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Reviving “A forgotten Sunna:” Hijamah (cupping therapy), prophetic medicine, and the re-Islamization of Unani medicine in contemporary India

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07.09.2018 | Edition 2/2019

Magazine:
Contemporary Islam> Issue 2/2019
Author:
Kira Schmidt Stiedenroth

Abstract

Officially recognized as an Indigenous System of Medicine in India, Unani has been intimately connected to Muslim culture in South Asia. However, this connection has been downplayed by the government of India, which stressed the secular character of Unani and its Greek origins. Hijamah, or cupping therapy, is considered to be part of the regimental therapies of Unani medicine. Because hijamah has been mentioned in several Hadiths, it is also considered prophetic medicine. After what seems to be a long neglect of hijamah in the practice of Unani medicine, various hakims (Unani practitioners) are now promoting this therapy as a "forgotten Sunna." This paper attends to the revival of hijamah in India at the intersections of Unani and prophetic medicine through an examination of clinical practices and advertisements. It argues that this revival is contributing to a re-Islamization of Unani medicine. The article suggests that this development is not just the product of an interest among Muslims in India to live according to the Sunna, but it is also influenced by the global market of Complementary and Alternative Medicine which the government of India seeks to lead.

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literature
Go back to reference Bergeaud-Blackler, F., Fischer, J., & Lever, J. (Eds.). (2016). Halal matters: Islam, politics and markets in global perspective. London: Routledge. Bergeaud-Blackler, F., Fischer, J., & Lever, J. (Eds.). (2016). Halal matters: Islam, politics and markets in global perspective. London: Routledge.
About this article
title
Reviving “A forgotten Sunna:” Hijamah (cupping therapy), prophetic medicine, and the re-Islamization of Unani medicine in contemporary India
Author:
Kira Schmidt Stiedenroth
Publication date
07.09.2018
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11562-018-0426-x
publishing company
Springer Netherlands

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