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What does Ha-Mim or Alif-Lam-Mim mean?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



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You say the Quran is clear and simple...what does Ha-Mim or Alf-Lam-Mim means?


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What does Ha-Mim or Alif-Lam-Mim mean?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Abbreviated Letters Alif Laam Meem, Ya Seen, Ha Meem’, etc. are known as the ‘Huroof Al-Muqattaat’ i.e. the abbreviated letters. There are 29 letters in the Arabic Alphabet (if hamza and alif are considered as two letters) and there are 29 surahs i.e. chapters in the Glorious Qur’an that have the abbreviated letters prefixed to them. These abbreviated letters some times occur alone, sometimes in a combination of two letters and sometimes in a combination of three, four or five letters

The true meaning and true purpose of these letters is known to Allah, The All Wise, All Knowing Alone! The Messenger of Allah (saws) never explained the meanings of these ‘al muqattaat’, nor did the noble companions ever question them.  The pagans, mushriks, and dis-believers in the Quran, who used to come and question about every small thing in the Quran, also never asked or enquired about their meanings from the Messenger of Allah (saws).   Thus it seems that this was the style of the poetry of the Arabs and their literature at the time of the Revelation of the Holy Quran.  There have been a variety of explanations offered by Muslim scholars through the ages. One amongst them is that the human body is composed of various fundamental elements that are found in nature.  Clay and dust are composed of the same fundamental elements. Yet it would be absurd to say that a human being is exactly the same as the dust.  We can all have access to the elements that are found in the human body, and add a few gallons of water, which is the constitution of the human body.  We know the elements in the human body and yet we are at a loss when asked the secret of life.  Similarly the Qur’an addresses those people who reject its Divine authority.  It tells them that this Qur’an, is in your own language, and over which the Arabs took pride. It is composed of the same letters that the Arabs used to express themselves most eloquently. The Arabs were very proud of their language and Arabic was at its peak when the Qur’an was revealed. With the letters Alif Laam Meem, Yaa Seen, Ha-Meem, etc., (in Engllish we would say A, B, C, D) and Allah challenges the disbelievers several times, in several ways, to produce a text at least somewhat similar to the Qur’an in its beauty and elegance, if they doubt its Divine authenticity.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Isra verse 88: Declare this! ‘Even if human beings and the jinns should co-operate with one another to bring forth a book like the Quran, they would never be able to bring anything like it, even though they all helped one another!”


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 11 Surah Hud verses 13-14: Do they say, “He has invented the Book himself?”  Say to them, “Very well, if it is so, then bring ten fabricated Surahs like this!  And you may call to your asistance whosoever you can except Allah, if you speak the truth!   Now if they (your false gods) do not come to your help, you should know that this Book has been revealed with the knowledge of Allah, and that there is no true deity other than Allah.  Do you then surrender to this?”


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 23-24: And if you be in doubt whether the Book We have sent down to Our Servant is from Us or not, then produce, at least, one surah like this.  You may call all your associates to assist you and avail yourselves of the help of any, other than Allah.   If you are genuine in your doubt, do this!  But if you do not do this, and you can never do this, then fear the Fire which has been prepared for the disbelievers, and which shall have men and stones for fuel.


To compare the skill of two artisans, they must be given samples of the same raw material and their performance evaluated in performing the same task. If they are tailors they must be provided with the same fabrics. The raw materials of the Arabic language are these letters Alif Laam Meem, Ya Seen (in English it is A, B, C, D, etc.) The miraculous nature of the language of the Qur’an does not lie only in the fact that it is the Word of Allah, but also in the fact that although made up of the same letters in which the pagan Arabs took pride, it has not been rivalled. The Arabs were noted for their rhetoric, ability, eloquence and meaningful expression. Just as the constituents of the human body are known to us and can be obtained by us, the letters comprising the Qur’an, such as Alif Laam Meem are known to us, and used frequently to formulate words. Life cannot be created by us, even if we possess knowledge of the constituents of the human body.   Similarly we cannot capture the same eloquence and beauty of expression that we find in the Qur’an, despite knowing the letters that constitute the Qu’ran. The Qur’an thus proves its Divine origin.  Therefore immediately after these broken letters are mentioned in the Qur’an, the following verses speak about the miracle of the Qur’an, and its sublime authority for those who are ready to take good counsel.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 1-2: Alif.  Laam.  Meem.  This is the Book (of Allah), there is no doubt about it.  In it is guidance for those who fear Allah.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 43 Surah Zukhruf verses 1-3: Ha. Meem.  By this lucid (open and clear) Book.  We have made it an Arabic Quran so that you my understand it.


The scholars are unanimous in their opinion, that the true meanings of these ‘al muqattat’ or broken alphabets are known to Allah Alone.  We as muslims, are commanded by Allah, to believe in them, because all the verses of the Glorious Quran are from our Lord and Creator.  


There are some unscrupulous people, who have the desease of hyprocrisy in their hearts, and they have tried to interpret these ‘al maqattat’ or ambiguous aayahs arbitrarily.  They have given fantastic meanings to these letters, and tried to fix the names of their ancestors, or the names of their holy men, or the names of the noble companions of the Prophet (saw), or even the name of the Prophet (saws) himself in these verses!   That is how they try to prove the basic foundation and ‘aqeedah’ of their sect or their deen, and say this is how Allah mentions the names of so and so in the Holy Quran!   These people, on the basis and authority of these aayahs, then invite mankind to invoke Personalities in their deen, rather than invite people to invoke and worship the One Lord Allah Alone!  We, as true believers, must believe that all the aayahs are from Allah, and we must have imaan in them.  But to take these aayahs, and give them fantastic meanings without any authority or in context of the guidance of the rest of the Quran, and then form an ‘aqeedah’ over those meanings, is nothing but misguidance.


Just to give you an example of how these unscrupulous leaders interpret the aayah Alif. Laam Meem.  They say:

Alif:  is the first ‘harf’ or alphabet of the word ‘Allah’.

Meem:  is the first alphabet of the word ‘Mohamed’ (saws).

And the middle harf ‘Laam’ is the middle alphabet of the word of Ali (r.a.).  

This is how Allah sends a hint to us in the Quran, and brings the names of Allah, Mohamed ar Rasool Allah (saws) and Hadrat Ali (r.a.) in the first verse of Surah Baqarah!  

These fantastic and arbitrary interpretations are completely out of context of the Message of the Glorious Quran and have absolutely no basis.    This is how these unscrupulous leaders put the names they want in the aayahs of the Holy Quran and form the foundation and ‘aqeedah’ of their sects and creeds!  


Allah Himself states in the Holy Quran in Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 7: It is Allah, Who sent down this Quran to you.  (There are two kinds of verses in the Book.)   In it are verses Basic or Fundamental (of established meanings which can be easily understood), and they are the essence or foundation of the Book.   And the other verses are Allegorical or Ambiguous.  Those in whose hearts is perversity will always go for the Allegorical or Ambiguous verses, seeking discord and trying to search for their hidden meanings.  None, except Allah, knows their real meanings (Ta’aweel)!  In contrast to them, those who are firmly grounded in knowledge, say: “We believe in them all, because all of them are from our Lord.


Thus Allah Himself states, that there are two kinds of verses in the Holy Quran, one straightforward, and fundamental, and the other allegorical or ambigous.  Allah also declares that the straight forward and fundemental verses of the book, are the essence and foundation of the book.  These verses are clear, open, direct, plain and have established meanings and can be easily understood by the reader.  The majority of the Quran is made up of these straightforward verses.  These verses are enough for the guidance of mankind.


Then Allah states that those, in whose hearts is perversity and disease, ALWAYS go after the allegorical verses and try to interpret them arbitrarily to suit their own agenda and beliefs, and their main objective is trying to create ‘fitnah’ or discord in the muslim Ummah, by creating cults, sects, creeds, beliefs, etc.  Then Allah declares, “None save Allah knows the ‘taaweel’ of these verses”!


Those who are constantly in pursuit of the ‘taaweel’ and ‘baatin’ and ambiguous and allegorical meanings of the Quran, Allah declares that these are the ones who have a disease in their hearts! These are the ones who are foremost in creating ‘fitnah’ in the Islamic Ummah.  These are the ones who are the foremost in breaking the Islamic Ummah and creating sects, creeds, cults and beliefs, which are not in context of the Quran and Islam.   These are the ones who portray constantly to the common man that the Quran is full of allegorical and ambiguous verses, and that no one except them can understand their ‘taweel’ meanings, even though Allah states that none save He knows their true meanings!   These are the ones who admonish their followers never to read the Quran with understanding, as they will be misguided by the Quran!  These are the ones who take the common people away from the clear and open guidance of the Holy Quran, and take them to read and study their own man-made books and beliefs!  These are the ones who take man away from the invocation of the One True Lord Alone, and bring them to the invocation of everything, men alive and dead in their graves. These are the ones who take man away from the one sajdah to the Lord of the Worlds, and bring them to make sajdah to human beings and their ancestors in their graves!  May Allah take full retribution from the self-proclaimed holy men who conceal the Quran and its clear guidance from the people in exchange for subjugation of people, and small monetary benefits!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Al-Baqarah verse 174: Indeed those, who conceal the commands that Allah has sent down in His Book and barter them away for paltry worldly gains, fill their bellies with fire.   Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He regard them as pure and there is a painful torment for them!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 159: Those who conceal the clear (Revelations) and Guidance We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, on them shall be Allah’s ‘laanah’ and the ‘laanah’ of those who are entitled to curse!


Your comment: “You say the Quran is clear and simple……”

My beloved brother, I did not say the Quran is clear and simple, from myself!  I only repeated the words Allah Himself states and declares in His Own Words in the Glorious Quran!   I did not make these up, but repeated the words of our Lord and Creator from the Holy Quran!


Allah says in Chapter 2, Surah Baqarah aayat 185: "Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down: this Book is a perfect guidance for mankind and consists of CLEAR teachings which show the right way and are a Criterion of the Truth and falsehood."


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 44 Surah Dukhan verse 58: We have made this Book easy in your own tongue so that they may ponder and take good counsel.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 43 Surah Zukhruf verses 1-3: Haa Meem.  By this lucid (clear or open) Book.   We have made it an Arabic Quran, so that you may understand it.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 12 Surah Yusuf verse 1-2: These are the verses of the Book that makes its object perfectly clear.  We have sent it down as a Quran in Arabic, so that you may understand it well.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 89: We have sent down to you this Book, which makes everything plain, and is a guidance, blessing and good news to those who have surrendered themselves entirely.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 19 Surah Maryam verse 97: O Mohamed, We have made this Quran easy, and sent it down in your tongue so that you should give good news to the pious and warn the stubborn people.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 41 Surah Ha Mim As Sajdaah verse 2-4: This is a Revelation from the All Compassionate, the All-Merciful Allah.  A Book whose verses are well expounded, an Arabic Quran for the people who want to understand, and a giver of good news and a warner.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 18 Surah Kahf verse 1-2: All praise is for Allah Alone, Who has sent down this Book to His Servant (Mohamed (saws), and assigned nothing crooked to it. This Book says everything directly, so that he may warn the people of the severe chastisement of Allah and give good news to the believers, who do righteous deeds, that they will have an excellent reward.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 99: We have sent down to you Revelations that clearly expound the Truth, and none but the disobedient reject them.


The above are just a few of the aayahs we are able to quote due to lack of space and repitition.  Now, the decision is entirely ours!  This is probably the single most important decision that we will make in our entire lives!  Who are we going to believe?  Some unscrupulous self-made leaders and self-proclaimed holy men, or Allah, the All Knowing, All Wise, Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and everything else that exists!   The decision you make and follow will be the difference between attaining the Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah, or His Wrath and Anger!  The decision that you make will be the difference between guidance and misguidance!  The decision that you make will not only affect you, but your children, your family, and your progeny until the end of time!  The decision you make will be the difference between Paradise and Hell Fire! 


You have the choice of choosing and following the Truth of the Quran yourself, or depend on the words and promises of some self-proclaimed holy men, and then take your chances with Allah on the Day of Judgment!  Our one and only invitation to our brothers and sisters in this forum is to invite them to read the Quran once with understanding.   These are the very words of our Lord and Creator, and they were revealed for our guidance.  If after reading the Glorious Quran with understanding, you find even one aayah which authenticates your belief in these self-made gods, go ahead and follow the deen of your forefathers!   But at least give the words of Allah one chance!   


May Allah guide you and us all to read the Holy Quran with understanding so that we can be guided aright.  May Allah increase our knowledge in Islam, and guide us all to the Straight Path of Islam.


May Allah guide you and us to read and understand the simple and plain words of the Glorious Quran.   May Allah increase our knowledge from the Holy Quran.   May Allah guide us to the Siraat al Mustaqeem.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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