Question: Is it permissible to perform ruqyah on a disbeliever?
Answer by Shaykh Rabee (hafidhahullaah):
It is permissible. Abu Sa’eed (radhi Allaahu anhu), performed ruqyah on a disbeliever when he went out with a military detachment and passed by a group of people by a well whom they asked permission to be hosted but this group refused to do so. Then when their leader was stung by a scorpion, they came and said: “Our leader has been stung. Do you have anyone that can treat him with ruqyah?” The Companions replied: “By Allaah, we will not treat him with ruqyah until you give us compensation. We sought your permission but you refused to host us!” The group gave them a flock of sheep and the leader was treated with Surah Al-Faatihah and cured as if he was freed from shackles!
This shows you that the person who performed ruqyah was sincere. The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) concurred with him and with his using Surah Al-Faatihah as a ruqyah.
Today, those who perform ruqyah take gifts and money from people even if they do not heal the people they treat!! A condition for the permissibility of taking compensation for ruqyah is that the sick person must be healed, as was the case in the afore-mentioned hadeeth where, upon receiving the ruqyah, the man was cured as if he had just been released from shackles. And as a result of this, the Companions took the flock of sheep as payment. But had the man not been cured, they would not have taken the flock.
However, today, the one who performs ruqyah is eager to take money. The sick and unfortunate go to him with their illnesses and misfortunes and they do not receive any help from him yet their money is seized. This money that they take is unlawful, may Allaah bless you.
Posted from the excellent book (published by al-ibaanah) The Rules and Etiquettes of Ruqya, by Shaikh Saalih Aalush-Shaikh , Q&A Session on Ruqya with Shaykh Rabee