Cupping (hijama) has been practised for over 7000 years and can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and ancient Chinese civilisations. It pre-dates the revelation of the Qur’an, but its practice has been firmly established by the Sunnah and encouraged by the angels. Practising hijama brings about not only good health, but also reward from Allah.
The word “hijama” is derived from “hajm” which means “sucking.” cupping is the process of applying cups to various points on the body by removing the air inside the cups to form a vacuum. It was the most recommended medical remedy by the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi Wasallam) who said, “Indeed the best of remedies that you have is cupping …” (Bukhari).
Types of cupping
- dry cupping – This is the process of using a vacuum on the painful areas of the body in order to gather the blood in that area without incisions (small, light scratches made by a razor).
- Dry massage cupping – This is similar to dry cupping but olive oil is applied to the skin (before applying the cups) in order to allow easy movement of the cups.
Dry and massage cupping may be administered any time of the day, any day of the week or month. There are no restrictions. These two types of cupping are not from the Sunnah. However, they fall under the general teachings of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) who said, “For every disease there is a cure so if the [appropriately-given] medicine coincides with the disease it cures it by the will of Allah, the Most High.” (Muslim).
- wet cupping – This is the process of using a vacuum at different points on the body but with incisions in order to remove ‘harmful’ blood which lies just beneath the surface of the skin. It is recommended that this type of cupping is administered by a cupping therapist.
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