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The Olympics, Cupping and Prophet Muhammad

So the Olympics 2016 in Rio is in full flow and a few athletes have already won gold.

However, many people are talking about red marks seen on athletes such as US swimmer Michael Phelps’s, Gymnast Alex Naddour and others. These red marks are caused by cupping and many people are curious about it.

Mike Phelps Cupping

Mike Phelps with the red marks caused by cupping

This isn’t too surprising to Muslims though. Why? Because it has been a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) who practiced it and recommend it more than 1400 years ago!

Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping (hijama)…” Bukhari (5371)


Even the Angels were talking about it!

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, I did not pass by any group of angels on the night of Al Isra’, except they said to me: “O Muhammad, tell your nation to do cupping”. Ibn Majah, 3477

So, what is it?

Hijama حجامة‎‎ “sucking” is the Arabic term for wet cupping, where blood is drawn by vacuum from a small skin incision for therapeutic purposes.

There is also a ‘dry cupping’ which does not draw out the blood (like the previous pic). Some use it for massaging; using olive oil in order to make easy movement of the cups.

(Warning the following picture is not for the faint-hearted!)


Does it hurt?

The pain is minimal, like a prick, but then again it depends on what hurts you and what doesn’t! However, this is a great Sunnah and benefits your body a lot. So don’t lose out.

What’s the medical benefits from the Sunnah?

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) done Hijamah to cure Headaches, poison, spiritual evils etc. …

Other medical benefits…

Hijama therapy helps treat the following conditions: fatigue, period pain, constipation and diarrhea, headaches, back pain, arthritis, injuries, asthma, anemia, depression and emotional problems, atrophy, sciatica, common cold and flu, skin problems, emotional problems, depression and much more. Learn more here.

Can women do it too?

Yes. There are many sisters who perform Hijamah, so ask around for someone trustworthy inshaAllah.

Sunnah Days

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever performs cupping (hijama) on the 17th, 19th or 21st day (of the Islamic, lunar month) then it is a cure for every disease.” Sunan Abi Dawud

How does it feel?

Alhamdulillah I have done Hijamah myself and I can tell you at the beginning it can be a little nerve wracking, but you feel good after doing it. Getting rewards of Sunnah as well as benefiting your body. The last time I did it was in the great city of Madinah. The Hajjam emphasised so much on the Sunnah that I increased the number of cups I initially asked for! I had such a lovely sleep the very next day after getting it done! Try it 🙂

The British Muslims Representing Britain in the 2016 Olympics

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