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Cupping Therapy (Al-Hijama)

 

What is cupping (hijama)?

Cupping (hijama) is the best remedy recommended and used by the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). The Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping (hijama)…" [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5371)]. He (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) also said that on the night of Israa (his ascension to the heavens) he (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) did not pass by an angel except that it said to him, "Oh Muhammad, order your Ummah (nation) with cupping (hijama)." [Saheeh Sunan Tirmidhee (3479)]. This shows the importance and greatness of this Sunnah.

'Hijama' in arabic is derived from 'hajm' which means 'sucking'. Cupping (hijama) is the process of applying cups to various points on the body by removing the air inside the cups to form a vacuum.

Cupping (hijama) is of three types: 

  • Dry cupping (hijama) - This is the process of using a vacuum on different areas of the body in order to gather the blood in that area without incisions (small, light scratches using a razor).  
  • Dry massage cupping (hijama) – This is similar to dry cupping (hijama) but olive oil is applied to the skin (before applying the cups) in order to allow easy movement of the cups.

70% of diseases, pains and ailments are due to the blood being unable to reach certain parts of the body. Dry cupping (hijama) and dry massaging cupping (hijama) allow the blood to reach these places.

Dry and massage cupping (hijama) may be self-administered in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Each cupping (hijama) box is accompanied by an instruction booklet. We have also provided further instructions on our 'How To Cup' page.

Dry and massage cupping (hijama) may be administered any time of the day, any day of the week or month. There are no restrictions.

  • Wet cupping (hijama) - This is the process of using a vacuum at different points on the body but with incisions in order to remove 'harmful' blood which lies just beneath the surface of the skin. (It is recommended that wet cupping (hijama) is only administered by a cupping therapist).
We will run cupping (hijama) courses for wet cupping (hijama) inshAllah. Please join our FREE newsletter and we will keep you updated inshAllah.
 
 
 
 
 
Wet cupping (hijama) may only be administered at certain times of the day and days of the week. Please see our 'Authentic Narrations' page for further details.

Is cupping (hijama) a cure for every disease? 

Cupping (hijama) is a cure for every disease if performed in its correct time. The Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Indeed in cupping (hijama) there is a cure." [Saheeh Muslim (5706)]. The Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Whoever performs cupping (hijama) on the 17th, 19th or 21st day (of the Islamic month) then it is a cure for every disease." [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawud (3861)]. 

There are specific points on the body where the cups are applied for each ailment.

Is cupping (hijama) from the Sunnah?

Above are just some of the authentic narrations which show that cupping (hijama) is from the Sunnah of the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). Please  see our 'Authentic Narrations' page for more authentic narrations about cupping (hijama).

The Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah and the people practise it, s/he will have the same reward of those who practise it without their reward diminishing…" [Sunan ibn Maajah (209)].

Authentic Narrations About Cupping (Al-Hijama)  

Cupping Is The Best Of Remedies 

Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping…" [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5371)]. 

Abu Hurairah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi  Wasallam) said, "If there was something excellent to be used as a remedy then it is cupping." [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawud (3857), Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3476)]. 

The Angels Recommending Cupping

Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "I did not pass by an angel from the angels on the night journey except that they all said to me: upon you is cupping, O Muhammad." [Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3477)].

In the narration reported by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (may Allaah be pleased with him) the angels said,  "Oh Muhammad, order your Ummah (nation) with cupping." [Saheeh Sunan Tirmidhee (3479)].

In Cupping There Is A Cure

 Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi

Wasallam) said, "Healing is in three things: in the incision of the cupper, in drinking honey, and in cauterizing with fire, but I forbid my Ummah (nation) from cauterization (branding with fire)." [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5681), Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3491)]. 

Jaabir ibn Abdullah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Indeed in cupping there is a cure." [Saheeh Muslim (5706)]. 

Cupping In Its Time Is A Cure For Every Disease 

Abu Hurairah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi  Wasallam) said, "Whoever performs cupping on the 17th, 19th or 21st day (of the Islamic month) then it is a  cure for every disease." [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawud (3861)].

Cupping Can Be Used For:

Headaches

Salma (may Allaah be pleased with him), the servant of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Whenever someone would complain of a headache to the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), he (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) would advise them to perform cupping." [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawud (3858)].

 MagicIbn al-Qaiyum (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentions that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) cupped his head when he was afflicted with magic and that it is from the best of cures for this if done correctly. [Zaad al Ma'aad (4/125-126)].

Poison

Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that a Jewish woman gave poisoned meat to the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) so he (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) sent her a message saying, "what caused you to do that?" She replied, "If you really are a Prophet then Allaah will inform you of it and if you are not then I would save the people from you!" When the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) felt pain from it, he (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) performed cupping. Once he travelled while in Ihram and felt that pain and hence performed cupping. [Ahmed (1/305) the hadeeth is hasan (good chain with all the paths)].

The Best Days For CuppingThe 17th, 19th and 21st of the Islamic month which coincides with Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Whoever  wants to perform cupping then let him look for 17th, 19th and 21st…" [Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah (3486)].

As for the Islamic day and night, the night enters before the day. So at sunset on Tuesday, Wednesday night comes in. Cupping is best performed during the day time between sunrise and sunset. If one is not able to be cupped on 17th, 19th or 21st (coinciding with Monday, Tuesday or Thursday) then any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday of the month. 

Cupping While fasting Or In The State Of Ihram Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was cupped on his head for a unilateral headache while he was in Ihraam. [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5701)]. 

Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was cupped while he was fasting. [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5694)].

Areas of CuppingAnas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was treated with cupping three times on the two veins at the side of the neck and the base of the neck. [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawud (3860), Ibn Maajah (3483)]. Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was cupped on his head. [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5699)]. Abdullah ibn 'Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) used to cup his head and would call it (the place at the top of the head) "Umm Mugheeth." [Saheehah (753), Saheeh al-Jaami' (4804)].Jaabir ibn Abdullah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was treated with cupping on his hip for a pain in that area. [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawud (3863)].  

Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was treated with cupping when he was in Ihram, on the top of his foot, for a pain in that area. [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawud (1836)]. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, "Cupping under the chin is beneficial for pain in the teeth, face and throat, if it is done in its proper time. It purifies the head and the jaws.Cupping on the top of the foot is a substitution for the puncturing of the Saphena, which is a large vein in the heel. It is beneficial for treating ulcers that occur on the thighs and calves, the interruption of menses and skin irritation on the testicles. Cupping at the bottom of the chest is beneficial for the treatment of sores, scabies and mange on the thighs. It helps against gout, hemorrhoids, elephantiasis and itchiness on the back." [Zaad al-Ma'aad, 4/58].

Cupping For Women

Jaabir ibn Abdullah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported Umm Salama (may Allah be pleased with her) asked permission from the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) to do cupping. So the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) ordered Abu Teeba (may Allaah be pleased with him) to cup her. Jaabir ibn Abdullah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, " I think he (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said that Abu Teeba (may Allaah be pleased with him) is her brother through breastfeeding or a young boy who didn't reach puberty".[Saheeh Muslim (5708), Abu Dawud (4102), Saheeh ibn Maajah (3480)]. 

 
 

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JOS JEDAN LINK:
 
 
A Forgotten Healing - al Hijamah\Cupping
 
 

Hijaamah comes from the root al-hajm, which means “sucking”, and is used of the action of draining the breast when an infant is suckled. Al-hajjaam is the name given to the cupper, and hijaamah is the name given to this profession. Al-mihjam is the name given to the tool in which blood is collected, or to the knife used by the cupper.

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Healing is to be found in three things: drinking honey, the knife of the cupper, and cauterization of fire.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 10/136).

According to a hadeeth narrated by Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Prophet (SAW) said: “If there is any good in your medical treatments, it is in the knife of the cupper, drinking honey, or cauterization with fire, as appropriate to the cause of the illness, but I would not like to be cauterized.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 10/139)

According to a hadeeth narrated by Anas ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, the Prophet (SAW) said: “I did not pass by any group on the night when I was taken on the Night Journey (Isra’), but they said to me, ‘O Muhammad, tell your ummah to do cupping.’” (Reported by Ibn Maajah; it has corroborating evidence which strengthens it).

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) reported that the Prophet (SAW) was treated with cupping, and he paid the cupper his fee.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 10/124; Muslim 1202).

Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah was treated with cupping by Abu Tayyibah. He commanded that he should be given two measures of food, and he spoke with his tax-collectors, who reduced his taxes. He said, “The best treatment you can use is cupping.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 10/126; Muslim, 1577)

When cupping is recommended

It was reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “The best times to be treated with cupping are the seventeenth, nineteenth or twenty-first [of the month].” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2054; the isnaad is da’eef).

It was reported from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever wants to be treated by cupping, let him do it on the seventeenth, nineteenth or twenty-first, lest the blood flow too copiously and kill him.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 3489; there is some weakness in the report).

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever is treated with cupping on the seventeenth, nineteenth or twenty first, will be healed from all diseases.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, 3861, and al-Bayhaqi, 9/340. The isnad is hasan).

Although the ahaadeeth quoted above are from different sources and may be weak to some extent, they give strength to one another.

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (RA) said:

“These ahaadeeth coincide with what the doctors agree on, that cupping should be done in the second half of the month, and that the third quarter of the month is better than the beginning or the end. But if cupping is done out of necessity it is beneficial at any time, even at the beginning or end of the month. Al-Khallaal said: ‘Ismah ibn ‘Isaam told me: Hanbal told me: Abu ‘Abd-Allaah Ahmad ibn Hanbal would be treated with cupping whenever his blood increased, no matter what time it was… They disliked having cupping done on a full stomach, because that could lead to obstruction and grievous diseases, especially if the food was heavy and bad… Choosing the times mentioned above for cupping is an extra precaution, to be on the safe side and to protect one’s health, but when it comes to treating disease, whenever it is necessary it should be used.

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (RA) said: “According to the doctors, the most efficacious cupping is that which is done at the second or third hour, after having intercourse or taking a bath, etc., and neither on a full nor empty stomach. With regard to specific days for administering cupping, it was reported in a hadeeth narrated from Ibn ‘Umar by Ibn Maajah that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Administer cupping, may Allaah bless you, on Thursdays, and administer cupping on Mondays and Tuesdays, but avoid cupping on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.’ It was reported with two da’eef isnads, and there is a third version, also da’eef, reported by al-Daaraqutni in al-Afraad. He also reported it with a jayyid isnaad from Ibn ‘Umar but it is mawqoof (the isnad stops at the Sahaabi). Al-Khallaal reported that Ahmad disliked cupping on the days mentioned, even though the hadeeth was not proven. It was said that a man was treated with cupping on a Wednesday and he developed leprosy because he ignored the hadeeth. Abu Dawood reported from Abu Bakrah that he disliked cupping on Tuesdays, and said: “The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said: ‘Tuesday is the day of blood, and on that day there is an hour when blood does not stop.’ The doctors are agreed that cupping in the second half of the month, especially in the third quarter, is more beneficial than cupping at the beginning or end of the month. Al-Muwaffaq al-Baghdaadi said: The body fluids (humours) flow heavily at the beginning of the month and calm down at the end, so the best time to let the blood flow is in the middle of the month.”

It is clear from the above that the ahaadeeth which specify a particular time, when taken as a whole, indicate that there is a basis for this, especially since the words of the doctors are in agreement with it. If the seventeenth or nineteenth or twenty-first of a hijri month happens to be a Thursday, this is the best possible time for cupping, but this is not to say that it is not good to do it at other times. As a form of medical treatment, cupping should not be restricted to any particular time; it should be done as needed by the patient.

It is essential to make sure that you do it properly; cupping should be done by one who is experienced and he or she should use instruments that are properly cleaned and sterilized. The cupper must also ensure that no blood reaches the stomach of the patient.

We ask Allaah to help us and you to follow the Sunnah. May Allaah(SWT) bless our Noble Prophet (SAW).

See: Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar, 10/149; Sharh al-Zarqaani ‘ala al-Muwatta’, 2/187; al-Mughni by Ibn Qudaamah, 1/184; al-Ma’aad by Ibn al-Qayyim, 4/60.

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