Friday, February 01, 2008


A branch of the science of letter magic, (practiced) among the (authorities on letter magic), is (the technique of) finding out answers from questions by means of connections existing between the letters of the expressions (used in the question). They imagine that these (connections) can form the basis for knowing the future happenings they want to know. Here we have something like puzzles and trick problems.835 There are many discussions of the subject by them. The most comprehensive and most remarkable discussion of it is as-Sabti's Za'irajah of the World. It has been mentioned before. Here, we shall explain what has been said about how to operate it. We shall quote the poem that, it is thought, as-Sabti wrote on the subject.836 Then, we shall give a description of the Za'irajah with its circle and the table written on the verso.836a Finally, we shall reveal the truth about it. It is nothing supernatural; (the indications derived from it) result from an agreement in the wording of question and answer. It is (just) one interesting way among others, and a curious one, for finding out the answer from the question with the help of the technique called the technique of "breaking down."

From the Science of Letter Magic THE MUQADDIMAH Abd Ar Rahman bin Muhammed ibn Khaldun

Very few people share the (self-scrutiny) of the Sufis, for negligence in this respect is almost universal. Pious people who do not get that far perform, at best, acts of obedience 464 freed from the juridical study of how to be satisfactory 465 and conforming (in the execution of the acts of divine worship). The (Sufis), however, investigate the results of (acts of obedience) with the help of mystical and ecstatic experience, in order to learn whether they are free from deficiency or not. Thus, it is evident that the Sufis' path in its entirety depends upon self-scrutiny with regard to what they do or do not do, and upon discussion of the various kinds of mystical and ecstatic experience that result from their exertions. This, then, crystallizes for the Sufi novice in a "station." From that station, he can progress to another, higher one.

From the Science of Sufism THE MUQADDIMAH Abd Ar Rahman bin Muhammed ibn Khaldun


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