Ruling on bloodletting

Question:

Is it permissible to practice bloodletting to discharge bad blood from some veins?

Answer:

It is permissible to discharge bad blood. It is authentically reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with both of them) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Healing is in three (things): a gulp of honey, cupping, and cauterization. But I forbid my Ummah (nation) to use cauterization.1

In another wording: “And I do not like to be cauterized.2 The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that cupping is one of the means of healing, and this generally includes bloodletting and cupping.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that cupping is one of the means of healing, and this generally includes bloodletting and cupping. It is also authentically reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with both of them) that “The Prophet (peace be upon him) was cupped and paid the one who had cupped him his wage.” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. 3

Moreover, it is authentically reported on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that: “Abu Taybah cupped the Prophet (peace be upon him), who ordered that he should be given two Sa’s (1 Sa’ = 2.172 kg) of food and spoke with his masters so that they would reduce what they used to take from his earnings.” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. Accordingly, his act indicates the permissibility of treatment by cupping.

However, this process should be handled by an expert in bloodletting to determine the case properly and choose the right spot in the body to be treated in this way as well as the right time. This person should also be fully aware of the patient’s conditions.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.


  1. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Book on medicine, no. 5680; Ibn Majah, Sunan, Book on medicine, no. 3491; and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 246. 

  2. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Book on medicine, no. 5683; Muslim, Sahih, Book on greetings, no. 2205; and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 343. 

  3. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Book on medicine, no. 5691; Muslim, Sahih, Book on sharecropping, no. 1202; and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 258. 

  • Date: Muharram 15, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan