Is it permissible to learn and practice emotional healing therapy? Kindly provide reasons if answer be in the negative.
First and foremost, we must realize that Allah Ta’aala has given Shaytaan certain abilities and powers whereby he leads mankind astray in many subtle ways. The Qur’aan warns us that Shaytaan is an open and avowed enemy of mankind, thus indicating that we have to be wary of his deceptions and traps. In the Ahaadeeth we read that initially Hadhrat Hawa (alaihas-salaam), the mother of mankind had a problem that the children that she would give birth to would die very soon after birth. She was greatly perturbed about this situation; which gave Iblees the opportunity to step in and cause some mischief. He said to her that keep your next child’s name Abdul-Harith and your children will survive. She did so and her children began to survive and live on. This was obviously a trap and deception of Iblees as Harith was actually one of the many names of Iblees himself, hence the suggested name meant “servant of Shaytaan!” Hadhrat Hawa (alaihas-salaam) was not aware of this, so she inadvertently fell for the trap of Shaytaan.
In another incident, when Hadhrat Ayyoob (alaihis-salaam) was gravely ill, Iblees came to his wife and said to her that I can cure your husband; but my condition is that after your husband is cured, you must attribute it to me that I cured him! Because she was very desperate to have her husband cured, she too fell into his trap and agreed to the condition. If Shaytaan succeeded in tricking the wives of such great Ambiyaa such as Hadhrat Aadam and Hadhrat Ayyoob (alaihima-salaam), then we are far easier prey for his mischievous ways.
Some of the treatments that therapists offer to patients in the EFT method, unfortunately seem to be is falling within the purview of Shataan’s deceptions, which is why this treatments cannot be approved of. For instance, one of the problem areas is the therapy whereby some therapists instruct the patient to visualize two buraaqs that come with a carriage and travel into areas of the patient’s body. In that therapy the patient is asked to also imagine that their spiritual mentor is seated in the carriage and that the mentor could be anyone else, including Allah Ta’aala! Although the therapist explains that in the latter case they must merely feel the presence of Allah, he/she cannot control the patient’s thoughts; hence it could lead to problems in several areas. First of all, it is human nature that the patient (with the intervention of Shaytaan’s waswasa) could begin to conjure up images in his/her mind of how Allah Ta’aala would look (Na-oothu-billah!) in the carriage! Even if images are not conjured up, then too the mere mention of travel (albeit on a carriage) indicates moving from point A to point B. This could result in having the thought and belief (Allah forbid!) that Allah leaves and absents himself from one place and moves to the next; whereas this is completely
against the basic tenet and belief in the omnipresence of Alaah Ta’aala.
If the patient assumes that a Nabi (alaihis salaam) is seated in the carriage, then this could also result in the patient conjuring up images of how that Nabi would look like whereas that is also not a spiritually healthy scenario as we have not seen the Ambiyaa (alayhimu-salaam) in person to be able to visualize them. If the patient imagines that the mentor entering his/her body is his/her Shaykh (spiritual guide), then too there is a problem. Although in certain cases Tasawwur-e-Shaykh is permissible; for example when a person is lax with regard to the Maa’moolaat prescribed by his Shaykh, he is allowed to think of his Shaykh so that he can be spurred on to complete the spiritual prescriptions. In a woman’s case this would be difficult, as she would not be able to visualize her Shaykh due to the necessity of observing purdah even from her Shaykh. She may, however be able to think of his voice when he prescribed the Maa’moolaat and that could motivate her to complete them. However, in both these cases (whether a Nabi is assumed to be in the carriage or the Shaykh), another danger in this is that it could lead to the corruption of one’s Aqeedah! It is our firm belief that Allah Ta’aala is the actual Curer of ailments. Doctors and Shaykhs are merely mediums whom Allah Ta’aala inspires to prescribe treatments for ailments. When a patient visualizes them going into his/her body, this could create the false notion that they are going into the body and directly curing the ailment.
It appears as if in the above therapy, the therapist utilizes western and kuffaar methods and merely gives them an “Islamic” flavour which is totally inappropriate.
Based on the above, our advice is that one desists from these types of therapies whereby the patient is instructed to undertake these types of “journeys.”
Sometimes the therapist requests the patient to “sense the painful part of you getting out of the chair……etc.” this is also something that we cannot relate with and are not comfortable with in terms of Shari’ah.
Sometimes, the therapist asks the patient to visualize that he/she is in front of the Multazam or Kaa’ba, etc, and making Du’aa for his/her problems whilst standing there. This is also unnecessary. Yes, one can picture these Mubaarak places in one’s mind in order to create the desire to go there for Hajj and Umrah as those Ibaadaat can only take place there. But for the sake of Du’aa and treatments for ailments, this is not necessary as Allah Ta’aala says in the Qur’aan: “When my servants ask about me, then surely I am close (to them); I answer the prayers of those who supplicate, when they call out to me.” In other words, for the acceptance of Du’aas, one does not have to necessarily visualize that one is making Du’aa in these places.
In conclusion, these therapies cannot be given a stamp of approval.
The Accupressure treatment that some therapists use is fine as that is a type of medically-researched-physical treatment similar to reflexology, where certain points are massaged for various ailments. Here too, the therapist should suffice with concentrating on the pressure points and not go further by asking the patient to give vent to his/her emotions by crying out loudly and wailing, as this type of crying that results in the voice being raised is also not liked in Shariah, especially more so for women who are encouraged to keep their voices subdued.
Our personal opinion is that when treating patients for emotional problems, the therapist or counsellor should stick to the methods of treatment taught to us by Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam and our pious predecessors, as they are more than sufficient for all our problems! Thus, the patients could be advised to perform Salaatul-Haaja for instance. Similarly, a narration tells us that the wazifa of “Laa-Hawla walaa Quwwata Illa Billah” is the cure for 99 ailments, amongst them, inter alia,for depression.
Our pious predecessors have taught us a wonderful prescription for depression, trauma and the like which isas follows: (i) Read 11 times Durood Sharief, (ii) 7 times “Áamantu Billahi wa Rusuhlih, Laa-Hawla walaa Quwwata Illa Billahi” (iii) 341 times “Hasbunallah wa Ni’mal Wakeel” and then again (iv) 11 times Durood Sharief. A verse such as “Allazhina Aamanu wa Tatm-innu Quloobuhum bizikrillah” is also very good for worries and depression.
In short, we do not have to look to those therapies devised by western society which raise questions in terms of its Shar’ie validity, when we have the solutions right on our doorstep within our beautiful Shari’ah.
Checked and Approved By:
Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.