Question # 443: Is there any authentic hadith that speaks about preferred days for Hijaamah (cupping)?
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Shorter Answer: There are some ahadith that indicate performing Hijamah is only permissible on some particular days and forbidden on some other days, but all these ahadith are da’eef (weak) according to leading scholars. Ibn Hajar stated in Fath Al-Bari, after mentioning these ahadith: “But all these ahadith are not authentic; Hanbal ibn Ishaaq said, ‘(Imam) Ahmad used to undergo Hijamah at any time when his blood was agitated and at any hour.’”
Long Answer: There are many ahadith from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) about the timing of cupping, which refer to his words or actions. They may be divided into two categories:
- Ahadith which state the preferred days for cupping, which are the seventeenth – especially if it happens to be a Tuesday – the nineteenth and the twenty-first of the lunar month, and Mondays and Thursdays among the days of the week.
- Ahadith which forbid cupping on certain days of the week, namely Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. There are also ahadith which encourage doing cupping on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Most of the leading scholars have stated that all the ahadith in these two categories are da’eef and not one of them is soundly narrated from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). There follow some of their statements:
- Imam Malik was asked about cupping on Saturdays and Wednesdays, and he said: “There is nothing wrong with that; there is no day on which I have not had cupping done, and I do not regard any of that as makrooh.” (Al-Muntaqa Sharh al-Muwatta’ quoted from al-‘Atabiyyah)
It says in al-Fawaakih ad-Dawaani, which is a Maliki book: “(Cupping is permissible) on all days, even Saturdays and Wednesdays. In fact, Malik deliberately used to have cupping done on those days, and he did not regard any kind of medical treatment as makrooh on those two days. The ahadith which warn against cupping on those days were not regarded as sahih by Malik (رضي الله عنه).”
- ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Mahdi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “There is no sahih report from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) concerning the timing of cupping; however, he enjoined doing it.” (Narrated by Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Mawdoo‘aat)
- Al-Khallaal narrated from Imam Ahmad that the hadith is not proven. (Narrated by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari)
- Al-Bardha‘i said: “I saw Abu Zar‘ah not confirming any hadith about cupping being makrooh on a particular day or being mustahabb on a particular day.” (Su’aalaat al-Bardha‘i)
- Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said, commenting on the words of Imam al-Bukhari, ‘Chapter on what time cupping should be done, and Abu Moosa had cupping done at night’: “Concerning the suitable times for cupping, there are ahadith none of which meet his (al-Bukhari’s) conditions. It is as he was indicating that it may be done when needed, and it is not restricted to one time rather than another, because he mentioned cupping being done at night.” (Fath al-Bari)
- Al-‘Aqeeli (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “No report has been proven sound about this matter – i.e., the best day for cupping.” (Ad-Du‘afa’ al-Kabeer)
- Ibn al-Jawzi (may Allah have mercy on him) included some chapters in his book al-Mawdoo‘aat in which he compiled these ahadith on this topic, after which he said: “None of these ahadith are sahih.”
- Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “To sum up, nothing is proven about the prohibition on cupping on particular days.” (al-Majmoo‘) However, an-Nawawi classed as hasan the hadith about doing cupping on the seventeenth, nineteenth and twenty-first (of the lunar month).
- Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “None of these ahadith is sahih.” (Fath al-Bari)
[Next,] many of the scholars regarded it as mustahabb to do cupping on the seventeenth, nineteenth and twenty-first of the lunar month… That was narrated with sahih isnads from the Sahabah (رضي الله عنهم): It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (رضي الله عنه) said: “The Companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to do cupping on the odd-numbered days of the month.” (Narrated by at-Tabarani in Tahdheeb al-Athaar; he said: Muhammad ibn Bashshaar told us: Abu Dawood told us: Hisham told us, from Qataadah, from Anas) This is a sahih isnad. Abu Zar‘ah said: The best report concerning it is the hadith of Anas: The companions of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to do cupping on the seventeenth, nineteenth and twenty-first. (Su’aalaat al-Bardha‘i)
After the report mentioned above, at-Tabari also narrated that Rafee‘ Abu’l-‘Aaliyah said: “They used to regard it as mustahabb to do cupping on odd-numbered days of the month.” It was narrated that Ibn ‘Awn said: “Some of his companions used to advise doing cupping on the seventeenth and nineteenth.” Ahmad said: Sulaym said: Hisham told us, from Muhammad, that he added: and the twenty-first.
Perhaps the Sahabah learned that from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), which gives the impression that these ahadith were originally marfoo’. In fact, some of the scholars are of the view that some of the marfoo’ ahadith concerning that are qawiy, such as Imam at-Tirmidhi when he narrated the hadith of Anas ibn Malik (رضي الله عنه) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to have cupping done on the two veins at the side of the neck and between the shoulder blades, and he used to have cupping done on the seventeenth, nineteenth and twenty-first. He (at-Tirmidhi) said: A hasan hadith.
Some of the later scholars did likewise, such as as-Suyooti in al-Haawi li’l-Fataawa; Ibn Hajar al-Haytami in al-Fataawa; and Shaykh al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Sahihah.
However, the texts …mentioned above from the imams, which described the marfoo’ report as da’eef, are more likely to be correct.
(The above reply is based on the following resources:
- Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar
- Answer provided by Islam Q&A on similar topics)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.