Part 20 – Series on the Shamaa’il (the noble character and sublime conduct) of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)

Chapter on the Cupping of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)

عن ابن عمر: أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم دعا حجاما فحجمه وسأله كم خراجك فقال: ثلاثة آصع فوضع عنه صاعا وأعطاه أجره (الشمائل المحمدية للترمذي، الرقم: 346)

Hazrat Ibnu Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) once called a hajjaam (cupper). The hajjaam carried out the treatment of cupping for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked him, “How much is your daily amount which you have to pay (to your master)?” He replied, “Three saa’.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) (interceded to his master and) had it reduced to two saa’, and (Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)) paid him his fee (for cupping).”

Commentary:

Apparently, the incident mentioned above is the same incident mentioned in the first Hadith of this chapter regarding the slave, Hazrat Abu Taibah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), and his administering the treatment of cupping for Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Initially, he had to pay his master three saa’ daily, then Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had interceded to his master and had it reduced to two saa’.

عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يحتجم في الأخدعين والكاهل وكان يحتجم لسبع عشرة وتسع عشرة وإحدى وعشرين (الشمائل المحمدية للترمذي، الرقم: 347)

Hazrat Anas bin Maalik (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) underwent the treatment of cupping on both sides of his mubaarak neck and between both shoulders, and he generally took this treatment on the seventeenth, nineteenth and the twenty first (of the lunar month).”

Commentary:

In this Hadith, mention is made of undergoing the treatment of cupping on the seventeenth, nineteenth and the twenty first of the lunar month. There is greater benefit when the cupping is carried out on these days compared to other days of the month. In fact, the benefit of undergoing the treatment of cupping on these dates is also mentioned in certain Ahaadith. The Yunani hakeems also agree with this. It is reported that Ibnu Sina had mentioned that it is not beneficial to take treatment of cupping in the beginning and end of the lunar month. This treatment should be taken after the middle of the lunar month.

From this Hadith, we understand that Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) underwent the treatment of cupping on different days of the month (the seventeenth, nineteenth and the twenty first) and on different parts of his mubaarak body.  Apart from this Hadith, the following Hadith as well as other Ahaadith also prove that Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) underwent cupping on different parts of his mubaarak body besides the parts mentioned in this Hadith (his mubaarak neck and the area between his mubaarak shoulders).

The reason for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) undergoing cupping was that he was poisoned on the occasion of the conquest of Khaybar. The Jews poisoned the food of Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and intended to kill him, so that he may not rule over them.

It is reported that a Jewish woman by the name of Zainab invited Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) for a meal and poisoned the food. The food spoke to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and informed him that it was poisoned. However, part of the food had already gone down the blessed throat of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the effects of the poison had entered his mubaarak body.

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) inquired from the woman regarding the matter and she confessed that she had poisoned the food with the intention of killing him.

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not take retribution for his personal self. However, after a Sahaabi who had partook of the meal passed away through the poison, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) took Qisaas (retribution) from her in lieu of the Sahaabi’s life.

Although Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not consume the whole portion of the poisoned meat, the effect of the portion eaten was such that it used to cause him pain at different times, especially in the summer season. Due to the poison mixing into his blood stream, he would perceive pain in different parts of his mubaarak body due to the effects of the poison. Hence, to remove the effects of the poison from his body, he underwent cupping on those parts of his mubaarak body where he felt pain.

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