Chapter 12: On the Adab of Medication

1. In Qurb al-Isnad: In his narration from Husayn ibn Dhareef from, al-Husayn ibn ‘Alwan, from Ja’far from his father (as): The Holy Prophet (S) got the center of his head cupped.1 Abu Dhabiyyah performed the cupping with his special instrument and the Holy Prophet (S) gave him one sa’ (three kilos) of dates. He (also) said: The Noble Prophet (S) would introduce sesame-seed oil nasally (putting it in his nose) when he had a headache.2

Note: al-Kulayni has also mentioned a similar narration.3 It has also been mentioned in the section on cleanliness, he (S) would (also) put oil on his eyebrows (to get relief) from headaches.

2. In al-Kafi: Narrated from Bakr ibn Salih, al-Nawfali and others, attributing it to Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) did not use any medicine for the common cold, saying: “There is nobody who is not susceptible to leprosy, so when he catches the cold, it subdues the leprosy.”4

3. Also: Narrated from Muhammad ibn al-Fayd’ who said: I told Abi ‘Abdillah (as): “A person from among us became sick so he was ordered by the healers to (stick to a certain) diet.” He said: “But we, the Ahl al-Bayt, do not diet except from dates, and we use apple and cold water as remedies.” I said: “And why do you diet from dates?” He replied: “Because the Holy Prophet (S) prescribed this diet for ‘Ali (as) when he was ill.”5

Note: al-Saduq has narrated this in al-’Ilal6 and similar narrations have also been narrated by others.7

Addendum to this Chapter

1. In Ma’ani al-Akhbar: From Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: The Noble Prophet (S) would perform cupping on this head and would call it ‘al-mughithah’ (the reliever) or ‘al-munqidhah’ (the rescuer).8

2. In al-Makarim: From al-Sadiq (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) would perform cupping on Mondays after the ‘Asr prayer.9

Note: This is also narrated by al-Saduq in al-Khisal.10

3. In al-Bihar: Zayd al-Nursi said: I heard Aba al-Hasan (as) saying: Washing the head with marsh mallow on Fridays is from the sunnah. It brings abundance in sustenance and averts poverty. It improves the hair and skin and prevents headaches.11

4. Also: From one of our companions who said: I heard Aba ‘Abdillah (as) saying: The Holy Prophet would wash his head with sidr (lotus jujube) saying: “The one who washes his head with sidr, Allah will ward off from him the temptations of Shaitan; and the one who is not plagued by the temptations of Shaitan does not sin, and the one who does not sin shall enter paradise.”12

Note: The first section has been narrated by al-Saduq in Thawab al-A’mal.13

5. Ibna Bastam in Tibb al-A’immah: Narrated from the chain of ‘Ammar from Fudhayl al-Rassan who said: Abu ‘Abdillah (as) said: From the remedies and medicines of the prophets (as) are cupping, depilatory and (medicinal) snuff.14

6. al-Qutb al-Rawandi in his Da’awat: From the Noble Prophet (S) who said: “Should I not teach you about the medicine that was taught to me by Jibra’eel – after which you will not need any physician or cure?” They said: “Yes, O Prophet of Allah!” He said: “Take rain water and recite on it Fatihat al-Kitab (Surah al-Hamd) seventy times: ‘Qul A’udhu Birabbi al-Nas’ (Surah an-Nas) seventy times: ‘Qul A’udhu Birabbi al-Falaq’ (Surah al-Falaq) seventy times, Salawat seventy times and ‘SubhanAllah’ seventy times and then drink from this water in the morning and at night for seven days consecutively.”15

7. In al-Kafi: In his narration from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) complained to his Lord (SwT) of back pain, so He ordered him to eat cereal with meat – meaning ‘al-Harisah’ (a dish made from mixing bulgur with meat).16

8. In al-Ja’fariyat: In his narration from ‘Ali (as): Whenever the Holy Prophet (S) suffered from any pain (in his body) he would perform cupping.17

9. Ibna Bastam in Tibb al-A’immah in his narration from Abi Usama who said: I heard Aba ‘Abdillah (as) saying: Our grandfather used nothing but the weight of ten dirhams of sugar mixed with cold water - on an empty stomach - to treat fever.18

Note: It is apparent that when he said ‘our grandfather’ he was referring to the Noble Prophet (S).

10. In Tibb al-A’immah: In his narration from Abi Basir from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) used to perform cupping on the (veins of the) neck, so Jibra’il was sent to him by Allah (SwT) with (the instruction that he should perform the cupping on) the upper back (instead).19

11. Also: In the narration from Shu’aib who said: I mentioned (the narration about Amir al-Mu’minin (as) taking a bath after cupping) to Abi ‘Abdillah (as). He said: When the Holy Prophet (S) performed cupping, his blood got stirred up so he took a bath with cold water, and when Amir al-Mu’minin (as) entered the public baths, his body temperature rose so he poured some cold water to cool off.20

  • 1. Cupping was a traditional medical practice that was used to increase blood supply to an area of the body. (Tr.)
  • 2. Qurb al-Isnad: 52,53
  • 3. al-Kafi 6:524
  • 4. Ibid., 8:382
  • 5. Ibid., 8:291
  • 6. ‘Ilal al-Shara’i: 464
  • 7. al-Mustadrak 16:452, al-Ja’fariyat: 199
  • 8. Ma’ani al-Akhbar: 247,248
  • 9. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 74
  • 10. al-Khisal: 384
  • 11. Bihar al-Anwar 76:88
  • 12. Ibid., 76:88
  • 13. Thawab al-A’mal: 37
  • 14. Tibb al-A`immah: 57
  • 15. al-Da’awat: 183
  • 16. al-Kafi 6:320
  • 17. al-Ja’fariyat: 162, al-Mustadrak 13:77
  • 18. Tibb al-A`immah: 50
  • 19. Ibid., 58
  • 20. Ibid.