The Significance of Number in Sura 72: 'Al-Jinn'

By Bassam Jarrar - Noon Center 




In his book 'The Numerical Miracle of the Qur'an', the Syrian writer Sidqi Al-Beik counted the number of integers in the Holy Qur'an and found them to be 285. The following table shows his findings:

Integer

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Frequency

145

15

17

12

2

7

24

5

Integer

9

10

11

12

19

20

30

40

Frequency

4

9

1

5

1

1

2

4

Integer

50

60

70

80

99

100

200

300

Frequency

1

1

3

1

1

6

2

1

Integer

309

950

1000

2000

3000

5000

50000

100000

Frequency

1

1

8

1

1

1

1

1



After checking with the 'Concordance of Words in the Holy Qur'an' by Mohammed Fuad Abdul-Baqi we found Albeik's results to be correct, noting the following points:

1. In this result we relied on the accuracy of the Concordance.

2. The number one occurred in the Holy Qur'an in the following forms: واحد,واحدة, أحد andإحدى .

3. The word أحد occurs in the concordance 33 times, but in fact the frequency is 32 times because أحد عشر كوكبا is counted in the frequency of أحد عشر (11, which is literally one and ten).

4. The clause ثلاث مائة سنين وازدادوا تسعا in Sura 50 ('Al-Qaf'), contains the number 300 and the number 9 directly, but the number 309 is the one that registers in the mind and is, in fact, the one intended because the Companions of the Cave stayed 309 years. Indeed, as discussed at the end of the previous chapter, the word that follows the phrase و لبثوا في كهفهم (18:25) is the 309th word if we start the word count from the beginning of the story of the Companions of the Cave.

5. With reference to Noah, the verse - فلبث فيهم ألف سنة إلا خمسين عاما (29:14) -contains the number 1000 and the number 50 directly. However, the number 950 is the one that registers in the mind and is, in fact, the one intended. Indeed, Noah stayed with his people preaching for 950 years or close to that number as we explored in the previous chapter. We have also shown in a previous study relating to the letter count of Sura 72.

6. We have mentioned that the number of integers in the Holy Qur'an is 285, a number which is equal to 19×15.We have previously noted in more than one study the relation of this number 285 to various numerical issues.


Sura 72 and its Relation to the Numbers 285 and 19

Sura 72 is the only Sura in the Holy Qur'an which ends with the word عددا, occurring in the verse و احصى كل شيء عددا. So, what is the relation of this word to the number of integers in the Qur'an? We find the answer lies in the number of words in Sura 72, i.e. 285 words. The verse count of Sura 72 is 28 ayat. This means that the number of verse endings in the Sura is also 28. A verse ending or fasila (plural: fawasel) is the word that comes at the very end of each verse. The verse endings of Sura 72 are:عجبا , أحدا, ولدا, شططا, كذبا, رهقا, أحدا, شهبا, رصدا, رشدا, قددا, هربا, رهقا, رشدا, حطبا, غدقا, صعدا, أحدا, لبدا,أحدا , رشدا , ملتحدا, أبدا, عددا,أمدا ,أحدا , رصدا andعددا . What is noticeable is that there are 27 endings, each consisting of 4 letters except for one ending which is made up of 6 letters (ملتحدا). This means that the number of letters comprising these endings is (4×27) +6= 114, i.e. 6×19, which is the number of chapters in the Holy Qur'an. This also means that the last letter of the word عددا is the 114th letter. Is this a matter of chance that the word عددا combines indicating both the number of integers in the Holy Qur'an and the number of chapters contained therein?

So that the readers may not think the aforementioned finding is sheer chance, we must draw their attention to the following observations:

1. The number of verse endings of Sura 72 is 28. If we omit the repeated endings, we find that the number of endings is 19.

2. The Arabic alphabet has 29 letters. It is noticeable that the unrepeated 19 endings in Sura 72 consist of 19 letters of the alphabet.

3. The syllable دا occurs in the 28 endings 19 times.

4. Sura 72 begins with "Say: It has been revealed to me that a company of Jinns listened to the Qur'an. They said…" The discourse continues through the words of Jinn up to verse 19, then it shifts to that between Allah and the Apostle from: "Say: I do no more than invoke my Lord…"

5. By referring to 'The Concordance of Words in the Holy Qur'an', we find that the word جن occurs, before Sura 72, 19 times, but it is not mentioned after Sura 72 except in the form الجنه.

6. We said earlier, the word عددا is the 285th word of Sura 72 and the last letter of the word is the 114th letter of the letters making up the verse endings in the Sura. The matter becomes more remarkable when we discover that the total frequency of the letters ع, د, د and ا in Sura 72 is 361, (37+54+54+216), which also equals 19×19. Is it mere coincidence that the word عددا contains the number of integers in the Holy Qur'an (19×15), the number of Qur'anic chapters (19×6), and the number 19×19?! So, why the word عددا ?!

It was pointed out earlier that there are 19 unrepeated endings of verses in Sura 72. What is noticeable is the fact that 10 of these endings are repeated 23 times in the verse endings of Sura 18:عجبا , أحدا, ولدا, شططا, كذبا, رشدا, ملتحدا, أبدا, عددا andأمدا . The two endingsشططا and ملتحدا occur only twice throughout the whole Qur'an in Suras 18 and 72. What is noticeable is that there are 91 endings (out of 110) in Sura 18 consisting of 4 letters, as is the case with all the verse endings of Sura 72 with the exception of ملتحدا. This means that there are 19 endings in Sura 18 which do not consist of 4 letters.

These numerical observations invite us to check the meanings of the two Suras more carefully. At a quick glance we find that Sura 18 begins with a protest against those who claim that God had a son: "And to warn those who say: Allah hath begotten a son. No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. It is a grievous thing that issues from their mouths as a saying. What they say is nothing but falsehood!" (18:5) This is also what we find in the opening verses of Sura 72: "And exalted is the majesty of our Lord: He has taken neither a wife nor a son. There were some foolish ones among us who used to utter extravagant lies against Allah. But we do think that no man or spirit should say aught that is untrue against Allah." (72:3) 

It is clear that each of the two Suras begins with denial of a son. It is noticeable from the numerical point of view that the total frequency of the letters making up the word ولدا (son) in Sura 72 is 457 letters . This is the total number of letters constituting the 110 verse endings of Sura 18 which ends with "Say: I am but a man like yourselves (but) the inspiration has come to me that your God is one God. Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner." (18:10) After this is Sura 19 (Mariam), whose serial order is significant because it describes the Messiah's (Jesus) birth and denies the claimed sonship attributed to him: "Such was Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth about which they vainly dispute. It is not befitting to the majesty of Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him!"(19:34-35).

In the light of the aforementioned numerical remarks about Sura 72, we felt we needed to reconsider the interpretation of the last three verses of Sura 72: "He alone knows the Unseen, nor does He make anyone acquainted with His mysteries except an apostle whom He has chosen. And then He makes a band of watchers march before him and behind him in order that He may know that they have truly brought and delivered the messages of their Lord: And He surrounds (all the mysteries) that are with them, and takes account of every single thing." What we are about to put forward is an interpretation of these verses that is open to further study and investigation.

The key to our interpretation is the phrase: من بين يديه و من خلفه - "…before him and behind him…." The meaning could be before the appearance of the Apostle and after his appearance, and this is obvious. The evidence for this is plenty. One is seen in the Arabic idiom: 'بين يدي الساعة كذا و كذا' which means "Shortly before the Hour". The Khalifa (Caliph) is given this title because he comes after those before him. Thus the meaning of the verses can be: Allah is the All-Knower of the Unseen and does not acquaint anyone with his mysteries except the holy Apostles whom He has chosen. He creates (before their appearance) first signs or harbingers revealed by angels who watch the progress of nations and supervise their destiny. The Unseen, delivered by angels and revealed before the appearance of the Apostle, is what Allah has permitted and chosen. 

Hence we read in books concerning the biography of Prophet Mohammed's mother, Aamina, and her vision when she was ordered to name her son Muhammad (pbuh). The Christian and Jewish transmitted heritage about Mohammed's future appearance was a revelation and angelic inspiration to prepare them for his appearance. It is said in the Prophet's Hadith that Satan insinuates evil while the angel inspires good. This is confirmed and known. It seems that the role of angels does not end with the going of the Apostle, but that they continue to keep watching, guarding and inspiring. These inspirations come at the right time so that the message will be delivered to the people. If one says that the message of the Apostle has been delivered and the responsibility is thus handed over, our response is: The message has been delivered but the further significance and meanings can be discovered at any time. Thus the message will continue to be delivered till the Day of Judgement. It is then that it will have been completely delivered and thereby not only the world of reality will be unveiled but also the world of the Unseen. Then the Hour which the Idolaters asked about will be nigh: "Say: I know not whether the punishment which ye are promised is near or whether my Lord will appoint for it a distant term. He alone knows the Unseen, nor does he make anyone acquainted with His mysteries. Except an apostle whom he has chosen…" This means that the Day of Judgement will not come until the message is completely delivered.

In the light of this interpretation we can summarize the import of the verses as follows:

1. When knowledge of the Unseen is concerned with the Divine Messages this will happen:

A. Before the appearance of the Apostle. In this case the Unseen foreshadows his appearance, and this is an endorsement of the Apostle.
B. At the time of the appearance of the Apostle where the revelation of the Unseen is an endorsement and evidence for him.
C. After the going of the Apostle. Here the role of the angels continues whereby they inspire people to explore and extract the hidden treasures of the message.

2. The Hour will not come until the message of the Apostle is completely delivered and the hidden meanings discovered as suggested in the verse: "And He encompasses all the mysteries that are with them and takes account of every single thing (being in a numerical form)." (72:28)

What the angels inspire of Allah's knowledge is only what Allah has permitted. What is learned is only what Allah has taught. Allah has counted everything which is a number, that is, anything whose reality is based on numbers. Therefore, understanding the numerical basis of things brings us closer to understanding their true nature and reality. This means that our understanding of Qur'anic numbers brings us closer to the true understanding. This includes Qur'anic prophecies pertaining to the future.


Extract from “First Signs of Numerical Miracles in the Holy Qur’an ” By Bassam Jarrar

   Noon Center For Qur’anic Studies & Research, Al-Bireh


 

Ref. :  http://fakir60.tripod.com/