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Learning Hijama (Cupping)

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I wana to learn how to perform islamic hijama cupping for its a sunna
of the prophet Muhammed, Allah bless him and give him peace, and it’s the best among the cures. I want to revive this sunnah please help me. How to get hijama online learning?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa baraktuh.

I pray you are well.

I’m sure you can find a reputable institute online who will teach you the proper method and practice of cupping. I don’t know of any institute that I can recommend. It’s probably a good idea to look for one that has some official body approving it, so you know what you learn is authentic.

Your intention of reviving a sunna is very noble. There is a narration from the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, which – despite its weakness – provides great motivation and hope for such acts: “Whoever revives my sunna loves me; and whoever loves me will be with me in the Garden.” (Tirmidhi).

May Allah grant us all that honour. Amin

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Concepts of Health and Disease within an Islamic Framework, by Shaykh Jamir Meah

In Shaykh Jamir Meah’s first article in this series, he discussed the importance of holistic healing for believers in the treatment of chronic disease. In this article, he specifically looks at the concept of health and disease, and how this understanding relates to our own religious states and practice.

 

The Concepts of Oneness, Duality, and Plurality

One of the first thing that attracted me to homeopathy was that every single homeopath that I had ever read about, or met, believes in a Creator. The reason for this is that homeopathy demands the practitioner to observe not only the world around one, but also the inner world within one. The only conclusion any sincere seeker can come to, is that the universe, with its intricate order and balance, can only exist through a single Creator.

God created man, and from him, He created his pair, and from this pair, multiples were created. Allah tell us that, ‘All things We have created by pairs, that haply ye may reflect,’ and the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy.’ [al Bukhari]. Disease and cure are a pair, and it is the task of medicine to search the vast creation of Allah to look for the remedy to each disease in each person.

Traditional therapies hold that there is only ever one disease in the body at one given time. It is not possible to have two diseases in one body. Despite plurality of symptoms manifesting in the one body, whether on the psychological or physical level, these are merely manifestations of the one root disease, or central disturbance.

 

The Concept of Health

Ask a physician to explain the concept of health, and you’ll probably get an answer like, ‘feeling well in both mind and body’, or ‘being free from illness or injury,’ etc. which are all fine and true. However, it falls short of the concept of real health.

Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, gave a magnificent description of health, when he wrote, ‘In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force, the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation … so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.’ [Aphorism 9, The Organon].

This vital force that Hahnemann speaks of, the dynamis that animates the material body, is another name for the Qi, the energy force in Chinese Medicine. They are one and the same thing.

Another equally sound explanation of health is given by professor G. Vithoulkas, when he says, ‘Health is freedom from pain in the physical body, having attained a state of well-being; freedom from passion on the emotional level, having as a result a dynamic state of serenity and calm; and freedom from selfishness in the mental sphere, having as a result total unification with Truth‘. [The Science of Homeopathy]

We can see then that the two (homeopathic) definitions of health, though differing in words, carry the same meaning. The body is an instrument to help one fulfil their ‘higher purpose’ in life, which is of course explained by Allah Most High in his words, ‘I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.’ [51:56].

Before we move onto the concept of disease, it would be useful to briefly understand something about the Universal Law of Frequency and Vibration.

 

The Universal Law of Frequency and Vibration

Science, through the field of Quantum Physics, is showing us that everything in our universe is energy.

Everything has its own vibrational frequency, whether animate or inanimate, governed by The Law of Vibration. A chair may look solid and still, but in reality, there are millions of subatomic particles in motion, all moving with energy. Everything that appears solid is the frequency of the vibration of the energy that makes it up.

Everything, even our thoughts, feelings, and sounds have their own vibrational frequency. These vibrations set up resonance with whatever possesses identical frequency. This gives the phrases such as ‘good vibes’ or ‘negative vibes’ some basis. In other words, your thoughts are inseparably connected to the rest of the universe.

The Mantra preceding meditation for Hindus and many Buddhists is the word, ‘Om’. This word is believed by these religions to be representative of the ‘universal sound’, referring to an ultimate reality, or truth.

For Muslims, we have a much clearer, unambiguous and direct understanding of the focus of our thoughts and meditations, which is only Allah, Exalted is He. Allah tells us, ‘The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory!’ [17:44].

Everything in the universe is in remembrance and glorification of the Creator, whether it be from the kingdoms of plant, animal, or mineral, or the naturals elements of water, air, earth and fire. Everything praises Him, and it is only men who do not perceive this, and who chooses to praise Allah or be heedless of Him.

This praise of everything in the Universe for the Creator can be viewed in the context of the Law of Vibration. Given the above verse, it would not be far-fetched to say the universal ‘sound’ or ‘vibration’ of the created universe is one of remembrance of Allah.

In many chronic cases of disease (though obviously not all cases, especially when there is a clear reason for emotional or physical pathology), there is an inner turmoil within the human heart and psyche, which is usually a precursor to emotional and physical sickness, as we discussed in our first article.

From whence does this inner turmoil begin? Quite often, it occurs when the will of a person is not fully aligned to the Divine Will. For many people, inner conflict occurs because their desires, hopes, and thoughts are in contrast to the Divine Commandment and Decree, either desiring that which is not permitted, neglecting that which is commanded, or being discontent with Allah’s Decree.

In this conflicted state, there is usually inner restlessness and agitation in the heart, for it looks for inner peace and repose in that which Allah has not placed peace and repose in, namely created things. Two inconsistent attitudes cannot exist in one person without conflict, because ‘God has not assigned to any man two hearts within his breast’ [33:4]

Looked at in another way, man is a part of creation, not separate to it (were we not created from earth?). If man’s will is ill-directed will and he is in state of heedlessness (ghafla), then man’s frequency of vibration is out of sync with the natural vibration of the universe, which as we mentioned is in constant praise of Allah. When this occurs, man is in a state of agitation.

When a person aligns his will to the Will of God, and relinquishes the desires and opinions of his ego, fulfilling His commands, and keeping away from His prohibitions, and remembering and thanking Him, the inner turmoil disappears and one finds contentment and peace, even if the world around them is in turmoil. ‘Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.’ [13:28].

The goal then, is to return to a pure state, the fitrah, where the heart is attached and submits to, and is in praise of Allah Most High. This gives real meaning to the idea of ‘being as one with the universe’. In this pure state, man can truly take his place as God’s khalifah (viceroy) on earth.

This is one of the reasons why spiritual training is so important and why it works. In the course of training, the true spiritual guide is redirecting the disciple’s will to the Will of the Divine.

If inner conflict and restlessness is neglected for a long period of time and left unresolved, like a toxin, it spreads in the heart, the mind and the body, and disease occurs.

 

The Concept of Disease

Once we have understood the concept of true health, it’s easy to understand disease. In contrast to health, we may define disease as simply ‘bondage.’ Physical pain creates the bondage of the body, lower desires and passions leads to the bondage of the emotions, and the selfishness of the ego creates the bondage of the spirit. All of which prevents one from moving forward and fulfilling the ‘higher purpose’ of one’s existence.

In disease, one’s vibration is out of sync with the pure or natural order, as we have mentioned. This internal discord could have occurred during the person’s own life, or passed down through generations.

When inner disorder persists, it manifests in outward disorder. Inner chaos can lead to outward chaos. This can affect individuals, or whole societies. In a compensated state, inner chaos can make a person fastidious and leads to OCD and waswasa, as they try to control their outward environment in order to allay the inner disorder, which they are unable to control. Clinical experience shows that behind all of these states, there is almost always some underlying fear buried deep down, whether connected to worldly matters or religious matters, and these need to surface and be resolved.

Like a guitar that needs to be finely tuned, a person’s vibration, and in turn, their will, needs to be tweaked, altered and re-aligned. This is the job of two disciplines: 1) that of certain natural medicines, which align the individual’s vibration to the harmonious vibration of the natural universe, and 2) spiritual training at the hands of a genuine spiritual guide, which guides and enhances the individual’s will to submit to the Will of God.

For lasting physical, emotional, and spiritual health through the various stages of man’s life, to combine both natural therapy and spiritual guidance is ideal.

So far, we have been discussing the theoretical relationship between natural medicine and Islam. In our next, and final article, we will be looking at how the principles of natural medicine can be of practical benefit to people, as well as discussing the Law of Cure.

 

10 Things You Should Know About Hijama Cupping Therapy

Wet cupping (hijama) is a fast-disappearing practice, which is a shame as it was highly recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and continues to offer many health benefits.

The premise of Islamic medicine is faith in Allah the Exalted and knowing healing comes only from Him, and that there is a cure for every disease.

“There is a remedy for every disease and when the remedy is applied to the disease it is cured with the permission of Allah the Exalted.” (Recorded by Muslim.)

In Islam, health is a very important part of life and there is a great emphasis placed on it.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet ﷺ said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 6412)

The question is, do we give importance to our life or take time out to learn about the natural remedies that the Prophet ﷺ has told us about?

A Forgotten Sunnah

Hijama Cupping Therapy is an Islamic, natural, holistic, healing therapy. Unfortunately, it is a “forgotten sunnah” that has been erased from our valuable history, due to modern medicine and surgery. We need to revive and establish this practice of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. We need to empower Muslims to be strong, healthy and rise up once again. As Muslims, we need to re-assert ourselves as leaders in the fields of medicine and health, just as we were in the golden age of Islamic science.

Here are the top 10 things you should know about hijama cupping therapy:

1. Hijama Cupping Therapy is a Sunnah

During the Night Journey & Ascension (Laylatu’l-Isra’ wa’l-Mir’aj), our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) experienced many profoundly significant events. He flew on a winged horse (al-Buraq) from Makkah to Jerusalem, accompanied by the Angel Jibreel. He prayed with many other Messengers of Allah, ascended to the highest of the seven heavens, was given the gift of five times daily  prayer and tenets of creed by Allah the Exalted.

“Glory to He Who took His servant for a journey by night from the most sacred mosque to the farthest mosque, whose precincts We blessed, in order that We might show him some of Our signs: for He is the One Who hears and sees [all things]”. (Quran 17:1)

Amongst all these amazing miracles, Allah the Exalted also ordered the Angels to instruct Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to establish hijama cupping therapy;

“I did not pass by an Angel from the Angels on the Night Journey except that they all said to me; ‘Upon you is cupping (hijama), O Muhammad’”(Sahih; Sunan Ibn Majah º3477)

2. “The Best of Medicines”

Hijama was declared the best of medicines by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), alongside the Quran.

He (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Cupping is the most helpful procedure for human beings to cure themselves.” (Sahih al-Bukhari º5357)

3. Other Cultures Practice Cupping Therapy, Too

Cupping therapy has been practiced for centuries globally. The first documented medical text was found in 1550 BC in Egypt. Cupping was also discovered in China over 5,000 years ago and is still practiced to this day. It was commonly practiced in the Roman Empire, Islamic Empire, Europe, Russia, Central Asia, South Asia, and the United States. It was very popular during the middle ages and 18th and 19th Centuries in Europe. Right now it is most popular in China, Finland, Russia and many Muslim-majority countries.

4. Cupping Therapy vs. Hijama

Cupping therapy is the name of the actual procedure itself. A vacuum is created in a cup and placed on the body. This vacuum causes a negative pressure and pulls the muscles into the cup and therefore, draws the blood to the cupped area. This is known as “dry cupping”. Then you remove the cup in order to make small, shallow incisions in that same area, before putting the cup back on. This pulls out the toxic blood, acids and excess fluids from the body. This is known as wet, or blood cupping.

But what differentiates hijama is the religious and spiritual aspect of the practice. “Hijama” is the Islamic version of cupping therapy.  Muslims practice hijama cupping therapy, in accordance to the way of the Prophet ﷺ. It means that the patient and hijama practitioner should have done their ablutions (wudu) and should recite Quran during the hijama procedure.

5. 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 powerful 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 (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The best treatment is hijama cupping; it removes blood, lightens the back and sharpens the eyesight.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi º3053)

6. The Medical Benefits Are Well-Documented

Hijama cupping is an excellent form of preventative and curative therapy. Below are some of the ways cupping helps:

  • Boosts the circulatory and immune systems
  • Cleanses and detoxifies the body
  • Treats illness and relaxes the patient
  • Pain relief
  • Fertility
  • Hijama is also useful for treating many muscular, skeletal, neurological, immune, cardio-vascular, respiratory, digestive and urinary issues.

Some of its benefits were highlighted by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):

Ibn Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Hijama cupping on an empty stomach is best. It increases the intellect and improves the memory. It improves the memory of the one memorizing….” (Sahih; Sunan Ibn Majah º3488).

7. It Works On An Emotional Level, Too

Islamic medicine is holistic and works on the levels of mind, body and soul. Hijama cupping therapy is a minor, surgical procedure which has immediate physical effect. However, it also serves to alleviate, mental, emotional, spiritual and metaphysical issues. It is very relaxing and dispels anxiety and depression. According ibn Al Qaiyum, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) had Hijama performed upon his head to remove black magic which had been cast  upon him;

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) was cupped on his head when he was afflicted with magic and that it is from the best of cures for this if performed correctly. [Zad al-Ma’ad (4/125-126)]

8. There Are Sunnah Points On Your Body

The traditional sunnah points for hijama therapy are on the upper back, which essentially target the heart, lungs, brain and spine. All are major foundations for optimal health.

“Hijama cupping on the back of the neck treat seventy-two illnesses” (Collected by al-Tabarani)

Hijama serves to cleanse and unblock the major arteries and veins.

Anas narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to have hijama cupping done on the veins on the side of the neck and the upper back. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

9. There Are Ideal Times To Do It

Hijama cupping is both a preventative and curative remedy. It is recommended that you should have a hijama detox, and then use hijama as a form of maintenance 2-4 times a year if you are healthy. If you have serious medical conditions, it can be performed more often. It is best to have hijama performed on the “Sunnah Days” according to hadith:

“Whoever performs Hijama cupping in the 17th, 19th and 21st day (of the Islamic Lunar month), then it is a cure for every disease”. (Sahih; Sunan Ibn Majah º3861).

10. The Hijama Therapist Has A Special Status

Imagine having a career in a blessed profession that the Holy Prophet Muḥammad (peace and blessings be upon him) has praised himself;

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If there is anything good in the medicines with which you treat yourselves, it is in the incision of the hijama therapist, or a drink of honey….” (Muslim º2205)

We encourage as many Muslims as possible to learn how to perform hijama professionally, in order to:

  • Counter the negative side effects of alophathic medication and chemicals
  • Treat the diseases that are untreatable even with modern medicine
  • Have this treatment available to more people
  • Have a satisfying and spiritually rewarding career
  • Revive the forgotten sunnah of hijama.

The career of a professional hijama therapist is fulfilling and  benefits the practitioner in this life and the next.

Action Items

Now, armed with this phenomenal knowledge, be proactive. Here is your action list to be part of the revival of the sunnah of hijama cupping therapy:

  • Book a hijama treatment and get treated – experience it first hand.
  • Learn how to perform hijama and treat your family and friends safely
  • Expand your skill set and get qualified as a certified hijama Practitioner
  • Start treating the community professionally and safely
  • Promote hijama, spread the word and educate the Muslim community
  • Establish the sunnah of hijama cupping therapy

“Whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah and the people practice it, s/he will have the same reward of those who practice it without their reward diminishing…” (Sunan Ibn Majah º209)

Visit Hijama Nation for a free ebook about Hijama Cupping Therapy.

Can Cupping (Hijama) Be Performed on Women?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Can cupping (hijama) be performed on women?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, it is permissible for women to undergo cupping (hijama).

The treatment, however, should be performed by a woman. If a woman is not available, the ruling would return to the discussion on seeking medical attention from the opposite gender and its related conditions.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The best treatments you use are cupping and sea costus.” [Bukhari]

Please also see: Using Cupping (hijama) to Cure Illnesses and: Fiqh of Females Seeking Medical Treatment

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Using Cupping (Hijama) to Cure Illnesses

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: The prophet said ‘Whoever performs cupping (hijama) on the 17th, 19th or 21st day (of the Islamic, lunar month) then it is a cure for every disease.” [Saheeh Sunan abi Dawud (3861)]. Did the prophet mean whoever does hijama on these days there is a high chance Allah will cure them from disease? He did not mean whoever does hijama on these days will definitely be cured from all disease, correct?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever performs cupping on the 17th, 19th and 21st day of the month, it is a cure from every disease.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

The verifiers note that this tradition (hadith) is weak as understood from al-`Ayni and Ibn Hajar in their respective commentaries on the Sahih of Imam Bukhari.

Munawi, commentating on the tradition (hadith), notes that what is intended by “a cure from every disease” are those diseases that are from excess blood, and not simply a cure from “every” disease. [Fayd al-Qadir]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani