‘Hijama’ is an Arabic term derived from ‘hajm’ which means ‘sucking’. This act is a Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and it is extensively reported in a wide collection of authentic hadiths. The Messenger (SAW) said,
“Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping (hijama)…”
[Saheeh al-Bukhari (5371)].
Hijama was a common practice of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his companions for the treatment of a range of ailments as well as to maintain health and promote well being. It is now being recognized as an alternative medicine or alternative way of treating different diseases and bodily disorders. Modern medical science also endorses the various benefits of Hijama and even encourages its practice in certain diseases.
Cupping (hijama) is a non-surgical procedure which involves applying cups to various hijama points on the body by removing the air inside the cups to form a vacuum. On such selected points, blood is encouraged to accumulate and then sucked out by using a little vacuum system. The blood is made to accumulate on the surface of the skin where minute incisions are introduced on the skin. The blood comes out from the incisions and is collected in a cup from where it is removed.
Hijama was also a common practice among the Asians and the Europeans. But while the Arabians practiced it as a Sunnah, the Asians and Europeans practiced it strictly for medical purpose. It has been found to have numerous importance, ranging from the religious reward to its curative ability. It is noted that hijama promotes the flow of energy in the blood as it gets ride of toxins and other waste material from the blood. It boosts memory and recovery time, enabling people recover quickly from diseases and prevent diseases. Thus, considered one of the best preventive measures against many diseases. Moreover, it is also noted that hijama could be used on people who are under some magical spell or under the influence of some evil beings.
On the hand the importance of hijama in the divine guidance can never be over emphasized as seen in the following words which were related to the Prophet SAW on the night of Israa (ascension to the heaven) by angles:
“O Mohammed, order your ummah (people) with hijama (cupping)”. – Saheeh, Sunan Tirmidhi
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to have had hijama performed on his head for migraine [Bukhari], on his foot after a sprain [Ibn Majah], on his neck [Abu Dawud], on his hip for hip pain [Abu Dawud] and between his shoulders for detoxification [Ahmed].
It is reported that the prophet also adviced to perform hijama on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays and on empty stomach which means to fast until after being treated with cupping.
Abu Hurairah (R.A) reported that the Messenger (SAW) said, “If there was something excellent to be used as a remedy then it is cupping (hijama).”
[Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Ibn Majah]
The Messenger (SAW) said, “Whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah and the people practice it, she/he will have the same reward of those who practice it without their reward diminishing…” [Sunan ibn Majah (209)].May Allah grant us the strength to put these traditions into our daily lives and take full advantage of these simple procedures. Amin.