Definition

Al hijamah is a Sunnah as well as a medical treatment. The word ‘hijamah’ is derived its origin from the word al-hajm which carries the meaning: to suck, to absorb, or to extract. It described a medical treatment whereby ‘dirty’ blood is extracted from the body by a suction cup attached to a lightly incised skin surface.

It was a common practice in the traditional Arabic Medicines and is a Sunnah that was practiced and promoted by our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

Its Origin and variations
History is ubiquitous of the therapeutic use of blood letting, from the Greek to the Chinese passing through the Arabs. The Chinese called their practice of blood letting the ‘Gua-Sha,’ the Malaysian called it ‘BEKAM.’

The Procedure
The steps involved in al hijamah are as follow:
1. The area where hijamah is to be practices is first shaved, cleaned and marked
2. Superficial incisions are made within the marked area
3. The suction cup is applied on the skin producing a vaacum inside
4. The vaacum created negative pressure which sucks blood from the incisions
5. After enough blood is extracted, the cup is removed, and the blood washed away

Types of Cups
There are various types of cups depending on the culture and type of treatment. Below are some type of cups used:
1. Glass cups
2. Plastic cups
3. Animal horns
4. Bamboo jars

Its Benefits
The great physicians of Islam, such as Ibn Sina and Abul Qasim Al-Zahrawi have written lots about the benefits of al hijama. Modern day medicine classifies al hijamah as belonging to the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) field. There are various ahadith about the virtues of hijamah. Read more