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Letter “Alif” is the Mother of Books

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Religion - Islam
Forum Name: General Islamic Matter
Forum Discription: Discuss Islamic matters/issues that not covered by other sub catagories
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=24917
Printed Date: 29 November 2014 at 12:52am


Topic: Letter “Alif” is the Mother of Books
Posted By: Dr. Nabil Akbar
Subject: Letter “Alif” is the Mother of Books
Date Posted: 21 February 2013 at 2:46am


In the name of God the Merciful

The word ’أم الكتاب’ which means “The Mother of the Book” or “The Foundation of the Book” appears in three places in the Holy Quran.

In this article, I introduce a new interpretation to the word “The Mother of the Book” and show new meanings for it.


It has been said in tafseers’ books that some Verses of the Nobil Quran are entirely clear and obvious and fixed in their meaning and regulations and these are the mother of the book or the foundation of the Quran, while some other Verses have some similarities and contradictions and uncertainties in their meanings, and these are the “okar al mutashabihat”, i.e., the other resembled ones.

Therefore, some concluded that Quran’s Verses cancel each and some parts override the meanings and regulations of others. So, from their perspectives, some Verses of Quran have no purpose other than being read and do not carry any valid meaning or regulations!

We believe this is a great misunderstanding, as Allah words must not be replaced by other words, and definitely must not contradict each other’s …

I do not accept these explanations as they contradict the greatness and glory of our Lord, glorified and exalted be He above all that.

In the followings of this article, I present the new perspective for the meaning of “The Mother of Books”.


The word “The Mother of the Book” appears in three places in the Holy Quran as follows:


In the seventh verse of the family of Imran:

هُوَ الَّذِى أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَبَ مِنْهُ ءَايَتٌ مُّحْكَمَتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَبِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشبهتٌ،
فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَبَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ،
وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَالرَّسِخُونَ فِى الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ ءَامَنا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا،
وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الألبَبِ {7}

7. It is He who revealed to you the Book. Some of its verses are definitive; they are the foundation of the Book, and others are unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation, they follow the unspecific part, seeking descent, and seeking to derive an interpretation. But none knows its interpretation except God and those firmly rooted in knowledge say, “We believe in it; all is from our Lord.” But none recollects except those with understanding.

In the thirty-ninth verse of Thunder:
يَمْحُوا اللهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ، وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتبِ {39}

39. God abolishes whatever He wills, and He affirms. With Him is the source of the Scripture.

And finally in the fourth verse of Decoration Chapter:

وَإِنَّهُ فِى أُمِّ الْكِتَبِ لَدَيْنَا لَعَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌ { 4}

4. And it is with Us, in the Source Book, sublime and wise.


From our perspective, the “mother of books” means the first letter in Arabic alphabetical order ((ا)) and the number ((1)) in the numerical order.

The reasons for this claim are the followings:

First: Letter “Alif” ((ا)) is named so in Arabic language as it “brings together” other letters, just like a mother who bring her children together.

In fact, among the meanings of letter “Alif” ((ا)) in Arabic language is the “author“ who combines various different thoughts and brings them together. So ((ا)) is named as it combines other letters, exactly like mother does as she always try to bring her children together.

Second: Among the meanings of the word “mother” is the origin, the source, the foundation, and most importantly the generator of others. So, “mother of books” from our new perspective is letter ((ا)) which can be visualized as the mother of all other letters such that each letter is born and created from its mother, ((ا)) by twisting it in various different ways for each generated letter. This point will be explained shortly.

Third: Mother means the one in front of others. This is certainly applicable to letter ((ا)) and number ((1)) as they both come in front of all characters and numbers. (note that letter “Alif” in Arabic corresponds to letter “A” in English).

As for the meanings of the word “book”, it has the following meanings:

First: the common meaning such as a geography book, as an example.

Second: Words, letters, and numbers such as ا, ب, 1, S, k, 9, and so on.

By the previous definitions of the words “mother” and “book”, we say “mother of book” means the letter in front, the generator, and the one who assembly others, which is nothing but letter ((ا)) and number ((1)).

So alphabetical letters and numbers are “books” and as we notice they all, except letter ((ا)) and number ((1)), are tilted and skewed such as the letters:

(ب – ن – ت - ث)     (ح – ج – خ) (ر – ز – د – ذ) (1 – 2 – 3),

and they are similar in that each of them is “tilted and skewed” in its own way. Non among characters is straight other than letter ((ا)) and number ((1)) which are straight in their shape and sketches and has no alike among all others. They have no analogous in this criterion, they are a class themselves.

And as of the meanings of “mother” is the originator of others, then it can be imagined that letter ((ا)) is the source originating all others such that all letters are born and created by “tilting, bending, twisting, forming” their straight source mother ((ا)) in various different manners.

What we have just explained can be put in a larger universal perspective as would be explained in the following:

Allah Almighty, the One and the origin and the source of all creatures has made a symbol for Him in each and every creation of His. This symbol serves as a reference or origin that generates others of its type. Besides, this center serves as the main axis or origin that others spin around, guided and enlightened by, and obtain their main needs and requirements from.

From this perspective, the books’ mother ((ا)) is the straight character that represents and symbolizes Almighty Allah among all other alphabetical characters. And from ((ا)) and her straightness, all other letters are formed by tilting/bending/twisting and forming her in various ways. Thereby, all words and consequently all languages and sciences and literature and arts are emerged from the mother of books, ((ا)).    

Likewise, because the words are collection of letters, the entire Quran has born by the Mother of the Book ((ا)), which is the symbol of God, which is the first letter of his great name “الله” Almighty. So letter ((ا)) is like a fountain exploding letters and words that run and enrich humanity, just like rivers enrich lands...

Number 1 is the mother of all numbers as they all are originated from him in the same manner that all letters are generated and extracted from their mother ((ا)). Thereby, by his duplication/summation/multiplications all mathematical sciences, and hence all physical sciences such as physics, astronomy, engineering, are originated and developed.

We find this concept in almost all things around us. Arabic language is the mother of all languages, Al Fatiha Chapter is the mother of all chapters, the mother of towns is Makka, the mother of houses is the Holy Kaba, and the mother of believers are the wives of our Prophet, peace be upon him.

We find a lot of evidences for what we are saying around us in nature too. Objects are discharged from their centers as if they were born from these centers. Such as discharging of sound and light from a point then spreading and propagating to all directions around … pointing to and representing the One Mighty God who is the origin of everything … glorified and exalted be He above all …

And floral leaves that appear to be generated from their cores ... the planets, stars, and galaxies, atoms, and electrons that revolve around their centers ... all are in harmony with our principle.

All things are generated and extracted from their centers… floating and swimming around these centers ... this is in consistent with what we are saying that all letters are generated from their mother, ((ا)), .... The source of light and knowledge and beauty and glow... the symbol of One Mighty God among all letters…

Not surprisingly then that drawing the word “يُسبِّحُون” that means praising Allah and the drawing the word “يَسْبَحُون” that means spinning and floating around are exactly the same in Arabic language. The reason for the similarity is that all creatures “praise” Allah and at the same time “swim and spin” in their orbits and spaces. Indeed, glorifying and praising Allah of creatures is conducted throughout this process.

Everything roams around his one epicenter and hence refers to the one Almighty God, whether in the Quran Book or in the great book of creation. Spinning of creatures around their centers such as revolving around Kabaa, as the four fingers circulate around their mother, the thumb, as electrons spin around their nuclei, as celestial bodies and galaxies rotate about their mass’ centers, all are telling us that everything - small or large – is needy and poor for Allah generosity, and is hanging on his mercy, and is enlightining by his lights.

These creatures are telling us that they are taking the causes of their life and existences from their centers as they are indeed taking their being from the One Almighty. As earth will perish if escaped from its orbit around the sun, the creation - all of creation – would perish if they went away from their source of existence, The Almighty Allah ...


Also the 1st Chapter of Holly Quran is al Fatiha. It is named also Om Al-kitab, (the Mother of Book) by Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him. People explained the naming of Al Fatiha as the mother of book as it has great meanings. However, all other Chapters of Quran have great meanings too! In fact each word and each Verse of the Quran has also great meanings, as they should be!

So what is the criterion the first Chapter of Quran is distinguished with to carry such a great name, the Mother of the book?

No doubt, from my perspective, that first Chapter in Quran is named so as it is numerically the first Chapter in Quran, number ((1)).


In Conclusion:
because a “book” is a “script/letter” and a “letter/script” is a “book” in Arabic language, the Mother of Books is the letter/script that comes first, namely, letter ((ا)) and number ((1)) and they generate all other letters and numbers by bending and forming them in various different ways.

From this perspective, we look into the three Verses that contained the word "Mother of Books" as follows:


Firstlly, Verse 7 of Al Imran Chapter:
Al Imran Chapter starts with:

الم {1} اللهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الحَىُّ الْقَيُّومُ {2}
نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكتبَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَأَنزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنْجِيلَ {3}
مِن قَبْلُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَنزَلَ الْفُرْقَانَ، إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بـءـايتِ الله لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ، وَاللهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انتِقَامٍ {4}
إِنَّ اللهَ لاَ يَخْفَى عَلَيْهِ شَىءٌ فِى الأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِى السَّمَاء {5}
هُوَ الَّذِى يُصَوِّرُكُمْ فِى الأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ، لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ {6}
هُوَ الَّذِى أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتبَ مِنْهُ ءَايَتٌ مُّحْكَمَتٌ هُنَّ ((أُمُّ الْكتبِ)) وَ ((أُخَرُ مُتَشبهتٌ))،
فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَبَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ،
وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللهُ، وَالرَّسِخُونَ فِى الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ ءَامنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا،
وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الألببِ {ءالِ عمران : 1-7}


1. Alif, Lam, Meem.
2. God, there is no god but He, the Living, the Eternal.
3. He sent down to you the Book with the Truth, confirming what came before it; and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel.
4. Aforetime, as guidance for mankind; and He sent down the Criterion. Those who have rejected God’s signs will have a severe punishment. God is Mighty, Able to take revenge.
5. Nothing is hidden from God, on earth or in the heaven.
6. It is He who forms you in the wombs as He wills. There is no god except He, the Almighty, the Wise.
7. It is He who revealed to you the Book. Some of its verses are definitive; they are the foundation of the Book, and others are similar. As for those in whose hearts is deviation, they follow the unspecific part, seeking descent, and seeking to derive an interpretation. But none knows its interpretation except God and those firmly rooted in knowledge say, “We believe in it; all is from our Lord.” But none recollects except those with pure origins.

The mother of books: is the straight letter ((ا)).
The other similar: other sets of letters such that each set contains similar resembled letters in their shapes and curvatures as follows:

( ب، ن، ت، ث )
( ح، ج، خ )
( ص، ض، ط، ظ )
(ر، ز، د، ذ) …

Notice that letters (ب), (ن), (ت), and (ث) are alike in their drawing, and so on for the rest of sets. And all these tilted resembled letters/scripts are generated by bending and forming them in various different ways.


With this understanding, the meaning of the phrase {آيات محكمات} which means in Arabic “definitive clear distinctive signs” is His signs illustrated by extraction of sets of similar twisted letters from the straight Mother of the Books ((ا)). And all of them, Mother of the Books ((ا)) and the sets of similar twisted letters (e.g. the set (ح، ج، خ)) are all “definitive clear distinctive signs”.

In other words:

“He who revealed to you the Book. Some of its verses are definitive . they are”:

First:” the Foundation of the Book”, the mother of books ((ا)).
Second: “and others are similar”, i.e. the letters which are similar in their shapes and sketches.

And all of them, i.e. the first and the second are definitive signs.

“As for those in whose hearts is deviation” i.e. those with tilted minds “as the tilted resembled litters” …
“They follow the tilted parts” as their hearts and minds are tilted.

Here we see another proof to our theory manifests itself in the connection between the deviation of people hearts and the deviation of the resembled letters. This is because the word “deviation” means in Arabic tilting and curving which is opposite to straightness. By this, the phrase point out to people who are deviated in their minds in the same manner the resembled letters deviated in their sketches.

So the meaning is: and those who in their hearts there is deviation (like the deviated groups of resembled letters (ب), (ن), (ت), and (ث), those follow what they think is similar deviated from Quran … they are contradicted in their thoughts and behaviors exactly as contracted the deviated letters.

And the 7th Verse ends with “But none recollects except those with pure origins”. The word “Pure origin” refers to the pure origin of letters, i.e. the mother of books ((ا)).       


Notice that in the previous Verse, i.e. 6, we have:” It is He who forms you in the wombs as He wills. There is no god except He, the Almighty, the Wise.”,

This means:
Just as the shape of a child in the womb of his mother is a sign, shaping similar letters from their mother ((ا)) is a sign, and all are from our Lord Almighty, does what He wishes ...



Secondly, Verse 39 of The Thunder Chapter:

يَمْحُوا اللهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ، وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتبِ {39}

39. God abolishes whatever He wills, and He affirms. With Him is the source of the Scripture.

It is well known that letters can be erased from a location in a page and be placed in another in our routin writings.

I will show now that the meaning of the phrase “God abolishes whatever He wills, and He affirms” is that God “abolishes” the mother of books from the drawing of some words in Quran, and “affirms” them in other words.


For example, letter ((ا)) has been abolished in 40 locations in the Quran from the drawing of the word " سُبْحَــا نَ " and has been placed in only one location and that is in Verse 93 of Glory Chapter:

قُلْ سُبْحَــا نَ ربِّى هَلْ كُنتُ إَلاَّ بَشَراً رَّسُولاً {93}


Or to be erased from the word " كتـاب" " in the entire Holy Quran (252 locations) to appear in only four places where it is written with letter ((ا)) and that is in the following four Verses:

In Thunder Chapter, Verse 38: لِكُلِّ أَجَلٍ كِتَـابٌ
In the Rock Chapter, Verse 4: وَمَا أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ إِلا وَلَهَا كتـابٌ مَّعْلُومٌ
At the beginning of Ants Chapter: طس تِلْكَ ءَايَتُ القُرءَانِ وَكِتَـابٍ مُّبِينٍ
And finally, in Verse 27 of the Cave Chapter:
وَاتْلُ مَا أوحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِن كِتَـابِ رَبِّكَ، لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِماَتِهِ وَلَن تَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَداً


Or to be erased from the word "قُرْءَ ا نَاً" in two places:
In Verse 3 of Decoration Chapter: إِنَّا جَعَلْنَهُ قُرْءَ نَاً عَرَبِيّاً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ {3}
From Verse 2 of Joseph: الر تِلْكَ ءَايَتُ الْكِتَبِ الْمُبِينِ {1} إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَهُ قُرْءَ نًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ {2}
To be placed and fixed in all other positions (68 locations) with the drawing "قُرْءَ ا نَا" …

So from our perspective, the meaning of:
39. God abolishes whatever He wills, and He affirms. With Him is the source of the Scripture.

Is that Almighty God abrogates/erase letters from their locations and fix/install them in others.


Thirdly, Verse 4 of The Decoration Chapter:

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَهُ قُرْءَنَاً عَرَبِيّاً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ {3}
وَإِنَّهُ فِى أُمِّ الْكِتَبِ لَدَيْنَا لَعَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌ {4}

3. We made it an Arabic Quran, so that you may understand.
4. And it is with Us, in the Source Book, sublime and wise.


Note in the third verse, the word { قُرْءَ ا ناً } has been written without ((ا)) like this: { قُرْءَ ا ناً }! This is a very important observation because it has been sketched so in the Koran only here and in Verse 2 of Joseph Chapter ... Why?
(Note: The word { قُرْءَ ا ناً }   is drawn with ((ا)) 68 times in the Koran) ...

What is the significance of the disappearance of character ((ا)) from the word { قُرْءَ ا ناً }   in Verse 3 and her appearance of the word {Mother of Books} in the following Verse?

Furthermore, what is the significance of disappearing ((ا)) in The Decoration Chapter whose name implies to painting and beauty, and from Joseph Chapter whose name also indicates beauty?

From our perspective the absent ((ا)) from the word{ قُرْءَ ا ناً } in Verse 3 is the same {Mother of Books, ((ا)) mentioned in Verse 4.

In other words: I am the mother book ((ا)), disappeared from Verse 3, but instead I appeared in Verse 4 with my concealed meaning: {The Mother of Books} ...

Not only that, but also because ((ا)) is the source of all other letters in Arabic characters that is known worldwide for its beauty and decoration throughout history, its disappearance in the word { قُرْءَ ا ناً }   is to indicate that drawings and decorations of the Koran is derived and born from ((ا)) ...

In other words:
I, the Mother of Book ((ا)), am hidden from the word { قُرْءَ ا ناً } , but I appear in many forms and decorations ... Everything that you find in this Chapter of drawings, decorations, and beauty is derived from me, including the name of the Chapter, "Decoration" which means beauty and magnificence...

For pleasant reference for this concept, the word “Arabian” appears immediately after the word قُرْءَ ناً } } in Verse 3 in an indication to the drawing calligraphy and decoration that characterizes Arabic language.

Not only that, but the entire Quran, from our perspective, came out of the ((ا)).

Now, If we look at the following Verse 4:

وَإِنَّهُ فِى أُمِّ الْكِتَبِ لَدَيْنَا لَعَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌ {4}
4. And it is with Us, {in} the Source Book, sublime and wise.

Preposition letter {in} could mean {from} in Arabic language. Thereforem using {from} instead {in}, we have:

4. And it is with Us, {From} the Source Book, sublime and wise.

Which shows clearly that the whole Quran is originated from the mother of books ((ا)).

It is not only the name of the Chapter that carries the meaning of decoration, but the whole Chapter contains a lot of phrases that mean integrity, straightness, beauty, tilting in references to the creation of letters and words from their mother, ((ا)).

Also, the Chapter contains a lot of phrases that mean beauty such as “gold” and “silver” ornaments in reference to the beauty of the origin ((ا)) ...






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