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Alif Laam Meem


Sahih International:

Alif, Lam, Meem.

Ahmed Ali


Ahmed Raza Khan

Alif-Laam-Meem. (Alphabets of the Arabic language; Allah and to whomever He reveals, know their precise meanings.)

Ali Ünal

Alif. Lam. Mim.

Amatul Rahman Omar

Alif Lâm Mîm - I am Allâh, the All-Knowing.

A. J. Arberry

Alif Lam Mim

Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Alif. Lam Mim

Faridul Haque

Alif-Laam-Meem. (Alphabets of the Arabic language; Allah and to whomever He reveals, know their precise meanings.)

Hamid S. Aziz


Hilali & Khan

Alif-Lam-Mim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings].

Talal Itani

Alif, Lam, Meem.

English Literal


Abul Ala Maududi

Alif. Lam. Mim.

Maulana Mohammad Ali

I, Allah, am the best Knower.

Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Alif Lam Mim.

Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Alif. Lam. Mim.

Ali Quli Qarai

Alif, Lam, Mim.

Qaribullah & Darwish


Muhammad Sarwar

Alif. Lam. Mim.

Mohammad Habib Shakir

Alif Lam Mim.

Wahiduddin Khan

Alif Lam Mim.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

A. L. M.

Tafsir jalalayn

Alif lm mm; God knows best what He means by these [letters].

Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Discussion of the Individual Letters

Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful says;


Alif Lam Mim.

The individual letters in the beginning of some Surahs are among those things whose knowledge Allah has kept only for Himself. This was reported from Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali and Ibn Mas`ud.

It was said that these letters are the names of some of the Surahs.

It was also said that they are the beginnings that Allah chose to start the Surahs of the Qur'an with.

Khasif stated that Mujahid said,

"The beginnings of the Surahs, such as Qaf, Sad, Ta Sin Mim and Alif Lam Ra, are just some letters of the alphabet."

Some linguists also stated that;

they are letters of the alphabet and that Allah simply did not cite the entire alphabet of twenty-eight letters.

For instance, they said, one might say, "My son recites Alif, Ba, Ta, Tha..." he means the entire alphabet although he stops before mentioning the rest of it.

This opinion was mentioned by Ibn Jarir.

The Letters at the Beginning of Surahs

If one removes the repetitive letters, then the number of letters mentioned at the beginning of the Surahs is fourteen;















So glorious is He Who made everything subtly reflect His wisdom.

Moreover, the scholars said,

"There is no doubt that Allah did not reveal these letters for jest and play."

Some ignorant people said that;

some of the Qur'an does not mean anything, (meaning, such as these letters) thus committing a major mistake.

On the contrary, these letters carry a specific meaning. Further, if we find an authentic narration leading to the Prophet that explains these letters, we will embrace the Prophet's statement. Otherwise, we will stop where we were made to stop and will proclaim,
امَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا
(We believe in it; all of it (clear and unclear verses) is from our Lord), (3;7).

The scholars did not agree on one opinion or explanation regarding this subject. Therefore, whoever thinks that one scholar's opinion is correct, he is obliged to follow it, otherwise it is better to refrain from making any judgment on this matter. Allah knows best.