We accept

Ilm Al-raml In Islamic And Arabic Culture

Distant as it may seem, synergizing mathematics with divination systems and spiritual practices that transcend the world of logical thought is an almost impossible undertaking. To get a clear knowledge of into the aspect of amtehatmical knowelegdew Nonetheless, a careful and precise study of some

Historical Background

Ilm Al-raml constitutes an omnipresent divination system in the Arabic and Islamic culture. The books attributes the Arabic term Ilm Al-raml or ilm Al -khutut to Geomancy. Historically, Geomancy constituted a family group of divination systems, including such famous members as Ifa, Fa, 'Sixteen Cowries' (Nigeria and Western world Africa in general), Sikidy (Madagascar and Comoro Island), Ramalasastra (India), I Ching ( China), Hakata (Southern Africa), ilm al-raml or khutut al-raml (North Africa). According to the most recent historical re-enactments, the Hellenic, Jewish, Persian, African, Indian and Chinese language borrowings in to the Arabic body of geomancy point to a drafting of the common, highly astrological geomantic system in Southern Mesopotamia in an Isma'ili context in the tenth century CE. Eventually, the system's immediate and successful spread over the Islamic and Jewish intellectual world, and therefore into Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean region, was basically because of its being maintained in widely circulated treatises. Of the, perhaps the most well-known and successful has been the Kitab al-fasl fi usul 'ilm al-raml) by the Berber sheikh Muhammad al-Zanati (c. 1200 CE) (Van Binsberg, 1996). A careful study of the binary mathematical framework of both Southern African four-tablet divination system, and the greater directly Arabian-derived types of geomancy found in the Indian Ocean region led many historians and researchers to hypothesize some historical links.

In Arabic Islamic culture, ilm al-raml or sand-science goes back to Idrs, the Egyptian third Islamic prophet of Allah who came up between your prophets Adam and Noah and resided in Egypt during which he carried out the mission showing people how to create, to sew, to develop cities also to use the Research of the Sand(Al-Tokhi, 1991).

The narrative explains to that Idriss was taught this knowledge by an angel delivered by Allah and he trained it to his people who were practicing "astrology" (Tanjjim).

Description and interpretations

According to the rules of Idrisian facts, all living animals are made up of four elements: flame, air, water, earth and four results heating, cold, moist, dried out, and four guidelines east, western, south, and north. Also, looking at people's activities they discovered that they essentially used four major procedures: weighing, counting, planting, and farming (Van Binsberg, 1996). Then everything amounts on four edges, four information, four extremities (e. g. the body), and four elements which they may have built infinite configurations. Partly rooted in simple chance techniques and random procedures (like hitting the earth, throwing tablets, coffee beans, shells etc. ), ilm al-raml is a binary system of 16 figures. Each shape is 4 rows high and each row consists of each one dot or two dots. The information are determined through various methods both ancient and modern. The procedure is called darb al-raml or the forceful 'reaching of the sand' with a keep, in order to make a random variety of dot traces or grades which may then be have scored as either unusual or even. Four figures are manufactured, and a graph is depicted using simple binary multiplication, and it is interpreted based on the meanings of each number. The 4_(amount)"four binary components of each figure allow for 24 or 16 different combinations. As there are 4 root information in each chart, the total amount of possible charts equals 16-16-16-16 or 65536. The charts are also interpreted differently. With regards to the aspect of the question, ilm al-raml can be viewed as as one of the most thorough types of divination based on only 16 information which are extremely simple yet with deep connotations. The markings on the ground are interpreted through an activity of "transformation and elimination", in one horizontal line, with one or two dots (one for peculiar, two for even), to a four-line sign, which there are sixteen 24 configurations (Van Binsberg, 1996, p. 5) :

With two dots making a brand, the above mentioned configurations can be written as:

More complex methods may raise this number to any higher ability of 2. A written or memorized key (the catalogue) supplies the interpretation of every generated symbol and of their combinations. (Van Binsberg, 1996)

The origin of the research is the dot and its own secret is the unusual number. Each one of the four basic elements has a dot representation. Realizing that the element fire is lighter than the component air and that air is lighter than water and this particular lighter than sand and understanding that the heavy aspect carries the lighter and not vice versa, so the elements in ilm al-raml follow this order: flame then air then drinking water then sand (Al-Tokhi, 1991). In addition, they given 4 characters from the alphabets to designate each one of the 4 elements.

Fire( naar)

Air (hawa')

Water (maa')

Sand (torab)




˜ (taa')

Originally, the habits were created when the munajjim or the geomancer traced dots with a "stylus" across a plank of sand or particles. The geomancer then examines and construes the dots, deriving further patterns, and eventually provides a remedy or forecast for his client. Ascribed to the pattern of dots will vary meanings and interpretations, related to the colors, calendar months, planets, the four elements, the astrology signs and areas of the body.

Conditions when using Ilm al-raml

To hit the sand, the hitter or geomancer or Al-Darib should be facing AL Qubla (a place in Mecca where the Muslims do pilgrimage) and should be clean and putting on clean clothes. He should pray, read certain verses from the Qur'an and place an intent going to the sand seeking an answer to a question in mind. Within the Islamic culture, hitting the sand is not supposed to be done in the following times: during storms or rainfall, at sunset or sunrise. However, it is preferable to be done after sunset until dawn, the optimum time is during the night. Also, the hitter shouldn't talk with others while executing the function. He should be joyful and content and should start with striking the sand from left to right stating these words: Tash 4 torbash 4 shaqoor 4 tazan 4. (Al-Tokhi, 1992).

Procedure: How it is done

The process is implemented inductively through a set of pre-determined and systematic group of steps that are embellished by the diviner's skill to intensify and epitomize the importance of the function. The series of steps takes its decision making algorithm that, after execution, results within an end result which is interpreted by the diviner as either good or bad.

The steps are illustrated in the following example:

Step 1: A person involves Al-Darib (the diviner or the person striking the sand), seeking answers or advice on certain questions. The questions can be related to any kind of day-to-day affairs such as relationship/divorce; life/fatality; getting a thief; pregnancy; delight; profit/loss, etc. .

Step 2: To get the answer, Al-Darib, after fulfilling all these conditions, makes 4 horizontal lines and on each collection he designates 4 rows of random variety of dots so that all row has less number of dots than its precedent. Below is a demonstration:

Then Al-Darib minimizes the dots two by two, if the remaining is an individual dot he sets a dot usually he puts a dash indication. This concept is what is known in arithmetic as counting modulo 2. (Ascher, 2002)

The above figure is named Al-takht (the table in Arabic) and the resulting 4 patterns or configurations are called the "mothers" from which the other twelve shapes (4 daughters; 4 granddaughters; 2 off springs; 1 arbitrator; 1 judge) are made (Al-Tokhi, 1992). Each of the sixteen possible configurations is recognized with a name, and for each and every a number of standard interpretations receive in a catalogue or some form of a written manual. These configurations are derived by a particular form of juxtaposition, based on the following computational guidelines:

even x unusual = unusual, i. e. x = ; unusual x even = strange, i. e. x =

even x even = even, i. e. x = ; odd x odd = even, i. e. x =

In any given shape, the four parts specify throughout: Head; breasts; waist; thighs.

The above takhit produced the next four mothers' configurations:

Step 3: From your four patterns that constitute the "mothers'" settings, four other forms are generated by firmly taking one form from the moms' minds, another from their chests, one third of their waists and a fourth from other thighs. These four configurations constitute the "daughters". Juxtaposing the first two moms then your second two moms and the first two daughters and the next two daughters will generate the four "granddaughters". A similar treatment is repeated with every two granddaughters to get the 2 2 configurations that are called "off springs". Juxtaposing both off springs along gives one configuration and is called "arbitrator". To generate the sixteenth configuration, Al-Darib multiplies the previous form with the first mom shape to receive the "judge". The sixteen configurations generated are shown below:






Each of the sixteen configurations designates a "house" which holds the meanings on which interpretations are created. The houses are different from the configurations itself. As the configuration or shape is the piling up of 4 levels of dots and dashes, the houses will be the locations where these configurations land (Al-Tokhi, 1992). The first house signifies the life of the client, the second house is the home of capital, the third for the brothers, the fourth for the parents, the fifth for the kids, the 6th for disease, the seventh for matrimony, the eighth for death, the ninth for travel, the tenth for luxury and fame, the eleventh for trust, the twelfth for opponents, the thirteenth for the asker, the fourteenth for the sponsors, the fifteenth for balance and equilibrium and the last shape is made for judgment. The patterns in the sand speak to Al_Darib: When he considers distressful or tragic configurations he pronounces bad information irrespective what the object of discussion is. When he considers a mixed configuration he pronounces middle results. When he recognizes happy configurations he pronounces good news and success.

Kinship relationships:

A quantity of researches point out that the moms here do not key stand for a kinship reference point, but for fundamental cosmological entities such as planets or elements,

However, in reaching the sand, the client has to supply the name of his mom and not the father. (Al-Tokhi, 1991). Therefore makes the descent series moms/ daughters/ off springs distinctly "matrilateral". (Van Binsberg, 1996)


The sixteen shapes or configurations are divided among the times, weeks, a few months, and years. For the days of the week, the patterns are distributed the following:


Thurs. night

Friday &

Tues. night

Wed &Sat. night

Wed &Fri. night

Sat. &Wed. night

Thurs. &Mon. night

Tues. &Sat. night

Sat. &break of days

Adopted from Al-Tokhi (1992). Al-usul wa al-wosoul fi ilm al-raml. (Translated from Arabic)

Also, the first twelve of these sixteen configurations are determined with the twelve astrological properties and are interpreted consequently, taking into account the most common correspondences and classic meanings of the twelve houses, the planets and the zodiacal indications. The planetary and zodiacal associations of each of the sixteen brands are listed in the next table:

Adopted from Van Binsberg, The Astrological Origins of Geomancy, 1996, p. 43.


Ilm al-raml in Islamic, Arabic culture is a complex cosmological custom that is still practiced and is also highly popular in most Arab countries today. Although it is highly contextual and usually spread out one of the more underprivileged, poverty stricken people, it is nonetheless highly advanced with a systematic set of techniques that underlies its execution and interpretation. As a divination practice, Ilm al-raml encompasses a range of numerical ideas that are inlayed in the daily life of indigenous people and play an unprecedented role in impacting the decisions they take on in their each day encounters. Concomitantly, this inductive, semiotic system is dependant on mathematical and probabilistic guidelines that are constantly proposed as essential in the mathematics university curricula. Adding students to such ethnical routines can help embed mathematics in significant and novel contexts and therefore build a more good attitude toward mathematics.

More than 7 000 students trust us to do their work
90% of customers place more than 5 orders with us
Special price $5 /page
Check the price
for your assignment