When the Quran was revealed, 14 centuries ago, the numbers known today did not exist. A universal system was used where the letters of the Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek alphabets were used as numerals. The number assigned to each letter is its "Gematrical Value." The numerical "Gematrical" values of the Arabic alphabet are shown in table below.
by: Ibrahim Ahmed
Many of my friends and non-friends asked me to explain what is a numeral. I found these information in the Electronic Encyclopedia very valuable.
A numeral is the figure or character used to represent a NUMBER. Throughout history there have been many different representations for numbers and for the basic process of counting. At first there were spoken numbers and finger numbers (indicated by positions of the hands and fingers). For permanent recording and intermediate calculations, however, it was necessary to have written numerals.
The Romans used the system of Roman numerals, which is still familiar today in certain applications. Here, I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, and M = 1,000. A smaller number is added when it follows a larger number, but subtracted when it precedes the larger number. For example, VIII = 8, XXVII = 27, IX = 9 (10 -1), and CM = 900 (1,000 - 100). Both situations may occur in the same number, as in CLXIV = 164 and MCMLXXXVI = 1986.
The modern system of numeration (designation by the use of numbers) is derived from the Hindu-Arabic system. It uses a place-value system with 10 as the BASE. This system began in India around the 6th century, developed in the Arabian countries, and progressed into Europe and the rest of the world. Today all science and international trade use this system. The exact shape of the numerals has changed substantially over the years, but the introduction of printing has led to a standardization of shape.
The Prophet Muhammed who was a successful Merchant in his early life , has to know the Arabic Alphabets to work in trade, since all the numbers that he had to use were Alphabets. The discovery of the Mathematical Miracle of the Quran showed us a sophisticated system where every letter, word, verse and Sura in the Quran is mathematically composed in addition to its most beautiful literal structure. The system is so sophisticated, no human being can, even with the assistance of the computers we have today, write such a beautiful literature that is mathematically composed as well.
ABJAD AND THE RISE AND DECLINE OF ALPHANUMERIC SYSTEMS
Summarized from an essay by:
The word abjad is an acronym derived from the first four consonantal shapes in the Arabic alphabet -- Alif, Bá, Jim, Dál. As such abjad designates the letters of the Arabic alphabet (also known as alifbá') in the phrase hurúf al-abjad. An adjective formed from this, abjadí, means a novice at something. Nowadays the Arabic alphabet does not follow the sequence a-b-j-d, but rather the order: A-B-T-Th-J-H.-Kh-D (the basic shapes of the letters A-B-J-D without their diacritical dots do, however, occur in that order, insofar as T and Th are distinguished from B only by dots, and the H. and Kh from the J only by dots). However, the order A-B-J-D is quite ancient, insofar as the word abjad is not of Arabic origin, but comes from earlier written alphabets, perhaps from Phoenician though the sequence may be as old as Ugaritic. In any case, it certainly predates the writing down of Arabic, as can be seen by comparison of Hebrew (Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth) and Greek (Alpha Beta Gamma Delta).
The Arabic alphabet and the corresponding numerical values known as abjad are therefore derived from earlier prototypes, as the following comparison shows:
Hebrew: Aleph = 1 Beth = 2 gimel = 3 daleth = 4
Greek : alpha = 1 beta = 2 gamma = 3 delta = 4
Arabic: alif = 1 bá' = 2 jím = 3 dál = 4
The so-called Arabic numerals that we use as ciphers to represent our numbers (1,2,3,4, etc.) were invented in India c. 600 A.D. They were first used in the Middle East by the mathematician al-Khwarazmi (c. 875), along with the zero. Though some Europeans were aware of these "Arabic" computational symbols as early as the 10th century, they did not come into general use until the 13th century in Europe. The point being that up until this time, written texts in Greek, Latin, Hebrew/Aramaic, Arabic/Persian, etc. used letters of the alphabet to represent numbers (the Latin equivalent is Roman numerals).
The Arabic numerals proved far superior for computational purposes to the previous systems (it is not possible to do positional computation with roman numerals, nor did they come with the zero, another gift of India). The older letter/numbers gradually fell out of use, except in certain contexts (specifically the use of Roman numerals and Abjad numerals to mark the page numbers of the introduction of a book and the use of Roman numerals to record the publication date of books until the 19th century and the production date of motion pictures until the 1960s). However, just because the letters were no longer generally used as numbers, this does not mean that the numerical associations died out. Among poets the numbers were used to write chronograms (a word that contains a numerical value; poets frequently tried to find words with a numerical equivalent to the year of someone's death to write an elegy, for example). Theologians and mystics invested the letters and their associated numberical values with mystical significance.
ABJAD SYSTEM AND HOW IT WORKS
There are two principle variations in the Abjad system as to the value of certain letters; the Arabs of North Africa and Spain gave a different alpha-numeric order to some of the letters in the 100s than was common in the Levant and the Islamic east. However, this variation does not affect the values of letters under 100, which have always and everywhere been the same, so far as I know.
The Abjad values and their mnemonic groupings are as follows. Short vowels have no value (except in the beginning of a word, where they are necessarily accompanied by alif/hamza). Note that hamza (') and `ayn (`) are different letters with different values, as are the letters followed by dots (which would be underdots in printed versions of texts rendered in accord with the romanization system used by Shoghi Effendi for Baha'i texts). For the details of why hamza and alif have the same value (i.e., á = ' = 1), see below.
In the maghrib (Spain and North Africa), the following variant values obtained, to wit: s.= 60, d.= 90, s= 300, z.= 800, gh= 900, sh=1000.
N.B.: Certain phonemes which require two letters to represent in the roman alphabet (e.g., Th, Kh, Dh, Gh, Sh) are each rendered by a unique letter in the Arabic alphabet.
Likewise, doubled consonants (hurúf mushaddada) are counted only once. For example, though in transliteration we write Muhammad, in the Arabic script, the doubled consonant "mm" is represented by a diacritical mark (tashdid) over a single "m", which is therefore only written once and only counted once. Hence the numerical values of Muhammad and Nabíl are identical (remember not to count the short vowels, which are any vowels in transliteration which lack the accent mark):
M + h. + mma + d
40 8 40 4 = 92
N + b + i/y + l
50 2 10 30 = 92
The word Rid.wán totals to 1057: R= 200, d.= 800, w= 6, á= 1, n= 50. Mustagháth equals M=40, s=60, t=400, gh=1000, á= 1, th= 500 for a total of 2001.
The value of kull shay' should be 361 (k= 20, l = 30, doubled or mashdudd consonants are not counted twice, sh = 300, y = 10, hamza = 1). Persians sometimes elide the final hamza when writing this word in Persian (sometimes an extra "y" is also incorrectly added), which could lead to the wrong value of 360.
NUMERIC VALUE OF HAMZA AND ALIF ARE THE SAME
As Iskandar Hai pointed out, alif and hamza have the same numerical value. If we stop to consider how the word "abjad" is written and pronounced in Arabic or Persian, this fact should not come as a great surprise. The initial sound in abjad is a short "a." In any language a word beginning with a vowel is proceeded by a glottal stop (quickly pronounce the words "a apple" and you will hear and feel the glottal stop in between them). The letter which marks the glottal stop in Arabic is the hamza.
It is true that the word abjad begins with an alif, but the alif in this case is merely a place-holder for the initial hamza. This is because according to the rules of Arabic orthography, word-initial hamza, the phonetic value of which is a glottal stop followed by a vowel, must be written with an alif. This is true for any word beginning in a short vowel -- a, u, i. In word-initial position a short vowel rests upon a hamza, which in turn rests upon an alif.
But alif is used not only as a place-holder for initial short vowels. It also has other purposes, and this is where the confusion comes about. In the middle of a word, and sometimes at the end, alif represents the long vowel "á" (in Arabic, fatha and long alif have the same vowel quality in most phonetic environments, the difference being one of quantity--the alif is pronounced twice as long; in Persian, however, the long alif [á] sound is not only held longer, but is also qualitatively different from the fatha [a], having the value of the "a" in "law" as opposed to the "a" in "hat").
Technically speaking, the alif that represents the long "á" is a doubled or elongated fatha (a), and consists of a fatha combined with a hamza. Neither the fatha nor the hamza are written in this case, however, but instead the combination is marked by an alif. So the long vowel "á," represented in writing by the letter alif, does contain a hamza, even though that hamza isn't written out. Though modern Arabic orthography does not call for the hamza to be written with the alif of the long vowel, it can be found written out in some ancient manuscripts and inscriptions.
One might argue that it is not actually because of the alif, but rather because of the unwritten hamza that usually accompanies the alif, that the letter has the numerical value of one. Due to the conventions of writing Arabic, the hamza occurs everywhere an alif has a phonetic value (the alif is written in some cases without a phonetic value, such as in the alif wasl or as a soundless marker at the end of the 3rd person masc. pl. verb ending). So, for most purposes, where there is an alif with a phonetic value, it actually contains within it a hamza. However, the hamza can also occur without the alif. Hamza is written as a separate symbol (without the alif) when two vowels fall next to each other (e.g., su'ál, masá'il), when an unvowelled consonant is followed by a short vowel (e.g., mas'ala; in words like qur'án, mir'át, where a syllabic break occurs with a consonant, followed by a long vowel "á", the hamza is written as a madda stroke above the alif, and not usually in the form of hamza); or when a short vowel occurs at the end of a word immediately after a long vowel (bahá', shay').
The long and short of it is that both alif and hamza are counted as one in Abjad. Where there is both an alif and a separate hamza in a word, as in shay', you count them separately. á = 1 , ' = 1.
There are many reference works, such as the Encyclopedia of Islam and Encyclopeadia Iranica, the Arabic Lexicon of Lane, the Dictionaries of Mo'in and Dehkhoda, that contain information on the Abjad system. Most of the dictionaries explain that alif and hamza have the same numerical value.
What Is Numerology?
Is it a miracle or a Numerology ?
Webster's dictionary defines numerology as the study of the occult (hidden) significance of numbers and letters. It is interesting to see that the ignorant Muslims and the misguided ones who do not want to accept the mathematical miracle of the Quran call the miracle of the Quran numerology and call Dr. Khalifa a numerologist. Not only did they fail to understand the difference between numerology and mathematics but they also failed to appreciate what God called "One of the great miracles " 74:35. The gematrical values of the alphabets are not occult or hidden values but well known since the introduction of the languages and were born out of need not out of the desire to predict a future event or an occult meaning. The miracle of the Quran is based on pure mathematical factors not on the occult significance of the numbers or letters in the Quran. There is no claim of any occult significance of any number or letters by Dr. Khalifa or by the Author of the Quran (God Almighty). The significance of number 19 is explained by God Almighty in 74:31 in details not hidden or occult. The miracle of the Quran is a phenomenal mathematical relationship of the placement of the chapters, the verses, the words of the Quran, and / or the numbers used in the Quran. NOTHING OCCULT in it and no claim of any special significance more than what God Almighty detailed in 74:31. For example the Quran has 114 chapters (19X6), The first verse 1:1 known as "Basmalla" consists of 19 letters. The total number of verses in the Quran is 6346, or 19X334. The Basmalla occurs in the Quran 114 times (19X6), despite its conspicuous absence from Sura 9. The word God (ALLAH) occurs throughout the Quran in its 114 Suras 2698 times and 2698= 19X142. The number of verses where the word God occurs add up to 118123 also a multiple of 19, = 19X6217 and so on for hundreds of similar mathematical findings, all consistent with God's swearing in 74:30, "Over it is 19". As any sincere person can see , there is NO OCCULT significance or HIDDEN values but straight forward mathematics from the Quran. Those who call it numerology are showing their ignorance and their deliberate attempt to cover up their inability to appreciate, see or understand the miracle. It takes divine intervention to block someone from seeing God's miracle. God promised to show His miracles ONLY to the sincere believers, those who attained certainty, 2:118 and 83:18-22.