The history of Hijama (Cupping)
The practice has been around for thousands of years and was used by almost every civilization in the world as a medicinal intervention since the beginning of recorded history. The fact that the therapy exists (or has existed) and is known in almost every spoken language including French, English, Polish, Russian, Kiswahili, Somali, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Malay, Japanese, Thai, Greek, Urdu, Persian, Bengali etc. etc is a huge testimony to its significance as a therapeutic intervention on a global scale.
There was also specific mention of hijama in the Jewish Talmudic writings which describe rules for its practice and similar outlines are mentioned in early Christian writings also.
In the East, hijama was always an integral part of the medical practices and remains so to this day. The ancient Chinese medical text which is widely regarded as the oldest medical text in existence, the Nei Jing, or Inner Classic says that: “If there is stagnation it must be first be resolved through hijama before the application of acupuncture or moxibustion.”
Hijama/Wet Cupping existed before the time of the prophet Muhammad. Ancient Egyptians were the first to document the process of Wet Cupping/Hijama describing it as a useful way of removing pathogenic matter from the body. The ancient Greek were also advocates of Wet Cupping/Hijama, some believe the Greeks were introduced to Wet Cupping/Hijama by the ancient Egyptians. It is also believed by some that Cupping originates from China and ancient Chinese medical scriptures, which are regarded as the oldest medical scripture, referring to the removal of blood from the body to resolve stagnation. Although Hijama existed even before the time of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), it has now become a part of Islamic tradition and teachings because the treatment has been recommended and its importance has been stressed by the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) as he himself had it performed on him on many occasions. Hence this is why Hijama/Wet Cupping is Sunnah and should be done in accordance with Islamic teachings and principals making it an important treatment, therapy and procedure in its own right with its own merits.
Today, Hijama (cupping) has gained immense attention from celebrities as well as attention bought to the therapy by sports athletes too.