Hijama (Cupping) is an Arabic word, derived from ‘Hajm’ which means ‘sucking’ and in traditional medicine for cupping. Hijama (Cupping) is the process of applying cups to various points on the body where blood is drawn by vacuum from a small skin incision for therapeutic purposes.
Hijama is the best remedy recommended and used by the Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). The Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam)said, “For every disease there is a cure so if the medicine comes upon the disease it cures it by the will of Allah, the Most High.” [Saheeh Muslim (2204)].
Prophet Muhammad(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) also said that on the night of Israa (his ascension to the heavens) he (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) did not pass by an angel except that it said to him, “Oh Muhammad, order your Ummah (nation) with cupping (hijama).” [Saheeh Sunan Tirmidhee (3479)]. This shows the importance and greatness of this Sunnah.
Cupping therapy is an incredibly ancient and universal practice that spans both East and West. In the primitive shamanistic practices of all the world’s indigenous peoples, there were certain shamans who specialized in the sucking out of illness and infirmity from the body.
In the East, the Chinese have been practicing the art of cupping for at least three thousand years. Along with Tui Na Massage, Acupuncture and Moxibustion, cupping forms part of the traditional bodywork or physiotherapy system of TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine. In Traditional Chinese Medicines, cupping is applied to the acupuncture points to relieve the stagnation of Qi and blood, both locally and in the organ(s) activated by the point.
In the West, cupping therapy had its birth in Egypt .The Ebers Papyrus, written around 1550 B.C.E., states that bleeding by wet cupping removes foreign matter from the body. In cupping, the ancient Egyptians saw the remedy for just about every disorder. The ancient Egyptians passed the art of cupping on to the ancient Greeks. Both Hippocrates and Galen were staunch advocates and users of cupping therapy.