An Esoteric Science: ‘Al-Jafr Al-Jamey’

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, we see that a number of dates emerge, which are fully in accordance with the meanings of those Ay’at. When we see, that the things referred to in these Ay’at have actually happened on the dates, obtained by this method, we understand that there is a secret indication regarding those events in the Ay’at. It is time that one must realize the value of Qur’an. “Huruf Muqatta’a” available in Qur’an invites the attention of the readers to think in depth, and compare the value of each word as per “Hisab al Jumal”. Vistas of learning emerge, if one goes on the Right Path. All Huruf of the Qur’an are like secret codes, the key of which is available to the one who is the custodian of “Al ilm al Ladunni”. Haqaiq-Divine realities are hidden in the Qur’an. Its inner value is beyond the reach of persona of common ability.

This method of calculation is a form of writing which goes back several centuries, and which was widely used before the Nuzul of the Qur’an. Everything which happened in Arab history was written down by attributing numerical values to letters, and thus the date of every event was recorded. These dates were obtained by adding up the particular numerical values of every letter employed.

Like agencies of any government, there are divine agencies that enforce the command of Allah. This command is available in a Latif form and one can only feel it who has been bestowed the Tawfiq. Each Huruf which is spoken has power. Qur’an which was brought by Jibrael towards Rasulullah(S) in the form of Noor contains many treasures, whose keys are available to the Awliya. They discovered Hikmat ilahiyyah according to the need of the time, as per the level of understanding, to maintain policy. Chosen People of Allah never consider the verbal meaning of words but delve deeply into its inner meaning with the help of Noor. No other language of the world holds the ability which Arabi encompasses. To explain one word “Alif” requires volumes and volumes. And for the understanding of 28-“Huruf”-words, which consist of divine realties, human age is very short. These are the Transformers of energy, breaking it down until it becomes completely materialized. Transfer the energy of “Alif” in “Ya”, their end is in their beginning, and their beginning is in their end.

Historical background

Abu Basir narrates as follows: "I went to Abu Abdallah Imam Jafar and said: “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, I would like to ask you a question. Is there anyone else in this house who can hear my words”?” The Imam then drew the curtain between his room and the other room next to it and made sure that there was no other person. Then the Imam said: “O Abu Muhammad, ask whatever you wish”. I said, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, your followers say: Rasulullah (S) taught Ali ibn Abi Talib a thousand chapters of Knowledge and from each chapter there opened another thousand chapters”. I then said, ‘This, I swear by Allah, is knowledge.’ The Imam He marked the ground with his staff (a sign of thinking in normal people) for a while and said, “That is knowledge but it is not that”. “O Abu Muhammad, with us there is “al Jamey”. I asked: what do they know what “al Jamey” is?" The Imam remained silent for a while and then said, "With us there is “al Jafr”-the parchment.i then asked what they know what “al Jafr” is?”What is “al Jafr”-the parchment or a container?" The Imam said: “It is a container made of skin that contains the knowledge of the Anbiy’a and the Awsiy’a-executors of their wills and the Knowledge of the Scholars in the past from Bani Israel”. (“Al Kafi”, part No.4, ch40)

Bakr ibn Karib al Sayrafi said that he heard Abu Abdallah say the following: With us there are such things due to which we have been ordained to become saviors to people who need us. With us there is a book that Rasulullah(S) had dictated and which Ali had written it down”. (“Al Kafi”, part No.4, ch.No.40). Jabir ibn Hayyan a renowned pupil of Imam Jafar was a specialist of Alchemy, a Science where Astrology and Numerology are very important. Normal people only see this science as a source to get advantages in this world, but those whose hearts are purified will recognize that, it is in fact the science that explains the Universe, like Jabir himself.

Numerous branches of al Jafr al Jamey: “ilm al Hiraz-Tawiz-Tilsam” is one of the numerous branches of “al Jafr”, taught by Abi Abdullah Imam Jafar. He was the first amongst Ahl al Bait who opened up the Sacred Scrolls to spread the intrinsic knowledge derived from “al Jafr”. The Science of this branch is common amongst the scholars of the Ummah, around the global-village. “Al Taskhir”-Science of capturing-spirits is also one of its branches. “Al Naqush”, “Al Alwah”, “Al Taksir al Aad’ad” are other related branches. Exploiters misuse the name of “al Jafr” for nefarious purposes. They prepare Tawiz-Amulet or Talisman, but its out come can rarely be seen. A few scholars hold a high reputation of “al Jafr” in the cities of Qum, Najaf, Najran and in Hiraz, the mountainous region of Yemen. I have attained primary education of this Science under a competent scholar. No doubt, a competent person can write volumes on this subject. Al Jafr al Kabir has one thousand formulas, while Al Jafar al Saghir has seven hundred formulas; besides this Al Jafr al Mutawassit which handles Huruf al Shamsi and Huruf al Qamari are ones whose charts are independent. In Tawiz, chart of Huruf al Qamari is followed.

Conclusion: “Al Jafr” is indeed a very esoteric science taught by Ahl al Bait. It is a renowned fact that this mysterious knowledge was only taught to a few. To say that it is not legal is pure non-sense, at the same time it is a very sensitive issue, as dealing with the unseen always implies some risk. It hence remains an elite science. There are different ways to get solutions to problems. It happens like this; you go on writing the alphabets according to a set of mathematical calculations expanding the alphabets, and in the process you will start receiving your answers when you try to join them into legible sentences. This is of course not everybody's cup of tea. Very few people, who are pious in nature, can avail of “al Jafr”, which itself is very difficult yet not impossible for those who are gifted by Allah. I have not even touched on the surface of the “al Jafr”, as it is a very vast ocean of amazing realities with many different mathematical approaches.

Science can not reach the signs of Qudrat, but it recognizes today a number of issues which was discovered in previous Scriptures and finally in the Qur’an. Scientific inventions which came to light later on are also used for destruction. Contrary to it, divine Sciences can not be use for nefarious purposes. It is misfortune of the people that they do not pay attention towards this esoteric science, and get benefit from it. This science can be use to remove nasty influences from one’s life, for promotion of love, to get a better job, remove health problems, for prosperity, and an increment in income and for a number of issues.

Qazi Dr. Shaikh Abbas Borhany is Attorney at Law & Religious Scholar.

He has PhD (USA), NDI, Shahadat al A’alamiyah (Najaf, Iraq), M.A., LLM (Shariah) and he is a member of Ulama Council of Pakistan. He can be reached at


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