Maʿānī al-ʾAkhbār > The meaning of the letters of the alphabet
Hadith #1

حدثنا محمد بن بكران النقاش - رحمه الله - بالكوفة، قال: حدثنا أحمد بن محمد الهمداني، قال: حدثنا علي بن الحسن بن علي بن فضال، عن أبيه، عن أبي الحسن علي ابن موسى الرضا عليه السلام[قال] إن أول ما خلق الله عز وجل ليعرف به خلقه الكتابة حروف المعجم، وإن الرجل إذا ضرب على رأسه بعصا فزعم أنه لا يفصح بعض الكلام فالحكم فيه أن يعرض عليه حروف المعجم ثم يعطي الدية بقدر ما لم يفصح منها. ولقد حدثني أبي، عن أبيه، عن جده، عن أمير المؤمنين عليهم السلام في " ألف، ب، ت، ث " أنه " قال: " الألف " آلاء الله و " الباء " بهجة الله، و " التاء " تمام الامر بقائم آل محمد صلى الله عليه وآله و " الثاء " ثواب المؤمنين على أعمالهم الصالحة. " ج، ح، خ " " فالجيم " جمال الله و جلال الله. و " الحاء " حلم الله عن المذنبين. و " والخاء " خمول أهل المعاصي عند الله عز و جل. " د، ذ " " فالدال " دين الله، و " الذال " من ذي الجلال. " ر، ز " " فالراء " من الرؤوف الرحيم. و " الزاي " زلازل يوم القيامة " س، ش " و " السين " سناء الله و " الشين " شاء الله ما شاء وأراد ما أراد وما تشاؤون إلا أن يشاء الله. " ص، ض " " فالصاد " من صادق الوعد في حمل الناس على الصراط، وحبس الظالمين عند المرصاد. و " الضاد " ضل من خالف محمدا وآل محمد صلى الله عليه وآله. " ط، ظ " " فالطاء " طوبي للمؤمنين وحسن مآب و " الظاء " ظن المؤمنين بالله خيرا وظن الكافرين به سوءا " ع، غ " " فالعين " من العالم و " الغين " من الغني. " ف، ق " " فالفاء " فرج من أبواب الفرج وفوج من أفواج النار و " القاف " قرآن على الله جمعه وقرآنه. " ك، ل " " فالكاف " من الكافي و " اللام " لغو الكافرين في افترائهم على الله الكذب. " م، ن " " فالميم " ملك الله يوم لا مالك غيره ويقول عز وجل: " لمن الملك اليوم "، ثم ينطق أرواح أنبيائه ورسله وحججه فيقولون: " لله الواحد القهار ". فيقول جل جلاله: " اليوم تجزى كل نفس بما كسبت لا ظلم اليوم إن الله سريع الحساب . و " النون " نوال الله للمؤمنين ونكاله بالكافرين " و، ه‍ " " فالواو " ويل لمن عصى الله، و " الهاء " هان على الله من عصاه " لا، ى " لام ألف لا إله إلا الله وهي كلمة الاخلاص ما من عبد قالها مخلصا إلا وجبت له الجنة " ى " يد الله فوق خلقه، باسط بالرزق سبحانه وتعالى عما يشركون. ثم قال عليه السلام: إن الله تبارك وتعالى أنزل هذا القرآن بهذه الحروف التي يتداولها جميع العرب، ثم قال: " قل لئن اجتمعت الإنس والجن على أن يأتوا بمثل هذا القرآن لا يأتون بمثله ولو كان بعضهم لبعض ظهيرا.

1. We were told by Muhammed bin Bakran al-Naqqash, may Allah grant him mercy, that he said: We were told by Ahmad bin Muhammed al-Hamdani, that he said: We were told by Ali bin Hasan bin Ali bin Faddal, from his father, from Abu’l-Hasan, Ali ibn Musa al-Rida, peace be upon him, that he said: Indeed, the first which Allah, Exalted and Glorious is He, created in order to teach His servants writing, were the letters of the alphabet. If a man was hit on his head with a stick and he was to claim that he is not fluent of some speech, the ruling with his regard is that he is presented with the letters of the alphabet and then given indemnity by the degree of what he is not fluent with. Furthermore, I was told by my father, of his father, of his grandfather, of the Commander of the Believers, peace be upon him, with regards to «Alif Baa’ Taa Thaa’» that he said: The «Alif» is the Bounties [1] of Allah, the «Baa’» is the Delight [2] of Allah, the «Taa’» is the completion [3] of the matter with the Qa’im of the Family of Muhammed, Allah’s blessings be upon and his Family, and the «Thaa’» is the reward [4] of the believers for their righteous deeds. «Jeem Hhaa’ Khaa’» the «Jeem» is the Beauty [5] of Allah and the Glory [6] of Allah, the «Hhaa’» is the Forbearance [7] of Allah towards the sinners and the «Khaa’» is the dullness [8] of the people of disobedient acts to Allah, Exalted and Glorious is He. «Daal Dhaal» the «Daal» is the Religion [9] of Allah and the «Dhaal» stems from the Possessor of Glory [10]. «Raa’ Zaay» the «Raa» stems from the Compassionate, the Merciful, and «Zaay» is the earthquake [11] on the Day of Resurrection. «Seen Sheen» the «Seen» is the Sublimity [12] of Allah and the «Sheen» is that Allah wished [13] what He wished and wanted what He wanted, and you may not wish except by (permission of) the wish of Allah. «Ssaad Dhaad» the «Ssaad» stems from Truthful in promise with regards to carrying people on the Path and withholding the oppressors at the Observation Point and the «Dhaad» is: astray [14] is he who opposes Muhammed and the Family of Muhammed, Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family. «Ttaa’ Dhaa’» the «Ttaa’» is: Tuba for the believers, and for them is a good return, and the «Dhaa’» is the assumption [15] of the believers in goodness towards Allah and the assumption of the disbelievers in evil towards Him. «’Ayn Ghayn» the «’Ayn» stems from Knowledgeable and «Ghayn» stems from Rich [16]. «Faa’ Qaaf» the «Faa’» refers to a relief [17] from the doors of relief and a crowd [18] from the crowds of the Fire, and the «Qaaf» is a Qur’an which is upon Allah to gather and recite. «Kaaf Laam» the «Kaaf» stems from Sufficient and the «Laam» refers to the nonsense [19] of the disbelievers in their fabrication of lies against Allah. «Meem Nun» the «Meem» refers to the Kingdom of Allah on the Day when there is no king but Him and He, Exalted and Glorious is He, will say: «To whom is the Kingdom today?» (40:16). Then the souls of His Prophets, Messengers and Proofs will speak and say: «To Allah, the One, the Prevailing» (40:16). Then He, Glorified be His Glory, will say: «Today, every soul shall be rewarded with what it earned. There is no injustice today. Indeed, Allah is Swift in account.» (40:17). The «Nun» refers to the favor [20] of Allah to the believers and His exemplary punishment [21] of the disbelievers. «Waw Haa’» the «Waw» refers to woe [22] to those who disobey Allah and the «Haa’» refers to that those who disobey Allah are despised. «Laa Yaa’» the «Laam Alif» refer to: there is no god but Allah [23], and that is the word of sincerity; there is no servant who says it with sincerity except that Paradise is made obligatory for him. «Yaa’» is the Hand [24] of Allah above His creation, the Extender of sustenance, Glorified and Exalted is He above what they associate. Then he, peace be upon him said: Indeed, Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, sent down this Qur’an with these letters which are exchanged by all the Arabs. Then he said: «Say: Certainly, if the humans and the jinns were to gather to bring an equal to this Qur’an, they will not bring an equal to it, even if they were to each other, assistants.» (17:88)



Hadith #2

حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن عبد الرحمن المقري الحاكم، قال: حدثنا أبو عمرو محمد بن جعفر المقري الجرجاني، قال: حدثنا أبو بكر محمد بن الحسن الموصلي ببغداد، قال: حدثنا محمد بن عاصم الطريفي، قال: حدثنا أبو زيد عياش بن يزيد بن الحسن، قال: حدثني علي الكحال مولى زيد بن علي قال: أخبرني أبي، عن يزيد بن الحسن، قال: حدثني موسى بن جعفر بن، عن أبيه جعفر بن محمد، عن أبيه محمد بن علي، عن أبيه علي بن الحسين، عن أبيه الحسين بن علي عليهم السلام، قال: قال: جاء يهودي إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله و عنده أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام فقال له: ما الفائدة في حروف الهجاء؟ فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله لعلي عليه السلام: أجبه، وقال: اللهم وفقه وسدده. فقال علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام: ما من حرف إلا وهو اسم من أسماء الله عز وجل، ثم قال: أما " الألف " فالله الذي لا إله إلا هو الحي القيوم، وأما " الباء " فباق بعد فناء خلقه، وأما " التاء " فالتواب يقبل التوبة عن عباده، وأما " الثاء " فالثابت الكائن " يثبت الله الذين آمنوا بالقول الثابت " وأما " الجيم " فجل ثناؤه وتقدست أسماؤه. وأما " الحاء " فحق حي حليم وأما " الخاء " فخبير بما يعمل العباد. وأما " الدال " فديان يوم الدين. وأما " الذال " فذو الجلال والاكرام. وأما " الراء " فرؤوف بعباده وأما " الزاي " فزين المعبودين وأما " السين " فالسميع البصير وأما " الشين " فالشاكر لعباده المؤمنين وأما " الصاد " فصادق في وعده ووعيده. وأما " الضاد " فالضار النافع. وأما " الطاء " فالطاهر المطهر وأما " الظاء " فالظاهر المظهر لآياته وأما " العين " فعالم بعباده. وأما " الغين " فغياث المستغيثين وأما " الفاء " ففالق الحب والنوى. وأما " القاف " فقادر على جميع خلقه. وأما " الكاف " فالكافي الذي لم يكن له كفوا أحد ولم يلد ولم يولد. وأما " اللام " فلطيف بعباده. وأما " الميم " فما لك [الملك] وأما " النون " فنور السماوات والأرض من نور عرشه. وأما " الواو " فواحد صمد لم يلد ولم يولد. وأما " الهاء " فهاد لخلقه. وأما " اللام ألف " فلا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له. وأما " الياء " فيد الله باسطة على خلقه. فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: هذا هو القول الذي رضي الله عز وجل لنفسه من جميع خلقه فأسلم اليهودي.

2. We were told by Ahmad bin Muhammed bin Abdul-Rahman al-Miqri, the ruler, that he said: We were told by Abu Amru, Muhammed bin Ja’far al-Miqri al-Jarjani, that he said: We were told by Abu Bakr, Muhammed bin Hasan al-Mosuli in Baghdad, that he said: We were told by Muhammed bin ‘Asim al-Turayfi, that he said: We were told by Abu Zaid, ‘Ayyash bin Yazid bin Hasan, that he said: I was told by Ali al-Kahhal, the servant of Zaid bin Ali, that he said: I was told by my father, from Yazid bin Hasan, that he said: I was told by Musa bin Ja’far, from his father, Ja’far bin Muhammed, from his father, Muhammed bin Ali, from his father, Ali bin Hussain, from his father, Hussain bin Ali, peace be upon them, that he said: A Jew came to the Prophet, Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family, and next to him was the Commander of the Believers, Ali bin Abi Talib, peace be upon him, and he said to him: What is the benefit of the letters of the alphabet? Then the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family, said to Ali, peace be upon him: Answer him. And he said: O Allah, give him success and direct him. Then Ali bin Abi Talib, peace be upon him, said: There is no letter except that it is a Name from the Names of Allah, Exalted and Glorious is He. Then he said: As for the «Alif» it is Allah whom there is no god but Him, the Living, the Superb Sustainer. As for the «Baa’» it is that He remains [1] after the termination of His creation. As for the «Taa’» it is the Accepter of Repentance [2] who accepts repentance from His servant. As for the «Thaa’» it is the Firm [3], the Being. «Allah sets firm those who have believed with the Firm Saying» (14:28). As for «Jeem» it refers to: Glorified [4] be His Commendation and Sanctified be His Names. As for the «Hhaa’» it is the Truth [5], Living, Forbearing [6]. As for the «Khaa’» it is the Acquainted [7] with what the servants do. As for the «Daal» it is the Judge [8] on the Day of Judgement. As for the «Dhaal» it is the Possessor of Glory and Generosity [9]. As for the «Raa’» it is the Compassionate with His servants. As for «Zaay» it is the Most Graceful of the Worshipped [10]. As for the «Seen» it is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing [11]. As for the «Sheen» it is the Thanker [12] of His believing servants. As for the «Ssaad» it is Truthful in His promise and threat. As for the «Dhaad» it is the Harmer [13], the Helpful. As for the «Ttaa’» it is the Pure [14], the Purifier [15]. As for the «Dha» it is the Apparent [16], He who makes clear His signs. As for the «’Ayn» it is the Knowledgeable of His servants. As for the «Ghayn» it is the Succor [17] granted to the appealers of succor. As for the «Faa’» it is the Divider [18] of the seeds and kernels. As for the «Qaaf» it is the Powerful above all His creation. As for the «Kaaf» it is the Sufficient to whom there is no equivalent, and who does not beget nor is born. As for «Laam» it is the Kind [19] with His servants. As for the «Meem» it is the Owner [20] of the Kingdom. As for the «Nun» it is the Light of the Heavens and the earth from the Light of His Throne. As for the «Waw» it is One [21], Eternal, who does not beget nor is born. As for the «Haa’» it is the Guide of His creation. As for the «Laam Alif» it refers to: there is no god except for Allah, there is no associate to Him. As for the «Yaa’» it refers to that the Hand of Allah is Extended above His creation. Then the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family, said: This is the saying which Allah, Exalted and Glorious is He, is pleased for Himself from all His creation. Then the Jew accepted Islam.