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{ الۤـمۤ }

Alif lām mīm According to some people these isolated letters at the beginning of the sūra are among the ambiguous [verses] the interpretation taÌwīl of which is known only to God. They say every book has a mystery and the mystery of God in the QurÌān is these isolated letters. According to other people they are acronyms for His names: the alif is from the name “Allah” the lām indicates His name al-LaṬīf “the Subtle” and the mīm indicates His names al-Majīd “the Glorious” and al-Malik “the King”. It is said that God made an oath by means of these letters an honor they hold because they are the basic elements of His names and His speech. It is said that they are the names of sūras [of the QurÌān]. It is said that the alif indicates the name Allāh the lām indicates the name Jibrīl Gabriel and the mīm indicates the name Muḥammad ﷺ since this Book descended from God on the tongue of Gabriel to Muḥammad ﷺ. Among the [Arabic] letters alif is independent infaradat in its form because it does not connect to other letters in writing; all but a few of the letters connect. By contemplating this quality the servant becomes aware of the need of all creation for Him and His self-sufficiency from all. It is said that the sincere servant remembers from the status of the alif the absolute freedom of the Real سبحانه وتعالى from being particularized by place. All of the letters have a place in the throat the lip or the tongue etc. for articulation except alif. It is His “He-ness” huwiyyaand is not ascribed to any place. It is said that the allusion in [the alif] is to the servant's standing alone infirād for the sake of God سبحانه وتعالى so that he would be like the alif which is not connected to any letter and [he] would not abandon the state of standing straight and upright before Him. It is said that by His address alif the servant is called in his innermost self to withdraw infirād [his] heart to God most high. At His address lām he is asked to yield līn to Him in considering His due. On hearing the mīm he is asked to conform muwāfaqa to His command regarding that which has been entrusted to him.