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Hijamah (Cupping) - Virtues and Guidelines

What is Hijamah?

It is commonly believed that the inception of diseases is due to toxic blood flowing through the body, which when removed eliminates toxins from the bloodstream thereby enhancing the formation of new, healthy blood cells which reinvigorate and rejuvenate the body and overall health.

Hijamah (cupping) is Sunnah therapy that entails removal of unclean blood from the bloodstream. Cupping entails placing of cups on incisions made on the affected area, thereby creating suction to remove blood. It is also used as a treatment for sihr (sorcery).

Ahadith on the benefits of Hijamah

Hijamah has been recommended and encouraged in the Sunnah. It is established that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) practised cupping.

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (R) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Healing is in three things: In the incision of the blade (used for cupping), in a drink of honey and in branding with iron (cauterizing). However, I forbid my Ummah from branding with iron.” (Bukhari)

Hazrat Anas (R) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The ideal cure is cupping and Al Qustul Bahriy (a marine herb).” (Bukhari)

Hazrat Jabir (R) narrates that he visited Al Muqanna, who was ill and said to him, ‘I will not leave until you do cupping, for I have heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying that there is healing in Hijamah.’ (Bukhari, Muslim)

Hazrat Samurah (R) narrates that a Bedouin from Banu Fazarah came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) whilst he (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was being cupped with the aid of horns. When the Hajjam (one doing the cupping) pricked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) with the blade, the Bedouin asked (in surprise), “What are you doing O Rasulallah r?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “This is cupping which is the best treatment.”                    (Musnad Ahmad)

Hazrat Ibn Masood (R) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) spoke about the night of his ascension to the heavens saying that he did not pass by any group of angels except that they informed him to order his Ummah to practice cupping.” (Tirmizi)

Hijama returns the body to a normal state

“Hijama” in Arabic literally means “to suck” and to “return to a normal state” of internal balance. It ultimately helps the body to create a balance, healthy alkaline environment by removing acidity. This fixes any problem that the body has, by bringing it to its normal state. Hijama cupping therapy is a holistic, super detox which removes toxic and stagnant blood from your body. It expels negative, unhealthy elements from the body, and allows it to replenish itself.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The best treatment is hijama cupping; it removes blood, lightens the back and sharpens the eyesight.” (Tirmizi)


Cupping treatment should be administered by an experienced, reliable and competent person who is well-schooled in the method of cupping and also aware of the associated potential harms and dangers.

Certain guidelines related to cupping are found in the Hadith. Once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) came across a fasting person who underwent cupping and became weak. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) on observing this remarked, ‘The person who has underwent cupping broke his fast.’ (Jamul Wasaail pg. 179)

Mullah Ali Qari (Rahimahullah) explaining this Hadith says that since a person is already weak due to fasting, undergoing cupping will further weaken him which may eventually result in causing him to break his fast. He further mentions that based on this principle understood from this Hadith, cupping should not be administered immediately after having a hot bath, or on a full stomach.

Suitable Dates

Hazrat ibn Abbas (R) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) recommended cupping on the 17th, 19th and 21st of the lunar month. (Mishkat)

Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (R) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Whoever cups on 17th, 19th and 21st of the lunar month there will be cure from every disease.” (Abu Dawood)

There are also some Ahadith that indicate that cupping be avoided on Wednesday whilst some indicate to it being preferred on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

The above are preferred dates for when Hijamah is done by choice. If there is a necessity and emergency to do it immediately then it may be done at any time as prescribed by an experienced practitioner.

General advice relating to cupping;

1. Cupping should preferably be done in the morning.

2. It should be done on an empty stomach.

3. One should avoid cupping after a hot bath. One should also avoid taking a bath immediately after cupping.

4. The elderly, weak and infirm should as far as possible avoid cupping unless recommended by a practioner.

5. Those with serious medical conditions must seek proper medical advice before cupping.

6. Avoid cupping when in the state of panic, anxiety or in a state of fear. One should be at ease and relaxed to achieve maximum benefit from the therapy.

7. In the event of dire need, if cupping is administered by the opposite gender, then precaution should be taken by having a Mahram relative present and the body is not unnecessarily exposed.

8. Like all forms of treatment and medication, have full conviction that Allah Ta’ala is the Shafi (One who Cures). Hence, faith and trust in Allah Ta’ala is of primary importance. Treatment is only a means to cure.

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