An Esoteric Science: ‘Al-Jafr Al-Jamey’ [Archives:2008/1178/Culture]

August 4 2008

Qazi Dr.Shaikh Abbas Borhany
“Al Jafr al Jamey” also known as “ilm-al-Jafr”, is the Science of insight which opens windows of the unseen world. This is not a new science, Anbiya Bani Israel used to utilize this Science when needed. Nabi Daniel (A.S) discussed a few points in his Book regarding this sacred science, but except Qur'an other sacred literatures has not remained pure. It is also known as Science of Huruf-Letters which helps to evaluate the coming events. The Science of the numerical symbolism of letters, “al Jafr”, is said by masters of the Science in Islam, to have come down from Nabavi source, and transmitted through “Bab Madinat al ilm”, Ali ibn Abi Talib. “Jafr” is attributed to Ali Ibn Abi Talib. It plays a vital role in the Ta'wil of Qur'an (symbolic interpretation). Harun bin Saeed al Ijili was one of the prominent scholars who learnt ilm al Tawil al Qur'an from Imam Jafar al Sadiq, in depth. One of the methods employed by people who engage in this is to compare symbolic forms with the letter's numerological values. The main difference between “abjad” and “Jafr” is, that the former refers to what has already taken place, and the latter to what is likely to take place in the future. According to the Philosophers of Islam, through al Jafr, Faiz of 'Qalam' is continuous and it deals with 'Qaza', while in “Jamey”, Ta'ed of 'Luh' is extended and it deals with 'Qadar'. It is a science, which deals in the past as well as the future. This science was practiced by the Awliya of all ages. They utilized this faculty of Knowledge for the benevolence of humanity, when necessary. Writer of “Basa'ir al Darajat”, Hasan al Saffar, written earlier to the work of “al Kulayni” recorded:

“There are 2 types of “Jafr” – Abyaz-white and Ahmar-red “Jafr”. The white “Jafr” contains the previous scriptures e.g. the “Zubur”-Psalms of Nabi Dawood (A.S), “Torah”-Old Testament of Nabi Musa (A.S) and “Injil”-New Testament of Nabi Essa (A.S) and even the “Suhuf”-Scrolls of Nabi Ibrahim (A.S). The Red “Jafr” is a leather bag which contains the weapons of the Anbiya”. This Science has great importance in Sufi School of thought.

In the long course of Muslim history, intellectuals have written Treatise on the amazing subject of “al Jafr”, majority of them were destroyed by the tyrannical Ummavvi and Abbasi monarchs. One of the major sources, which have survived today fortunately, is the contribution of Imam Ahmad al Mastoor, who is better known amongst philosophers as “Al Shakhs al Fazil, Saheb al Rasael Ikhw'an al Safa” (4th century). “Al Jafr” or “al Huruf” deals in the “Rasael” with an extra ordinary skill. These “Rasael” are enough proof of the significance of “al Jafr”, as an access to the information from the unseen world. Each Hurf-word signifies super natural indications, and opens a new vista of learning. Likewise, “al Adad”-the science of numbers is considered by “Ikhw'an al Safa”, as the way leading to the grip of Tawhid.

Method & power of the words

“Al Jafr al Jamey” can be called Muslim Numerology. The above group of letters spells the words:


Alif =1

Bey =2

Jeem = 3

Daal = 4


T he word abjad is an abbreviation derived from the first four Huruf-words of the Arabi language, Alif, Baa, Jeem, Daal. As such abjad designates the letters of the Arabi alphabet in the phrase “Huroof al Abjad”. Nowadays the Arabi alphabet does not follow the sequence a-b-j-d, which is a very old form of order. Scholars have difference of opinion on the origin of the word 'ABJD'; either it is Arabi or Hebrew, Phoenician or some other, but the sequence is very very old. Although the letters are no longer generally used as numbers, this does not mean that the numerical associations have died. Spiritualists and the literates have invested the letters and their associated numerical values with mystical significance

Every letter in the Arabi alphabet has a numerical (geometrical) value. In other words, in Arabi every letter stands for a number. A number of calculations can be made on this basis. These are referred to as numerological (abjad) calculations or “His'ab al Jumal”. Muslims who took advantage of the fact that every letter of the alphabet represents a number have used this in a number of fields. “Jafr al Jamey” is one of these.

When certain Ay'at of the Qur'an are examined in the light of the “abjad”” method