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Last Updated: 2011/04/20
Summary of question
What is the ruling on using books of supplication which contain tables and forms?
A book has come into my possession, which contains supplications and various tables which in turn contain numbers. It seems that these numbers are the names of God. Is this considered a form of magic or is it a supplication? Is the use of such things a sin?
Concise answer

Firstly, in regards to your question, it is difficult to recognize exactly what kind of science your book uses; this would require further explanation and expansion on the contents and subject of the book in question. Generally speaking, it seems that the book is about the occult sciences such as jafr, raml, and nujoom; knowing what the book is exactly comprised of is not possible (with the information provided).

Secondly, there is a vast breadth of difference between the occult sciences, magic and sorcery, and books of supplication. The occult sciences are gained through the learning of certain principles; the main intent behind these kinds of sciences is foretelling the future, as well as delving into the state and condition of various people. This is achieved through various equations and special methods, which of course can gain access into some realities, but not all of them. On the other hand, magic and sorcery are classified as religiously unlawful and delve into contact with Jinns; the main intent with this group of sciences is injuring people and creating difficulties and hindrances in their daily lives. Thus learning magic is religiously unlawful (a sin), unless it has a religiously legitimate purpose.

Thirdly, in regards to the position of books of supplication, which are mostly from the Family of the Prophet (s), it is necessary that we learn and use these amazing tools.

Detailed Answer

Amongst the various sciences which are available to mankind, some are less beneficial and fruitful in their entirety than other sciences. The occult sciences, such as jafr, raml[1], and nujoom are from amongst these less beneficial sciences. But of course these occult sciences differ greatly from magic and sorcery. The occult sciences are achieved through learning and engaging in certain practices; its main intent is foretelling the future, and gaining knowledge about various individuals and their states through practicing equations and engaging in various exercises. Naturally these types of practices only gain access to some realities, and not all. Due to the reason that Islam is a complete religion, these sorts of practices (which are partially true and at best incomplete sciences) are not encouraged in the body of the religion.[2] As for magic and sorcery, it has been categorically considered as haram (sinful and religiously unlawful) by all the jurisprudents, unless it is used for a specific religious purpose.[3] The reason behind this is that its initial steps consist of outright sinful actions, various unlawful self mortifications, summoning Jinns…and because it is used in hindering and obstructing the daily lives of people. For these reasons it is considered religiously unlawful, and for this same reason, the scholars of religion do not use these sciences. If some of the notables from amongst the Shia have used the occult sciences, they still do not openly manifest it, for the 2nd teacher (Abu Nasr Farabi) wrote a treatise on Jafr, but after a time he destroyed the manuscript. He then mentioned that he did not like his legacy[4] to be of such a science. In addition, Allamah Hasanzadeh Amoli has written that the science of Jafr is similar to excavation; sometimes one reaches a treasure and sometimes it is merely futile exertion and effort.[5]

In conclusion, it is highly recommended that we learn and use the books of supplication, which have come to us from the Family of the Prophet (s). This is because through these means, the creator and the created can always have an ongoing connection, and various human needs will be met. If one uses such books of supplication, then there is no need for such occult sciences as raml and jafr…


For further research and study, please refer to the following:

1- Kifayatul Raml, Seyed Jawad Dhahni Tehrani.

2- Refer to: The lack of unlawfulness in viewing magic and research about it, question 677.

3- Refer to: Having contact with beings from other worlds, question 293.

4- Refer to: The abilities of Satan and the Jinn, question 883.

5- Refer to: Human contact with the Jinn, question 606.

6- Refer to: Human beings and contact with the Jinn, question 468.

[1] Kifayat al-Raml, Seyed Javad Zehni Tehrani.

[2] Maybe one of the reasons why religion hasn’t paid attention to methods like these is because they undermine one’s ethical values such as tawakkul (trusting in Allah) and being content with divine decree.

[3] Masa’le Jadid, pg. 83; Tawdih al-Masa’ele Maraje’, vol. 2, pg. 980; Ajwibah al-Istifta’at of Ayatullah Khamenei, vol. 2, pg. 50.

[4] Hezaro Yek Nokteh, Allamah Hasanzadeh Amoli, vol. 2, pg. 722.

[5] Ibid, vol. 1, pg. 160.

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