Cupping (al-Hijamah) is a Sunnah method of medical treatment in which a jar is attached to the skin surface to course a local congestion through the negative pressure created by a vacuum apparatus or by introducing heat in the form of ignited material. This type of treatment has been practiced by the Arabs and the Chinese for thousands of years.
In Malay, this practice is known as ‘Bekam’ and in Arabic ‘Al-Hijamah’ This therapy has been popularized by our Nabi Mohammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam as stated in many ahaadith.
The Cupping Method or Hijamah has the function of warming and promoting the flow of energy in the blood thus dispelling cold, dampness, toxins and winds. It also diminishes swelling and pains.
Jabir bin Abdullaah (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) relates that he heard Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) saying:
“If there is any good in your treatments it is in
the blade of the Hajjaam, a drink of honey or branding by fire (cauterization),
Whichever suits the ailment, and I do not like to be cauterized”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Abu Hurairah (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) narrates that Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said:
“Whoever has Hijamah done on the 17th, 19th or 21st of the month, it will be for him a cure from every illness”
(Sahih Al-Jaami’ 5968)
Abdullaah ibn Abbas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) reported that the Rasul (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said,
“I did not pass by an angel from the angels on the night journey except that they all said to me: Upon you is Hijamah, O Muhammad.”
[Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3477).
In the narration reported by Abdullaah ibn Mas’ud (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) the angels said,
“Oh Muhammad, order your Ummah (nation) with Hijamah.”
[Saheeh Sunan Tirmidhi (3479)]
Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) praised a person who performs Hijamah, saying
“It removes blood, lightens the back and sharpens the eyesight”
(Jamúl Wasaail p. 179)
Hadhrat Abu Kabsha (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) narrates that Rasulullaah(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) used to undergo cupping on the head and between his shoulders and he used to say,
‘Whosoever removes this blood, it will not harm him that he does not take any other medical treatment.’
THE BEST DAYS FOR CUPPING
The 17th, 19th and 21st of the Islamic month which coincides with Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. Anas ibn Maalik (Radiallahu Anhu) reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, “Whoever wants to perform cupping then let him look for 17th, 19th and 21st…” [Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah (3486)].
Ibn Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, “Cupping on an empty stomach is best. It increases the intellect and improves the memory. It improves the memory of the one memorising. So whoever is going to be cupped then on a Thursday in the name of Allaah. Keep away from being cupped on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Be cupped on a Monday or Tuesday. Do not be cupped on a Wednesday because it is the day that Ayoub was befallen with the trial. You will not find leprosy except (by being cupped) on Wednesday or Wednesday night.” [Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3488)].
As for the Islamic day and night, the night enters before the day. So at sunset on Tuesday, Wednesday night comes in. Cupping is best performed during the day time between sunrise and sunset. If one is not able to be cupped on 17th, 19th or 21st (coinciding with Monday, Tuesday or Thursday) then any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday of the month.