Cupping: Through the eyes of media today

Originally taken from

Another sign for sleeping souls…

By Fakeha Neelofar

Sharjah, U.A.E

The Olympics are a global news catcher. Every sports fan, young and old, during the Olympic season, is glued to their Television sets, pitching for their favourite sports person and athlete.

Rio Olympic 2016 brought a practice in news that has been universally applauded due to the stardom of sports, but has been a part of the Islamic history since thousands of years.

So what is this hot topic in the media these days?

– Michael Phelps, an American former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, makes yet more history to win 22nd Olympic gold. But what captured everyone’s attention, and began a worldwide social media discussion, were the dark reddish purple circular marks on the back of the Swimmer. The marks are the result of a therapy called Cupping, or Hijama.

– Former Team USA swimmer Natalie Coughlin introduced Michael Phelps to cupping about ten years ago, and says athletes wear their marks as a ‘badge of honor’. Coughlin says the therapy speeds up the recovery process – allowing the likes of Phelps to compete night after night without a break.

After reading about all this hype, what is the normal reaction?

“The scripture (media) just directed us to something beneficial…Let’s read about it.”

What is Cupping/Hijamah?

Hijamah comes from the root Al-Hajm, which means “sucking”. The practice of applying partial vacuum through glass cups or plastic cups causes the tissues beneath the cup to be drawn up and swell. This increases blood flow to the affected area. The enhanced blood flow draws impurities and toxins away from the nearby tissues and organs towards the surface for elimination through the break in the skin layer created by incisions made on the skin.        This therapy dates back to thousands of years but Islam is the only religion that stresses its use and recommends it to treat many diseases.

Ibn ‘Abbaas (رضي الله عنه) reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Healing is to be found in three things: drinking honey, the knife of the cupper, and cauterization of fire.”

(Al-Bukhaari, 10/136).

Narrated Abu Hurayrah ( رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“The best medical treatment you apply is cupping.”

(Sunan Abi Dawood, 3857)

You can get Hijamah done for any type of pain in the body because pain is either from a superficial part like muscle or from an organ. Hijamah is beneficial for endocrine problems, for improvement of blood circulation, gall bladder problems, psychiatric problems, depression, insomnia, stomach and gynecological problems, stones in kidney, renal pain, diabetes, colon (any obstruction in sanity disposal), arm problems, numbness, cervical and ovary problems, osteoporosis, sciatic nerve, varicose veins, skin diseases, immunity, speech, sexual problems, memory, paralysis, ear and eye problems, facial paralysis, thyroid problems, back pain, hip pain, knee pain, behavior exchanges, autism, sinus, any addiction, tongue problems, menstruation or infertility, heel pain, urine leakage, urinary problems and many many more.

While doing my Islamic studies degree course, I heard about Hijamah for the first time and got to know that practicing it is a Sunnah (a tradition of prophet ).

Therefore, I decided to study it further and got enrolled in a Diploma course. After completing the course, I was so impressed that I invited my family to try it. Some of them agreed but most of them stayed away, some even thought of it as ‘ridiculous’—because their scripture (media) never talked about it. According to these people, Sunnah was only for the people of ‘those days’ and they have their latest technologies and medicines to deal with everything today. But now since their scripture has showed them so many examples in Rio Olympics 2016, they are ready to give it a shot. This is another sign for the sleeping souls.

And on the earth are signs for the certain [in faith]

(Al- Qur’an, 51:20)

In another place:

So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?

(Al- Qur’an, 55: 38)

The age-old practice of Hijamah has surpassed all modern medicines and technologies, that too without any side-effects. According to some doctors, one sitting of Hijamah is equal to three months of physiotherapy. Sub’han Allah.

Allah, Al Khaliq, created us. He, Al Hadi, guided us through Qur’an and His prophet (ﷺ). He, Ash Shafi, gave us the solution to not only our spiritual diseases but also our physical ailments.

So flee to Allah…

(Al- Qur’an, 51:50)

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