I read in the introductory pages of تنوير الحوالك. Sharh Muwatta by Imam Sayyuti that Imam Sayyyuti was good in some subjects including hisaab (حساب). I used to think that hisaab is fortune telling. Pls I need clarifications from shaykh GF.
Hisab here means arithmetic, in which Suyuti excelled as he was a specialist of fara’id or inheritance law which requires hisab, as is clear from the context of the introductory pages you cited, which say:
وقرأ على الشرمساحي الفرائض والحساب
“He read before al-Sharmasahi inheritance law and arithmetic.”
As for other types of hisab the Kashshaf Istilahat al-Funun mentions “hisab al-jummal” (with shadda) which is gematria or numerology, a Jewish science which consists in assigning numerical values to letters and deriving exegetical meanings from them. Gematria is implied in the Hadith that mentions the Medina rabbis’ calculations of some of the Opening Letters in the Qur’an and their subsequent discouragement as discussed by Imam al-Baydawi in his Tafsir of Alif Lam Mim, where he rejects its validity as an exegetical discipline.
Hajj Gibril Haddad