Ulum al Qur'an
CONTENTS ONLINE LIBRARY
Variety of Explanations
The meaning and purpose of these letters is uncertain. There have been a variety of explanations offered by Muslim scholars throughout the ages. Among them are: [See itqan, 11, pp.9-11.]
There are also many other explanations which cannot be referred to here. The 'abbreviated letters' are part of the Qur'anic message, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and therefore included in the text of the Qur'an. They are to be recited and read as part of the suras where they occur. They are a good example for one kind of mutashabihdt which is referred to in the Qur'an itself, (3: 7), the meaning of which is known to Allah. The Qur'an says of them: '... these are the symbols of the perspicuous book' (12: 1).