Islamic Sufism Spirituality

The Names Of Demons On Arabic Talismans

Posted on: June 4, 2008


A Talisman is a small amulet or other object, often bearing magical symbols, worn for protection against evil spirits or the supernatural.

Demons are ordered in talismans to follow the instructions and to leave the patient whom they inhabit. Only the most important names will be mentioned. A spirit of the lower world is assigned to every day of the week.

  • EL-MUDHIB, known as abu ‘Abdallah Sa‘id rules over Sunday;

  • MURRAH el-Abiad abu el-Hareth (Abu n-Nur) over Monday;

  • abu Mihriz (or abu Ya‘qub) EL-AHMAR – Tuesday;

  • BARQAN abu l-‘Adja’yb – Wednesday;

  • SHAMHURISH (el-Tayyar) – Thursday;

  • abu Hasan ZOBA‘AH (el-Abiad) – Friday; and

  • abu Nuh MEIMUN rules over Saturday.

As a rule only that name written in capitals is mentioned in talismans. Every one of these archdemons has many tribes of djinn under his sovereignty. All the above given names, except Shamhurish, are of Arabic origin. Abu Murrah is also a name for Satan. Abu l-Hareth is the nickname of the lion. It was impossible for me to ascertain if this demon was thought to have the form of a lion. It is commonly believed that Shamhurish died some years ago. [Muhammad] Er-Rahawi teaches the same. His successor is named Mutawakill.

In talismans as well as in sorcery the ruling angel is asked to force the demon ruled by him to obey and fulfill the orders expressed in the talisman. This is clearly seen in the following talisman of my collection where we read: “Answer O Meimun by the force of the angel ruling over you, yauah, Roqia’il and Kasfia’il”. As Kasfia’il is the angel ruling over Meimun, it is curious that Roqai’il, who rules over Mudhib should also be called upon.

Buni assigns four ‘afarit [jinn] to the four archdemons. Some authors think that these names are only synonyms to those of the four archangels. The names of the ‘afarit are: Damriat (Tamriat) for Mudhib, Man‘iq (or San‘iq) for Meimun, Wahdelbadj (or Wahdeliadj) for Barqan and Soghal for el-Ahmar. But I have not yet met with these names in written talismans. El-Ahmar is also called abu t-Tawabi‘, the father of all tawabi‘ (pl. of tabi‘, the masc. of tabi‘ah = qarineh).

The names of the “four Heads” (al-arba‘ ru’us), also called the “four Helpers” (al-a‘wan al-arba‘ah), play a very important role in talismans. They are Mazar the lord of the East, Kamtam the lord of the West, Qasurah the lord of the South and Taykal the lord of the sea. Some authors and talismans wrongly use Haraz instead of Mazar; Ka‘tam, Katmah and seldom Kadmah for Kamtam; and Tabkal for Taykal. These names are often met with in talismans. Esh-sheykh Mahmud abu l-Mawahib el-Khaluti el-Hanafi devotes several pages to the description of their seals, names, field of action etc. Every one of the four heads has a special servant from among the seven above named demons. El-Ahmar serves Mazar, Mudhib – Kamtam, Shamhurish – Qasurah, and Murrah serves Taykal. These four names are found as a rule around square seals. At times one meets with one name alone written with unexplicable words or with the name of the person for whom the talisman was written. The “four Heads” are called upon to take revenge upon an enemy.

El-Qarineh and imm es-Subian are well known demons, who play a great role in Oriental superstition. Their names are often met with in talismans. The belief in el-Qarineh is also taken from Jewish demonology. Djalalu d-Din es-Siuti gives a list of names for these two spirits, the enumeration of which may serve in the understanding of obscure names.

The supposed names of et-Tabi‘ah are: [unvocalized Arabic (w = waw, a = alif, y = ya)] t-w-s-d, t-w-h, s-l-m-a-s, s-y-w-s, m-l-t-w-s, l-w-l-b-n, kh-l-‘-s, d-w-s, ‘-n-q-w-d, q-r-w-h, s-l-m-a-n.

Those of imm es-Subian are: q-m-t-n-w-sh, q-w-sh, q-r-q-w-sh, q-l-n-w-sh, m-q-l-w-sh, h-y-l-w-sh, m-q-r-q-t-w-sh, ‘-m-r-w-sh, a-y-l-a-q-w-sh, imm m-l-d-m.

How thoroughly confused the different authors are, may be seen from the fact that as-Siuti makes a difference between et-Tabi‘ah and el-Qarineh giving each one a list of new names, while it is generally recognized that these two expressions stand for one and the same female demon. He further pretends that imm es-Subian is a synonym for el-Qarineh but a few lines later mentions imm es-Subian as a separate jinniyeh. The list of by-names given to el-Qarineh are m-l-‘-w-n-h, f-y-w-s, b-‘-d-w-s, m-r-w-s, ‘-s-r-w-s, m-h-r-w-s, d-n-w-s, s-r-t-a-w-s, t-r-t-r, b-r-q-w-s. Ed-Damiri writes that God promised to increase the demons by one for every new-born human being. These are the qurana (pl. of qarin).

The already quoted book [Sheykh abu l-Mu’ayyed’s] Djawahiru l-Khamsah assigns to every letter a spirit of the lower world. Their enumeration is not necessary. The student is referred to the Dictionary of Islam. It was impossible to detect any rule for the formation of their names. A great many names of evil spirits end with w-sh, y-sh, t-y-sh or w-s. In el-‘Inayah [author unnamed], pp. 2 and 3, we read the following: [Arabic text] “The name of Satan … is taken from the name of the spiritual power with the addition of t-y-sh at its end. The following endings may take the place of t-y-sh as they are all names for the devil, may he be cursed by God: hut, hish, hash, hush, tash, tush”. Tish [t-y-sh] is the most used and the regular ending.

The following names may at times also be met with in talismans. f-q-t-sh is the physician of the djinn; Isma‘il is the secretary and Abu Dibadj the king of the qurana.

In reviewing what has been said we see:

  • That with the exception of the names of the seven angels which rule over the days of the week, those of the seven djinn and a few other names, there is no uniformity in nomination. An angel or demon assigned by one authority for a special sphere of work is assigned by another for a completely different one.

  • Many of the strange names are formed, as in Gnosticism in doublets, i.e. in the same way as Gog and Magog in Biblical literature and Yadjudj-Madjudj and Harut-Marut in Arabic. As examples the following doublets may be cited:

sh-‘-a-b … sh-‘-y-a-b
h-y-l-w-th-a … sh-y-l-w-th-a
sh-y-gh-w-b … sh-a-gh-w-b
s-y-t-w-s … b-s-t-w-s
s-l-t-a-m … m-sh-t-a-m
h-w-s-m … d-w-s-m
d-y-w-m … j-y-w-m

  • Many of the names discussed above show clearly a foreign influence, generally a Hebrew one.

  • With the exception of a few rules there is no method whatsoever to help in determining the origin or the way of forming the names of the supernatural powers.

Source: Canaan, Tewfik. “The Decipherment of Arabic Talismans,” Berytus 4 (Beirut, 1937), pp. 69-110; 5 (Beirut, 1938), pp. 141-151 (reprinted in Savage-Smith, Emilie, ed. Magic and Divination in Early Islam. Aldershot, Hants, U.K.: Ashgate P

ublishing, 2004.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 

I would like to make clear all the visitors of my blog that I am not Rqaqi, Aamil, or Spiritual Healer. Any Raaqi you contact via my blog, know they do not represent this blog or me.

 

In my knowledge these are few dedicated places where you can get your spiritual healing according to Quran and Sunnah. I can recommend these places as in my knowledge they works according to Quran and Sunnah; but I cannot be made responsible either individually or severally for any untoward incidents.

 

Top Rated

Facebook Twitter More...

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 497 other followers

%d bloggers like this: