June 1985: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2


Adding to Quranic exegesis

The Computer Speaks: God’s Message to the World

by Rashad Khalifa. Published by Renaissance Productions International, Tucson, Arizona, USA. 525 pages

The renewed interest in the West in Islam is due to both the resurgence of the faith in recent times, manifested most dramatically in the Iranian Islamic revolution, and to the failure of western secular philosophies of liberal capitalism and Marxist communism.

This Islamic resurgence, definitely begun by the reform movement of Jamaluddin al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh at the end of the last century, propagated a return to essential Islam, a rejection of taqlid (blind following of the teachings of the various schools) and an opening of independent rational thought and assimilation of western science, technology and rationalism that are not contradictory to the Islamic worldview.

Having its roots in earlier 18th century reformers, the movement was carried forward through the writings of various thinkers, including Rashid Riyha, Syed Ameer Ali and Muhammad Iqbal. Unfortunately, midway, the movement was captured by traditionalist thinkers like Maulana Maududi who stressed tradition rather than new creative thinking. Still, the modern Islamic trend of Muhammad Abduh’s creative thinking persists as a strong undercurrent. I would place Dr. Rashad Khalifa’s book as a major contribution to this creative reform movement.

The book makes one of the most amazing discoveries about the Quran. After several years of painstaking research, Rashad has come out with the extraordinary announcement that the Quranic literary composition is based on a precise mathematical structure based on the figure 19. It is so precise that if a Quranic word

like “Allah” or “al-Rahman” or “al-Rahim” is added to or subtracted from the Quran, this mathematical structure collapses! Indeed the arrangement of the Quranic chapters and the frequency of certain crucial words and letters in the Quran consistently conform to this structure. Rashad gives such overwhelming proof of this thesis that any reasonable, objective reader cannot but accept it.

He obtains the clue to this amazing Quranic code from from verse 30 of surah 74, appropriately titled “The Hidden Secret”, the last verse of the fourth revelation to the Prophet. The verse reads literally: “Over it are nineteen.” The classical commentators explained the figure “nineteen” as referring to angels of Hell or to man’s external and internal faculties.

However, verse 35 of the same surah (which was revealed later) states that this 19-based Quranic code is one of the greatest miracles. Going on this clue, the author calculated (with the help of the computer in the case of intricate calculations), found and enumerated in detail 31 amazing facts about this code, some of which I give below:

  • The opening statement of the Quran (“Bismillah”) consists of 19 Arabic alphabetic letters;
  • The famous words that constituted the first Quranic revelation (first five verse of surah 96) consists of 19 words;
  • The last Quranic revelation (surah 110) consists of 19 words;
  • The Quran consists of 114 surahs (114 is a multiple of 19);
  • The first surah in the order of revelation (surah 96) is placed in position number 19 from the end of the Quran;
  • The first chapter in the order of revelation (surah 96) consists of 19 verses;
  • The first Quranic revelation (the famous 19 words) consists of 76 letters, and 76 is a multiple of 19;
  • The first word in the Quran’s famous opening statement (“ism”) occurs in the Quran exactly 19 times;
  • All the words in the opening statement of the Quran (“ism”, “Allah”, “al-Rahman” and “al-Rahim”) individually occur either 19 times or multiples of 19 times in the Quran;
  • The 19-letter opening statement of the fifth Quranic revelation (Al-Fatihah) and the first surah of the Quran came immediately after the code 19 was given in the last verse of the fourth revelation (74) and that this opening statement consists of individual words occurring 19 times or multiples of 19 times in the Quran, strongly indicating that the number 19 is central to the Quranic structure.

Although these facts are amazing enough, the reader must read the book itself to appreciate the full significance of the author’s revelations of this mysterious 19-based Quranic code. The author explained that the figure 19 chosen by God to be the numerical basis of His Quran, because oneness of God is the theme of the Quran. The numerical value of the Arabic word “one” (wahid) in the traditional “letter arithmetic” is also 19. It is a reasonable and logical explanation.

Reading this book, an objective reader cannot doubt the soundness of the author’s conclusion -- that the Quranic composition is based on the numerical code of 19 and that this code represents one of the greatest miracles of the Quran, as the Quran itself states (73:35).

Although non-believers have said that the Quran is the work of Muhammad (whom they call a man of the greatest genius), with this astounding discovery, they can no longer say so with reason, although they may continue to disbelieve in it. No man can write a book whose linguistic structure is based on such mathematical precision! Only an All - Knowing God can execute such intricate and exquisite planning. The code therefore proves conclusively that the Quran is God’s message to the world and that it has been perfectly preserved through these 14 centuries.

Apart from this great discovery, this book opens the minds of Muslims to one very important fact: that the Quran, the unaltered work of God to mankind and the last of God’s books, is a comprehensive, perfect and self- explanatory book of guidance to man, requiring no other book to supplement or supersede it.

Continued on page 3

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