Tafsir of the unattached letters

Q 1: I wish to know the meanings of the following Ayahs (Qur’anic verses), such as: "حم- ألم- ألمص- حم- عسق" ([Ha-Mim] - [Alif-Lam-Mim] - [Alif-Lam-Mim-Sad] - [`Ayn-Sin-Qaf]). Is the correct pronunciation of the last is "ع" (‘Ayn), as our teachers have told us? Are these Ayahs among the miracles with which Allah challenged the eloquent tongues of Quraysh? Is it true that none but Allah knows their meanings?


A: Scholars hold different opinions regarding this matter, but the preponderant scholarly opinion - and Allah knows best - is that such letters are mentioned at the beginning of Surahs (Qur’anic chapters) as a sign of the inimitability of the Qur’an. Although it is composed from these very same separate letters with which people speak, still they are incapable of producing anything even remotely similar. This is the opinion adopted by Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him) and approved by Abu Al-Hajjaj Al-Mizzy (may Allah be merciful to him).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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