Treatment with Hijamah (cupping) and Doctors’ Denial of its Effectiveness – alifta

Treatment with Hijamah versus medical denial

Useful note

Treatment with Hijamah (cupping) and doctors’ denial of its effectiveness: Hijamah has great effect on health. It is stated in the Hadith of Isra’ (Night Journey): Whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed by a host of angels they would instruct him to command his Ummah (the Muslim nation) to use Hijamah”. There are waste products that remain in the blood from substances circulated and secreted throughout the body. Unless such waste products are gradually cleared little by little, they would cause great harm to people risking their lives. Since the human body continuously produces substances that are surplus to its requirements, Hijamah has been introduced. Yet, doctors see it ineffective, and this is not strange, for they lack great deal of knowledge about many matters.

It is fair to give each person their right, and doctors should be given their due rights relating to their profession. Yet treatment of diseases is beyond comprehension and restriction, and doctors are not experienced in a lot of methods outside their area of specialization. Allah (Exalted be He) says: And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little. (Surah Al-Isra’, 17: 85) Doctors often deny particular matters prescribed by Shari`ah (Islamic law) due to their great ignorance of their effectiveness. This is because many of them are westernized, have studied under western teachers, or they mainly derive their knowledge from western sources of knowledge.

Their denial of many of the matters prescribed by Shari`ah is not, however, based on scientific principles, but rather a blind pursuance of those who deny prophethood and imperceptible matters such as existence of Jinn (creatures created from fire) and the effect of the envious eye. For instance, they diagnose possession by Jinn as nervous disorders.

[Issued by His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al Al-Shaykh, may Allah be merciful to him]

Fatwas on Medical Issues and the Sick>Rulings related to medicines>Treatment with Hijamah versus medical denial

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A Collection of Points Regarding Hijaama (Cupping) – Compiled and Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

A- Benefits related to Hijaama (Cupping)

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah (d.728) -Rahimullaah- after speaking about the Neeyah (intention) and purpose, says that they are from the actions of the heart and it is a must to follow the Messenger sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam with regard to intention and purpose:

‘From this issue is that when the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam had Hijaama performed upon him and ordered others to have Hijaama performed upon them, he said in an authentic hadeeth:

‘Cure/treatment for my Ummah is in the incision made by the one who performs Hijaama , by drinking honey or cauterization but I do not like to be cauterized.’

It was well-known that the purpose of Hijaama was to extract blood which is harmful to the body.

Hijaama is mentioned because in hot countries blood rises to the surface of the body and so Hijaama removes that blood.  This is why Hijaama is performed in the Hijaaz (the western provinces of Saudi Arabia) and in other similar hot countries because the intended aim of extracting blood is achieved with the Hijaama.

As for cold countries, the blood seeps into the veins and so the vein needs to be cut by performing venesection (opening/dissecting a vein for bloodletting).

This matter is well known from experience and from observation.

In cold periods, internally, the body warms up and, externally, it cools down.  So, as similar things attract each other, a cold wind cools down what it meets from bodies and the earth so that the heat which is present escapes from the cold which opposes it, moving to the inside and heating up the inside of the earth.  Similarly, heat escapes the cold and moves to the inner core of animals (’ internal systems) , so animals therefore seek shelter in warmer places.

In winter and in cold countries, due to the heat in his body, a person eats more than the one who eats in the summer or in hot countries because body heat helps to digest and utilize food.  Also, underground spring water in winter is warmed due to the warmth of the inside of the earth.

In such cases, warm blood is found inside veins and not at the surface of the skin and so in cold weather a  person such as this, having Hijaama performed on them will not benefit from it, in fact, they could be harmed by it.

In the summer and in hot countries, the surface warms up and the core cools down.  Therefore, food is not digested in this condition in the way it is digested in the winter.  Also spring water is colder due to the core of the earth being colder, causing animals to go out to the desert and open lands due to the heat of the wind.  So, for people such as these (in warm climates), venesection may not benefit them, rather it could even harm them, and so Hijaama is more beneficial for them.’

[Taken from Majmoo’ Fatawa V.17/486 ]

B- The Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam recommended Hijaama

1- From Sumurah bin Jundub who said: I was seated near the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam when he sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam called for a person to perform Hijaama.  He attached a horn [1] to the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam and then made an incision with a blade.

A bedouin from Bani Fazaza came in and said: O Messenger of Allaah what is this person doing cutting your skin?

The Messenger sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam answered: ‘This is Hijaama.’

He asked: what is Hijaama?

The Messenger sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

It is the best medicine with which people seek cure.’

[Collected by Nisa’ee and Hakim and it was authenticated by Shaykh Albaani in Silsilah as-Saheehah see v.3  h.1176]

2- From Ibn Abbas, in a narration ascribed to the Prophet:

‘The best days on which to have Hijaama performed are 17th, 19th and 21st. I did not pass a gathering of Angels on the night I was taken on the night journey except that they said: You should haveHijaama, O Muhammad.’

[Collected by Tirmidhee, al-Hakim, Ahmad and it was declared Hasan by Shaykh Albaani in Silsilah as-Saheehah No. 1847]

3- Days on which it is recommended to have Hijaama performed:

17th, 19th and 21st of every Islaamic month, according to the Hijiri calendar.

From Abu Huraira who said: The Messenger of Allaah said:

‘Whoever has Hijaama on the 17th, 19th and 21st then it is a cure for every illness.’

[Collected by Abu Daawood and Bayhaaqi and Tabraani see: Silsilah Saheehah No. 908 and Silsilah Daeefah’ No.1863 -1864]

4- Days on which Hijaama is not recommended and which should be avoided:

From Nafi’ who said: Ibn Umar said O Nafi’ I have blood pressure so find me a person who performs Hijaama and, if you can, make sure he is a gentle person.  Do not appoint an old man, nor a young child since I heard the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam saying:

‘It is better to have Hijaama done while on an empty stomach.  Hijaama has a cure and blessings in it and it increases memory and intelligence.

So have the Hijaama performed with the blessings of Allaah on Thursday and keep away from Hijaama on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to be cautious.  Perform Hijaama on Monday and Tuesday since it is the day Allaah pardoned Ayoob sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam from his trial while Allaah imposed the trial on him on a Wednesday.  Neither a skin discolouration disease nor leprosy appear except by performing Hijaama on a Wednesday daytime or a Tuesday night.’

[Collected by Ibn Majah, Ibn Adee in ‘al-Kamil’ and Khateeb in ‘al-Faqeeh wa al-Muttafaqih’ and Shaykh Albaani graded it Hasan. See Silsilah Saheehah No.766]

C – Clarifications

A brief summary of the clarifications about Hijaama taken from ‘Iblaagh al-fahhaamah bi Fawaaid al-Hajjamaa’ by Abu Abdul Bari AbdulHameed bin Ahmad al-Arabi

  • 1- It is better not to have Hijaama after having a bath, except for the one whose blood is thick then he should take a bath relax for an hour then have Hijaama performed.
  • 2- It is obligatory that the utensils for Hijaama are clean and sterile so that contagious diseases do not transfer, by Allaah’s permission, from one person to another.
  • 3- It is better not to have the Hijaama performed 2 or 3 hours prior to Zawwal 
    (when the sun is at its highest point), except for the one who is in dire need of it, then for that person it is good for him at any time.
  • 4- You should not have Hijaama done on the top of the head except by a person who is very skilled at it, since it is a very sensitive area.
  • 5- Older people should not have Hijaama performed on them often except for the one who has a need.
  • 6- Doctors dislike Hijaama to be performed on a person who has a full stomach, so Hijaama on an empty stomach is better and more beneficial.

All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those who follow his guidance.

[1] In the olden days, a horn used to be attached to suck out the blood, nowadays a plastic suction instrument is used.