankind! there has come to you a guidance from your Lord and a healing for your hearts, and for those who believe a guidance and a mercy."

3. Yakhruju min butooniha sharabun mukhtalifun alwanuhu feehi shifaon lilnnasi.
- Nahl 16:69

"There issues from within the bodies of the bee a drink of varying colors wherein is healing for mankind."

4. Wanunazzilu mina alqurani ma huwa shifaon warahmatun lilmumineena
- Bani Israel 17:82

"And We sent down in the Quran such things that have healing and mercy for the believers."

5. Waitha maridtu fahuwa yashfeeni
- Shuara 26:80

"And when I am ill, it is God who cures me."
(A supplication of Prophet Abraham)

6. Qul huwa lillatheena amanoo hudan washifaon waallatheena la yuminoona.
- Fussilat 41:44

"And declare that the Quran is a guidance and healing for the believers."

[] Supplication for healing of Holy Prophet Muhammad

Following are some of the prayer of the Holy Prophet for the purpose of healing, as recorded in sunnah (sacred tradition):

1. Allahumma rabba al-nnas adhhibi al-ba’sa ishfi anta al-sshafi la shifa’a illa shifa’ula shifa’an la yughadiru saqaman (O Allah, O Lord of Mankind, remove the affliction and send down cure and healing, for no one can cure but You; so cure in such a way that no trace of illness is left). - Whenever God's Apostle paid a visit to a patient, or a patient was brought to him, he used to recite this aforementioned prayer.

2. As’alu Allaha al-azem rabba al-‘arshi al-azem an yashfiyane (I beseech Allah, the Great, Lord of the Mighty Throne, to heal me).

3. A’udhu bi izzati Allahi wa qudratihi mimma ajidu wa uhadhiru (I seek refuge and protection in the august might and power of Allah from the pain and illness I am suffering from and I am afraid of).

Furthermore, one may also repeat and meditate on some of the Holy Names of God in Islamic tradition: i.e., ya Rahman; ya Rahim; ya Shafi, (O the Most Merciful One; The Compassionate; O the Healer and Curer).”

Peace and blessings be upon all the messengers and prophets of God. May the Source of all Healing heal you within and without. Allahu Shaafi. God is the Real Healer.

:: Reference
. To heal is to become one with the Deep Love of God
. Healing in Islam (research paper, pdf file)
. Hazrat Inayat Khan on Healing
. Inner Light, Nur | what is it? who sees it and how?
. Sufi Healing via Naqshbanid Muhibeen site
. The Principles and Importance of Spiritual Healing in Islam
. Heart - the magnificent organ
. Aura and Color Treatment in Sufism

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Technology of the Heart: Spiritual Healing in Islamic Sufi Tradition
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