As a Baha’i’, I do not practice Islam, but I do read the Qur’an. I am curious about the Islamic interpretations of the this sequence of letters from the surah «Mary.» It is the first Aya, if memory serves.


1 Answer 1


Sequences like this are called the Huruf al-Muqatta'at. You can research that. There are different views on its meaning:

  • It is from the mutashaabihaat and its meaning is only known to Allah.

  • It means the sequence of letters themselves. They are being sworn upon, similar to how other things are sworn upon.

  • The letters stand for some names/attributes of Allah. For example it is reported that:

    • Kaaf stands for Kafee or Kabeer or Kareem or Malak ,

    • Haa stands for Haadi or Haad or Allah

    • Yaa stands for Yameen or for Yujeeru wala yujaru Aaalayhi or for Yadu Allahi fawqa aydeehim or Ameen or Hakeem or Azeez or Raheem

    • Ayin stands for 'Aalim or 'Azeez or 'Azeem or 'Alee or 'Adl

    • Saad stands for Sadiq or Samad or Musawwir

    It can then mean that Allah is Sufficient, Guide, Protector, All-Knowing and Truthful in His promise etc.

  • It is by itself a name of Allah. Or each letter is by itself a name of Allah.

  • It is a name of the Quran.

  • It is a name of the Surah.

Ref: Mawsoo‘ah at-Tafseer al-Ma’thoor, Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Baghawy etc.

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