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By Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Question: Muhtaram Mufti Saheb What is the Sharée status of cupping? Is it just a form of treatment or is there any virtue in undergoing it?

Answer: Brother-in-Islam

Cupping is a therapeutic process of removing unclean blood from the body . It is a form of medical treatment which has been recommended by Shariáh. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) underwent cupping many times.

During the battle of Khaibar in 7 AH with the Jews, a Jewish woman prepared some meat which she filled with deadly poison and presented to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). (Bukhari). Upon tasting the meat the poison affected Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) used to undergo cupping in order to relieve him from the effects of the poison in his blood. (Shamaail Tirmidhi).

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was once hurt on his leg. Hence (probably due to the clogging of the blood), he underwent cupping on his leg. (Mishkăt p. 389)

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Jibraaeel (Álayhis salaam) repeatedly emphasised upon me to resort to cupping to the extent that I feared that cupping will be made compulsory.’ (Jamúl Wasaail p. 179).

Hadhrat Anas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, ‘The best medicine is cupping.’ (Shamaail, chapter of Cupping)

Hadhrat Abu Kabsha (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) narrates that Rasulullah (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.’ (Mishkăt p. 389)

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) praised a person who performs cupping, saying it removes blood, lightens the back and sharpens the eyesight (Jamúl Wasaail p. 179) The above quoted Ahaadith are clear that cupping was practised by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) himself and strongly recommended by him.

The scholars advise that administering medicine requires medical expertise. Therefore, with regard to any medical treatment recommended by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), due to health and medical intricacies, one must exercise caution and consult with a physician. Similarly, with regard to cupping, although it is strongly recommended by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), one must consult with a medical practitioner before undergoing cupping.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) has also given some guidelines regarding cupping. Once he came across a fasting person who underwent cupping and became weak. Hence, he said, ‘The person who underwent cupping broke his fast.’ (Jamúl Wasaail p. 179) Mullah Áli Qari (Rahmatullaahi Álayhi) while explaining the Hadith states that since a person is already weak by fasting, undergoing cupping weakens him further. Thus such a person due to feeling extremely weak may be forced to break his fast.

He further states that in the light of the principle understood from the Hadith, cupping should not be administered immediately after having a hot bath, or while the belly is full. Hadhrat Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said: ‘One should not undergo cupping during the 13, 14 and 15 of the lunar month.’ Some Muhadditheen explain that on those days the full moon has a gravitational impact on many things on earth. For example, the sea has high tides due to the full moon. Similarly, the flowing of the blood is also affected and flows faster during the full moon. One may loose much blood in these days if one undergoes cupping. Therefore, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) advised that one should undergo cupping on the 17, 19 and 21 of the lunar month. (Mishkăt p. 389). Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) advised that cupping should not be done on a Tuesday, since there is a certain time on a Tuesday that flowing blood does not stop. (Mishkăt p. 389). Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) also advised that cupping should not be done on Saturdays and Wednesdays as this could lead to leprosy. (Mishkăt p. 389)
And Allah Taăla Knows Best.


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