Ayatullah Jawadi on The Disjointed Letters (hurūf al-muqatt’āt)

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SHAFAQNA-

ن و القلم و ما يسطرون

Nun. By the Pen and what they write1

The following is an abridged translation of Āyatullah Jawadī Āmulī’s discussion concerning the hurūf al-muqatt’āt, the disjointed letters which are found at the beginning of some chapters of the Qurān.

Shaikh Jawadī begins his discussion by recounting some features related to the presence of these letters which are as follows:

  1. These letters are specific to the Qurān in so far as nothing similar to them is found in other divine books such as the Torah or Bible.
  2. The hurūf al-muqatt’āt are not specific to Meccan or Medinan chapters of the Qurān. There are 27 Meccan chapters and 2 Medinan chapters, a total of 29, that contain the hurūf al-muqatt’āt.
  3. The hurūf al-muqatt’āt at the beginning of chapters range from being 1-5 letters long such as;
    1. ق، ص، ن
    2. طس، یس
    3. الم، الر، طسم
    4. المص، المر
    5. كهيعص، حم، عسق
  4. Some of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt have been counted as part of a verse, others as a complete verse and others as two verses.
  5. Some of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt have been repeated many times such as ص, which has been mentioned independently in sūrah Sād and in sura al-‘araf as part of المص. Other have only been mentioned once such as ن. Interestingly, حم has been mentioned 7 times and the chapters in which حم has been mentioned are collectively referred to as the “Hawāmīm al-sab’ah” (حواميم السبعة).
  6. There are 14 hurūf al-muqatt’āt (not counting repetitions) which are as follows; ي ,ه ,ن ,م ,ل ,ك ,ق ,ع ,ط ,ص ,س ,ر ,ح ,ا
  7. Some exegetes have mentioned the view that by organising the hurūf al-muqatt’āt in different ways, statements such as “صراط علي حق نمسكه” (The path of ‘Alī is the truth and we hold steadfast to it) or “علي حق نمسك صراطه” (‘Alī is the truth, we hold steadfast onto his path) can be formed2. Although this is an interesting point, there is no reliable proof for it. Ālūsī, after mentioning what the Shiites have formed using the hurūf al-muqatt’āt proposes other formations in favour of the ahl al-sunnah such as “صحّ طريقك مع السنة” (Your path is correct if in accordance with the sunnah(tradition))3.
    1. The lesson learned from this example that pertains to this or any discussion is that views and opinions which are offered should not be flawed; that is, they should be supported by either rational evidence or reliable textual evidence (from the Qurān or ahadith corpus).

Sheikh Jawadī then goes onto recount 20 different opinions concerning the interpretation of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt according to different exegetes.

View 1

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt are from amongst the mutashābih (ambiguous) verses of the Qurān whose knowledge only God posseses as is mentioned in the following verse,

هُوَ الَّذِى أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ ءَايَاتٌ محُّْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَ أُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ  فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فىِ قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَ ابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ  وَ مَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا الله‏

It is He who has sent down to you the Book. Parts of it are definitive verses, which are the mother of the Book, while others are metaphorical(ambiguous). As for those in whose hearts is deviance, they pursue what is metaphorical (ambiguous) in it, courting temptation and courting its interpretation. But no one knows its interpretation except Allah…4 5

Criticism

It is not possible to argue that the hurūf al-muqatt’āt are from amongst the mutashābih verses because the mutashābih verses are those that posses meanings but their respective meanings can be incorrect and misleading. To elaborate, mutashābih verses are those that signify multiple meanings of which it is hard to distinguish between correct and incorrect meanings.

However, as for the hurūf al-muqatt’āt, it seems that a meaning, let alone multiple meanings, have not been established for them; thus they cannot be mutashābih.

Furthermore, if one were to presume that the hurūf al-muqatt’āt were from amongst the mutashābih verses of the Qurān, then it would still be possible to understand them as opposed to the suggestion that because they are mutashābih, they cannot be understood.. It is well established in the exegetical tradition that in order to understand mutashābih verses, one must refer them back to muhkam (definitive) verses. As such, the claim that God only has knowledge of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt in this context would still be incorrect.

Note

Matters whose knowledge is specific to God and the infallibles is of two types.

The first are those matters which others cannot hope to perceive or understand and are neither needy of.  Examples of such matters are the اَسْمَا مُسْتَأْثَرَة (the hidden names of God)6. Although it is a matter of discussion as to whether the infallibles possessed knowledge of them, what is certain is that no one else did, seeing as they did not have the capacity to perceive and understand such names.

The second are those matters, which although revealed from God, were revealed for the purpose of being learnt. However, the method of learning such matters is very specific, and in order to learn such a method one must refer to God through the Qurān and the ahl al-bayt.

View 2

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt are the names of each chapter in which they are present7. Just as Yā-Sīn, Tā-Hā, Sād and Qāf are the names of chapters, other chapters also have multiple names some of which are constituted by the hurūf al-muqatt’āt if they are present at the beginning of that chapter.

Sheikh al-Tūsī defended this view as the most accurate, he wrote as follows;

If one asks how it can be that these verses which are part of the chapter can be the name of the chapter itself then the answer will be that this is just like sūrah al-Baqarah or Āl-‘Imran in which Baqarah or Āl-‘Imran are found within the chapter and are the name of the chapter itself. Just like that, Alif-Lām-Mīm can be part of the chapter and the name of the chapter at the same time8.

Criticism

There is no particular proof against this claim; however there is also no proof to support the claim. As such, it is nothing more than a mere possibility.

View 3

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt are names of the Qurān just like, al-Furqān or al-Dhikr9.

Criticism

Even though this possibility is not rationally impossible, once again it requires some sort of proof and those who have proposed this view have failed to offer any sort of proof.

View 4

Each and every one of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt are an indication of one of God’s names or the Prophet’s name10. The hurūf are in fact codes or abbreviations.

Each and every name of God consists of different letters, as such the hurūf al-muqatt’āt have been taken from different names in different manners. For example, the alif in alif-lām-mīm is taken from the world “Allah” (الله), and the mīmis taken from the end of the words, “al-‘alīm” , “al-hakīm” and “al-rahīm”. That is, the hurūf al-muqatt’āt are abbreviations for the words from which they have been taken from.

To support this view it has been said that it was common in Arabic for one letter to be indicative of a whole word, like an abbreviation. An example of such is a narration attributed to the Prophet in which he is supposed to have said,

كَفَى بِالْسَيْفِ شَا

The sword will suffice as a healer

The شا in and of itself is not an actual word, but it is argued that it stands for شافي here, i.e. a healer11.

Shaikh al-Raīs Ibn Sīnā famously wrote a commentary on the hurūf al-muqatt’āt and held the above mentioned view, that is, every letter is an abbreviation and is representative of a word. For example,  is representative of the “first intellect” or alif  is representative of the Creator12.

Criticsm

Just as the previous view, what is proposed in this view is not rationally impossible but lacks sufficient proof. The narrations used to strengthen this view such as the above mentioned narration lack any sort of chain of narration and are thus not reliable.

Thus, this view lacks any sort of rational or textual (based on the ahadith corpus or the Qurān) proof. Also, that which Ibn Sina asserts lacks any sort of evidence.

‘Allāmah Tabātabāī adds to this criticism by saying that

The use of codes is in order to ensure that only the intended audience understands what is being said. This goal is not achieved through the hurūf al-muqatt’āt seeing as many of the divine names which they are claimed to signify are present through the Qurān; thus, according to this view they seem to have no purpose13.

View 5

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt are all different parts of an ism al-a’dham (اسم الاعظم), a supreme divine name which can be formed by the hurūf al-muqatt’āt when organised properly14. This supreme divine name is as such that generally people cannot fathom it.

The difference between this view and the previous one is that the previous view asserted that each letter is representative of a divine name, whilst this view proposes that all of the letters come to form one name.

Criticism

Two things can be meant by the term “ism al-a’dham”. One is a word that is known to be a name of Allah. The other is an existential name of God.

Words which form a name of Allah also signify his attributes; some of which are great such as “al-‘Alīm”, or “al-Hakīm”. Other are even greater such as “Allah” and “al-Rahmān”15. The greatest names, “Allah” and “al-Rahmān” contain, per se, all of the other divine names.

As for the existential names of Allah, these are names which are not “words”, rather knowledge of them must be gained through other names. This concept is something that the ‘urafā (gnostics) have derived from the narrations of the ahl al-bayt.

Now, upon having established this difference between different types of divine names, one can offer the following criticisms.

Firstly, the proposed view possesses no reliable supporting evidence. Secondly, “Allah” and “al-Rahmān” which signify/”contain” all other words that signify a divine name, are already present within the Qurān. There is no point in trying to form these two divine names through the hurūf al-muqatt’āt.

Seeing as there is no point in forming a divine name such as “Allah” or “al-Rahmān” through the hurūf al-muqatt’āt, one may propose that perhaps the hurūf al-muqatt’āt come together to form an existential divine name. A name that has the power to manipulate the world or raise the dead, however such names are not in the limited forms of words. These are not names that can be gained through the senses or a posteriori means (‘ilm al-husūlī), rather they must be gained through a priori means (‘ilm al-hudhūrī)16 .

Thus, even if one were to presume that this view were correct without any evidence, there would still be many problems associated with it.

View 6

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt are oaths taken by God that the Qurān is his book and word17. The reason why he has sworn by the letters of the Arabic alphabet is because these letters posses a certain nobility seeing as the Qurān and the divine names of Allah are composed of the Arabic alphabet.

Criticism

Once again, it is not rationally impossible for this view to be false, but it has no reliable proof. If we were to accept that “يس” (Yā-Sīn), actually meant “By Yā-Sīn”, the question would still remain as to what this oath means. Also, the question arises as to why such an oath been sworn on only 14 letters of the Arabic alphabet as opposed to the rest.

Lastly, it should be noted that an oath is meant to remove any doubt through that which the oath is sworn upon. In this case, that which the oath is sworn upon is unknown/ambiguous and thus, if we were to accept that the hurūf al-muqatt’āt were representative of oaths; the oath would seem to be pointless.

View 7

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt once converted to their numerical values in the abjad numerical system18 , signify significant events in the future such as the destruction of civilisations etc19. This view has also been brought forward in some narrations.

Criticism

The narrations that are typically used to support this view are not reliable. Exegetes such as Tabarī and Ibn Kathīr have investigated their reliability and concluded that they cannot be relied upon20.

As per usual, this view lacks any significant proof.

View 8

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt , when converted to their numerical values, signify the time period remaining for the survival of the Islamic nation21.

Criticism

Once again, this view is another possibility that has no proof.

View 9

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt have just been brought forth to provide examples of the Arabic alphabet22.

Criticism

This view does not seem to offer any sort of explanation of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt unless it is further proposed that in so far as the hurūf al-muqatt’āt have been brought forth as examples of the Arabic alphabet, they have no meaning and simply indicate that the Qurān is composed of such letters. An expansion of this view will be criticised under view 11.

View 10

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt were used in order to attract the attention of the disbelievers23. This is because the disbelievers would often collectively attempt to ignore the recitation of the Qurān. As such they would attempt to create distractions as indicated in the following verse,

َ قَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَا تَسْمَعُواْ لهَِاذَا الْقُرْءَانِ وَ الْغَوْاْ فِيهِ لَعَلَّكمُ‏ْ تَغْلِبُون‏

The faithless say, “Do not listen to this Qurān and hoot it down so that you may prevail [over the Apostle]24

To elaborate further, according to this view the hurūf al-muqatt’āt are not representative of any sort of noun or name; rather they are merely present to attract attention.

Criticism

Once again, there is no particularly reliable proof to support this view, although the view is not rationally impossible. However, what is definitely questionable is the context in which these hurūf are used if one is to accept the view. That is, if one was to accept this view then they would presume that these hurūf would be present in the Meccan chapters of the Qurān where there were large parties of disbelievers as opposed to the chapters revealed in Medina where the population largely consisted of believers. Unfortunately, this presumption is not true, as there are early chapters that lack these hurūf and there are later chapters revealed in Medina that posses the hurūf. Thus, the view does not seem to fit its relative historical context.

Another point that comes to mind is that if the disbelievers were intrigued by the recitation of these hurūf because such a thing was unconventional, there was still nothing stopping them from attempting to ignore the recitation of the Qurān that was recited after the hurūf. Furthermore, the occurrence of an occasion upon which the disbelievers fell silent after the recitation of the hurūf has not been narrated in history.

View 11

Similar to what was mentioned in view 9, the hurūf al-muqatt’āt were brought forth as examples of the Arabic alphabet, however the reason for this was to serve as a challenge. That is, these letters serve as a challenge to anyone who doubts the Qurānt to produce something similar to the Qurān with the use of the same letters25. This is because most of the chapters that begin with the hurūf typically describe the greatness of the Qurān shortly after. As such, these letters serve as a challenge to produce such a miracle with such simple tools.

Criticism

Even though this view is one of the most plausible views, there is still no reliable proof for it.

Such views, which have no definitive proof to support them and no proof to negate them often posses supporting and negating factors. Most people simply come to accept such views through the accumulation of multiple supporting factors and do not bother with any detailed investigation. However, researchers and scholars who take into account negating factors alongside supporting factors often find that such matters require much more investigation and are not so conclusive.

One of the supporting factors of this view is the fact that all of the divine names of God as well as every verse of the Qurān contains at least one of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt. Verses of the Qurān in relation to the hurūf al-muqatt’āt are of two types. Some of them are only composed of hurūf al-muqatt’āt, such as,

عَلَّمَ الاِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

(He) taught man what he did not know26

Others are composed of hurūf al-muqatt’āt with the addition of other letters. As such, this strengthens the challenging aspect of this view. That is, one is challenged to produce a miracle the likes of the Qurān in which these letters have been used throughout it.

View 12

The existence of hurūf al-muqatt’āt indicates that those specific letters have the most presence within the specific chapter that they are mentioned in as compared to other chapters within the Qurān, which is a miracle within itself27.

For example, sūrah al-a’rāf begins with the letters “المص”. Upon examining the occurrence of these letters in comparison to the occurrence of all other letters, 37.558% of the chapter consists of these letters. If this figure were to be compared to the other 113 chapters of the Qurān while taking into account their length and other factors, it would be found that the figure for sūrah al-a’raf is the largest as compared to others.

To clarify, the claim here is not that, for example, the letter ق occurs the most in sūrah al-Qāf as compared to other letters in the same chapter. Rather the claim is that ق occurs the most in sūrah al-Qāf as compared to its occurrence in other chapters.

Criticism

If this claim were to be proven it would certainly be established as a linguistic miracle of the Qurān. If, for example, a chapter such as sūrah al-Baqarah, which was revealed over the course of 12-18 months was composed in such a precise manner it would definitely be indicative of a miracle.

There are other such linguistic miracles which are just as interesting such as the fact that the word شهر (meaning month) occurs exactly 12 times in the Qurān, or that the word يوم (meaning day) occurs 365 times in the Qurān or that the words دنيا (world) and آخرة (hereafter) are equally mentioned 115 times each within the Qurān28.

As for the claim itself, it is necessary for it to be thoroughly and precisely investigated. So far, studies that have been done on this matter have had questionable methodologies. Until a thorough study of this matter is not done, nothing can be said for certain.

View 13

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt were revealed to distinguish between the end of the previous chapter and beginning of the next29.

Criticsm

Firstly, the verse بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم is sufficient to distinguish between the ending and starting of chapters as has been indicated in some narrations;

The ending of a chapter would only be known through the revelation of

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

which would signal the start of another (chapter)30

Secondly, if these letters were revealed to distinguish between chapters then it would be necessary for all the chapters of the Qurān (except for the first one) to posses these letters. However, as evident, only 29 chapters of the Qurān possess these letters.

View 14

These letters were revealed so as to provide a summary of the contents of the chapters in which they were present31.

Criticsm

If it was really as such then these letters should have been at the beginning of every chapter of the Qurān

View 15

The hurūf al-muqatt’āt serve as prefaces for the chapters of the Qurān32.

Criticism

If it was as such then once again, these letters should have been present at the beginning of every chapter which is not the case. Also, if they were really to serve as introductions then the fact that their meanings have not been precisely determined defeats that purpose.

View 16

There are some amongst the orientalists who have proposed that the hurūf al-muqatt’āt are the names of people who possessed manuscripts of the Qurān33 34. For example, the letter “س” stands for, Sa’d bin Abū Qays, or the letter “م” stands for, Mughīra bin Shu’ba.

Criticsm

This view presumes that the text of the Qurān has been modified and that as such, letters which were not part of the Qurān were added to it. That is, this view proposes that the Qurān has been distorted through the addition of letters foreign to it which goes against the agreement of all scholars.

Secondly, as has been recorded in history, the Prophet also read these letters when reciting the Qurān35.

Thirdly, if these letters are actually representative of the names of those who possessed manuscripts of the Qurān, then they should be written on the back cover of the manuscript just as has been typically done with other manuscripts. It would not make sense for such initials to be written after “بسم الله”.

Another point to note is that those who hold this view have only been able to suggest plausible names of companions for some of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt, they have not been able to suggest an explanation all of the hurūf collectively.

As such, this is perhaps the most far-fetched view that has been proposed as an understanding of the function of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt.

View 17

Perhaps the hurūf al-muqatt’āt are some sort of indication of the number of verses contained within the chapters of the Qurān.

Criticsm

This is a far-fetched view due to the lack of any sort of evidence presented alongside it.

View 18

It has been narrated from Abū Bakr Tabrīzī that God knew that some people would assert the view that the Qurān was uncreated (i.e. It has always existed) and because of this He added these letters at the beginning of some chapters of the Qurān so that people would know that the Qurān is not uncreated since it is composed of letters that have been created and did not eternally exist36.

Criticism

This view lacks any rational or textual proof. Furthermore, those who believe that the Qurān is uncreated also believe that its letters are uncreated.

View 19

‘Allāmah Tabātabāī notes that chapters that contain the same hurūf al-muqatt’āt have similar content and that this relationship does not occur in other chapters of the Qurān.

For example, chapters that start with “حم” typically also contain the line,”تنزيل الكتاب من الله” or other words that convey the same meaning. Another example is that chapters that start with “طس” or “الم”, usually refute any sort of doubt associated with the Qurān.

Another interesting point that is noted is that chapters that begin with hurūf al-muqatt’āt that are inclusive of other hurūf al-muqatt’āt are also inclusive of the content of other chapters with those respective hurūf al-muqatt’āt. For example, sūrah al-A’rāf which begins with “المص” and contains similar content to chapters that start with “الم” and “ص” respectively.

Thus, although it may not be possible to understand the meaning of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt; it is enough to know that they posses some sort of relationship to the content of the different chapters in which they are present37.

Criticism

Although ‘Allāmah Tabātabāī’s view is the result of great effort and offers multiple supporting examples, there is still a need for greater effort to research it. To prove that such a relationship exists between the hurūf al-muqatt’āt and the content of the chapters in which they exist, one must examine the content of all such chapters as well as chapters that don’t contain hurūf al-muqatt’āt.

View 20

The previous views all attempted to offer some sort of exegesis for the hurūf al-muqatt’āt and were based on the presumption that the hurūf al-muqatt’āt could be explained. However, another view is that knowledge of the meaning of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt is something possessed by God and His Prophet and that the meaning of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt is not meant to be understood by others38.

Criticsm

Acceptance of this view requires proof of the claim that knowledge of the meaning of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt is limited to God and the Prophet. Furthermore, this view seems to contradict the emphasis within the Qurān to contemplate it,

أَ فَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْءَانَ أَمْ عَلىَ‏ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا

Do they not contemplate the Qur’an, or are there locks on the hearts?39

This verse is general, in so far as no exception is provided for any part of the Qurān. Thus, verses containing hurūf al-muqatt’āt are also included in this reprimand seeing as they are part of the Qurān. As such, if one is to presume that the meaning of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt is known only to God and His Prophet, then the hurūf cannot be contemplated. This is why Ālūsī attempts to argue that the hurūf al-muqatt’āt are not included in the order to contemplate the Qurān40.

However, as previously mentioned, the verse does not offer any exceptions to the order of contemplation.

It should also be noted that contemplation is of two types. Sometimes one understands something through contemplation and other times one understands that to contemplate something they need to refer to someone else such as the ahl al-bayt, as the Qurān mentions,

فَسْئَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُون‏

Ask the People of the Reminder if you do not know41

If one argues that knowledge of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt is confined only to the Prophet and God, then both types of contemplation of the hurūf is not possible. Thus, such a view is not compatible with the Qurān’s emphasis on contemplation.

Note

It is definitely possible for gnostics the likes of Ibn ‘Arabī to witness realities such as the meanings of the hurūf al-muqatt’āt , however what they witness is not binding upon others as proof as others have no means to prove what they witness. Yes, if they managed to formulate what they witnessed into logical proofs then they could be evaluated as such.

To conclude, it is interesting to note that the Qurān has been described as light. As such, the parts of anything that exists as light constitute light unless otherwise limited. The light exists regardless of whether or not others can see it. As such, it is necessary for the hurūf al-muqatt’āt to be understandable. They constitute a part of the light of the Qurān. Simply because one cannot perceive the light or their meaning does not mean that the meaning does not exist.

  1. al-Qalam 68:1-2
  2. Bahrānī, al-Burhān fī Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 1 pg. 167
  3. Ālūsī, Rūh al-M’ānī v. 1 pg. 172
  4. Āl ‘Imrān 3:8
  5. The above view has been presented in works such as; Tūsī, al-Tibyān fī Tafsīr al-Quran v. 1 pg. 48
  6. This concept is present in multiple narrations, for an example one may refer to; Kulaynī, Usūl al-Kāfī v. 1 pg. 334
  7. This view is presented in; al-Rāzī, Tafsīr al-Kabīr v. 2 pg. 6
  8. Tūsī, al-Tibyān fī Tafsīr al-Quran v.1 pg. 49
  9. Tabrisī, Majma’ al-Bayān v. 1 pg. 112
  10. Suyutī, al-Itqān fī ‘Ulūm al-Qurān v. 2 pg. 11
  11. This view is recorded in; Qurtubī, al-Jami’ lī Ahkām al-Qurān v. 1 pg. 151; others have mentioned differing views for what the شا stands for
  12. Mullā Sadrā, Tafsīr al-Qurān al-Karīm v. 6 pg. 15
  13. Tabātabāī, al-Mīzān fī Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 18 pg. 15
  14. This view is mentioned in Tabātabāī, al-Mīzan fī Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 18 pg. 15
  15. This is established through verse 100 of sūrah al-Isrā which says,“قُلِ ادْعُواْ اللَّهَ أَوِ ادْعُواْ الرَّحْمَانَ  أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُواْ فَلَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الحُسْنَى”This is commonly translated as“Say, ‘Invoke ‘Allah’ or invoke ‘the All-beneficent’, whichever (of His Names) you may invoke, to Him belong the Best Names.’”However, the pronoun in فَلَهُ refers to ايَّا, thus an accurate translation would be as follows;

    “Say, ‘Invoke ‘Allah’ or invoke ‘the All-beneficent’, whichever (of these two names) you may invoke, to these two names belong the Best Names”

  16. For a more thorough and very interesting discussion on existential names of Allah and their relationship to divine names formed by letters, refer to Sheikh Jawadī’s tafsīr, Tafsīr-e-Tasnīm v. 2 pg. 78
  17. This view has been mentioned in, Tabrisī, Majma’ al-Bayān v. 1 pg. 112; al-Burhān fi Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 1 pg. 113
  18. For further reading about this system refer to this link
  19. This view has been mentioned in Tabrisī, Majma’ al-Bayān v. 1 pg. 113; al-Rāzī, Tafsīr al-Kabīr v. 2 pg. 7
  20. See Tabarī, Jami’ al-Bayān fī Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 1 pg. 68; Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr al-Qurān al-‘Adhīm v. 1 pg. 40
  21. This view is mentioned in, Tabrisī, Majma’ al-Bayān v. 1 pg. 113; Tabātabāī, al-Mīzan fī Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 18 pg. 7
  22. This view has been mentioned in Tabrisī, Majma’ al-Bayān v. 1 pg. 113
  23. Tabrisī, Majma’ al-Bayān v. 1 pg. 113
  24. Fussilat 41:26
  25. Tūsī, al-Tibyān fī Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 1 pg. 38
  26. al-‘Alaq :5
  27. al-Burhān fī ‘Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 1 pg. 169
  28. al-‘Ijāz al-‘Adadī lī al-Qurān al-Karīm v. 1-3
  29. Fakhr al-Rāzī, Tafsīr al-Kabir v. 2 pg. 8
  30. ‘Ayyāshī, Tafsīr al-‘Ayyāshī v. 1 pg. 19
  31. Tabarī, Jami’ al-Bayān fī Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 1 pg. 152
  32. Tabarī, Jami’ al-Bayān fī Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 1 pg. 67
  33. Saleh, Mabāhith fī ‘Ulūm al-Qurān pg. 239
  34. This view has been thoroughly presented in Watt and Bell’s “Introduction to the Qurān”, pg. 61. It is interesting to note that, as mentioned within the book, “Noeldeke, to whom the suggestion that these letters were indications of names of collectors was originally due, in his later articles departed from it, and adopted the view that they were meaningless symbols…”
  35. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīrah al-Nabawīyah v. 1 pg. 270
  36. Sadrā, Tafsīr al-Qurān al-Karīm v. 1 pg. 212
  37. Refer to ‘Allāmah Tabātabāī’s discussion on this view for further elaboration; Tabātabāī, al-Mīzan fī Tafsīr al-Qurān v. 18 pg. 8
  38. Sadrā, Tafsīr al-Qurān al-Karīm v. 6 pg. 17-18; Sadrā, al-Hikmat al-Mut’ālīyat fī al-Asfār al-Aqlīah al-Arba’ah; Ālūsī, Rūh al-M’ānī v. 1 pg. 28
  39. Muhammad 47:24
  40. Ālūsī, Rūh al-M’ānī v. 1 pg. 167
  41. al-Nahl 16:43

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