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Al-Hijamah: Cupping Therapy

Introduction
Allah the Most High stated in surah An-Najm:

And he does not speak of his own desire. It is but an inspiration inspired. Taught to him by the firm and powerful1

and in surah Al-Hashr, The Almighty says,

And whatsoever the messenger brings forth to you, then accept it, and whatever he keeps from you, then abstain from it! And Fear Allah, he is firm in judgement2

From the above translation of the verses, we have established that anything attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) which is known to be correct, we must accept it as part of Islam and the Sunnah. The Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) said “There is not a single disease for which there is not a cure”, and we all know that there is no cure for death. One of the many remedies the Blessed Prophet informed us about was that of Al-Hijamah or Cupping Therapy as it known in the west. There are numerous ahadith concerning Al-Hijamah; many are considered sahih (authentic) whereas the authenticity of some has been questioned by scholars such as shaikh Nasir-ud-Deen Al-Albani and shaikh Abu Bakr Al-Jaza’iri. However, what is accepted unanimously is that Al-Hijamah was practiced by the Prophet (saw) and he encouraged others to do so. It is also documented that he paid the cupper his wages.

So what exactly is Al-Hijamah?
Cupping is an ancient method of treatment that has been used in the treatment and cure of a broad range of conditions throughout the Eastern and Western cultures of the world. Conditions such as blood related disorders; haemophilia and hypertension for example, rheumatic conditions ranging from arthritis, sciatica, back pain and migraines through to psycho-social applications in the treatment of anxiety and general physical and mental well-being. Traditional theories advocate that the primary aim of Cupping is to extract blood that is believed to be harmful from the body which in turn rids the body of potential harm from symptoms leading to a reduction in well-being. To date there are no scientifically approved research trials anywhere in the world which investigated the impact of Cupping at a physiological level, although numerous small scale studies have been done promoting the benefits of Cupping for various diseases. In the West, the first and only published research trial to have explored the impact of Cupping at a functional level was done by a research team at Kings College, London (British Cupping Society). This research looked at the effect of Cupping on Knee Pain, the results of which are available here.

History and origins of Cupping Therapy
Traditionally, Cupping Therapy has been practiced in most cultures in one form or another. In the UK the practice of Cupping Therapy also dates back a long way with one of the leading medical journals ‘The Lancet’ being named after this practice. A lancet is a piece of surgical equipment that was traditionally utilised to release excess blood i.e. venesection and to prick boils. The Arabic name for Cupping Therapy is Al-Hijamah which means to reduce in size i.e. to return the body back to its natural state. The practice of Al-Hijamah has been part of Middle-Eastern cultural practice for thousands of years with citations dating back to the time of Hippocrates (400 BC). Of the Western world, the first to embrace Cupping Therapy were the ancient Egyptians, and the oldest recorded medical textbook, Ebers Papyrus, written in approximately 1550 BC in Egypt mentions cupping (Curtis, 2005). Cupping Therapy can be divided into two broad categories: Dry Cupping and Wet Cupping. Dry Cupping Therapy tends to be practiced more commonly in the Far-East whereas Wet Cupping is favoured in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Indications for Cupping Therapy
Traditionally it has been regarded as an effective treatment for a number of musculo-skeletal conditions as well as a general measure to maintain and promote well-being. Therefore Cupping Therapy is indicated for a broad spectrum of problems ranging from blood disorders, pain relief, inflammatory conditions, mental and physical relaxation, varicose veins and deep tissue massage, improvement in fertility levels to name but a few.

Contra-indications and Precautions to treatment
Cupping Therapy has no major side effects aside from minimal discomfort due to the method of application of skin cuts to the patient. In cases where the patient’s pain threshold is low, a local anaesthetic is usually administered. Also other possible minor side effects that may occur is the feeling of slight light headedness post Cupping Therapy, this is similar to the sensation one feels after having had blood taken from the doctor, as Cupping Therapy encourages blood flow to the cupped region (hyperaemia), one may therefore feel warmer and hotter as a result of vasodilatation (widening of blood vessel) taking place and slight sweating may occur. Again this can be attributed to sound scientific rationale and there is no cause for concern.

Pregnant women or menstruating women, cancer (metastatic) patients and patients with bone fractures or muscle spasms are also believed to be contra-indicated. Also, Cupping Therapy cannot be applied to a site of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), where there are ulcers, arteries or places where a pulse can be felt (Chirali, 1999,).

Contrary to some claims, Cupping therapy cannot cure all diseases, and the mere fact that the Prophet (saw) utilised this treatment doesn’t promote its value to a universal cure. Indeed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) informed there was ‘cure in it’ and we should thus attempt to attain maximum benefit from it, and he never said to ‘cure all illnesses from it’. Therefore it is the responsibility of the practitioner to be medically educated and well versed with the practice of al-Hijamah and the indications/contra-indications a treatment like Hijamah has. Although the practice of al-Hijamah should be advocated and the practice of the great Sunnah re-established, caution needs to be exercised against false attributions to the potential of Cupping Therapy. The Blessed Prophet warned us “He who introduces something new to Islam, which is not of it, will have it rejected’.

Summary
In summary, al-Hijaamah is an authentic tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that has been used throughout history. There is volume of anecdotal literature present however few scientific trials have investigated the effect of Cupping at various levels to the health. Evidence thus far points favourably for the use of Cupping as a treatment tool for a spectrum of medical ailments.

We pray to Allah to give us the ability to apply the knowledge he has given us in the best possible manner and that we continue to seek a better understanding in order to find cures for the illnesses he tests us with.

And the best knowledge is with Allah, the Almighty.

 

 

For further information on Hijaamah, please contact the British Cupping Society at www.britishcuppingsociety.org or contact individually: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Contact 1:
– Dr. Ahmed Younis (Principal Lecturer at St Georges Medical School, University of London)
tel: 07887874898 : He is based in Hackbridge, Wallington, London.
Contact 2:
– Mohammed Wali: 07841688810 – He also worked with me in our research, and is in fact the person who taught me the practice of Cupping Therapy from an Islamic Perspective. He is based in Tooting, South West London.

___________________________________________________________
Notes:

source: www.islam21c.com

1. al-Najm(53):3-5
2. al-Hashr(59):7

About Kaleem Ullah

65 comments

  1. Assalamalaykum

    Its wonderful to read all the comments.And empowered to know that this sunnah of hijaamah is spreading around the world.

    To get an appointment for hijaamah in india hyderabad and saudi riyadh
    plz visit our website http://www.hijaamah.com

    Dr.Syed Musab
    Dr.Lubna

  2. Contact us for Cupping therapy in Bangladesh:

    Hijama Planet: Treatment, Training & Research Center,
    House No. 91/1,
    Road No. 11A,
    Dhanmondi, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

    Phone:
    +88.0161.2877464,
    +88.0161.0445262 (Sisters only),
    +88.01612.079727 (mobile, viber, whatsapp, imo)

    Email:[email protected]
    Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/hijama.com.bd

    Website:
    http://www.hijama.com.bd
    http://www.cupping.com.bd

    • Mohammad Shahirul Haque

      Last 1 month i have an acciedent case on my right leg under knee.
      Bus wheel on the leg…but not broken

  3. I am a south african but am eager to specialise in cupping by going to another country and studying. I will really apprraciate it if someone assists me financially according to shariah. Jazakallah. Was Salaam.

  4. I think
    Hijama
    therapy is a Gift of Islamic Medicine. I pray that it may spread all over the world and people will get benefit from this treatment. To get this treatment in U.K you may visit http://www.pbuhmedicine.co.uk/

  5. I am looking for a Hijama for ladies in Central London.

    Many thanks

  6. Muhammed-Khalid

    Good info, I have found a book on Hijama
    that is also excellent, available here: http://www.hijamahbook.com

  7. Miss
    I am suffering from chronic back pain for 4years, this is due to disc bulge on L4, L5, which has trapped the sciatic nerve. A colleague has recommended that I have the cupping treatment, as I have practically tried everything else. Can anyone tell me their experience of cupping as a pain relief?

  8. Mohammed Shoaib

    cupping for back
    Assalam Alykum
    Can cupping be done for lower back pain (buttock area. i thonk i have Piriformis or sciatica

  9. British Cupping Society

    Workshops, Clinics,Conferences etc
    Dear readers,

    Many thanks for your interest in this article and in the practice of hijamah.
    For more information regarding training/workshops visit the webpage of the British Cupping Society – BCS (www.britishcuppingsociety.org).

    The BCS has been providing teaching and training in both the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia for a number of years in order to promote the safe and professional practice of Cupping Therapy internationally.

    In addition, the BCS has a number of clinics managed by BCS approved and certified practitioners (Male and Female)throughout the UK. For more details contact the BCS ([email protected]). Details of the next workshop can be found at: http://www.britishcuppingsociety.org

    We look forward to seeing you.

    regards,

    British Cupping Society

  10. psoriases and cupping
    i have had a few wet cupping sessions…it is with a sheikh from london – ilford..He is very good…it is to treat my psoriases which is a skin condition..though it has not fully cleared it defnitely helps the body eliminate toxins out from the body which could lead to the blockages which in turn lead to high cholestrol and other illness.

  11. Muhammed Afzal Faiz Mistry

    Hijama training
    Assalamualaykum
    Dear brother
    Please guide us the proper person or institute who can give the proper training for hijama therapy in india surat
    Please help us in right guidance cause we are hope to do the treatment fisabililaah to our ummah
    Please reply email to us
    Your brother
    Muhammed Afzal Faiz Mistry

  12. Re: Psoriasis
    Alaikom salam,
    Yes Hijamah can help Psoriasis. A treatment plan needs to be arranged.

    For appointments contact my clinic at Clinica
    500 Edgware Road,
    Little Venice, London, W2 1EJ
    Tel: 0207 258 3341

    Kaleem Ullah
    Secretary of the British Cupping Society
    http://www.britishcuppingsociety.org

  13. hemophilia
    my friend dr. slim nizami is much worried about his only son because of hemophilia.
    today he discussed with me, of some cupping therapy/ al-Hijamah is an authentic tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that has been used throughout history…in egypt, could be helpful in this problem.
    we are expecting people will come forward to share experiences and knowledge regarding hemophilia with dr. nizami and others to cure.
    kindly discuss with your friends in egypt and other places

    vijay

  14. hemophilia
    my friend dr. slim nizami is much worried about his only son because of hemophilia.
    today he discussed with me, of some cupping therapy/ al-Hijamah is an authentic tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that has been used throughout history…in egypt, could be helpful in this problem.
    we are expecting people will come forward to share experiences and knowledge regarding hemophilia with dr. nizami and others to cure.
    kindly discuss with your friends in egypt and other places
    [email protected]

    vijay

  15. aslamulaikum

    can any brother or sister let me know if cupping works for psoris???

  16. cupping and honey therapy in usa
    in reply to the following message
    Mehboob Yasin
    To me
    show details Jan 15 (2 days ago)
    Trying to find cupping therapist in America
    written by Umm Hamza, December 01, 2010
    I have been trying to find someone to come and teach Cupping here in St. Louis or Washington DC. I have spent numerous housr on the web looking. If someone knows who can teach . Then please e-mail me Insha Allah.

    taken from

    http://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/194-al-hijamah-cupping-therapy

    Salam to all,

    just to inform my sister who send this request , our organization , inter cupping foundation can send our one of the most senior cupping therapist to usa to teach/practice of hijamah .
    thank you very much
    http://www.cupping.ws
    youtube.com/musenett

  17. As-salaamu ‘alaikum. Jazaakallaahu khair for this

  18. Trying to find cupping therapist in America
    I have been trying to find someone to come and teach Cupping here in St. Louis or Washington DC. I have spent numerous housr on the web looking. If someone knows who can teach . Then please e-mail me Insha Allah.

  19. Hijama blog to collate knowledge and patient experiences
    Salam all

    Just to let you know we are running a hijama blog at [url]www.ahealth.co.uk[/url] to compile information on the therapy.

    So if you are willing to share your knowledge or experiences either as as therapist or a patient, then please contact us if you can contribute a guest blog post.

    Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

    Salams

    Shuaib
    [url]www.ahealth.co.uk[/url]

  20. cupping and honey therapy
    hepatitis c patient treated with cupping and honey therapy watch movie at
    http://www.cupping.ws/

  21. cupping-clinical trials
    please visit
    http://www.zhijama.co.uk
    some interesting studies done throughout the world

  22. cupping-clinical trials
    please visit
    http://www.zhijama.co.uk
    some interesting studies done throughout the world

  23. cupping therapy
    If you feel better doing it, that’s good then. I won’t argue with that. Placebo effect is a very strong effect. I can give a sugar pill to someone with depression and tell them it is a real drug and the patient will get better because he/she really believes it is a drug. That is the placebo effect.

    If you want to prove this works then you need double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

    Many people where I live try this and they still die anyway. Why is it that I don’t see that it works?

  24. British Cupping Society

    List of reputable Cupping Therapy Practitioners
    The British Cupping Society is currently working on providing an online list of registered Cupping Therapist not only in the UK, but also internationally. Upon completion of the list, it will be made available online at: wwww.britishcuppingsociety.org in the very near future.

    Thank you for bearing with us.

  25. British Cupping Society

    The British Cupping Society
    Dear all,

    salam alaikom wa rahamtollah.

    We are delighted to inform you of the launch of the British Cupping Society (BCS) and its website. The society was formally launched last month and the website is also up and running alhamdulillah (content is still being uploaded so do bear with us temporarily!).

    http://britishcuppingsociety.org

    The BCS is officially endorsed as the British Cupping Therapy Society and will become (god willing) your access to the best information on Cupping Therapy. Our members contain some of the worlds leading and most experienced practitioners, researchers striving to better the evidence for this prophetic form of medicine. It is our aim to research and develop this practice through implementation of best Medical practice and we endeavour to set the standards in Islamic Medical Practice as our blessed prophet instructed us to do.

    Sign up and register with us to receive notifications of events, seminars, information for practitioners, contact details of reputable practictioners, details on our popular roadshows, how you can get involved and much much more.

    yours,

    British Cupping Society

  26. scotland anyone?
    assalaamualaikum
    is there anyone in scotland who performs cupping and who can instruct on how to pefrom cupping. Any help would be appreciated

  27. Anywhere in Bangladesh?
    Assalamualaikum, Peace and blessings to our Prophet Muhammad. Looking for someone who can do Hijamah in Bangladesh…

  28. Dr Ridwan Ahmed

    Hijamh UK
    Wa’alaykummus salaa,

    Please visit http://www.hijamahuk.com

    The national Hijamah portal for enquiries and bookings.

    Dr Ridwan Ahmed [email protected]
    Dr Saleel Majeed [email protected]

    Group sessions [email protected]

  29. Dr Ridwan Ahmed
    Wa’alaykummus salaam,

    Please visit http://www.hijamahuk.com

    The national portal for Hijamah enquiries and bookings.

    Dr Ridwan Ahmed [email protected]
    Dr Saleel Majeed [email protected]

    Group sessions [email protected]

  30. amina umahmed

    mrs
    Al salam aleikum,
    I am very very interested to try HIJAMAH because i have pain in my jaws, can anyone do hijamah for sisters??? and where? please help. I live in Newcadtle upon tyne.
    Jazakum Allah khairan.

  31. Manchester
    Assakamu alikikum does anybody know of anybody who does this in Manchester email address or contact numbers?

  32. does anybody know clinics in egypt that performs it ? do you haveadresses or contact numbers.
    is it used really to loseweight ? how?

  33. Cupping Therapy

    Cupping Therapy New Site
    I find A good cupping Therapy website
    http://www.cuppingtherapy.info

  34. Dr
    I know a great website about Cupping Therapy
    http://www.cuppingtherapy.info

  35. cupping/hijama/london
    Sallams
    I am able to provide cupping services and teach anyone serious to learn inshallah
    http://www.zhijama.co.uk
    07950715243

  36. abu abdAllah the Houstonian

    great for anyone on umrah — get it done while you are in Madinah, inshaAllah
    bismillah. i do not recommend it for anyone in the middle of their Hajj. but if you are enjoying several days in Madinah before or after performing Hajj, then take advantage of the hijaamah while you are there. i went for umrah with a large group, and mashaAllah, one of the brothers had gone for hijaamah before so he was able to guide our group. we went to a street where every shop performed hijaamah — almost like the row of barbers near Marwah, mashaAllah, in Makkah. we picked a particular shop, then negotiated prices. alhamdolillah, it did not take very long, and it was a great feeling to know that my primary motivation was to enliven the sunnah, and then to take whatever benefit Allah would give me from the act itself.

    while there was no excessive bleeding, alhamdolillah, the sites of my hijaamah (back of scalp and on my back itself) needed a few days to heal completely. so that is one thing to plan for — you do not want unnecessary blood from this sunnah to get on your ihram for hajj or umrah. so make sure you leave enough days before travel to makkah.

    Allahumma taqabbul minkum wa minna.

  37. Cupping Therapy
    AssalamuAlaikum, I have just started taking cupping therapy for the first time for my back pain, high blood pressure and asthma… i hope the therapy will help me to make me feel well… My therapist is from Romania and she is living here in Bangladesh for long time now and providing hijama therapy or cupping therapy to her patients… some of my friends had good result taking cupping therapy… so i also decided to take this chance and feel better soon… pls pray for me..

  38. does any one know if there are any hijamah lessons available in london
    salam
    i want to learn how to perform hijamah however i dont know where to got to in london to learn hijamah i would like to know if there is any place i can go to learn hijamah or if any one can teach it to me

  39. contact details of registered practitioners in London
    Contact 1:
    – Dr. Ahmed Younis (Principal Lecturer at St Georges Medical School, University of London)
    tel: 07887874898 : He is based in Hackbridge, Wallington

    Contact 2:
    – Mohammed Wali: 07841688810 – He also worked with me in our research, and is in fact the person who taught me the practice of Cupping Therapy from an Islamic Perspective. He is based in Tooting, South West London.

  40. cupping
    hi i would be really grateful if someone could tell me who does cupping in the uk…urgent….contact number wud be excellent

  41. al salam alykum….
    i wish u to add more information about hijama,,,how it works on different diseases,,,its places,,,by pictures or short videos… thank u so much

  42. very good work
    asalomoalikum
    his is very nice article about hijama and very anthentic ahdeti about this method
    jazakallah khair

  43. sister in islam

    benefits of cupping
    . The diseases which have been treated by cupping and for which it has been of benefit by Allaah’s Leave include the following:

    1- Circulatory diseases

    2- Treating blood pressure and infection of the heart muscle

    3- Diseases of the chest and trachea

    4- Headache and pains in the eyes

    5- Pain in the neck and stomach, and rheumatic pain in the muscles

    6- Some diseases of the heart and chest, and pain in the joints

  44. Brother
    Assalamu alikum
    mashallah a very good small piece of wrk, which i think deserves more attention to it, as we are not to family with this wrk.
    I saw 3 books about this piece of wrk at the Darussalam Bookshop in Walthamstow, London, E17 7Jh, so if any one needs more info on that they should contact them

  45. It works
    salaam i have had cupping performed on me due to severe migraines and alhamdullilah by the will of Allah as soon as i finished the treatment which only lasted about 20mins i had instant relief of migraine and 6months on the migraines haven’t come back so i recommend anyone to have it done.

  46. Incomplete?
    It depends on who’s reading it. I think the author’s aims were not to give an in depth review, but rather something concise and easy, so the interested reader can look it up further if necessary.

    Good piece of writing, jazakallahu khaira.

  47. I found this article incomplete, the author could have explored the subject more – may Allah reward him.

  48. Maasha Allaah
    As-salaamu ‘alaikum. Jazaakallaahu khair for this.

  49. mashallah
    Really good revival of the sunnah.

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