June 1996: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 3

The Glorious Quran And The Number 57

Patient research in the last few years has demonstrated how the Quran as a written divine document evinces a mathematical structure or pattern based on the number 19.

As is well known, the Quran has 114 (19x6) chapters (suras) and 29 of them have certain initials (muqatta'at) in their starting verses. These initials are letters of the Arabic alphabet. Among these 29 chapters with initials, two and only two, namely, chapters 42 and 50, contain the Arabic letter qaf (Q) as an initial. Dr. Rashad Khalifa was the first to point out and publish the fact that in each of these two chapters, the letter qaf occurs exactly 57 (19x3) times, in spite of the additional fact that chapter 42 is about twice as long as chapter 50. Muslim tradition has it that the letter qaf, used as an initial in the two chapters, stands for the word “Quran.” Readers will easily conclude that the count of the letter qaf in both qaf-initialed chapters results in 114 (19x6) qafs, a number corresponding to the total number of chapters in the Quran.

That the number 57 is intimately connected with the Quran is clearly revealed in the first verse of chapter 50, one of the qaf initialed chapters:

Qaf. By the glorious Quran. (50:1)

In the Quran, the word “majid” (translated above as “glorious”) is once used as a quality (sifat) of Allah (11:73) and twice (50:1 and 85:21) as an attribute of the Quran. Now, when the so-called abjad (gematrical) or ancient numerical system of the Arabs is applied to the Arabic word “ مجيد ” (majid), the total adds up to 57:

= 40; = 3; = 10; and = 4.

Total = 57

That the letter qaf is an initial (actually the only initial) in the first verse of chapter 50, that this first verse describes the Quran as majid (which has a value of exactly 57 in the ancient abjad numerical system), and that letter qaf occurs

exactly 57 times in this chapter cannot be sheer accident. Indeed, there are other instances in the Quran which demonstrate that the number 57 is intimately connected with it.

In the Quran, the Arabic word “قرٔان ” (Quran) with an abjad (gematrical) value of 351 is found exactly 58 times. As spelled, this word is grammatically different from the related word “قرٔانا” (qur’anan) which has an extra letter alif as a prop for the so-called tanwin (a grammatical device to express indefiniteness). The word qur’anan has 352 for its abjad value, and is found 10 times in the Quran. Now, the word “Quran” with the abjad value of 351 and spelt as “قرٔان” with or without the definite article occurs in the following verses:

1. 2:185 2. 4:82
3. 5:101 4. 6:19
5. 7:204 6. 9:111
7. 10:15 8. 10:37
9. 10:61 10. 12:3
11. 15:1 12. 15:87
13. 15:91 14. 16:98
15. 17:9 16. 17:41
17. 17:45 18. 17:46
19. 17:60 20. 17:78
21. 17:78 22. 17:82
23. 17:88 24. 17:89
25. 18:54 26. 20:2
27. 20:114 28. 25:30
29. 25:32 30. 27:1
31. 27:6 32. 27:76
33. 27:92 34. 28:85
35. 30:58 36. 34:31
37. 36:2 38. 36:69
39. 38:1 40. 39:27
41. 41:26 42. 43:31
43. 46:29 44. 47:24
45. 50:1 46. 50:45
47. 54:17 48. 54:22
49. 54:32 50. 54:40
51. 55:2 52. 56:77
53. 59:21 54. 73:4
55. 73:20 56. 76:23
57. 84:21 58. 85:21

The above total number of entries (58) might lead one to conclude that the pattern of 57 (or, for that matter, that of

19) had been broken at least in the occurrence of the word “Quran” in its Arabic form with the abjad (gematrical) value of 351. But a logical analysis of each of the above 58 entries will reveal that in exactly 57 of the entries, the word refers to the Quran as Muslims understand it to be, that is, as a revealed book or Divine Scripture sent down to mankind through Prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, in one entry, namely 10:15 (No. 7 in the above list), the word does not, unlike the other 57 entries, refer to the Quran as we know it but refers to something else—a non-existent Quran. The pertinent verse is as follows:

And when our clear revelations are recited to them, those who do not expect to meet us say: “Bring a Quran other than this, or change it!”... (10:15).

Clearly, the word “Quran” in the above verse refers to another Quran which, in effect, was non-existent. The Arabic term qur’anin ghair used in the above verse clearly means “another quran” or “a quran different from this Quran.” That other quran does not exist, and should not be counted with the other 57 entries. But even if it is added to the 57 entries, since it does not exist, the final result will still be 57!

In modern mathematical logic and one of its forerunners, Boolean Algebra, as well as modern arithmetic, what is non-existent is normally called a Null Class (NC). And when the Null Class is added to any given class or a given number, the result is always the given class or original number. For example, 57+NC = 57. Also, there is nothing in common between an existing number and the Null Class. For example, 57xNC = NC. Thus, the Arabic word “Quran” when referring to the Quran as Divine Revelation or Sacred Scripture, occurs exactly 57 times in the text of the Quran.

It may be added that the Quran in 55:1-2

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