Cupping (hijama) is the best remedy recommended and used by the Messenger r. The Messenger said, "Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping (hijama)…" [Saheeh Ul-Bukhaari (5371)].
He also said that on the night of Israa (Meraj: his ascension to the heavens) he 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 is a method of relieving local congestion by applying a partial vacuum that is created in a cup(s), either by heat or by suction.
Types of Cupping
There are various types of cupping such as:
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 sterile surgical blade).
* 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 administered any time of the day, any day of the week or month. There are no restrictions.
Although dry and massage cupping (hijama) are very beneficial, they are not from the Sunnah. However, they fall under the general hadeeth:
The Messenger said, "For every disease there is a cure so if the medicine comes upon the disease it cures it by the will of Allah, the Most High." [Saheeh Muslim (2204)].
* Wet cupping (hijama) - This is the process of using a vacuum at different points on the body but with small 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).
Wet cupping (hijama) is from the Sunnah. To obtain maximum benefit from cupping (hijama), it is recommended that all three methods of cupping are used.
History of Hijama:
Cupping has been used for thousands of years. Although it is often associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine, the entire world once knew this of therapy and used it. The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese used cupping therapy. The oldest recorded medical textbook, Ebers Papyrus, written in approximately 1550 BCE in Egypt, mentions cupping (Curtis, 2005). In the UK, the practice of cupping therapy also dates back a long time in one of their leading medical journals, The Lancet. It was named after this practice as it refers to the surgical instrument that can scrape the skin to perform a style of cupping.
Is cupping (hijama) a cure for every disease?
Cupping (hijama) is a cure for every disease if performed in its correct time. The Messenger said, "Indeed in cupping (hijama) there is a cure." [Saheeh Muslim (5706)]. Said, "Whoever performs cupping (hijama) on the 17th, 19th or 21st day (of the Islamic, lunar month) then it is a cure for every disease." [Sunan abi Dawud (3861)].
Conditions Which Can Benefit From Cupping
Conditions that can benefit from cupping include headache, back pain, joint and muscular pain, infertility, sexual disorders, rheumatic diseases, hypertension, breast enhancement, bed wetting, common colds and flu, insomnia, stroke, fever, constipation and diarrhea, chest pain, asthma and blood disorders.
Precautions and Contraindications
Always take sensible precautions when using cupping or be sure that the therapist you seek cupping treatment from follows these precautions.
* Sterilization: this is the main key to success.
* Use suitable cups for the area being treated.
* Take extra care with children and the elderly.
* Do not apply strong cupping to the face.
* Do not treat pregnant women.
* Do not use cupping on inflamed or cut skin.
* Take extra care when scraping the skin and do not cut a vein or artery.
* Do not treat people with a serious heart disease.