Hijāmah (Cupping) while Fasting in Ramadān and the Benefits of Hijāmah

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Hijāmah (Cupping) while Fasting

Abdullāh bin ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) stated: “The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) had himself cupped whilst in a state of ihrām and while he was fasting.”[1] In another hadīth, Shaddād bin Aws (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) came across a man who was being cupped in Ramadan, so he said: ‘The fast of the cupper and the cupped is broken.’[2]

And it is narrated from Anas bin Mālik (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) that he said: “The first time that cupping was disapproved for the fasting person was when Ja’far bin Abī Tālib (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) had himself cupped while he was fasting. So, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) came across him and said: ‘Both of them have broken their fast.’ Afterwards, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) allowed cupping for the fasting person. And Anas bin Mālik (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) would have himself cupped while he was fasting.[3]

Hijāmah is to extract blood from the body using a cupping vessel. It is a well-known remedy from the medicine of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam). The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) stated: “If there is any good in your remedies, then it is in a gulp of honey, in the cup of a cupper or in cauterisation with fire but I do not like to be cauterised with fire.”[4]

So, in cupping there is a cure by the permission of Allah if the cupper is skilled and the cupping coincides with the correct day, and the body accepts the treatment. If all of these conditions are met, then the bad blood will exit the body. Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) stated: “Whoever wants to be cupped, then let him search for the 17th, 19th and 21st days of the [lunar] month―and let not any of you allow his blood to rage such that it kills him.”[5]

Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) said: “O Nafi’, the blood is boiling in me, find me a cupper, but let it be someone gentle if you can, not an old man or a young boy, for I heard the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) say: ‘Cupping on an empty stomach is better, and in it, there is healing and blessing, and it increases one’s intellect and memory. So, have yourselves cupped for the blessing of Allah on Thursdays, and avoid cupping on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Have yourselves cupped on Mondays and Tuesdays, for that is the day on which Allah relieved Ayyub (alaihis-salām) of affliction―and He inflicted him on a Wednesday, and leprosy and leukoderma only appear on Wednesdays, or on the night of Wednesday.’[6]

Ibn ‘Abbās stated that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) had himself cupped whilst in a state of ihrām and while he was fasting.[7] So, this proves that he was cupped while in ihrām for Hajj or ‘Umrah and while he was fasting. This was during the final Hajj of the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam). Before that, it was forbidden just as Anas (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) stated: “The first time that cupping was disapproved for the fasting person was when Ja’far bin Abī Tālib (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) had himself cupped while he was fasting. So, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) came across him and said: ‘Both of them have broken their fast.’ Afterwards, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) allowed cupping for the fasting person.” And Anas bin Mālik (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) would have himself cupped while he was fasting.[8]

So, the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) initially forbade cupping while fasting as is reported also in the hadīth of Shaddād bin Aws (radiyallāhu ‘anhu), then later he allowed it, which proves that the allowance abrogated the earlier prohibition.

The majority of the scholars and three of the four well-known Imāms of the madhhabs[9] hold that the fasting person’s fast is not broken through cupping in accordance with the hadīth of Anas (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) which proves that was initially prohibited, then later allowed and Anas himself was cupped on that basis.[10]


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[1] Al-Bukhāri (no. 1938)

[2] Ahmad (no. 1712), Abu Dawūd (no. 2369), Ibn Mājah (no. 1681), An-Nasā’ī in Al-Kubrā (no. 3138), Ibn Hibbān (no. 3533), and authenticated by Al-Albāni in Al-Irwā (no. 931).

[3] Reported by Ad-Dāruqutnī (2/182) and he graded it to be strong saying: All the narrators are reliable and there is not known that it has any defect.

[4] Al-Bukhāri (no. 5702), Muslim (no. 2205).

[5] Ibn Mājah (no. 3486), sahīh.

[6] Ibn Mājah (no. 3487).

[7] Al-Bukhāri (no. 1938)

[8] Reported by Ad-Dāruqutnī (2/182) and he graded it to be strong saying: All the narrators are reliable and there is not known that it has any defect.

[9] The three being Abu Hanīfah (died 150H), Mālik (died 179H) and Ash-Shāfi’ī (died. 204H), may Allah’s mercy be upon them all.

[10] See Al-Badā’ius-Sanā’i’ (2/266), Al-Bidāyatul-Mujtahid (1/437), Al-Umm (2/127), Naylul-Awtār (4/275,578).

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