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kwaw  kwaw is offline
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400

The blue boxes at the top of the cards in which the transcriptions appear are reminiscent of the grid structure of the fal-i qur’an (Divination by the Qur’an), which appear in manuscripts of the Qur’an. A fal-i qur’an text lays out in rhyming Persian couplets the means of divination by letters randomly selected when opening to a page of the Qur’an. "Grids of fal-i qur’an are widespread and systematically included in Persian manuscripts of the 16th century, thus possibly revealing the application of popular Shici divinatory practices to the Qur’an." The key to the divination, besides the prognostication of the verse, is in the last letter of the verse.[email protected](ascs000004))

On Persian divination in general see:

Diviners were popular among the general populace of Persia and could charge their customers for their services. Many varieties of divination are attested in Persian literature and folk practice. They include interpretation of objects which appear haphazardly, interpretation of involuntary bodily actions (sneezing, twitching, itches, etc.), observing animal behavior, divining by playing cards (fale waraq ) or chick-peas (fal-e nokhod ), bibliomancy (e.g., fal-e Hafez), divination by means of mirrors and lenses (Ayna-bini), observation of the liver of a slain animal (jegar-bini), divination by means of the flame of a lamp, etc.
Bibliomancy using the divan of Hafez is the most popular for this kind of divination, but by no means the only kind. The Koran, as well as the Mathnawi of Rumi may also be used.
Fal-e Hafez may be used for one or more persons. In group bibliomancy, the divan will be opened at random, and beginning with the ode of the page that one chances upon, each ode will be read in the name of one of the individuals in the group. The ode is the individual's fal.
Assigning of the odes to individuals depends on the order in which the individuals are seated and is never random. One or three verses from the ode following each person's fal is called the shahed, which is read after the recitation of the fal.
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