Cupping Whilst Fasting

Islamic scholars differ on whether performing Hijama breaks the fast of the Cupper and the one having cupping done.

Narrated Thawbaan from the Messenger of Allah : “The Cupper and the one being cupped have broken their fast.”

Similar narrations have also been recorded on the authority of Raafi’ ibn Khadeej and many other Companions. Therefore, some scholars have categorised this narration as Mutawaatir (report with a continuous and consecutive chain of narrators).

However, Ibn ‘Abbaas narrates, “The Messenger of Allaah was cupped whilst he was in a state of Ihraam (ritual consecration), and he was also cupped whilst he was fasting.”

Narrated Ibn Abbas : “The Prophet was treated by Cupping while he was fasting.”

Also, Shu’bah said, “I heard Thaabit Al-Bunaani say: Anas ibn Maalik was asked ‘Did you [i.e., the Companions of the Prophet] dislike cupping for a fasting person?’ He said, ‘No, except for fear of weakness.’”

Abu Dawud similarly narrates that Anas said, “We did not dislike cupping for the fasting person, except that we were concerned about it inducing fatigue.”

Benefits and rulings derived from these narrations

  1. There are many narrations proving that cupping invalidates the fast of the one who performs it and for the one who gets it done. However, other narrations state that the Prophet was cupped while he was fasting. Consequently, the scholars disagreed on whether cupping is permissible for a fasting person or not. The majority of them are of the opinion that it is, and that the narrations that run contrary to that are abrogated by those narrations that indicate its permissibility. This opinion was supported by Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, Ibn Mas‘ood and Umm Salamah in addition to ‘Urwah and Sa‘eed ibn Jubayr . Likewise, this view was held by the three Scholars: Maalik, Abu Haneefah and Ash-Shaafi‘i. Shaykh al-Albaani also followed this opinion.
  2. On the other hand, Imaam Ahmad’s opinion was that cupping invalidates the fast; this was the stance taken by Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim also. The Permanent Committee for Research and Iftaa’ (issuance of religious rulings) in Saudi Arabia and the majority of Saudi scholars also chose this opinion.
  3. The Hadeeth of Anas proves that cupping weakens the fasting person and was thus forbidden. This is one of the merits of Sharee‘ah (Islamic jurisprudence), that it relieves people from difficulties and protects them against harms.
  4. The rationale behind the invalidation of the fast of the person who is cupped is that the procedure drains him. As for the one who does cupping, his fast is annulled too, because he may swallow some blood (during the process). However, if one does cupping using modern equipment, rather than his mouth, then the procedure does not render his fast null and void.


Opinion 1: Scholars who take this opinion say cupping invalidates the fast.
Opinion 2: Scholars who take this opinion say the narrations that mention the invalidation of the fast if cupped have been abrogated by the narrations that allow cupping whilst fasting.

Through our research and seeking advice, we take the opinion that it is permissible to have cupping done for a need (i.e. an illness). Otherwise avoid it because it weakens a person, and by avoiding it, it removes the person from the difference of opinion of the scholars.