Sahams, Arabic Parts and Arabic Lots
Saham is an Arabic Astrology term which in Arabic means an Arrow.
These were also known as Arabic Parts and Arabic Lots in medieval astrology books. Now as history has proved beyond doubt that these are very old tool of ancient Astrology which was used even by Egyptian and then Greek and Sasanian/Iranian Astrologers.
Arabic Astrologers no where said that they invented this technique but always quoted them to have from ancient astrologers books, e.g. look to Abu Rehan Al biruni book
*** The book of instruction in the elements of the art of astrology****.
He wrote clearly that he got these Sahams from Abu Muashar book and where he was confirmed he also tells us that this and this Sahams was written by Hermes and other old Astrologers.
He also tells us that other Arabian astrologers have also discovered a lot of new Sahams to be used in Horary and Electional Astrology and says that its difficult to say how many are they, as their nos are increasing everyday.
Al Beiruni was a great Scholar and lived among ppl who could not differentiate between Magician and Astrologer and was very careful to say anything about Astrology in his writings as those ppl could also blame him as a magician.
We also need to keep in our mind that he spent most of his life with Ghazni Ruler Mahmood Ghaznavi who was a very religious person and didn’t believed a lot on Astrology. So in such circumstances we can understand Al Beiruni status well.
Until nowadays very few ppl can differentiate between Magician and an Astrologer as all the Charltans and black magicians still use the guise of Astrologer with their names. So we can understand well how the environment at the time of Al beiruni must have been.
Here is exact Paragraph from his book
*** Verse 476. Other Lots than Part of Fortune
Ptolemy recognized only one Part of Fortune, but others have introduced an excessive number of methods of casting lots at nativities. We reproduce in tables those which Abu Ma’shar has mentioned.
In each case there are three things to be attended to: place 1 – the beginning ‘mubdá’; place 2 – the end ‘muntahá’; and place 3 – the casting point ‘malqá’, which are treated as in the preceding paragraph, the position in a figure of the heavens of the fortune or lot in question being thereby determined. [Note] These three points are called respectively ‘manqud’ [amount subtracted], ‘manqud minhu’ [that from which it is subtracted] and ‘muzad ralaihi’ [amount added]. Sometimes the same arrangement is used for both diurnal and nocturnal nativities, but frequently points 1 and 2 are interchanged for nocturnal ones.
It is impossible to enumerate the lots which have been invented for the solution of horary questions, and for answering enquiries as to prosperous outcome or auspicious time for action; they increase in number every day, but the following 97 different lots, 7 of which belong to the planets, 80 to the houses and 10 to neither are those most commonly in use. *****