The Miracle of the Serial Order of the Suras opening with Abbreviated Letters (Fawatih)  

by  BASSAM JARRAR



          The Miracle of the Serial Order of the Suras opening with Fawatih (Letters)
Letter opening Sura Name No of Sura No Verses
A.L.M. The Cow 2 1 286
A.L.M.  Imranites 3 2 200
A.L.M.S'  Purgatory 7 3 206
A.L.R. Jonas 10 4 109
A.L.R. Hud 11 5 123
A.L.R. Joseph 12 6 111
A.L.M.R. Thunder 13 7 43
A.L.R. Abraham 14 8 52
A.L.R. Hijr Valley 15 9 99
K.H.Y.'A.S'. Mary 19 10 98
T.H. Ta.Ha. 20 11 135
T.S.M The Poets 26 12 227
T.S. Ant 27 13 93
T.S.M History 28 14 88
A.L.M. The Spider 29 15 69
A.L.M.  Romans 30 16 60
A.L.M. Luqman 31 17 34
A.L.M. Prostration 32 18 30
Y.S. Ya.Sin. 36 19 83
S. Sad. 38 20 88
H.M. Forgiver 40 21 85
H.M. Elucidated 41 22 54
H.M.'A.S.Q. Consultation 42 23 53
H.M. Ornaments 43 24 89
H.M. Smoke 44 25 59
H.M. Kneeling 45 26 37
H.M. The Dunes 46 27 35
Q. Qaf. 50 28 45
NuN The Pen 68 29 52

 

 Arabic version

Letter

Opening

Name

of Sura

No. of

Sura

Number

 

Letter

Opening

Name

of Sura

No. of

 Sura

Number

الم

البقرة

2

1

 

الم

الروم

30

16

الم

آل عمران

3

2

 

الم

لقمان

31

17

المص

الأعراف

7

3

 

الم

السجدة

32

18

الر

يونس

10

4

 

يس

يس

36

19

الر

هود

11

5

 

ص

ص

38

20

الر

يوسف

12

6

 

حم

غافر

40

21

المر

الرعد

13

7

 

حم

فصلت

41

22

الر

إبراهيم

14

8

 

حم عسق

الشورى

42

23

الر

الحجر

15

9

 

حم

الزخرف

43

24

كهيعص

مريم

19

10

 

حم

الدخان

44

25

طه

طه

20

11

 

حم

الجاثية

45

26

طسم

الشعراء

26

12

 

حم

الاحقاف

46

27

طس

النمل

27

13

 

ق

ق

50

28

طسم

القصص

28

14

 

ن

القلم

68

29

الم

العنكبوت

29

15

 

 

 

 

 

There are 29 Suras in the Holy Qur’an beginning with letters (Fawatih), such as: Alif. Lam. Mim; Alif. Lam. Ra. These are called luminous letters and interpreters have discussed their meanings at length without arriving at any conclusion that is based on any evidence. One widely held opinion is that the Qur’an consists of letters like these which do not incapacitate you and thus Allah challenges people to produce a similar Qur’an with the letters available to them. However, generally, “Allah knows better what He means” has become the conventional answer to attempts at interpretation.

Here we do not intend to interpret or explain their meanings but we do intend to discuss the mathematical configuration of these openings based on the number 19, and thus show, if not why they are significant, then at least how significant they are.

Introducing Openings (Fawatih)

1.  Out of 114 Suras, there are 29 with letter openings. The ratio of the number of words in them to the number of words in the whole of the Holy Qur’an is approximately 48%.

2.  The total number of different openings is 14, consisting of 14 letters of the alphabet.

3. Out of these 29 Suras, the first to be revealed was Sura 29, which opens with the letter Noon (ن)=(N). This opening is not repeated. Sura 50 was revealed next, beginning with the letter Qaf (ق), which is also the beginning of Sura 42. The third revelation was Sura 38, beginning with the letter Sa’ad (ص)=(S'), which later began Suras 7 and 19. Thus, it is clear that the opening Noon (ن) which was revealed first occurred once; the opening Qaf (ق) which was revealed second occurred twice, while the opening Sa’ad (ص)=(S') which was revealed third occurred three times.

4.   There are one-letter openings: (ص ,ق , ن)= ( S', Q, N) which, as shown above, were the earliest revelations, and this has its significance. There are two-letter openings: (طه, يس, طس, حم)= ( TH, YS, TS, HM); there are three-letter openings: ( الم, الر, طسم)=( ALM, ALR, TSM); there are four-letter openings: (المص,المر)= (ALMS',ALMR), and there are five-letter openings: (كهيعص, حم عسق)=(KHY'AS', HM'ASQ).

5.   Openings can be classified on the basis of their frequency into:

A. Openings whose forms occur only once: المص, المر, كهيعص , طه, طس, يس, ص, حم عسق, ق, ن. = ALMS, ALMR, KHY'AS, TH, TS,YS, Sad, HM 'ASQ, Q, N.

B. Openings occuring more than once: الم, الر, طسم, حم = ALM, ALR, TSM, HM .

C. Some of the aforementioned openings occur as part of another opening, such as the opening (طس)=(TS) which occurs in (طسم)=(TSM); the opening (ص)=(S') occurs in (كهيعصand المص)=(KHY'AS' and ALMS'); and the opening (ق)=(Q) occurs in (حم عسق)=(HM'ASQ).

The Mathematical Configuration of Openings and their Suras:

Number 19 in the Configuration of Openings and their Suras

1.                1-  The first Sura of the 29 is Surat Al-Baqara and its order in the Mus’haf is two (i.e. It is the second Sura in the Qur’an). The last is Surat Al-Qalam, the 68th Sura. Thus, the number of Suras from Baqara to Qalam is 67. This means that there are 38 Suras between Baqara and Qalam that do not open with luminous letters. (67-29=38, i.e. 19×2)

2.          2-        The openings are: الم, المص, الر, المر, كهيعص, طه, طسم, طس, يس, ص,  حم, حم عسق,  قand ن 

=      ALM, ALMS', ALR, ALMR, KHY'AS',TH,TSM, TS,YS, S', HM, HM 'ASQ, Q and N. The letter count in these openings is also 38, i.e. 19x2.  

        The four letter opening المر=ALMR contains the two openings,  الم=ALM and الر=ALR, and so does المص= ALMS which contains the openings الم=ALM  and ص = S. However, طسم=TSM contains only طس=TS because م= M is not an opening… and so on. Thus we observe that the occurrence of openings in the 29 Suras is 38, i.e. 19 x 2. Here is an illustration of that:

A. The opening الم= ALM occurs separately or as part of other openings in the following Suras: الم= ALM (Sura 2, ‘Al-Baqara’); الم (Sura 3, ‘Aal-I-Imran’);  المص= ALMS (Sura 7, ‘Al-A’raf’); المر= ALMR (Sura 13, ‘Ar-Ra’d’); الم (Sura 29, ‘Al-‘Ankabut’); الم (Sura 30, ‘Ar-Rum’); الم (Sura 31, ‘Luqman’); and  الم(Sura 32, ‘As-Sajda’). Thus, there is a total of 8 occurrences.

B. الر= ALR occurs singly or as part of another opening in the following Suras: الر= ALR (Sura 10, ‘Yunus’);  الر (Sura 11, ‘Hud’); الر(Sura 12, ‘Yusuf’); المر= ALMR (Sura 13, ‘Ar-Ra’d’); الر (Sura 14, ‘Ibrahim’) and الر(Sura 15, ‘Al-Hijr’). Thus, there are 6 occurences.

C.  The opening حم = HM occurs in: حم = HM (Sura 40, ‘Gafir’), حم (Sura 41, ‘Fussilat’), عسق  حم = HM 'ASQ(Sura 42, ‘Ash–Shura’), حم  (Sura 43, ‘Az-Zukhuf’),  حم(Sura 44, ‘Ad-Dhukan’), حم  (Sura 45, ‘Al- Jathiya’) and حم (Sura 46, ‘Al- Ahqaf’). Thus, the total is 7 occurrences.

D.طس = TS  occurs singly or as part of another opening in the following Suras طسم= TSM :(Sura 26, ‘Ash-Shu’ara’), طس= TS (Sura 27, ‘An-Naml’) and طسم = TSM(Sura 28, ‘Al- Qasas’). Thus, it occurs 3 times.

E. طسم= TSM occurs in طسم :(Sura 26, ‘Ash-Shu’ara’) and  طسم(Sura 28, ‘Al- Qasas’) and thus it occurs twice.

F. ص = S' occurs in the following Suras:المص= ALMS'  (Sura 7, ‘Al-A’raf’), كهيعص= KHY'AS' (Sura 19, ‘Mariam’) and ص =S' (Sura 38, ‘Sa’ad’). Thus, it occurs three times.

G         G.      ق = Q occurs in the following Suras: حم عسق= HM'ASQ (Sura 42, ‘Ash–Shura’) and ق = Q (Sura 50, ‘Qaf’). Thus, it occurs twice.

H  H. The following openings occur only once: المص= ALMS'  (Sura 7, ‘Al-A’raf’), المر= ALMR (Sura 13, ‘Ar-Ra’d’),  قهيعص= KHY'AS (Sura 19, ‘Mariam’), طه= TH (Sura 20, ‘Ta-Ha’),  يس= YS (Sura 36, ‘Ya-Sin’),  حم عسق = HM'ASQ (Sura 42, ‘Ash–Shura’) and ن= N (Sura 68, ‘Noon’). Thus, the total is 7. Thereby it is shown that the total is 38, i.e. 19×2. The following table illustrates the point:

 

OPENING ALM ALMS' ALR ALMR KHY'AS' TH TSM TS YS S' HM HM'ASQ Q N
Frequency 8 1 6 1 1 1 2 3 1 3 7 1 2 1
TOTAL = 38 = 19 x 2

 

 

Opening

الم

المص

الر

المر

كهيعص

طه

طسم

طس

يس

ص

حم

حم عسق

ق

ن

Frequency

8

1

6

1

1

1

2

3

1

3

7

1

2

1

4.       4-           The letters that make up the openings are: ا , ل, م , ص,ر , ك, ه , ي , ع , ط,س , ح ,  ق and ن = A, L, M, S', R, K, H, Y, 'A, T, S, H, Q and N. Each of these 14 letters is a constituent of openings as follows:

 أ -A .....المر , المص, الم, الر......ALMR, ALMS', ALM, ALR

 ل- L.... المر , المص, الم, الر.......ALMR, ALMS', ALM, ALR

 م-M.....المر , المص, الم, طسم, حم عسق,  حم .......ALMR, ALMS, ALM, TSM, HM 'ASQ, HM

صS'..... المص, كهيعص, ص .......ALMS', KHY'AS', S'

ر R.... الر, المر.......ALR, ALMR

ك K..... كهيعص......KHY'AS'

ي Y..... كهيعص, يس........KHY'AS', YS

هH......  كهيعص, طه........KHY'AS', TH

ع'A......  كهيعص, حم عسق......KHY'AS', HM'ASQ

ط T.......  طه, طسم, طس .......TS, TSM, TS

سS......  طسم, طس, يس, حم عسق......TSM, TS, YS,  HM'ASQ

ح H......   حم, حم عسق.......HM, HM'ASQ

ق Q......  حم عسق, ق.....HM 'ASQ, Q

نN.....   ن.....N

Thus the total number of these openings which contain each of the 14 letters is 38, i.e. 2×19.

5.       5-       The serial number of Surat Mariam is 19, which distinguishes it from the others in the order. If we refer to the order of Suras with openings as shown we will find that Surat Miriam is the 10th Sura with an opening. In other words, it is followed by 19 Suras with openings.

6.           6-     If we write down the openings according to their occurrence in the order of the Mus’haf counting them only once, we find that the letter count of the openings until the opening of Surat Mariam is 19. We find that the number of letters in the openings after the opening of Surat Mariam is also 19. We have already noticed that the position of Surat Mariam in the order of the Mus’haf is 19, followed by 19 Suras with openings. See table below:

 

Opening ALM ALMS' ALR ALMR KHY'AS' - - - - Tot.
Letter Count 3 4 3 4 5 - - - - 19
Opening TH TSM TS YS S' HM 'ASQ HM Q N Tot.
Letter count 2 3 2 2 1 2 5 1 1 19

OpeOPENING

الم

المص

الر

المر

كهيعص

 

 

 

 

Tot.

Let   Letter coun count

3

4

3

4

5

 

 

 

 

19

Ope

طه

طسم

طس

يس

ص

حم عسق

حم

ق

ن

Tot.

2

3

2

2

1

2

5

1

1

19

 

7- The order of the 29 Suras with openings in the Mus’haf indicates that only Surat Mariam and Sura 38, ‘Sa’ad’ (ص) (S') have the serial number 19 or one of its multiples (i.e. 38). By reference to the order of Suras with openings we find that there are 19 Suras after Surat Mariam and 19 before Surat Sa’ad, as said above.

8- The opening of Surat Mariam (كهيعص) (KHY'AS') begins with the letterك (K) , which is not repeated in the Suras with openings, and this opening ends with the letter ص (S'). That is,  كrepresents Surat Mariam which is Sura 19 and ص represents Sura 38, i.e. 19×2. It is also noticeable that in the opening of Surat Mariam (كهيعص)  (KHY'AS') that the letter ك  (K) does not occur except in Mariam and ه (H) occurs only in طه and ي (Y) occurs only in يس(YaSin), whileع ('A)  occurs only inعسق('ASQ) .

9- The one-letter openings are:  ص (S) (Q) and ن (N). The serial order of Surat Sa’ad in the Mus’haf is 38, i.e. 19×2; of Surat Qaf (ق), 50, and of Surat Noon (ن ), 68. Thus, if we start counting beginning with Surat ق, Surat ن will be 19 Suras after.

10-. With reference to the Mus’haf we find that each of the following openings constitutes a verse: الم, المص, كهيعص, طه, طسم, يس,   حمand  حم عسق = (ALM, ALMS, TH, TSM, YS, HM, HM 'ASQ, ).  These are the openings of the 19 Suras of the 29 but the remaining 10 Suras start with openings that are not verses: الر, المر, طس,ص , ق and ن.( ALR, ALMR, TS, S', Q, and N)

11-. The Suras opening with الر(ALR) and  المر(ALMR) form a series in the order (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15). The openings of these 6 Suras are: الر,الر ,الر , المر, الر andالر . The letter count of these openings is 19. It will be noted that the opening of Surat Ar-Ra’d (المر) (ALMR) contains الر -ALR as discussed earlier – and that the letter count of the openings through  الر (ALR) is 13, the serial order of Surat Ar-Ra’d in the Mus’haf. The Sura was given this name because of the occurrence of the word ‘thunder’ (Ra'd):

“Nay, thunder hymneth His praises and so do the angels for awe of Him. He launcheth the thunderbolts and smiteth with them whomsoever He will while they dare to dispute about Allah concerning the might of His wrath.” (13:13)

This is Verse 13 of the Sura and it contains 19 words. What is also noteworthy is that Surat Ar-Ra’d is in Part 13 of the Qur’an. The number of verses in the Sura is 43, which means that its verses end with 43 words, called “commas”, such as:يومنون or تومنون. We have already noted that there are 13 “commas” in Surat Ar-Ra’d ending with the letters that make up the word Ra’d (the lettersر, ع and د) (R, 'A, D). Eight endings end with the letter ر('R), one ends with ع('A), and four end with د (D).

The opening of Ar-Ra'd (المر) (ALMR) contain the openings  الم(ALM) and الر(ALR). If we order the openings containing الرALR, المALM and المرALMR in the order followed in the Mus’haf, we will find that the number of these openings is 13: الم, الم, المص,الر ,الر ,الر , المر, الر,الر ,الم , الم, الم and الم, ALM, ALM, ALMS, ALR, ALR, ALMR, ALR, ALR, ALM,ALM, ALM. Notice that the opening of Surat Ar-Ra’d (المر) lies in the middle of the order, preceded by 6 Suras and followed by 6 Suras.

The word رعد (Ra’d – thunder) occurs twice in the Qur’an. The first time is in verse 19 of Surat Al-Baqara where the word count is 19 and the letter count is 83. The second occurrence is in verse 13 of Surat Ar-Ra’d where the word count is again 19 and the letter count is again 83. This coincidence is worth our attention especially when we learn that the frequency of the letters ر (R), ع ('A) and د (D) in the Baqara verse equals the frequency of the letters in the Ra’d verse. Also the total frequency of the letters of رعد in the word Al-Ra’d in the Baqara verse equals the total frequency of the letters in the Ra’d verse. This correspondence between the two becomes even more noticeable when we learn that the frequency of the letters at the opening of Baqara (الم) (ALM) in the Baqara verse equals the total frequency of the letters at the opening of Surat Ar-Ra’d (المر) (ALMR) in the Ra’d verse. What does this coincidence mean? What is the secret behind the repetition of the word صواعق (claps of thunder) in only two verses when the words رعد and صواعق occur only in these two verses?

12- There is another group that comes as a series and, in fact, they were revealed as a series as ordered in the Mus’haf. These are the Hawameem (Suras opening with حم= HM), whose numbers are: 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 and 46. These are the seven Suras with the openings حم, حم, حم عسق, حم, حم, حم and حم, HM, HM, HM 'ASQ, HM, HM, and HM. In the same way that المر(ALMR) was different from the rest of the openings in the الر(ALR) group, حم عسق(HM 'ASQ) is different from the rest of the openings in the حم (HM) group, noting that المر(ALMR) contains الر(ALR) and حم عسق(HM 'ASQ) contains حم (HM). There is a difference between the two in that حم (HM) is a verse and عسق('ASQ) is another verse, which means that if we count the number of letters of   حم, HM which is an opening of 7 Suras and then count the number of letters in حم عسق(HM 'ASQ) we find that the total is (2×7)+5=19 letters.

1*   13-    There are 29 Suras with openings and if we order these Suras according to their occurrence in the Mus’haf, we find that Surat Al-Ankaboot ( THE SPIDER) is the median Sura, preceded by 14 Suras and followed by 14. It is important to note that this Sura in the medial position of the group is also number 29 in the Mus’haf order. We should also note that the aya in which Ankaboot is mentioned has 19 words. It is aya 41, which means that it is followed by 28 verses through to the end of the Sura. In other words it is in the middle position of the last 57 verses of Surat Al-Ankaboot, which is the position of Surat Al-Ankaboot with respect to the first 57 Suras of the Holy Qur’an, where it is preceded by 28 Suras and followed by 28. Also the verse count of Sura 57 is 29. Reflect on this!!

We have said that Surat Al-Ankaboot occurs in the middle of the 29 Suras with openings and that it is Sura 29 in the Mus’haf order. It seems that it is medial from more than one angle.

A                          There is a group of 3 Suras immediately preceding Surat Al-Ankaboot (numbers 26, 27, 28) that open with طسم(TSM),  طس (TS)and طسم(TSM) and there is also another group of three Suras directly after Surat Al-Ankaboot (numbers 30, 31, 32) that open with الم(ALM), الم(ALM) and الم(ALM) .

B                          If we count 5 Suras before Surat Al-Ankaboot, Sura 19 is the 5th. Counting 5 Suras after, Sura 38 (19×2) is also the 5th.

C                        If we count 8 Suras before Surat Al-Ankaboot, the 8th Sura will be Surat Ar-Ra’d, which opens with المر(ALMR), the word that is distinctive among the الر (ALR) openings. If we count 8 Suras after, the 8th Sura will be Surat Al-Shura, whose opening is حم عسق(HM 'ASQ) which is distinctive among the  حم (HM) openings. All this means that Surat Al-Ankaboot has both a distinguished and medial among the Suras with openings.

1* 14-    In a previous piece of research looking at the relationship of each Sura in the Mus’haf and the number of verses it contains, Jalghoom found that there were 57 homogenous Suras with respect to their number of verses and serial numbers. (i.e. odd/odd or even/even). When he divided the Qur’anic Suras into two sections (1-57 and 58-114) he found that there are 28 homogenous Suras in the first half and 29 heterogeneous ones. In the second half the ratio was reversed. In the 29 Suras with openings, there are 14 homogenous Suras and 15 heterogeneous ones. This means that there is some balance when we deal with the Qur’an as a whole, when we deal with it by halves, and when we deal with a group such as the group with openings.

 

This is a reflection on Suras with openings with regard to their order, and this order is proposed as an introduction to the frequency of letters in Suras opening with abbreviated letters. We have elaborated on this in our book ‘The Miracle of the Number 19 in the Holy Qur’an: Premises Awaiting Outcomes’, where it became clear to us that there is a well-knit mathematical configuration related to the frequency of letters occurring in openings on the basis of what we might call the “chemistry of letters”.

To conclude, we would like to draw attention to the fact that this is only one of many mathematical possibilities related to the order of the Suras. The miraculous nature of the Qur’an increases when viewed from all these angles.

 


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