Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936)

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(1,559 words)

, plur. Awfāḳ, magic square, i.e. a square divided up like a chessboard, each square of which is inscribed with numerals, letters or words; it is worn as a talisman against illness and for all sorts of other purposes, or can be used for all kinds of magic.

The simplest form of a magic square is the nine compartmented square with numbers as shown in fig. 1. Under the name lǒ-shū, it is mentioned in Chinese literature: The legendary Emperor Yü (2200 b. c.) is said to have seen it on the back of a turtle which arose out of the Hoang-Ho. In Arabic literature, the square is first f…

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Ruska, J., “Wafḳ”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann. Consulted online on 22 January 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-871X_ei1_SIM_5933>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004082656, 1913-1936

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