I recently published the initial counts for all the 29 initialed suras of the Quran, which confirm the final counts made by Dr. Rashad Khalifa as presented in his translation of the Quran and corresponding books.
Today, some kind brothers provided our first audit of the Arabic text counts for Sura 32. Here is a summary of their findings from their report.
Now I want to provide feedback on each of these points are mentioned.
Audit Claim: The audit confirmed that the Lam ( ل ) count of 155 and Mim ( م ) count of 158 was correct.
Audit Claim: The audit claims that four alifs are missing from the Arabic text compared to the King Fu’ad canonized text of the Quran; one alif from 32:5, one alif from 32:12, and two alifs from 32:16.
Response: As stated in the Counting Alifs section of the presented counts, it is virtually impossible to find two manuscripts of the Quran before 1924 that utilized the letter alif ( أ ) exactly the same. It wasn’t until the creation of the King Fu’ad Quran of Cairo that text of the Quran became universally standardized. A big reason this effort was spawned was mostly to try to settle the utilization of the three Arabic vowels, alif ( أ ), waw ( و ), and ya ( ي ) in the Quranic text. Of the three letters, this debate was most contentious regarding the letter alif ( أ ), which is the most commonly used letter in Arabic and appears as a long vowel, short vowel, as well as a hamza ( ء ); which we will address later. Even today, there are still debates regarding the spellings of the 1924 King Fu’ad Quran among academics and scholars.
That said, the methodology utilized in counting the initials started by comparing the 1924 Cario Edition text against Dr. Rashad Khalifa’s findings from his book, The Computer Speaks. If the text counts matched, then it was safe to simply move on to the next verse. If, on the other hand, ther was a difference in a given verse count, then each word would be assessed to locate the reason for the discrepancy. The vast majority of these discrepancies rested on the determination of counting the hamza ( ء ).
In the cases where the utilization of the hamza alone could not account for the differences between the King Fu’ad text and the totals presented by Dr. Khalifa, each word would be checked for variations in spelling based on ancient manuscripts. If an alternate spelling was identified and selected in the counts, then that spelling would be used throughout the entire Quran for that specific word as well as all the derivatives of that word. This way, any spelling will be used consistently throughout the entire script of the Quran when doing the counts.
That said, let’s look at these four verses highlighted in the audit and see if we can find an ancient manuscript that matches the spelling per the counts.
32:5: The audit claims one alif is missing from the counts from this verse. The disputed spelling is the word مِقْدَرُهُ which can be found spelled مِقْدَارُهُ in the King Fu’ad manuscript. As seen in the below ancient manuscripts dated before 800 CE, this word can be spelled without the alif as well. It is worth mentioning that the root for this word is ق د ر and this root occurs 132 times in the Quran. The only time in the King Fu’ad text that utilizes an alif in the spelling of a word containing this root is only in the occurrence of this word and not once in any other of the words that contain this root used throughout the Quran.
32:12: The audit claims one alif is missing from the counts from this verse. The disputed spelling is the word نَكِسُوا, which can be found spelled نَاكِسُوا in the King Fu’ad manuscript. As seen in the below ancient manuscripts dated before 800 CE, this word can be spelled without the alif as well.
32:16: The audit claims two alifs are missing from the counts from this verse. The disputed spelling are the words تَتَجَفَىٰ and ٱلْمَضَجِعِ, which can be found spelled تَتَجَافَىٰ and ٱلْمَضَاجِعِ in the King Fu’ad manuscript. As seen in the below ancient manuscripts dated before 800 CE, this word can be spelled without the alif as well.
Audit Claim: Changed hamza from the isolated form to hamza with kursi twice in 32:10.
Response: The two words disputed in 32:10 are أَئِذَا and أَئِنَّا, and the audit claims that the hamza in these words should be counted as an alif, and therefore each word should be considered to have three alifs rather than two. Based on manuscripts and the counts from Dr. Khalifa, it shows that these hamzas should not be counted as alifs. The manuscript below is dated between 649-675 and shows that it is only two alifs rather than three. This spelling is used consistently in all other occurrences of these words in the Quran.
Audit Claim: Changed hamza with kursi (other than alif) to hamza in an isolated from for verses 32:15(1), 32:22(1), 32:23(1), 32:24(1).
Response: The words in dispute for verses 32:15(1), 32:22(1), and 32:24(1) stem from the word ءَايَٰتِ (ayat), which throughout the entire text is counted as two alifs. This root occurs 382 times and is consistently counted as two alifs. This is consistent with Arabic grammar and pronunciation for words that make the soft “a” sound often represented as an alif with a madda on top ( آ ) and written in some modern-day Quranic scripts in the following form: آيَاتِ.
We see the same occurrence with the fourth disputed word لِّقَآءِهِۦ from verse 32:23. The root for this word occurs 146 times in the Quran and should also be spelled with two alifs. Interestingly, the audit did not notice that this same word is used in this spelling in 32:10 and 32:14. This reinforces that the hamza in this word should be counted as an alif.
Audit Claim: Alif changed to dagger alif, verse 32:18(1)
Response: The audit claims one alif should be counted based on 32:18. The disputed spelling is the word فَٰسِقًا, which can be found spelled فَاسِقًا in the King Fu’ad manuscript. Interestingly, we see the root of this word used again in 32:20 without the alif as well in the word فَسَقُوا. As seen in the below ancient manuscripts dated around the year 750-900 CE, this word can be spelled without the alif as well.
This audit attempts to identify possible points of contention regarding the alif counts while additionally confirming the presented counts for both Lam and Mim for Sura 32. This article showed that for any alternate spelling identified the spelling selected was based on ancient Quranic manuscripts. Additionally, the response showed that throughout the entire Quranic text used in the counting, a consistent spelling and counting method was also utilized where any spelling that was used was used consistently for all derivative forms of any given word.
So based on this audit, it reinforces that the counts presented for all three initials, “A” (ا = Alif) “L” (ل = Lam) and “M” (م = Mim), in Sura 32 are 257 + 155 + 158, respectively. This total adds up to 570, which equals 19 x 30.