Huruf-e-Muqatta’at

(The disjointed letters in Qur’an) by: M. Rashid Hai

The 29 surah (verses) of Qur’an start with some disjointed letters called ‘huruf-e-muqattat’at’ – disjointed letters. Some of these muqatta’at comprises of simply 1 letter, some of 2 letters, some 3 letters, some 4 letters and a few comprises 5 letters.

The surah starting with these muqatta’at are listed below:

There are surah that start with simply one muqatta (singular of muqatta’at)

1-      Surah 38,  Suad: Suad

2-      Surah 50, Quaf:  Quaf

3-      Surah 60, Al-Qalam: Noon

There are 9 surah that start with 2 muqatta’at

1-      Surah 20, Ta-Ha: Ta Ha

2-      Surah 27, Al-Namal: Ta Seen

3-      Surah 36, Ya-Sin: Ya Seen

4-      Surah 40, Al-Momin:  Ha Meem

5-      Surah 41, Al-Hameem Sejda: ha Meem

6-      Surah 43, Al-Zukhurf:  ha Meem

7-      Surah 44, Al-Dukhan: ha Meem

8-      Surah 45, Al-Jaseya: ha Meem

9-      Surah 46, Al-Ahqaf: ha Meem

There are 13 surah that start with 3 muqatta’at

1-      Surah 2, Al-Baqra: Alif Laam Meem

2-      Surah 3, Ale-Imran: Alif Laam Meem

3-      Surah 10, Yunus: Alif Laam Ra

4-      Surah 11, Hud: Alif Laam Ra

5-      Surah 12, Yusuf: Alif Laam Ra

6-      Surah 14, Ibrahim: Alif Laam Ra

7-      Surah 15, Al-Hijr: Alif Laam Ra

8-      Surah 26, Al-Sho’ara: Ta Sin Meem

9-      Surah 28, Al-Qasas:  Ta Sin Meem

10-   Surah 29, Al-ankaboot: Alif Laam Meem

11-   Surah 30, Al-Room: Alif Laam Meem

12-   Surah 31, Luqman: Alif Laam Meem

13-   Surah 32, Al-Sejda: Alif Laam Meem

Following 2 start with  4 muqatta’at

1-      Surah 7, Al-A’araaf: Alif Laam Meem Suad

2-      Surah 13, Al-Ra’d: Alif Laam Meem Ra

And following 2 start with 5 muqatta’at

  1. Surah 19, Maryam: Kaf Ha Ya Ain Suad
  2. Surah 42, Al-Shuraa: ha Meem; Ain Seen Quaf

Thesis

The thesis is also supported by the fact that, by far the majority of the Surahs  beginning with such openings, 25 out of 29, were revealed during the period when ostracized by people, the Prophet was sorely in need of reassurance.

This solution does not offer the actual words or meanings which these letters in each case represent. But that is of secondary or even negligible importance. Vocation, particles, forms of address, terms of esteem or appreciation, sobriquets, aliases all these have no specific meaning attached to them. Since they do not affect the sense of the message that follows. It is enough that they are only forms of address to Muhammad varying according to the circumstances and contents of the message. Perhaps Muhammad himself understood the words which the letters in each case represented but was too modest to repeat them to the scribes; perhaps he merely felt their appreciative import but was too sincere to replace the feeling with words. In any case this solution does away with the innumerable far –fetched conjectures each of which has been discountenanced by the exponents of others and have together contradicted the claim of the Qur’an that its contents are clear and explicit to all who have approach to it. (The message of Qur’an – 1974- by Dr. Hashim Amir Ali)

 

In 1974, an Egyptian biochemist named Rashad Khalifa claimed to have discovered a mathematical code in the Qur’an based on the these initials and the number 19, which is mentioned in Surah 74:30 (“the hell fire ‘saqar’ is guarded by 19 angels”) of the Qur’an. According to his claims, these initials, which prefix 29 chapters of the Qur’an, occur throughout their respective chapters in multiples of nineteen. He has noted other mathematical phenomena throughout the Qur’an, all related to what he describes as the “mathematical miracle of the Qur’an.”

 

Opinion-1

These letters contain the names of Allah SWT. Contradicting this opinion, scholars say that as per saheeh Hadith there are 99 names of Allah SWT and those names have no relevance with these letters.

Hazrat Ibn Abbas RA has said that in these muqatta’at the Ism-e-Azam is hidden and ‘alif laam meem’ is an Ism-e-Azam. (Tafseer Ibn Kathir)

 

Opinion-2

These letters when joined together with different combinations they emerge as Allah’s name. For example when alif, laam, meem and ha, meem are joined with noon, it makes Al-Rahman. It makes sense in this case but no second name can be made with any other set of combinations.

 

Opinion-3

These are the name of Rasool Allah SWA, while referring to ‘Ta-Ha’ and ‘Ya-seen’. However this can also not be taken as very correct, because Rasool Allah SWA himself told his names as Muhammad, Ahmad, Mahi and Hashir (Saheeh Bukhari)