Authorities are currently working out legislation to control “ruqyah” or religious healing, Al-Watan newspaper reported.
The government aims to prevent the misuse of religious healing by issuing licenses to practice it.
The newspaper said the law considers practice of ruqyah by expatriates as violating the terms of their work contracts, and those expats should be arrested and deported to their countries.
Sources said under the new law, licenses would be granted to people with a sound knowledge of Shariah. Accounts will be kept of income gained from practicing ruqyah.
Some of those who have made religious healing as a career have turned their houses into money-making factories, making more than SR 30,000 a month, the sources said.
They sell water and oil to the gullible, convincing them of their healing properties. The move came after reports appeared in the media of many incidents and mistakes made by ruqyah reciters as a result of the absence of a rule to control their activities.
“Some of those who practice ruqyah even commit sexual assaults on women, beat people, or convince patients they are possessed by jinns, said Othman Al-Othman, a consultant at the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia).
He also said that numerous departments, including his, had conducted studies to apply the new project to control the ruqyah practice.
He said there is already a functioning committee that controls religious healing in the Kingdom by preventing people from violating Shariah.
“Haia has nothing to do with license issuance for ruqyah,” said Al-Othman, adding that the ease with which anyone can start practicing ruqyah had led to the current situation.