Cauterization and Vein Puncturing in Prophetic Medicine

Introduction to Prophetic Medicine

Prophetic medicine, also known as “Tibb al-Nabawi,” is a traditional system of healing based on the practices and recommendations of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). One aspect of this ancient medical tradition involves the use of cauterization and vein puncturing for various medical purposes.

Closeup of dead skin around wart plantar after cauterizing it with celandine on infected foot.

Historical Narrations

In the context of prophetic medicine, there are several historical hadith narrations that shed light on the Prophet’s guidance regarding cauterization and vein puncturing. One such hadith is found in Al-Bukhari:

“Jabir bin ‘Abdullah narrated that the Prophet once sent a doctor to Ubay bin Ka’b and that the doctor used puncturing one of Ubay’s veins and then cauterized the wound.”

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Prophetic Examples

Numerous examples from the time of the Prophet Muhammad illustrate the application of cauterization and vein puncturing for medical purposes. These instances are recorded in various hadith collections, including Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawood, and others:

  • When Sa’d bin Moa’az was injured in his medial arm vein, the Prophet Muhammad had it cauterized and then cauterized it again when the wound became swollen.
  • Abu ‘Ubayd narrated that a man, who was prescribed cauterization, was brought to the Prophet Muhammad, and the Prophet ordered that he be cauterized. Hot stones were applied to the wound to close it.
  • Al-Bukhari narrated that Anas said that he was once cauterized because he was complaining of pleurisy while the Prophet Muhammad was still alive.
  • Anas reported that the Prophet cauterized As’ad bin Zurarah when he came down with a septic finger.

Controversy Surrounding Cauterization

The hadith also provides insights into the Prophet’s personal preferences regarding cauterization. In one hadith recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said:

“I do not like to be cauterized.”

Moreover, in another narration:

“I forbid cauterizing for my Nation.”

(At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, and Ahmad)

Interpreting Prophetic Medicine Today

In modern times, understanding the historical context and the Prophet’s preferences regarding cauterization and vein puncturing is crucial for interpreting and applying prophetic medicine practices in contemporary healthcare.


In conclusion, the Prophet Muhammad’s guidance on cauterization and vein puncturing in the context of prophetic medicine offers valuable insights into traditional healing practices. These practices, though controversial and not universally endorsed, continue to be studied and interpreted in light of their historical significance and the Prophet’s personal preferences as recorded in various hadith collections.

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