Welcome to our English section. We will inform you about the practise called “Hijama”.
Information about Hijama
More information about Islam in general:
“Healing by cupping (also known as hijama) is an ancient technique well-known to many nations. It has been documented on one of the oldest historical Egyptian papyruses that ancient Egyptians used cupping for healing. It was widely used among the Arabs and the Messenger of Allāh, sallā-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, confirmed its benefit; he applied it and encouraged its use.”
“Hijama was also widespread in the East and West—in China, India and in Europe and it has spread to America in the last centuries. Until the middle of the 19th century it had a place in all scientific references. Cupping reached Europe through Muslim physicians who lived in Andalusia at a time when their knowledge was at the forefront of medicine.”
What is Cupping?
Cupping uses suction to bring toxic blood, phlegm, and other material to the surface of the body. Your immune system then discharges it naturally in the days that follow. It is wonderful for many internal conditions, chronic diseases and musculo-skeletal pain. It can be used preventatively to maintain good health and it’s also beneficial if a specific condition arises.
Hijama is a traditional part of prophetic medicine, dating back to the time of the Prophet Ibrāhīm, ‘alayhi-s-salām, and it can be a remedy for all diseases. Ibrāhīm and Mūsā, ‘alayhuma-s-salām, practiced cupping. Dāwūd and Sulaymān, ‘alayhuma-s-salām, practiced hijama. In the ancient scrolls of Ibrāhīm and Mūsā, ‘alayhuma-s-salām, it is recorded that Ibrāhīm practiced cupping and passed it on to his sons, ‘alayhimu-s-salām. Mūsā used hijama on Hārūn, ‘alayhuma-s-salām. It is a divine remedy that came through all of the prophets.
Hijama is Sunnah
It is related that the Prophet, salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was cupped when he was sick; he was cupped in different locations of his body according to his need—on his head, on the upper part of his back, on his carotid arteries, on his thighs and on the backs of his feet. The Prophet, salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “The best treatment you have is cupping.” (Muslim 10.3830)
There are many authentic hadīth that narrate the Prophet’s use of hijama for himself, salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his recommendation for everyone to receive cupping as preventative and curative medicine. He received hijama at different times, including while he was fasting and in Ihrām.
Anas bin Malik, radiya-llāhu ‘anhu, reported, “The Messenger of Allāh (salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) sent for a slave who had the profession of hijama, and he cupped him.” (Bukhārī 3.481)
Jabir bin ‘Abd allāh, radiya-llāhu ‘anhu, reported, “I heard the Prophet (salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying, “If there is any healing in your medicines, then it is in hijama, a gulp of honey or branding with fire (cauterization) that suits the ailment, but I don’t like to be (cauterized) branded with fire.” (Bukhārī 7.587)
Abdullah ‘ibn Abbas, radiya-llāhu ‘anhu, reported that the Messenger (salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was cupped on his head for a one-sided headache while he was in Ihrām. (Bukhārī 5701).
Abdullah ‘ibn Abbās also reported that the Messenger (salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was cupped while he was fasting (Bukhārī 5694).
Abdullah ‘ibn Abbās also reported that the Messenger (salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) took the treatment of hijama on both sides of his neck (on the carotid arteries) and between his shoulders, and paid the cupper his fees. If it had been harām, he would not have paid it. (Tirmidhi 49.003/345).
Anas bin Malik, radiya-llāhu ‘anhu, reported, “Then the Prophet (salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘The best medicines you may treat yourselves with are hijama and sea incense.’ He added, ‘You should not torture your children by treating tonsillitis by pressing the tonsils or the palate with the finger, but use incense.’ (Bukhārī 7.599)
Anas bin Mālik, radiya-llāhu ‘anhu, said, “The Messenger of Allāh (salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used the treatment of hijama on both sides of his neck (on the carotid arteries) and between both shoulders, and generally took this treatment on the 17th, 19th or the 21st of the (lunar) month.” (Tirmidhi 49.005/347)
Abū Hurayra, radiya-llāhu ‘anhu, reported that the Messenger (salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever performs hijama on the 17th, 19th or 21st day, then it is a cure for every disease.” (Abū Dāwūd 3861).
The Angels Recommend Hijama
Cupping is an ancient medical treatment, as we have mentioned before. It was recommended by the angels, ‘alayhimu-s-salām, to the Prophet, salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his community. For that reason, no one should claim that it is just an old technique with no modern value. It is a successful remedy for all people, without exception. This is because the Messenger was sent as a mercy for all the worlds.
It was narrated that he 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 hijama.’ (‘Ibn Mājah 3477)” In the narration reported by Abdullah ibn Mas’ud the angels said, “Oh Muhammad, order your nation with (to perform) cupping.” (Tirmithi 3479)
Using Cupping Preventatively
Anas ibn Mālik, radiya-llāhu ‘anhu, reported that the Messenger, salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Whoever wants to perform cupping, then let him search for the 17th, 19th and 21st and let none of you allow his blood to rage (boil) such that it kills him.” (‘Ibn Mājah 3486).
Anas ibn Mālik also reported that the Messenger said, “When the weather becomes extremely hot, seek aid in cupping. Do not allow your blood to rage (boil) such that it kills you.” (Reported by Hakīm in his ‘Mustadrak’ and he authenticated it and Imām adh-Dhahābi agreed; 4/212).
Benefits of Hijama
Cupping can prevent and help with the health conditions listed below.
|~ Headaches||~ Neck, shoulder and back pain|
|~ Hypertension||~ Immune system weakness|
|~ Allergies||~ Stomach or abdominal pain|
|~ Arthritis||~ Irritable bowel syndrome|
|~ Sinus Problems||~ Lung inflammation & coughing|
|~ Heart Disease||~ Rheumatism|
|~ Sciatica||~ Cartilage problems|
|~ Ulcers||~ Nerve inflammation|
|~ Diabetes||~ Larynx and throat inflammation|
|~ Infertility||~ Tooth or gum pain|
|~ Sleep disorders||~ Numbness of the arms or legs|
|~ Thyroid disorders||~ Skin diseases|
|~ Common cold||~ Liver disease|
|~ Edema||~ Urinary incontinence|
|~ Cancer||~ Kidney inflammation or stones|
|~ Osteoporosis||~ Tinnitus|
|~ Influenza||~ Hemiplegia and paralysis|
|~ Foot pain||~ Back pain, stiff legs, and impotence|
|~ Conditions in any part of the head (head, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, etc.)|
|~ Speech difficulties resulting from tongue disorders|
|~ To prevent knee joint pain and rheumatic diseases|
|~ Magic and shaytānic possession|
How does Cupping work?To apply a cup the air from within the cup is removed in order to create a suction effect. The suction draws toxic blood, phlegm and other material to the surface of the body and releases it. Your immune system then eradicates the toxins which cleanses your blood and tissues.
I primarily use these 5 types of cupping:
Bleeding cupping (or “wet cupping”): Bleeding cupping (or “wet cupping”) is the best cupping because it was used by the prophets, ‘alayhimu-s-salam. Sterile cups are applied as described below in the dry cupping methods. The area to be cupped is cleaned with iodine. Three small, superficial incisions are made to represent the name Allah and the cup is applied for 3-8 minutes. Then the cup is removed, the incisions are cleaned and black seed oil (which is anti-bacterial) is applied, along with a bandage.
Dry Cupping Methods
In the methods below, all of which are based in dry cupping, cups are applied to the surface of the skin and they remain there for a specified period of time. Then the cups are removed; no incisions of any type are made in dry cupping.
Tonifying cupping: The cups are applied as described above (“dry cupping”) and left on for 5-10 minutes. This technique helps fatigue and energizes your immune system.
Draining cupping: The cups are applied as described above (“dry cupping”) and left on for up 10-20 minutes. This technique drains tension and stuck energy.
Flash cupping: The cups are applied as above (“dry cupping”) and immediately removed. This is done multiple times in different areas all over the back. This technique expels a cold or flu in its beginning stages.
Needle and moxa cupping: An acupuncture needle is inserted with or without moxa (Chinese mugwort) on the handle. After the moxa burns down and the needle is warm, the cup is applied as described above (“dry cupping”) . This technique is excellent for warming cold or arthritic joints.
Preparation for Hijama
It is best to take a shower immediately before receiving hijama. If you cannot shower, it is important to rest for 1 hour before hijama. Narrated By ‘A’isha, radiya-llāhu ‘anhā, “The Prophet, salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to take a bath on account of sexual defilement, on Friday, for hijama and washing the dead.”
Make sure your stomach is empty when you arrive for treatment. ‘Ibn ‘Umar, radiya-llāhu ‘anhu, reported that the Messenger, sallā-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Hijama on an empty stomach is best. It increases the intellect and improves the memory.” (‘Ibn Mājah 3487) Also, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking water before and after the treatment unless you are fasting.
Best Practices for Wet Cupping
17th, 19th, 21st Days of the Month
Generally, it is best to receive bleeding cupping on the 17th day, 19th day, or 21st day of the lunar month, as stated in the following hadīth. Anas bin Mālik, radiya-llāhu ‘anhu, said, “The Messenger of Allāh used the treatment of cupping on both sides of his neck (on the carotid arteries) and between both shoulders, and generally took this treatment on the 17th, 19th or the 21st of the (lunar) month.” (Tirmidhi 49.005/347)
During the middle of the lunar cycle the moon agitates all water on earth, creating stronger tides; it is also the time of the month where bleeding from cupping is most intense. Intense bleeding can weaken people, but it is good to receive cupping while everything is agitated so that the cupping can remove it. Hence, the sunna of receiving cupping on the 17th, 19th or 21st days of the month.
However, if you have a condition that is painful, debilitating, or extremely uncomfortable, don’t wait! Get cupping as soon as possible, following the recommendations below on the best days of the week to receive cupping.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
It is best to receive cupping on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. The second half of the ‘Ibn Mājah hadīth narrated by ‘Ibn ‘Umar quoted above is, “So cup yourselves with the blessing of Allāh on Thursday. Keep away from cupping (hijama) on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to be safe. Perform cupping on Monday and Tuesday, for it is the day that Allāh saved Ayyub from a trial. He was inflicted with the trial on Wednesday. You will not find leprosy except (by being cupped) on Wednesday or Wednesday night.” (‘Ibn Mājah 3487).
Another version of this hadīth is, “Cupping on an empty stomach is best. It increases the intellect and improves the memory. It improves the memory of the one memorizing. So whoever is going to be cupped then (let it be) on a Thursday in the name of Allāh. Keep away from being cupped on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Be cupped on a Monday or Tuesday. Do not be cupped on a Wednesday because it is the day that Ayyub was befallen with a trial. You will not find leprosy except (by being cupped) on Wednesday or Wednesday night.” (‘Ibn Mājah 3488).
2:00 – 3:00 pm
The best time of day to receive cupping is 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, because at this time toxic blood is closest to the surface of the body. It is also fine to receive cupping in the morning or at other times of day, if necessary. I adjust my schedule as much as possible to accommodate these days and times each month.
Keep in mind that the Prophet Muhammad, salla-llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, received cupping at different times of the month. When he received it while on Hajj he received it at the beginning of the hijri month because he was having bad headaches. This implies that hijama can be performed at any time, if necessary.
Contraindications for Hijama
Hijama should be avoided when someone is recovering from a debilitating illness. It should also be avoided if someone has a weak body, is menstruating, pregnant, or in nifās (post-partum time when still bleeding). If you are fasting, hijama should not be performed if there is any fear that it would significantly weaken your body, making it necessary for you to break your fast.
What to Expect When Receiving Hijama
First, to create a sacred space, we go over the hadith that recommend cupping. I remind you that Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, is always with you and that He wants you to heal. The angels are here with you right now, waiting to give you blessings and healing because you are following the Prophet’s way and asking for healing from Allah. Then we say a prayer and begin the cupping.
To separate the veins we start by applying cups to the skin using the dry cupping technique described above. Dry cupping is painless – many people report feeling very relaxed during and after cupping. You may feel a warm, pulling or stretching sensation. We leave these cups in for 10-15 minutes.
Then, I sterilize the area with iodine and make 3 tiny vertical incisions, right to left, which represent the name ALLAH in Arabic. These incisions are not painful–they are akin scratching yourself on a tree branch. Then, I apply the cup and the suction helps the blood to leave your body. We leave the cup on for several minutes and during that time I recite ayat Allah gave us to support healing in His way. Once the cupping is complete, I apply black seed oil on the incisions and cover the area with a bandage.
After cupping you will probably have a ring-mark, bruise, or skin discoloration for several days (maximum for a week or two). These are signs of toxicity that has risen to the surface for release. As the marks dissipate, the toxicity is leaving you.
If you and I have never met before, I may decide to do just dry cupping at our first visit to see how you respond to that treatment. I may also offer you acupuncture, which I am licensed to practice in the state of Georgia. Please understand that not all body types are immediately ready for bleeding cupping. If I recommend you receive preperatory treatments before bleeding cupping, please understand and I am recommending this from extensive experience and am thinking of your health and well-being first and foremost.