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Cupping: Effective Medical Treatment
By: Dr. / Zaghloul El-Naggar
Jabir Ibn 'Abdullah (A.S.) narrated "the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
"If there is any effective remedy amongst your medical treatments, they are in cupping, drinking honey, and cauterization with the help of fire, but I do not like cauterization (in another narration, "and I prohibit my nation from cauterization.)."
Explanation of the Hadith
Cupping is a form of medical treatment that depends on creating a vacuum on the sick parts, or on certain predetermined zones of the body. Special suction cups, with two openings are used, as air is sucked from one opening, and the other is placed on the determined zone. The skin surface, to which the cup is attached, gets congested with blood through the negative pressure. Very small and superficial incisions are made in this congested skin, the length of which should not exceed 3 centimeters and no more than 1.5 mm in depth and blood is sucked through these incisions.
Cupping was used in many ancient civilizations, including Arabs before Islam. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) approved such use, and later it was transferred to Europe through Muslims in Andalusia, and still used up till today. The Prophet (PBUH) recommended the use of cupping in cases of a severe headache, which leads to an increase in blood pressure. It is also useful in cases of unilateral and migraine, severely twisted joints and generally speaking in cases of severe pain, all of which have been proved through medical research.
Cupping is similar in a way to acupuncture or certain massage techniques, as it stimulates the part suffering from pain to send pulses to the sensory and involuntary control centers in the brain, calling out for help. Immediately as the pulses or signals reach these centers, large amounts of chemicals and hormones are released from the affected part, and are sent to central areas in the brain. The brain sends its orders to various systems, which are responsible for the biological operations in the body, giving them orders to save the affected part. Medical research proved that the best treatment is that which the body performs by itself.
That is why the Prophet (PBUH) said:
"The cupper is a good servant (of Allah), as cupping release blood, relieves the spinal cord and enhances vision."
The fact that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) recommended cupping as an effective way of treatment means the necessity of treating all diseases with all available scientific procedures. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
"There is healing for every illness, so if the right treatment is used, the patient is cured by the Will of Allah,"
"Take medicine (or treatment) O slaves of Allah! Allah the Almighty has made a cure for every disease, except for death."
Jabir Ibn 'Abdullah narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) was cupped on his thigh because of a severe twisting in his joint.
Anas Ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) was cupped on the back of his foot, while in a state of Ihram, because of a pain he was suffering in his foot. Ibn 'Abbas, moreover, narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) was cupped on his head while, in a state of Ihram, when he suffered from migraine.
Cupping was scientifically proved to be very effective in all the cases described by the Prophet (PBUH).