The Cupping Argument
Wet Cupping (Hijama) is the ancient medical practice of making shallow incisions over an area of skin and then placing a heated cup on the that area; as the cup cools, the reduced pressure causes some blood to flow out of the incisions and into the cup. This is usually done on the skin of the human back.
According to most Muslims scholars this act is considered to be a Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet (s). Although contemporary science has not been able to find any real medical benefit to cupping, there is evidence that it can remove some bodily pain and make people feel more relaxed.
Some supporters of blood flagellation say that these rituals are similar to cupping and thus also recommended. They say that blood flagellation releases blood and so does cupping and that is where the similarity lies.
The Ahlulbayt (a) prohibit the use of Qiyas (unjustifiable analogy) and they criticize those who use it to derive Islamic rulings. Cupping is not Tatbir, and nor is it Zanjeer. We must avoid making this false analogy. Cupping is a clinical procedure that is performed by professionals in a private environment with health and safety measures in place. There is no risk of catching blood borne diseases and it does not create a revolting scene in public that is used to revile the religion. The incisions made in cupping are very small and shallow in comparison to the cuts made by these blood rituals.
Comparing blood flagellation to cupping is like comparing it to any other medical operation that requires the cutting of the skin.
Also, cupping draws out blood from the body in a completely different manner to that of blood flagellation. Therefore those who have experienced cupping, say that it produces effects that are very different to ordinary forms of bloodletting.
Furthermore, contrary to the false allegations of some blood flagellation propagandists, there is no scientific evidence at all that the blood shedding rituals are medially beneficial.