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Last Updated: 2011/04/20
Summary of question
Are the sciences of Alchemy, Limiya, Himiya, and Simiya accepted in the religion?
Are the occult sciences, such as Alchemy, Limiya, Himiya, and Simiya part of the religious and divinely sanctioned sciences?
Concise answer

·         Kimiya: A science by which one can transform certain metals and minerals into other things.

·         Limiya: A science by which the soul can be transferred into another body.

·         Simiya: A science by which human beings can learn the means of doing acts requiring extraordinary feats of strength.

·         Himiya: A science through which the amalgamation of the powers of the higher realm, combined with elements in the lower world, are discussed.

·         Rimiya: A science which discusses the powers of the physical world, and the means of tapping into its power. The main goal of this science is interference in the matters of the physical world, gaining information about the things which are to come, and the conditions and states of specific individuals through various equations and other special methods; these are methods which do gain results in certain situations. In Islam, which is the most complete and comprehensive of the divine religions, the teaching, learning, and acting upon of such things has not been encouraged. Therefore, these are not considered as being amongst the divine and religious sciences

Detailed Answer

Before delving into the religious or irreligious nature of such sciences, it is necessary to briefly explain what these things even are: The occult sciences are sciences which are in reach of all people, and they have approximately 30 various branches; some of these branches include the science of raml, jafr, numbers, etc…

In spite of this, the five sciences of Kimiya, Limiya, Himiya, Simiya, and Rimiya are named the five veiled sciences in the overall occult sciences; this means that these five are secret science.[1]

The explanation and description of each of these sciences, according to Allamah Tabatabai in his Tafseer Al Mizan[2], is as follows:

1- Kimiya is a science which is also known as the ‘Science of Sana’at’. It is a science by which one can transform various metals and minerals into other things. For example, through this science, one can separate gold and silver from other metals, or transform rocks into gold.

2- Simiya is a science by which human beings learn the means to engage in extraordinary acts. The subject of this science is how to harmonize and amalgate the power of the will with the special physical powers. Through this, an individual can interfere in physical matters (break the physical laws), as well as go into the imagination of others. They have named such a thing as putting a spell on individuals, and this science, is the most sure and honest of the magical sciences.

3- The Science of Limiya is a science whereby the soul is transferred into another individual’s body. This science explores the effects of the will when it is attached to a strong and powerful soul. For example, if my will connected to that of the spirits which are in charge of the stars, what sorts of actions will I be able to perform? Or if my will is connected to the spirits which are in charge of events, and I am able to take control of them, or if I am able to take control of the Jinns, and gain their help, what sorts of actions will I be able to perform? This science, is called the science of subjugation.

4- The science of Himiya explores the amalgamation of the higher and lower worlds, so that one can gain special powers (this science is also called the science of ‘Telesmat’ or the science of ‘spells’), the reason being that the stars and other celestial bodies are connected with the phenomena that take place in our world, so if the celestial form that is similar to an earthly phenomenon is combined with the material form of that phenomenon, that phenomenal will take place and be actualized. For instance, if the celestial form that befits the death or life of a person is combined with his material form, what we want takes place for that person. This is what is meant by ‘spells’. This science is haram in the eyes of our scholars.

5- The science of Rimiya is a science whereby the physical powers are utilized to reach their extraordinary results, causing wonder in those watching; this science is also called ‘magic’.

Considering the explanations given on each of these sciences, it becomes clear that these sciences don’t have a religious nature, the reason being that some of them employ Jinns and spells and the subjugation of beings and intervene in the physical world, all of which aren't acceptable in religion.

For further clarification, paying attention to this point is necessary:

Amongst the various sciences which are available to mankind, some are less beneficial and fruitful in their entirety than other sciences. The occult sciences, such as jafr, raml, and nujoom are from amongst these less beneficial sciences. But of course these occult sciences differ greatly from magic and sorcery. The occult sciences are achieved through learning and engaging in certain practices; its main intent is foretelling the future, and gaining knowledge about various individuals and their states through practicing equations and engaging in various exercises. Naturally these types of practices only gain access to some realities, and not all. Due to the reason that Islam is a complete religion, these sorts of practices (which are partially true and at best incomplete sciences) are not encouraged in the body of the religion. As for magic and sorcery, it has been categorically considered as haram (sinful and religiously unlawful) by all the jurisprudents, unless it is used for a specific religious purpose. The reason behind this is that its initial steps consist of outright sinful actions, various unlawful self mortifications, summoning Jinns…and because it is used in hindering and obstructing the daily lives of people. For these reasons it is considered religiously unlawful, and for this same reason, the scholars of religion do not use these sciences.[3]


These sciences, since in certain cases cause the subjugation of Jinns or they expose the secrets of other individuals, are not considered acceptable by the religion (Islam). While this is the case, Alchemy (Kimiya) is a type of industrial science (which is in use today), and cannot be said to be religious or irreligious in nature (it is simply a science); at the same time it is still considered a branch of the occult sciences.

For further information and explanation into these occult sciences, you may refer to the following books:

1- Zubdatul Arwah, By Mahmoud Dahdar.

2- Da’iratul Ma’arif Tashayyu By Bahaudeen Khoramshahi, Volume 11.

3- Al Ma’idah or Farhatul-Ruh, By Seyed Ahmad Abd Manafi.

4- Tuhfah Hakeem, By Seyed Muhammad Mu’min Hussaini, Volume 2.

[1] Khorramshahi, Baha’uddin, Da’iratul Ma’arif Tashayyu, vol. 11, pg. 402, Shahid Sa’id Muhibbi Publications, Tehran, 1384.

[2] Tabatabai, Muhammad Husein, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran, Farsi Translation, Musavi Hamedani, vol. 1, pp. 368-369, Jame’eh Mudarresin Publications, Qom, 1374.

[3] Adopted from Question 1062 (website: 1127).

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