The Disconnected Letters: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan mentioned the following during part of his tafsir lesson on the first twenty ayaat of surah al-Baqarah:

قوله تعالى : { الم } : افتتح الله هذه السورة بقوله : { الم } ، وهي من الحروف المقطعة ، افتتح الله ﺑﻬا كثيرا من السور ، ومن هذه الحروف : {المص} ، {ألمر} ، {حم} ، {كهيعص} ، {طه} ، {يس} ، {ق} ، {ص} ، {حم * عسق} . ـ

Allah began this surah with His statement:

الم

Alif. Lam. Meem. [2:1]

And these are among the Disconnected Letters [al-Huroof al-Muqatta’ah]. Allah uses them to begin many surahs. And among these letters there are:

المص

Alif. Lam. Meem. Sad. [7:1]

المر

Alif. Lam. Meem. Ra. [13:1]

حم

Ha. Meem. [40:1, 41:1, 43:1, 44:1, 45:1, 46:1]

كهيعص

Kahf. Ha. Ya. ‘Ayn. Sad. [19:1]

طه

Ta. Ha. [20:1]

يس

Ya. Sin. [36:1]

ق

Qaf. [50:1]

ص

Sad. [38:1]

حم * عسق

Ha. Meem. * ‘Ayn. Sin. Qaf. [42:1-2]

قوله تعالى : { الم } : افتتح الله هذه السورة بقوله : { الم } ، وهي من الحروف المقطعة ، افتتح الله ﺑﻬا كثيرا من السور ، ومن هذه الحروف : {المص} ، {المر} ، {حم} ، {كهيعص} ، {طه} ، {يس} ، {ق} ، {ص} ، {حم * عسق} . ـ

وقد اختلف العلماء فيها على أقوال ، نكتفي منها بقولين : ـ

And in this matter the scholars have differed among many different opinions, and it is enough for us to mention only two of them:

القول الأول : ذهب الجمهور إلى أﻧﻬا تمر كما جاءت ؛ لأﻧﻬا مما استأثر الله تعالى بعلمه فلا يبحث عنها ؛ لأنه لا دليل على البحث فيها وتعيين المراد منها . ـ

The first opinion: The majority held that they are to be taken just as they are, for they are part of the exclusive knowledge of Allah. So one is not able to delve into them, for there is no proof in such delving into them nor is there anything to provide a precise meaning from them.

القول الثاني : إن هذه الحروف إشارة إلى إعجاز القرآن ، وأن الله – سبحانه وتعالى – أنزل هذا القرآن مكونا من هذه الحروف التي ينطق ﺑﻬا العرب ويتخاطبون ﺑﻬا ، ومع هذا لم يستطيعوا أن يأتوا بمثل هذا القرآن أو مثل سورة أو آية منه ، فهذا إشارة إلى الإعجاز ؛ ولهذا – في الغالب – إذا جاءت هذه الحروف يأتي بعدها ذكر القرآن ، كما في هذه السورة : {الم * ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَ‌يْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ} وقوله في أول الأعراف {المص * كِتَابٌ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ فَلَا يَكُن فِي صَدْرِ‌كَ حَرَ‌جٌ مِّنْهُ …} وقوله {ق ۚ وَالْقُرْ‌آنِ الْمَجِيدِ} ، وقوله {ص ۚ وَالْقُرْ‌آنِ ذِي الذِّكْرِ‌} ، وقوله {الم * تَنزِيلُ الْكِتَابِ لَا رَ‌يْبَ فِيهِ مِن رَّ‌بِّ الْعَالَمِينَ} ، إلى غير ذلك . وهذا يدل على الإعجاز ، وهو أن القرآن مركب من مثل هذه الحروف ، ومع هذا عجزتم عن الإتيان بمثله أو بمثل سورة منه . وهذا القول وجيه ، ذكره شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية وغيره . ـ

The second opinion: That these letters are a sign of the inimitably of the Qur’an, and that Allah revealed this Qur’an being made up of these letter which the Arabs used to speak and communicate with one another. Yet despite this, they were not able to produce the likes of this Qur’an or even the likes of a single surah or a single one of its ayaat. So this is a sign of its inimitably. And it is for this reason that – for the most part – whenever these letters come then mention of the Qur’an follows after them. For example in this surah:

الم * ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَ‌يْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

Alif, Lam, Meem * This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for the muttaqoon [2:1-2]

And His statement in the beginning of surah al-‘Aaraaf:

المص * كِتَابٌ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ فَلَا يَكُن فِي صَدْرِ‌كَ حَرَ‌جٌ مِّنْهُ

Alif, Lam, Meem, Sad. * [This is] a Book revealed to you, [O Muhammad] – so let there not be in your breast distress therefrom… [7:1-2]

And His statement:

ق ۚ وَالْقُرْ‌آنِ الْمَجِيدِ

Qaf. By the honored Qur’an… [50:1]

And His statement:

ص ۚ وَالْقُرْ‌آنِ ذِي الذِّكْرِ‌

Sad. By the Qur’an containing reminder… [38:1]

And His statement:

الم * تَنزِيلُ الْكِتَابِ لَا رَ‌يْبَ فِيهِ مِن رَّ‌بِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Alif, Lam, Meem. * [This is] the revelation of the Book about which there is no doubt from the Lord of the worlds. [32:1-2]

and so on. And this demonstrates its inimitably, which is that the Qur’an is composed of the likes of these letters, and yet despite this, they are unable to produce anything like it or even the likes of one of its surahs. And this is a sound position, one mentioned by Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah and others.

[Duroos min al-Qur’an al-Kareem wa’l-Sunnah al-Mutahharah pg. 45-46]

See also: Do the Disconnected Letters Carry Meaning?: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

See also: A Common Theme of the Disconnected Letters: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: A Note on the Different Qiraa’aat: Sheikh bin Baaz

See also: Technical wordings for Asbaab al-Nuzool: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: A Note on Differing Reports in Tafsir: Ibn Taymiyah

For more statements from Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan and other contemporary scholars regarding the books of tafsir, see About the Books of Tafsir

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8 thoughts on “The Disconnected Letters: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

  1. Pingback: A Note on the Different Qiraa’aat: Sheikh bin Baaz | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Technical wordings for Asbaab al-Nuzool: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: A Note on Differing Reports in Tafsir: Ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

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  7. Pingback: A Common Theme of the Disconnected Letters: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

  8. Pingback: Guidance for Interpreting the Qur’an in Surah Aal ‘Imran: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

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