Hijama (Cupping) An Islamic Perspective
Ibn Majah (may Allah have mercy upon him) narrated in his sunan that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “During the night of Isra (the overnight journey) every company (of angels) that I passed by would say, “O Muhammad! Order your nation to use cupping!” (Ibn Majah 3489)
There are different points for carrying out hijama according to the medical condition of the patient, their previous medical history and any medication they are taking. When used as a cure, it is advised to create a treatment plan so that hijama is performed on the different points to make treatment more effective.
The many many benefits of hijama can be read about on our “Benefits of Cupping” page, by clicking here.
Hijama can be performed as a cure and as a prevention. As a prevention, hijama is recommended to keep the body healthy, detoxed and to help avoid the build up of toxicity in the blood and muscles which can cause pain, tiredness and develop further into serious ailments. The waste blood removed during hijama is not pulled deep from the circulation of the body, rather it is the waste blood which sits on top of the muscle and between the layers of the skin, which causes pain, discomfort and fatigue in certain parts of the body. Chronic diseases usually result from thick, cold septic substances residing in the affected organ, ailing it, spoiling its constitution and, thereby, inflaming the parts of the body that are directly connected to the affected organ.
“There is cure in three substances, a drink of honey, a slash with a knife used for cupping and cauterizing by fire. I forbid my nation from cauterizing by fire.” (Bukhari 5280)
In this hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) has indicated that honey is used as a laxative and that cupping is used to extract septic blood. It is a common view of the scholars that when the slash by a cupping knife does not work, the last resort is branding by fire (cauterizing). Cauterizing by fire should be the last resort and only used in case of extreme necessity because of the intense pain it causes, which is unwarranted if it is used to remove a lesser pain, which can be done through the use of sterile cups and suction pumps.
When is the best time to have cupping done?
Doctors affirm that cupping is preferred in the middle of the month or soon after, especially in the last quarter in the month. The stages of the moon cycle has a great role to play in the human body as well as in the pattern of nature. Due to the gravitational pulling effect that the moon has, it causes fluids inside the human body to rise at a particular point in the lunar cycle. This brings about a noticeable change in certain habits of the human body, the blood flow in the body is also noticeably higher, which is why it is recommended to have hijama performed in the latter stages of the month as this is when the blood flow is higher in the body and thus cupping would be more beneficial.
“Whoever performs cupping on the 17th, 19th or 21st of the Islamic month, then it is a cure for every disease.” (sahih sunan Abi Dawud)
This hadith confirms that the best time to have hijama is at the end of the month, on the other hand, it was reported that Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (may Allah have mercy upon him), used to practice cupping during any part of the month when the contaminated blood became agitated.
Cupping is not preferred when the stomach is full, for it might cause various ailments, especially after taking a heavy meal. It is said that cupping on an empty stomach is a cure, and when it is done on either the seventeenth, nineteenth or twenty first of the month, is becomes a remedy. Choosing the best time for cupping preserves good health and helps prevent harm from occurring to the body. However, when the illness intensifies , cupping becomes warranted and is required whatever the circumstances, for the Prophet (PBUH) said, “So that the blood does not cause death to one of you..”
From the above ahadith, it is evident that seeking the cure, including cupping, is preferred. Cupping is done in the part of the body where it needs it the most, however, the sunnah points detox cupping is preferred to initiate treatment.
Those who have assumed Ihram are allowed to use cupping. Further it is allowed for those who are fasting to use cupping as Al Bukhari, may Allah have mercy upon him, narrated that the messenger of Allah (PBUH) used cupping while he was fasting.
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