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The Huroof Muqatta’at (Disjoined Letters)/Fawatih (Openers) in Ahadith of The Last Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

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About one-quarter of the Qur’anic Surahs (29 Chapters) are preceded by mysterious letter-symbols called Huroof Muqatta’at (Disjoined Letters) or occasionally called Fawatih (Openers) because they appear at the beginning of the relevant chapters of the Qur’an.

AlHasan said

The Qur’an has Knowledge of Everything in it and Knowledge of The Qur’an is in the Huroof, which are the letters at the beginning of the chapters.

Ibn Abbas

The beginning opening letters of the chapters are taken from the names of Allah.

Abu Aliyyah Agreed

There is not a letter except it is a key for one of the names of Allah.

Quoted from Ibn Abbas

Without a doubt, the opening of the chapters uses the Huroof as Allah`s Greatest Name.

When Allah wants to make someone a Saint, he teaches him from Heavenly Knowledge, to make him a Knowledgeable Saint. And then He endows him with 99 names, a name which opens secrets. This can’t be open for the scholar by investigation or research without God’s Help. Then He elevates him to the knowledge of internal and external meanings of the names. The external is what is related to Allah. And after that, He teaches him the internal aspects which are the singular Huroof (letters) which are 14 in number.

14th Letter is ن Noon. Qur’an says in Surah Al-Qalam, Chapter 68:1: “Noon, Wal Qalam” Translation; Noon and by the Pen. The letters occur in the opening of Chapters and they are luminous. Thereafter, Saint understands what ALLAH TAA’LA teaches him “The Greatest Names”, through which if a saint has to make supplication, he would be answered and if he asks by it, he will be given.

In Umm al-Qur’an (Mother of Qur’an), Ch.1 Surah al-Fatiha, there are seven verses that consist of all the letters of the `alphabets` except seven letters; ز، خ، ظ، ث، ش، ج، ف

For each of these letters is a specific day from the days of the week, and a spiritual custodian and a special name for it.

As far as the Huroof that occurs at the beginning of the chapters, there are 29 which are:

  • الم  Alif Lam Meem
  • المر  ALif Lam Meem Ra
  • المص  Alif Lam Meem Sad
  • الر  Alif Lam Ra
  • حم  Ha Meem
  • حم  Ha Meem Ayn Sin Qaf
  • كهيعص  Kaf Haa Ya Ayn Sad
  • يس  Ya Seen
  • طه  Ta Haa
  • طس  Ta Seen
  • طسم  Ta Seen Meem
  • ق  Qaf
  • ن  Noon

Opinions about Huroof Muqatta’at (Disjoined Letters)

It numbers 14 letters and they are what is called illumination. It is half of the Arabic Alphabet by count. The scholars differ in their interpretation, it is reported that,

Ibn Abbas said, Scholars are unable to grasp its meanings.

Imam Ali (A.S) used to make this supplication by adding what he knows the best, among creations after The Last Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

I seek refuge in you from the sins that constitute wrath, or reverses blessings or removes protection or withholds the rain from falling or increases enemies against me. O Allah, help us against ourselves.

Huroof Muqatta’at in Chapters of Quran

Three Chapters are Pre-Fixed with only one letter

  • Surah ص  Sadh (The Letter ص  “Sadh”) Chapter 38 with ص  Sadh
  • Surah ق  Qaf (The Letter ق  “Qaf”) Chapter 50 with ق  Qa’f
  • Surah Al-Qalam (The Pen) Chapter 68 with ن Noon

The Combination of Two Letters occurs in 10 Chapters

Three of them occur only once each.

  • طه  Ta Haa, Ch.20  – Surah Taha (Ta-Ha) (Prophet Muhammad’s (s) Name)
  • طس  Ta Seen, Ch.27 – Surah An-Naml (The Ant)
  • يس  Ya Seen, Ch.36 – Surah Ya Seen (Ya Seen) (Prophet Muhammad’s (s) Name)

حم   Ha Meem occurs in seven consecutive Chapters 40-46

  • Ch.40 – Surah Ghafir (The Forgiver)
  • Ch.41 – Surah Fassilat (Explained in Detail)
  • Ch.42 – Surah Ash-Shura (The Consultation)
  • Ch.43 – Surah Az-Zukhruf (The Ornaments of Gold)
  • Ch.44 – Surah Ad-Dukhan (The Smoke)
  • Ch.45 – Surah Aj-Jathiya (The Crouching)
  • Ch.46 – Surah Al-Ahqaf (The Wind-Curved Sandhills)

Three Combinations of three letters, each occurring in 13 Chapters

الم  Alif Lam Meem, occurs in six Chapters.

  • Ch.2 – Surah Al-Baqara (The Heifer)
  • Ch.3 – Surah ‘Ali ‘Imran (Family of ‘Imran)
  • Ch.29 – Surah al ‘Ankabut (The Spider)
  • Ch.30 – Surah Ar-Rum (The Romans)
  • Ch.31 – Surah Luqman (Luqman)
  • Ch.32 – Surah As-Sajda (The Prostration)

الر  Alif Laam Ra, occurs in Five consecutive Surahs 10 – 15

  • Ch.10 – Surah Yunus (Jonah)
  • Ch.11 – Surah Hud (Hud)
  • Ch.12 – Surah Yusuf (Joseph)
  • Ch.14 – Surah Ibrahim (Abraham)
  • Ch.15 – Surah Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract)

طسم  Ta Seen Meem,  occurs in two Chapters

  • Ch.26 – Surah Ash-Shu’ara (The Poets)
  • Ch.28 – Surah Al-Qasas (The Stories)

A combination of four letters occurs twice

  • المص  Alif Lam Meem Sadh, Ch.7 – Surah al-A’raf (The Heights)
  • المر  Alif Lam Meem Ra, Ch.13 – Surah Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder)

A combination of five letters occurs twice

  • كهيعص  Kahf Haa Ya Ayn Sadh, Ch. 19 – Surah Maryam (Mary)
  • حمعسق  Ha Meem Ayn Seen Qaf, Ch. 42 – Surah Ash-Shura (The Consultation)

Surah Al-Shura Ch.42 has a double combination of abbreviated letters. One set of two letters followed by one set of three letters.

  • حم  Ha Meem – Ch. 42:1 – Surah Ash-Shura (The Consultation)
  • عسق  ‘Ayn Seen Qaf, Ch. 42:2 – Surah Ash-Shura (The Consultation)


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