Al-Bukhari has written on this subejct in his chapter on Cupping. The
Prophet has ordained that cupping be performed and has said: There are
no remedies like cupping and the letting of blood. This tradition is pre�served by al-Bukhari.
It is said that there was once a man who complained to the Prophet
about pain in the head. All that he said in reply was: Be cupped. Nor will
there be pain in the feet if they are stained with henna. This is a tradition
related by Abu Dawuid. And many are the traditions on the advantages of
Among the stories about bleeding from veins are many which cannot
be denied. The Prophet made Abu bin Ka’b, the physician, acu-puncture
him and bleed him from a vein. Among traditional sayings are these two:
The best medicine is cupping. And: Cupping purifies the surface of the
body and bleeding from a vein purifies the inside.
Cupping is used in hot countries and venesection in cold. It is essential
to refrain from cupping in the hot bath except when the blood is very
thick. In this case it is good to take a hot bath and be cupped an hour later.
A full stomach is also a contra-indication. The Prophet said: Cupping on
an empty stomach is a medicine, on a full stomach a disease.
Ibn Maja says that he heard Bin ‘Umr say: Benefit is to be sought in
blood. So summon for me a friendly bleeder and let him not be too old or
young. For I myself have heard the Prophet say: Cupping on an empty
stomach is best, for in it lies healing; but not to do it at all has even more of
safety and wisdom.
Cupping beneath the chin helps pain in the teeth and face. Cupping
on the legs is good for boils on the thighs and for gout and piles and
irritation of the back. The benefits of cupping are even more than I have
stated, even double this. But to apply a cup over a boney prominence
ruins the
It is the manifest opinion of Ahmed that a fee for cupping is abhorrent.
Said Ibn ‘Abbas: I cupped the Prophet and he paid me a fee. Now, if
the Prophet knew that this was evil, he would not have given it. This
tradition was extracted by al-Bukhari.
With regard to the sites for cupping, al-Bukhari says: Said Ibn ‘Abbas:
I cupped the Prophet for a pain in the head. In another tradition he says
it was for hemicrania. But Anas
says: The Prophet was cupped “fi il�akhaz’ayn wa il-kahal”. Al-Tirmidhi, too, reports this tradition. Now, the
word “akhaz’ayn” means “the sides of the neck” and “al-kahal” means
“above the
top of the neck”. Abu Harira says that Abu Hind cupped the
Prophet on the vertex of the skull. So says Abu Dawuid also. Anas says
he was cupped on the top of the foot. So also say al-Tirmidhi and al�Nasa’i.
With regard to the days upon which cupping is preferred Abu Harira
said: The Prophet said: He who is cupped on the I7th, i9th, or 2ist. day
of the month, will be cured of every disease. This is related by Abu Dawufd.
As for his saying “cured of every disease”, the reason for this is the
supremacy of blood. Al-Tirmidhi relates almost the same tradition from
Abu Bakr used to forbid his family to be cupped on a Tuesday and gave
Folio 26 the Prophet as his authority. He added: On that day blood does not
readily clot.
But I maintain that this prohibition is all very well for cupping in
times of health. But if a man is ill or in dire necessity, one will forget
whether the date is the i7th. or the 2oth.
Said al-Jallal: ‘Ismad bin ‘Asim told me that Hanbal had told them that
Ahmed ibn Hanbal used to apply cups at any time when the blood was
violent and at
any hour. This is what he said. And al-Bukhari said that
Abu Muisa was cupped at night.
Cupping originated in Ispahan.
say that cupping should be performed when the moon is
waning and venesection when the moon is waxing.
Be it known that venesection if it is carried out in the
wrong place or
when not needed, weakens the Faculties and evacuates healthy humours
in addition to injurious ones. Venesection and cupping should be avoided
by those suffering from enteritis, by those convalescent, by the very old,
by those with a weak liver or stomach, by those palsied of face or feet,
and by pregnant, lying-in and menstruous women.
The best times for venesection and cupping are a Monday at any
time or a Tuesday during the daylight according to the season. Spring is
the best seasonfor venesection,excretionby vomiting,for the quietening
of materiesmorbi and for much sexual indulgence. Summeris the time
for cold foods which destroy bile, for a restrictedsexual intercourse,for
avoidingloss of blood, and for greateruse of the hot bath.In the autumn
let a man bewareof the cool of the earlymorningandthe heatof the mid�Folio 27 day. Let him also avoid all that createsspleen and let him make greater
use of the hot bath. Let a manmeet winterby extraclothesandby strong,
thickfoods, such as bread-and-milkbroth. Traditionis plentifulin praise
of these things. All this is relatedby al-Bukhari.
Said the Prophet:Verily ‘Ayeshaexcels otherwomen as bread-and-milk
brothexcels otherfoods. And he added:There is a blessingin bread-and�milk broth:see that it contains much meat.
Verilya manshoulddesirea copiousflowandanexit of bloodandvomit.
And in winterhe should increasehis movementsand his sexualactivities.