WHAT IS CUPPING (HIJAAMAH)?
Al-Hijama (cupping) is a technique for treatment in which a glass or plastic cup is put on different areas of the body and reflex zones, most commonly on the back, midriff or legs to cause local congestion through a negative pressure created by a special pump. The negative pressure can be likewise made by presenting heat in the form of an ignited material. Additionally, the glass cups cause little bruising; this provokes the immune system. At this point the glass cup is removed and a little shallow cuts using a clean surgical blade are made. The cups are re-positioned and a vacuum is made once more. The negative pressure made draws out the infected blood from the body which fills the glasses with diseased blood, which will then be disposed of.
Cupping (Hijaamah) is a practice highly recommended by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ for many ailments that a person may suffer from.
The Prophet ﷺ said: "Indeed the best of remedies you have is Hijaamah…" (Bukhari)
The Prophet ﷺ also said that on the night of Al-Israa wal-Mi-raaj (his ascension to the heavens), he did not pass by an angel except that it was said to him, "Oh Muhammad, order your nation with Hijaamah." (Tirmidhi)
The Prophet ﷺ said, "If there was something excellent to be used as a remedy then it is cupping." (Abu Dawood & ibn Maajah)
These ahadeeth show the importance and greatness of this Sunnah and remedy. Those with belief in the words of the Prophet ﷺ will know that he does not speak from his own desires.
Allah (SWT) says:
“Nor does he speak from his own inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed (An-Najm: 3-4)
Hijaamah in Arabic is derived from the word 'Hajm' which means 'sucking'.
Hijaamah is simply the process of applying cups to various points on the body and removing the air from within the cups, causing a vacuum.
There are three types of Cupping:
- Dry Cupping - 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 (i.e. small cuts)
- Dry massage Cupping - This is similar to dry Cupping but in this type of Cupping Olive Oil is applied to the skin before applying the cups in order to allow easy movement of the cups.
70% of diseases, pain or ailments are due to the blood being unable to reach certain parts of the body. Dry cupping and dry massage cupping allow the blood to reach these places, therefore being a remedy to many ailments that people suffer from.
Dry and massage cupping is something that can be self-administered in the comfort and privacy of one's own home and many Cupping sets are accompanied with instruction booklets to guide the user. Dry and massage Cupping may be administered at any time of the day, week or month without restriction.
- Wet Cupping - This is the process of using a vacuum on different points of the body but with incisions in order to remove 'harmful' blood which lies just beneath the surface of the skin. It is highly recommended that wet Cupping only be administered by a cupping therapist.
Wet cupping should only be administered during certain times of the day and days of the week.
IS CUPPING A CURE FOR EVERY DISEASE?
The Prophet ﷺ said: "Healing is in three things: The incision of the cupper, drinking honey and in cauterizing with fire, but I forbid my nation from cauterization (branding with fire)." (Bukhari & ibn Maajah)
The Prophet ﷺ said: "Indeed in cupping there is a cure." (Muslim)
Depending on the type of ailment a person is suffering from, the cups used during cupping will be applied on different points of the body.
The Prophet ﷺ said: "Whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah and the people practice it, he/ she will have the same reward of those who practice it without the reward of the doer being reduced" (ibn Maajah)
THE ANGELS RECOMMENDED CUPPING
The Prophet ﷺ 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.” (ibn Maajah)
Abdullah ibn Masood (RAA) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said the angels said, "Oh Muhammad, order your nation with cupping." (Tirmidhi)
CUPPING IN ITS TIME IS A CURE FOR EVERY DISEASE
The Prophet ﷺ said: "Whoever performs cupping on the 17th, 19th or 21st day (of the Islamic month) then it is a cure for every disease." (Abu Dawood)
CUPPING CAN BE USED FOR MANY AILMENTS
Salma (RAA), the servant of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whenever someone would complain of a headache to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ he would advise them to perform cupping.” (Abu Dawood)
Ibn al-Qayyim (RA) mentioned in his book Zaad al Ma’aad that the Prophet ﷺ cupped his head when he was afflicted with magic and that it is from the best of cures for this if done correctly.
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RAA) narrated that a Jewish woman gave poisoned meat to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ so he sent her a message saying: “what caused you to do that?” She replied: “If you really are a Prophet, then Allah will inform you of it and if you are not then I would save the people from you!” Whenever the Prophet ﷺ felt pain from it, he would perform Hijaamah.
Once he travelled while in Ihram and felt that pain and hence performed cupping. (Ahmad)
The Best Days for Cupping
The 17th, 19th and 21st of the Islamic month which coincides with Monday, Tuesday or Thursday are the best days to perform Hijaamah.
Anas ibn Maalik (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever wants to perform cupping then let him look for the 17th, 19th and 21st…" (ibn Maajah)
As for the Islamic day and night, the night enters before the day. For example, at sunset on Tuesday it becomes Wednesday night. Cupping is best performed during the day time between sunrise and sunset. If one is not able to be cupped on the 17th, 19th or 21st (coinciding with Monday, Tuesday or Thursday) then any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday of the month is fine.
Cupping while fasting or in a state of Ihram
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was cupped on his head for a unilateral headache while he was in Ihram. (Bukhari)
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was cupped while he was fasting. (Bukhari)
Areas of Cupping
Anas ibn Maalik (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was treated with cupping three times on the two veins at the side of the neck and the base of the neck. (Abu Dawood & ibn Maajah)
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was cupped on his head (Bukhari).
Abdullah ibn 'Umar (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to cup his head and would call it (i.e. the place at the top of the head) "Umm Mugheeth" (Saheeh al-Jaami' - 4804)
Jabir ibn Abdullah (RAA) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was treated with cupping on his hip for a pain in that area (Abu Dawood)
Anas ibn Maalik (RAA) narrated that the Messenger ﷺ was treated with cupping when he was in Ihram at the top of his foot for a pain in that area (Abu Dawood).
Ibn al-Qayyim (RA) said, “Cupping under the chin is beneficial for pain in the teeth, face and throat if it is done in the correct way and during the proper times. It also 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)
Cupping for Women
Jaabir ibn Abdullah (RAA) narrated Umm Salaamah (RAA) asked permission from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to do cupping so the Prophet ﷺ ordered Abu Teeba (RAA) to cup her. Jaabir (RAA) said: “I think the Prophet ﷺ said that Abu Teeba (RAA) is her brother through breastfeeding or a young boy who didn't reach puberty.” (Muslim, Abu Dawood & ibn Maajah)
BENEFITS OF HIJAAMAH
Hijaamah is an ancient bloodletting technique that has been in use in many countries to treat certain diseases or bodily disorders. While the Chinese seem to have a leading role in using this bloodletting technique to treat certain diseases, the Muslims have adopted it as a stressed remedy of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as a cure for many ailments. The Europeans also used cupping as a remedy to treat many diseases.
There are many benefits for the believer in using Hijaamah as a remedy in this world. From amongst the benefits of Hijaamah in this world for the believer is that one will be rewarded for using it. This is because they are reviving a Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. When we look at it from a worldly perspective, we find Hijaamah has many health benefits including the promotion of energy in the blood flow, the removing of toxins and other waste material from the blood and helping to speed up recovery time from ailments which people suffer from. Hijaamah is also known to prevent many diseases and therefore can be considered one of the best preventive measures against many diseases. Furthermore, Hijaamah can help people who are under the influence of magic spells or some evil beings.
Hijaamah has no side effects as long as performed properly, and it is worth noting that about 70% of diseases or disorders are caused by the failure of the correct blood circulation around the body. Furthermore, we get sick when our body is loaded with toxins and other impurities. Unless harmful toxins are removed from the body or from the blood, not only do we not recover fast from the disease but we also become easy victims to other diseases.
We should never forget that this highly useful and recommended Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ helps us in controlling many diseases such as infections, hypertension, circulatory diseases, pains, infertility, cancer, etc.