About the Author

James M. McConnell, 'Sheikh Umar Rabbani', was one of the first to offer information about hijama to the western and Internet audiences. From the start he has warned people about the influences that money would have on the ancient art of hijama. Now so many sites are attempting to turn hijama into a business. The healing arts are no more a business than religion is a business. A cleric is a weak servant of the people and does not enter the field of religion as a career choice or profession; he/she is called to serve.

Selected, not elected.

Sheikh Umar McConnell, raised a Presbyterian, converted to Islam in 1992 and began his formal (book learning) Islamic education at the An-Nour Institute of Islamic Studies in Baltimore Maryland where he worked as an assistant Imam and participated in many interfaith programs. McConnell was the first student Imam to participate in the World Council of Churches, Seminaries Interacting Program. In 1999 McConnell was invited to attend the Imam and Khateeb program at Abu Nour University in Damascus Syria. He continued living and studying in Damascus with his wife and son for the next seven years.

McConnell continued his traditional authorized education under the direct supervision of Sheikh Adnan Kabbani.

Sheikh Adnan often said;

“Going to an Islamic University is beneficial only if at the end of your experience you realize that you have learned nothing at all”

He also said;

“A real Islamic education does not come from books.”

He reminded his students that the Ilm (knowledge) of Prophet Muhammad (saw) was poured into the heart of Abu Bakr Siddiq, not memorized or learned.

McConnell received his ijaaza to practice Hijama in 2003 and has been credited as being one of the first to introduce hijama to the western world. He received his initial training working alongside Sheikh Abu Bashar in Damascus Syria, who has been providing hijama services free of charge to thousands of people over the past couple of decades. May Allah bless him for keeping this valuable sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (saws) alive and well.

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