2. LETTERS WHICH DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING

 2. LETTERS WHICH DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING.

We know that in the beginning of certain chapters in the Holy Quran there appear some independent letters, which of course will not have any meaning. We also very well know that independent or individual letters cannot have any meaning. For example, the word ‘Sun’ in English language certainly has a meaning since it is a word consisting of three letters. But if we write as S. U. N. we cannot have any meaning since S. U. N. is not at all a word. It will only mean that we have written only three individual letters.

Similarly in Arabic language if it is written or uttered ‘Alama’, it can have a meaning. But if it is written or uttered ‘Alif ’, ‘Lam’, ‘ and ‘Meem’ as three individual letters, it can have no meaning except that we have written or uttered three individual letters of Arabic language.

There are found in Holy Quran, 29 such chapters which begin with such ‘letters’ which cannot have any meaning. Those chapters are as follows:

2, 3, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 36, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 50, 68. Of course many may doubt: “why such letters, which cannot have any meaning, should be mentioned  in the Holy Quran?”

In those days the scholars of Arabic used to initiate their eminent writings with such symbols (individual letter). It was their custom. Hence, the Holy Quran, which excelled all writings and had been challenging the world to create a book similar to the Holy Quran, followed the same method while throwing its challenge.

We should note that the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) never raised any question regarding the appearance of such letters in the Holy Quran, even though they used to clarify their doubts, however minute they might be, with Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). We do not find any evidence for such questioning by the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) while we go through the life history of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Hence, we can understand that this was the usual practice in those days.

The situation was such that the adversaries of the Prophet (pbuh) were striving hard to defame the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and cast blemish upon the faith which he had been preaching .

So, if such usages (appearance of individual letters in Holy Quran) had been uncommon and if they had not accepted that, the rivals would have severely criticized thus;

“Look at Muhammad (pbuh) he has blabbered something meaningless and calls it a divine Book.”

But they did not criticize this, even though they had been criticizing many other activities of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). So we can understand that this is an adage common among them.

Hence, we have used the same individual letters in the transliteration also in whichever chapters those letters appear in the Arabic verse of Holy Quran.

It is sufficient for us to know that it was a usual practice among the Arabs. 

Published on: July 1, 2013, 2:26 PM Views: 2892


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