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HURUF-I MUQATTAT

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The word huruf means letters and muqattat is derived from qata'a, meaning to cut or abbreviated. Hence, Huruf-i Muqattat refers to the abbreviated letters of the Koran. It is also called fawatih al-suwar (the openers of the suras), or awa'il al-suwar (the beginnings of the suras).

It has been used in the Koran at the commencement of 29th sura and there is much controversy among the scholars in their interpretations. The huruf-i muqattat in all 14 in number as follows:

1. Alif Lam Mim : In sura 2, 3, 29, 30, 31 & 32 = 6

2. Alif Lam Mim Swad : In sura 7. = 1

3. Alif Lam Ra : In sura 10, 11, 12, 14 & 15 = 5

4. Alif Lam Mim Ra : In sura 13 = 1

5. Kaf Ha Ya Ain Swad : In sura 19 = 1

6. Ta Ha : In sura 20 = 1

7. Ta Sim Mim : In sura 26 and 28 = 2

8. Ta Sin : In sura 27 = 1

9. Ya Sin : In sura 36 = 1

10. Swad : In sura 38 = 1

11. Ha Mim : In sura 40 = 1

12. Ha Mim Sajda : In sura 41, 43, 44, 45 & 46 = 6

13. Ha Mim Ain Sin Kaf : In sura 42 = 1

14. Nun : In sura 68 = 1

The science of phonetics tells us that our vocal sounds arise from the expulsion of the air from the lungs, and the sounds are determined by the way in which the breath passes through the various organs of speech e.g., the throat, or the various positions of the tongue, middle or front of the palate or to the teeth, or to the play of the lips. Every one of these kinds of sounds is represented in the 14 letters, which have been used in the formation of Huruf-i Muqattat.


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