(1,620 words)

( ʿIlm al- ), “The science of letters”, is a branch of d̲j̲afr [q.v.] which was originally concerned with onomatomancy in the strict sense; but, among some esoteric sects, it became a sort of magical practice, to such an extent that Ibn K̲h̲aldūn ( Muḳaddima , iii, 137-61, Fr. tr. 188-200, Rosenthal 171-82) gave it the name of sīmiyāʾ (σημεῖα), which is usually reserved for white magic. It is based on the occult properties of the letters of the alphabet and of the divine and angelic names which they form. Three basic elements are involved in onomatoman…

Cite this page
Fahd, T., “Ḥurūf”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 12 December 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_2971>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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