Cupping means letting out bad blood that is beneath the skin as a kind of medical treatment. It was narrated from Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Healing is in three things: in the incision of the cupper, in drinking honey, and in cauterizing with fire, but I forbid my Ummah (nation) to use cauterization.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Azharite scholar, states the following: “Bloodletting or cupping is a practice approved of by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who used to pay amount of money for this therapeutic measure. Bloodletting is resorted to in treating headache. Some scholars adopt the view that when one makes cupping while he is fasting, the fast is broken for both the cupper and the person for whom it is done.”
Modern researches have culminated in the result that cupping is one of the most effective and safe therapeutic methods. It has proven effective for most of the contemporary illnesses. In addition, it represents a natural way of treatment that is free from side effects found in case of treatment with drugs. However, extreme measures of sterilization are to be taken so as to evade the slightest possibility of infection. This involves that the ware used in the process should be personal and used once.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says, “How good the cupper who relieves the person from bad blood, dries up the swelling and makes sharper and brighter one’s eyesight.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)
It has been reported also that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has undergone bloodletting and paid for the cupper. The modern scientists have discovered that bloodletting can cure some types of heart diseases, blood problems and some types of liver diseases. When the lungs get congested due to decline in heart beating, when all means of medication such as dieresis, tying up of hands and legs to reduce the inflow of blood towards the heart fail, then letting blood out by the medical process in question may prove effective curing the decline in heart beating.
Moreover, in case of sudden increase in blood pressure which may be accompanied by semi comma condition, it is bloodletting that is needed. Some cases of liver diseases, such as liver damage which does not respond to other medication measures, can be cured by bloodletting. Some blood diseases such as increase in the quantity of the hemoglobin may require treatment by bloodletting so as to avoid any side effects. It is important to mention that the numbers of red cells increase with those who live in high mountainous areas where there is some shortage of oxygen. It may be caused also by high temperature in which state sweat glands begin action and this leads to the increase in the numbers of red cells. Therefore to restore the number of hemoglobin, bloodletting measure is adopted. No wonder thus that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: “ How good is medication by bloodletting.”
Excerpted, with modifications, from: Muhammad Kamil `Abdus-Samad’s “Scientific Miracles of Islam and Sunnah”