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Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

"The word tauz is derived from azha (synonym lazha), which appears to have the root meaning of clinging, as of flesh to bones, and hence expresses clinging to someone for refuge from some persons or some cause of fear. Every recitation of the Koran must begin with the formula of refuge, i.e., the isti'adhah which reads: A'uzu bi-llahi min al-shaitani'r-rajim (I seek refuge in God from the stoned Satan). It has been made obligatory through the Koran: "When you recite the Koran, seek refuge in God from Satan, the stoned one" (16:98).

Many passages in the Koran are incantations in which the believer can take refuge from evil. The foremost is the "taking of refuge" (ta'awwuz) and a'uzu bi-llahi min al-shaitani'r-rajim (I seek refuge in God from the stoned Satan), then the last "two suras of refuge" (al-mu'awwadhatan). Some of the verses of refuge (ayat al-hifz) are "God is the best Protector" (12:64), "Nor have thy defender beside Him" (13:11), "And We have guarded it from every outcast devil" (15:17), "With security from every rebellious devil" (37:7), "Put your trust in God; God suffices as a Guardian" (4:81, 33:3, 33:48), "He is Guardian over all things" (39:62), etc., and the most famous is Ayat al-Kursi (2:256). Tabari reports in Jami al-Bayan (7:200) that Ibn Masud began his recitation with the words, "I seek refuge in God, the All-Hearing, All-Knowing, from the stoned Satan". But the Prophet, according to Qurtubi in al-Jami li Ahkam al-Koran (1:87), told him, "I seek refuge in God from the stoned Satan" is what Jibrail taught me to recite.

Rajm, no doubt, does mean the throwing of stones, but it is also used to indicate zann or conjecture, tawahhum or superstition, or abusing or driving away. It however occurs in the sense of conjecture in the Koran: "Making conjectures (rajm-an) at what is unknown" (18:22). And in the sense of abuse in 19:46 in which the word la-arjumanna-ka is explained as meaning, "I will speak to thee in words which thous dost not like". And it is added that Shaitan or the devil is called rajim, because "he is driven from all good and from the high place of the exalted assembly (mala'al-ala)".

Now in the Koran occur the words: "And We have adorned this lower heaven with lights and We have made them rujum-an li'l-shayatin, which words are wrongly translated as missiles for the devils. In the light of what has been stated above, the meaning is clearly, means of conjecture for the kahins, i.e., the diviners and the astrologers. On the authority of a tradition going back to Ibn Abbas, the allusion is to the soothsayers and astrologers who saw the source of good and evil in the stars.

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