This a common question that arises during the holy month of Ramadan as some people are uncertain if Cupping will break the fast. The topic is up for discussion as there are two different opinions on the matter based on the evidences available. It can differ based on what school of thought or scholars you like to follow. Please see our bookings page if you wish to book a session
We have summarised the arguments for you here:
Opinions against Hijama When Fasting
According to Imam Ahmad and Ishaq and other Hadith scholars, Hijama (cupping) makes fasting invalid. This is also the opinion of some of the Sahaba and the Taabi’een. They held the view that the fasting of the cupper and the cupped is rendered invalid. Their argument is based on the hadith of Thawban, that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The cupper and the cupped have broken the fast.”
The second evidence is the hadith of Shaddad ibn Aws, who said:
“The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) came across a man in Al-Baqi’ holding my hand on the 18th day of Ramadan and said: ‘The cupper and the cupped have broken the fast.'”
A similar hadith was reported by Rafi’ ibn Khudayyii, Abu Hurairah (ra) and Abu Musa Al Ashari.
Reported in Sunan Abu Dawud and In Majah for both and also Sunan an-Nasa’i with sound chains of transmission according to Imaam an-Nawawi found in Al-Majmu’ (6/349-350) and also Fath Al-Bari (5/79).
“There are those people of knowledge among the Companions of the Prophet and others, who disliked cupping for the fasting person, such that some of the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) would be cupped during the night, among them are Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari and Ibn ‘Umar and this is also the view of Ibn Al-Mubarak.”Tirmidhi – 774
Opinions For Hijama When Fasting
The other opinion is that cupping does not invalidate the fast because of these narrations because they have been abrogated by the following hadith:
In Abbas narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) was cupped while he was in the state of Ihram and also while he was observing a fast. And he also narrated the Prophet (pbuh) was cupped while he was fasting.
[Sahih al-Bukhari – 1938, 1939, 5694, 5698, 5700]
Thabit Al-Bunani narrated Anas bin Malik was asked whether they disliked the cupping for a fasting person. He replied in the negative and said, ‘Only if it causes weakness.’ [Sahih al-Bukhari – 1940]
Our recommendation regarding Hijama whilst fasting
Again, because there is a difference of opinion in this matter, one should only follow an opinion that they are sure about. Either consult their local imam or person of knowledge or undertake their own extensive research on the matter.
We would advise irrespective of your personal opinion, do NOT perform Hijama on a fasting person due to health and safety concerns. If the person faints or has any adverse reactions, you will either put their safety at risk or their fast at risk
Also see this detailed answer on IslamQA about Hijama During Fasting