Hijama / Cupping

Question

I live in Dallas, TX, USA and here the Muslim community is involved in "Hijama" It is very popular here and people say that it is Hijama and everyone should do it regularly. In Hijama they remove the blood of the body by making small cuts on skin and sticking vacuumed cups on different parts to suck the blood. The people who do that say it is a Sunnah and it is a remedy of many diseases. They say that Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) used to do it regularly. I need to know about the concept of Hijama and if it is indeed a "Sunnah".


Answer

We understand that the Messengers of God and the Books revealed to them are not sent in order to divulge medical knowledge to people; rather they were all sent to guide humans in religious matters. We therefore believe that the Book of God never touches upon any issue other than religion. We are supposed to apply all available knowledge, cures and remedies made available by medical science. Therefore, validity of the claim that the medicine the Holy Prophet (sws) is reported to have used or told others to use are sanctioned by God may be criticized but there is nothing wrong with using medicine which humans have discovered overtime.

We think it would be a serious misunderstanding to ascribe sanctity to the medicines the Holy Prophet (sws) is reported to have prescribed. All the Companions (rta) of the Holy Prophet (sws) and great Muslim scholars knew that there was nothing divine in the prescriptions of the Holy Prophet (sws); this is why we do not find them prescribing the so called Islamic medicines. Similar is the case of use of the Qur'anic verses as charms and drinking water after blowing on it in order to cure the sick. However, if someone claims that he has been cured through this process that does not prove the fact that the act is recommended by Islam. Indeed, people of very bad character use their charms and we see that the sick are healed. It is indeed one's faith in something that creates psychological effects on him and this produces positive results. When we recite the Holy Qur'an and pray to the Almighty with true faith in Him He listens to our prayer and cures our ailments. But such an act is quite distinct from that of the person who just does this as a process to obtain cure. We do believe that we should always apply all medical discoveries and modern knowledge in curing diseases. There is no problem in abandoning them or starting to use them again.

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