Previous blogs have discussed the hisaab al-jummal, also known as abjad calculation which is the assigning of numeric values to individual letters. The same concept exists in Judaism with the Hebrew letters but is referred to as gematria. Both Islam and Judaism have spiritual traditions of contemplating numbers both in the text narrative as well as applying gematria/abjad systems. Following our last blog on the metaphorical meaning behind trees with examples from the Tree of Life, we can find many interesting links between the Tree of Life in the Arabic and Hebrew holy texts of the Quran and the Torah.
The Quran actually calls the tree of life the Tree of (Eternal) Life and Dominion “شَجَرَةِ ٱلْخُلْدِ وَمُلْكٍ” (20:120) whereas the Torah calls it the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil “עֵ֗ץ הַדַּ֨עַת֙ ט֣וֹב וָרָ֔ע” (Genesis 2:17) and alternatively the tree of life “עֵ֥ץ הַֽחַיִּֽים”(Genesis 3:24). If we examine some of the numerology related to these words and related words, some interesting patterns will arise.
67 and 40
The Arabic name is composed of three words with a hisaab al-jummal value of 1695 with the corresponding value of each word as 903, 665 and 127. The words “tree” and “life” each have the value of 903 and 665 respectively with a total value of 1568 which doesn’t include the value for the word “dominion.” Despite being a closely related Semitic language, the corresponding Hebrew word for tree is derived from another root (no pun intended), with the entire word “tree of life” having a numerical value of 1606, with the words “tree” and “life” each having the value of 970 and 636 respectively. Now, if we subtract the Arabic value of “tree of life” from the Hebrew (1606-1568) we get 38 (which interestingly is the value of 19, the divine number times two, with the two alluding to the two names or revelations). Then if we subtract the Hebrew numerical value of “life” from the Arabic one (665-636) we get 29 (which also happens to be the value of adding the individual numbers for the values of the Arabic words “tree of life” [9, 0, 3, 6, 6 and 5]). Adding that 29 to our 38 we get 67. Now things get interesting. What do you think we get if we subtract the numerical value of the Arabic “tree” from the Hebrew one? That’s right, it’s 67.
What’s also interesting is if we take the Arabic value for “life” and subtract it from the value of the Hebrew words “knowledge of good and evil” (772-665) we get 107. If we now subtract the difference in the values for the word “tree” in Arabic and Hebrew (the magic 67) that we previously calculated from 107 we get 40. Despite 40 also being a symbolic number in both faiths, it’s more importantly the difference in the numerical values of the Arabic and Hebrew Divine names (66-26) Allah “ٱللَّـهُ” and YHWH “יְהֹוָ֥ה” respectively.
21 is a significant number as it is the value of multiplying three by seven which are among the most significant and repeated numbers in both Islam and Judaism. It also adds up to the number three when its individual numbers are added together.
If we multiply the value of the Divine names together, we get 1716. If we then subtract the value of the Arabic “tree of life and dominion” (1695) we get 21. Likewise, if we add the individual numbers of the Arabic word ““tree of life and dominion” (1, 6, 9 and 5) it’s also adding up to, you guessed it, 21. Finally, if we go back to the 67 and the 107, the difference in the numerical values of the words for “tree” and “life” in both languages/sacred texts, we find that their individual numbers also add up to 21.
These numerological links between the Torah and Quran are very interesting and deserve more investigation. Do you know of any other links? If so, please share in the comments! Wishing you all some very inspired reflection.