Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet ordered a doctor to incise an abscess on the abdomen of a man. He was asked, ‘Does medicine help, O Messenger of Allah
The tumor, which accompanies most ailments, is a growth in the organ due to the accumulation of unnatural, septic materials engineered by the four conditions; hotness, coldness, dryness, and wetness, plus water and wind. When the tumor swells with septic material, it is called an abscess. Every hot tumor ends up decomposing or becoming pus or hardening. If the body is strong enough, it dissolves the tumor, and this is the best end of tumors.
If the body is not strong, it turns the tumor into a white substance, pus, and opens an exit for the pus to go out of the body. If the body is weak, the tumor will be full of immature pus and the body will not be able to open an exit to discard the pus. In this case, it is possible the tumor will spoil the affected organ. The doctor’s help is then sought to incise the tip of the tumor to extract the septic substance.
Puncturing or incising the tumor has two benefits; extracting the harmful substance and preventing more harmful substances from accumulating around the tumor making it even worse.
The Hadith stated that the Prophet ordered a doctor to incise a tumor on a man’s abdomen that was filled with putrid or rotten liquid.
The scholars have conflicting opinions regarding incising tumors, some of them did not allow it because it is dangerous in their opinion. Other doctors said that there is no cure for dropsy except incision. Dropsy has three types: drummed dropsy, which causes the stomach to swell with accumulated gases, that if one pound on the stomach it will produce a similar sound as the drum.
In addition, there is fleshy dropsy that causes the flesh to swell accompanied by phlegm that spreads throughout the body through the blood. This type is worse than the first one. Third, there is dropsy that causes the accumulation of toxic materials in the lower part of the stomach. When one moves in this case, his stomach will produce a sound similar to the shaking of a water skin. Most doctors consider this type of dropsy the worst, while others consider fleshy dropsy the worst of the three types.
Curing the third type of dropsy requires extracting the accumulating water by incision, which is similar to extracting spoiled blood by puncturing the veins. Yet, this procedure is dangerous, although the Hadith, if proven authentic, allows using this method. Allah has the best knowledge.