The act of performing Hijama (cupping) is a Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him) and it is extensively reported in a wide collection of authentic ahadith. Its practice is strongly recommended and emphasized in a number of narrations. The practice of Hijama forms an integral part of Islamic Prophetic Medicine.
Hijama was a common practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him) and his companions for the treatment of a range of ailments as well as a form of body maintenance and health promotion.
What is Cupping or Hijama
In the Sunnah Hijama was praised by the Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) and it may be regarded as a safe, non-invasive and economical way of curing and preventing many diseases. Though Chinese use of this method was limited to certain medical complications like lungs infection, colds, to treat internal organs’ disorders, joint pain, etc. the scope of hijama in terms of benefit is much greater in the Sunnah.
The word ‘hijama’ means ‘drawing out’ in Arabic. It is now being recognized as an alternative medicine or alternative way of treating different diseases and bodily disorders. Some sections of the modern medical community also endorse the various benefits of hijamaand even encourage its practice for certain diseases.
In this non-surgical procedure, toxic or ‘bad’ blood is drawn out from the body. Certain ‘hijama points’ on the body are addressed to do so. On such selected points, blood is encouraged to accumulate and then sucked out by using a little vacuum system. The blood is made to accumulate on the surface of the skin where minute incisions are introduced on the skin; the blood comes out from the incisions and is collected in a cup from where it is removed.
Benefits of Hijama (Cupping)
Hijama is has been in use in many countries to treat certain diseases or bodily disorders. While the Chinese seem to have played a leading role in using this technique to treat certain diseases, Arabs and others have adopted also since it was recognized as beneficial by the Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him). The Europeans were also doing cupping to treat many diseases. The difference between the Arabs or Muslims and others in doing hijama was not hidden since while believers were more interested to do hijama as the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) (without questioning anything), others were doing it purely for medical benefit.
The first and top-level benefit of hijama for a believer is the reward he or she will get, both heavenly and worldly, for following a stressed Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Not only the believers but also anyone can openly observe or experience the benefits that are bestowed on the followers of the commands of Allah Most High and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). On the other hand, when we look at this technique from a worldly perspective, we can find hijama has many benefits.
It is noted that hijama promotes the flow of energy in the blood. It removes toxins and other waste material from the blood. It helps hasten recovery time for people recovering from certain diseases. Hijama is known to prevent many diseases and, therefore, can be considered one of the best preventive measures against many diseases. Moreover, in many cultures, hijama is thought to help those who are under some magic spell or who are under the influence of some evil beings.
Hijama has no side effects as long as performed properly. It is also worth noting that many diseases and disorders are associated with failure of blood to circulate properly in the body. Furthermore, we get sick or our body organs fail to perform healthily when our blood keep circulating loaded with toxins and other impurities. Unless the toxic waste is removed from the body or from the blood, not only we do not recover quickly from disease but also we become victims to other diseases. Hijama is an excellent way to remove the toxic waste from the blood stream, and the results will obviously be a healthy and properly functioning body. We should never forget that this highly useful and recommended Sunnah of the Prophet SAW helps us in controlling many diseases such as infections, hypertension, circulatory diseases, pains, infertility, cancer, etc.
Importance of Hijama in the Divine Guidance
Instead of depending on our own opinions in favor of cupping, we must see the following ahadith that are enough to explain its importance.
“Indeed in hijama (cupping) there is a cure”. – Saheeh Muslim
“Indeed, the best of remedies you have is hijama (cupping)”. – Saheeh Al Bukhari
“Hijama is the most helpful procedure for human beings to cure themselves”. – Saheeh Al Bukhari and Saheel Muslim
The importance of hijama in the divine guidance can further be stressed by the following words which were related to the Prophet SAW on the night of Israa (ascension to the heaven) by angles: “O Mohammed, encourage your ummah (people) to do hijama (cupping)”. – Saheeh, Sunan Tirmidhi.
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him) is reported to have had hijama performed on his head for a headache [Bukhari], on his foot after a sprain [Ibn Majah], on his neck [Abu Dawud], on his hip for hip pain [Abu Dawud] and between his shoulders for detoxification [Ahmed].
Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) 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 (hijama), O Muhammad.” [Saheeh, Sunan ibn Majah]
“The best medicine with which you treat yourselves is cupping, or it is one of the best of your medicines.” Or “The treatment for you is cupping.” [Bukhari: 5371]
“Cupping is the most helpful procedure for human beings to cure themselves.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Allah’s peace be upon him) said, “If there was something excellent to be used as a remedy then it is cupping (hijama).” [Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Ibn Majah]