The peculiarity of fire is that it unites all the parts of mineral bodies
and delimits them. If their ingredients are different from each other,
it separates them, since it burns whatever it comes into contact with,
within a limited span of time. Thus, if two minerals are mixed, it
consumes the weaker one, and keeps the stronger one in existence.141
Al-Kindi further writes:
This rs the belief to which Omanis subscribed, and Plato's belief compelled him to believe in it, as he desired to make a coloured ingredient enter the other, so that they may both persist upon fire together
and also perish together, and the mass and magnitude of the coloured
body may remain equal to that of the mineral body.
This last condition shows that gold cannot be made into silver, but
what we have said about is fidru above is an exception. Fire does not destroy rasas in isfidru, before copper although it destroys both together,
even though the description of mines or bodies does not figure in the
definition of fire.
The allusion and terminology of the alchemists denote the names of
bodies by planets. This makes people lead themselves to the belief that
the views of astrologers resemble their own, although this is not so.
This opinion is difierent from that of the commonalty. They say that
there is a bond of love between iron and copper in that copper is for
Venus and rasas for Mercury. A young maiden loves a young boy and
clings to him. Astrologers associate rasas with Venus and copper with
Mars.142 There is, however, nothing common between the two except
for the proximity of heavens.
The weight of Sujr measured with the axis of gold as the standard, is
46-5/8. I have my own doubts about it. The true figure could have been
disclosed through continued experimentation, but I did not get the time
It is God Who prospers and asists.
This is brass, the reddish colour of which has been gone away with
by pouring lead and mixing it. Kettles and cauldrons are cast from it.
Should shibh be poured upon it, a pale colour begins to dominate. It is
called shibh-i-mufarragh. Lampstands, candle-sticks and items of the
toilet, e.g., tongs, closet, storage tanks, etc., and roadways, mosques and
water reservoirs are made from it. If there is a tashdid upon the td in it,
I should believe from its name that it is the worst form of brass, since it
resembles rust. It is neither malleable nor capable of being heated upon
fire for long.