Quran 2 - 1 (Lesson – 15)
Short Verses Letters
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
1. Alif. Lam. Mim.
Sura ‘Al-Baqarah begins with above three letters. These kinds of letters are called “Huruuf Muqatta-‘aat”. These letters are written collectively but are recited separately. These three letters; (Alif. Lam. Mim) have come in the beginning of five more Chapters of Holy Qur-‘aan excluding ‘Baqarah’ (The Cow). Besides these three letters, some other letters have also been included in the beginning of some different Surahs of the Holy Qur-’aan. The Surahs which begin with these types of letters are twenty nine in numbers.
If we say: What are the meanings of Alif-Laaam-Miiim? Nobody can reply absolutely, because it is a Secret from the Secrets of God. Only Allah Almighty, His Messenger (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him), the Companions of the Messenger (may Allah be agreed upon them) and the Scholars of the Muslim nation know its meanings. Different Saints have tried to explain about these letters according to their personal views. For instance:
Sayyidina ibn ‘Abbas (may God Almighty be pleased with him) narrated that aim from ‘ALIF-LAAAM-MIIIM is ‘AnAllaahu ‘A’-lamu (God says), “I am Allah, Who knows the best.” One saint said, “Alif means Allah (God), who revealed the Holy Word. Laaam means the arch Angel Gabriel (peace be upon Him), who used to bring down the revelation of Allah, and Miiim means The Prophet Muhammad (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) upon whom, this Holy Scripture ‘Qur’aan’ has been revealed by means of the Angel Gabriel (peace be upon Him).
A young Egyptian Scholar, named Sayyad Nasooh Zahir told after counting and having trust in the alphabetical letters that actually number of verses of the Surahs can be found in these letters. Another research scholar said historically that there are historical events with days and years discussed in these letters, which are held in that particular Surah.
In brief, the knowledge of these letters was found by the saints, research scholars and philosophers and they told us. These kinds of letters were already in use in the Arabic language before Islam. To them, every individual who has knowledge of Arabic language, knows perfectly. Besides the Arabic, this custom of use exists in other languages like English, Persian, and Urdu etc. also, for example: the names of exams BA, MA, LLB, the names of organizations i.e. UNO, SPS, IMF etc. These instances are very famous but even till some people don’t know them. Only those persons know them, who have any concern or interest with them.
God Almighty has given us chance to learn and understand the Holy Qur’an. It is our duty that we must try to understand the Word of God entirely, act upon its Instructions and spread its science, deeds and arts nearby and far. Solution of all the disasters of the world over may be found in this Scripture. And our own success depends on it.