Tuesday, 31 March 2009

What starts with single letters and nobody knows what they stand for?

Little help: 28 Surahs...

There are 28 Surahs, that start with a series of 1-4 letters but no one knows what they mean! It cannot be the name of these Surahs, because each Surah has his name.

Many Surah’s in the Qur’an start with a set of isolated letters from the Arabic alphabet (Alef, Lam, Ra, Kaf, Ayn… ). They have no meaning or relationship to the title of the Surah, and often the title itself has no direct or full relevance to issues addressed in the verses of each Surah. The following is the classical explanation placed forward for Western consumption: “If we (Muslim theologians) find an authentic narration leading to the Prophet that explains these isolated letters, we will embrace the Prophet’s statement. Otherwise, we will stop where we were made to stop and will proclaim: “We believe in it (the Qur'an); all of it is from our Lord”; Surah 3:7.

[Surah 3, 2, 29, 30, 31 and 32 start with alif, lam and mim; 7 with alif, lam, mim and sad; Surah 10 with alif and Lam; Surah 11, 12, 14, 15 with alif, lam, and ra; Surah 13 with alif, lam, mim and ra; Surah 19 with kaf, ha, ya, 3in and sad; Surah 20 with ta and ha; Surah 26 and 28 with ta, sin and mim; Surah 27 with ta and sin, Surah 36 with ya and sin; Surah 38 with sad; Surah 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 and 46 with ha and mim; Surah 50 with qaf, Surah 68 with nun!]

Check it at http://www.Qur’anbrowser.com/ (one of the thousands of Qur’an browsers)

What about Allah’s effort and the Qur’an’s insistence that the Arabic language was selected to make God’s will very clear? These letters do not clarify anything, at the opposite. They exist in the beginning of too many Surahs. Was there a need to have mystery to attract the attention? These letters are a blow to the insistence that the Qur’an is a marvellous piece of literature and that it is the last conveyed message to humanity!....if it is the last, shouldn’t it be clear and intelligible?


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