The Miracle of the Order of the Suras in the Holy Qur’an
Scholars have differed in their understanding of the order of Qur’anic Suras. The majority have maintained that the order of Suras is Tawqifi, that is by command of the Apostle (pbuh) on the instruction of the Angel Jibreel. Sayuuti believed that the order was an act of revelation except Suras 8 (‘Anfal’) and 9 (‘Tauba’). Some believe that it was the independent judgement of the Prophet’s companions, though the evidence for this is insubstantial and this matter is not for elaboration in this context. We merely observe that the opinion that regards the order of the Suras as not being a revelation is based on implicit evidence, while belief in the order inspired by revelation rests on direct evidence. In any case, our intention is to present mathematical evidence to support the revelation viewpoint and, in fact, we may even go beyond that to assert that the order of verses is an act of revelation that is in itself evidence for Prophethood and an aspect of miracle.
There are many publications in contemporary intellectual scholarship related to Qur’anic miracles. These include the rhetorical, the scientific, the legal, etc. However, what we today call the “numerical miracle” is still controversial, which is why it has been out of favor with scholars and researchers. This is despite the fact that there have been partly successful attempts to study the subject, such as the one by Abdul Razaq Nawfal and the Jordanian researcher Abdullah Jalghoom in his book ‘The Secrets of the Order of the Qur’an: A Contemporary Reading’. Here we will acquaint the reader with the most important points made in his book and with what we have done by way of development and follow up:
The Holy Qur'an has 114 Suras or chapters. If we add up the serial numbers of these Suras in this way: (1+2+3+…. +114) the sum total will be 6555. (Alternatively you can use the following mathematical formula: (N+1) N / 2. i.e.: (114+1) 114 / 2=6555.)
The question here is: Is there a relationship between this sum and the total number of Qur'anic verses, which is 6236?
By investigation the researcher Jalghoom has found that there are 60 Suras with an even number of verses. For example, the second Sura (Al Baqara) has 286 verses; the fourth Sura (Al Nisa) has 176, and so on. The number of Suras with an odd number of verses is 54. The first Sura (Al Fatihah) has seven verses; the ninth Sura has 129, and so on.
We looked into Jalghoom’s results and found them to be correct. Now, why 60 and 54? This has been found to relate to the number 19 which is discussed further in this book and in our book ‘The Miracle of the Number 19 in the Holy Qur’an: Premises awaiting Outcomes’.
Consider the following facts: 114 = 6×19, or 6×(10+9) where 6×10=60 and 6× 9=54. Jalghoom found the 60 Suras with an even number of verses fall into two categories: 30 have an even serial number, while 30 have an odd one. As for the 54 Suras with an odd number of verses, there are 27 with an even serial number and 27 with an odd one.
By investigation we found the result to be correct. Here is an illustrative figure:
Suppose that the 60 Suras with an even number of verses were placed first in the Mus’haf, you would have 30 Suras with odd serial numbers Suras and the rest would be even serial-numbered.
Similarly, if the 54 Suras with an odd number of verses were placed last in the Mus’haf, there would be 27 even serial-numbered Suras and 27 odd serial-numbered ones. We would get the same result by reversing the previous order, i.e. by placing the 54 Suras with an odd number of verses at the beginning of the Mus’haf, and putting 60 Suras with even-numbered verses at the end. With any other order, it would be difficult to get the results shown in the figure above. Although the even-numbered and odd-numbered Suras are not arranged in the Mus’haf according to this hypothetical order, yet the result – an even distribution of odd and even Suras - surprisingly and unexpectedly is the same in the actual order as with the hypothetical case discussed above.
Consequently there are 57 homogenous Suras, that is, even numbered in the number of verses they contain, and even numbered in their serial number; and odd numbered in the number of verses they contain, and odd numbered in their serial number. This means that there are 57 heterogeneous Suras (30+27).
Examples of Homogenous Suras:
The first Sura, ‘Al-Fatiha’: Serial Number (1) Number of verses (7) – odd-odd
The second Sura, ‘Al-Baqara’: Serial Number (2) Number of verses (286) – even-even
The fourth Sura, ‘Al-Nisa’: Serial Number (4) Number of verses (176) – even-even
Examples of Heterogeneous Suras:
The third Sura, ‘Aal-I-Imran’: Serial Number (3) Number of verses (200) – odd-even
The fifth Sura, ‘Al-Ma’ida’: Serial Number (5) Number of verses (120) – odd-even
The sixth Sura, ‘Al-An’aam’: Serial Number (6) Number of verses (165) – even-odd
Now, if we add up the serial numbers of the 57 homogenous Suras and add this to the number of verses each contains, we find that the total is 6236. In other words, the number of verses in the Qur’an.
By the same token, if we add up the serial numbers of the 57 heterogeneous Suras and add this to the number of verses each contains, we find that the total is 6555. In other words, the total of the individual serial numbers added together.
We investigated the matter and found the results to be correct. Putting the result in mathematical form we find:
Serial numbers of homogenous group + number of ayat in same group = total number of Qur’anic verses = 6236
Serial numbers of heterogeneous group + number of ayat in same group = total of serial numbers of Qur’anic Suras = 6555
Thus we can see that there is a relationship between the serial number of each Sura and the number of verses it contains in such a way that we will have co-ordinates suggesting a correlation between the serial number of the Sura and the number of verses it contains. This is the same for all Suras of the Qur’an.
To perceive the depth of this issue consider that if there had been just one verse less in one Sura the whole numerical system then falls apart. For example, if the second Sura had one less verse (making it 285 verses long instead of 286) this would mean that the number of Suras with an odd numbers of verses would be 55 and the number of Suras with even numbers of verses would be 59.
Similarly, if the second Sura had been placed third and vice versa, then the second Sura would be heterogeneous and the third would be homogenous. The total for Sura 2, ‘Al-Baqara’, (286+3) would fall in the heterogeneous group and the total for Sura 3, ‘Aal-I-Imran’, (200+2) would fall in the homogenous group. The total of the 57 homogenous Suras would no longer be 6236 and the total of the 57 heterogeneous Suras would no longer be 6555. This, of course, applies to any of the 114 Suras in the Qur’an. In the light of this if we calculate the chances of this happening according to probability theory, we find ourselves facing one of the miracles of the Qur’an which proves that the order of the Suras and the number of verses is a revelation from Allah the Wise, the Almighty.
Jalghoom broke down the above law of addition as follows:
(114+1) 60÷ 2=3450
(114+1) 54÷ 2=3105
One of the amazing things we find is that the total of the numbers of the 60 even-numbered Suras in the Holy Qur’an is 3450. Thus, the total of the order of the 54 odd-numbered Suras is 3105 because the sum total has to be 6555 since (1+114) 114÷ 2 is in fact (1+114) (60+54) ÷ 2.
After verification we found the result to be correct. In order to see that this tight mathematical structure correlates with the order of Suras and the number of verses each contains according to the order in the Mus’haf, we tried to transpose Suras 3 and 17. Since we exchanged two odd-numbered Suras, much of what we said did not change. However, we found that the total of the serial numbers of the 60 Suras with an even number of verses including Sura 3 was 3464. The total of the serial numbers of the 54 Suras with an odd number of verses was 3091. Thus, after this transposition, the total of the serial numbers of the 60 Suras with an even number of verses did not conform to the mathematical law (1+114) 60÷ 2=3450. The same applied to Suras with an odd number of verses. This applies to each of the 114 Suras.
Jalghoom divides the Qur’anic Suras with regard to numbers into two equal halves: 1-57 and 58-114. There are 29 odd serial-numbered Suras in the first half of the Holy Qur’an and thus 28 even serial-numbered ones. In the second half there are 28 odd serial-numbered Suras and thus 29 even serial-numbered ones. He found that there are 28 homogenous Suras in the first half and 29 heterogeneous ones, and that there are 29 homogenous Suras in the second half and 28 heterogeneous ones.
We verified this and found the results to be correct. There does appear to be a balance between the homogenous and the heterogeneous in the two halves of the Holy Qur’an.
Jalghoom also observed that there are 27 Suras with an even number of verses in the first half of the Holy Qur’an and therefore there are 33 Suras with an even number of verses in the second half. He noted that the total number of ayat in the 27 Suras with an even number of verses in the first half is 2690, which is the total of the serial numbers of the 33 Suras with an even number of verses in the second half.
We verified this research and found it to be correct. The first half of the Holy Qur’an has 57 Suras, i.e. 19×3. If we multiply 10×3 the result is 30 and 9×3=27. Hence we find that there are 27 Suras with an even number of verses and 30 Suras with an odd number of verses. This is when we deal with the first half, but when we deal with the Qur’an as a whole as above, there are 60 Suras with an even number of verses, 10×6, and 54 Suras with an odd number of verses, i.e. 9×6. Expressed in mathematical form we thus have:
54+60 = (6×9) + (6×10) = 114
27+30 = (3×9) + (3×10) = 57
After surveying the important issues of Jalghoom’s findings, we now present some of our observations which can rightly be called both complementary and extensions of this accurate mathematical line of research:
A. Sura 57 is Al-Hadid (Iron), which marks the end of the first half of the Qur’anic Suras. It has 29 verses. If we multiply the serial number of the Sura by the number of verses it contains, the result is 29×57=1653, which is the total number of the serial number of Suras 1-57, i.e. (1+57) 57/2=1653.
B. On the basis of Jum’mal, a system that is used in Semitic languages (including both Arabic and Hebrew) where each letter of the alphabet has a numerical value, we find that the Jum’mal of the word Al-Hadid is 1+30+8+4+10+4=57, the serial number of ‘Al-Hadid’. As for the word Hadid, its total Jum’mal is 8+4+10+4=26, the atomic number of iron. The atomic weight of iron is 57. Reflect on this!!
C. Iron has 5 isotopes, the atomic weights of which are: 55, 56, 57, 58 and 59. The isotope 57 occurs in the middle as shown and the total weight of these is 285.
D. Related to this we find that in a book called ‘The Numerical Miracle of the Qur’an’, Syrian author Sudqi Al-Beik calculated that the total frequency of integers (whole numbers) in the Qur’an is 285. The number 1, for example, occurs 145 times; number 2, 15 times; number 3, 17 times, and so on, adding up to 285. (See Table in Chapter 6). This calculation includes the numbers 309 and 950, which are stated implicitly in the Qur’an. If we ask what the final number is in the sequence of consecutive numbers that, if added together, equal 285, we find that the nearest integer is 23. (i.e. 1+2+3+…+23=276). If we multiply the number of integers (285) by this number (23), the result will be 6555, which is the total of the serial numbers of the Qur’anic Suras. This effectively proves that there is a relationship between the order of the Mus’haf and numbers in the Qur’an. So reflect on this!!
E. The only Sura ending with the word ÚÏÏÇ (‘Adad - number) is Surat Al-Jinn: “And takes account of every single thing.” (78:28) The word count of Surat Al-Jinn is 285 so, in other words, the word ‘Adad is the 285th word.
Finally, from this line of research we come to the following conclusions:
1. The order of the Suras must be by revelation because it is not plausible for this mathematical configuration to occur by chance. This is the view of the majority of the people of the Sunna and the Jum’a.
2. The number of verses in each Sura is also a revelation (although this does not necessarily mean that other opinions about number are invalid due to the possibility of, for example, different scripts).
3. The issues under discussion are contemporary discoveries and thus the Qur’anic miracle appears in a new form. We should note that the world of numbers is the world of facts and that its language is of greater clarity and decisiveness.
4. These findings destroy the attempts of the orientalists to doubt the serial order of the Mus’haf.
5. Such research might serve as a key to studies that deal with Qur’anic text far from merely its historical aspect, which is utilized by people of falsehood for distortion and disturbance. Of course, we do not intend to overlook the historical aspect, but we add it as a separate proof.
6. The reader will note that the matter is based on investigation rather than independent judgement. Therefore, there is no room for rejecting or denying it unless more accurate calculation proves the error of the results.
Extract from “First Signs of Numerical Miracles in the Holy Qur’an ” By Bassam Jarrar
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