Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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Magic squares
(3,540 words)

A magic square is called in Arabic a wafq (harmony, agreement) or wafq al-aʿdād (harmonious disposition of numbers), and ʿilm al-awfāq is the study of such squares; occasionally the more general term for any tabular presentation, jadwal, was used (Günther and Pielow; Hallum).

1. Origins

The earliest recorded magic square was a 3×3 square, having nine cells in which the letter-numera…

Cite this page
Savage-Smith, Emilie, “Magic squares”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Devin J. Stewart. Consulted online on 30 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_35971>
First print edition: , , 2023-1

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