Sura 98 Al-Bayyinah, Sign of the Hour’s Approach

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Examining the latter suras in the Quran, we may consider them as showing us signs of the  approach of Judgment Day, starting with the sending of the Quran itself described in Surat Al-Qadr 97. Sura 98 Al-Bayyinah, or “The Evidence/Proof,” further strengthens that understanding, describing the Quran, the final revelation, as a Proof, where such a proof’s denial is not a matter of a single community as were previous messages, but given to all humankind. This sura tells us it is prophet Mohammad as the messenger, and the Quran itself that separates those who deny from those who trust in Allah and His way (presented in the Quran as universal, a system of ethics and compassionate behavior) — for all humanity over time, which is now rapidly approaching its end. 

This separation is an ongoing process ever since the Quran was revealed. And that revelation is not only the first significant sign of the approach of the Hour, but also the disrupting “event” which shows people their responsibility for their actions, as well as their relationship to their Creator and Sustainer. This causes those with other messages such as the Bible (not in itself a single “sent” message but an anthology) and Torah who are between faith and denial (such as agnostics), as well as polytheists such as the Quraish during prophet Mohammad’s time or the Hindus of today, to separate into disparate groups, some truly monotheist and upholding high ethical standards, and others muddying the category of deity by associating creatures (such as humans e.g., Jesus or Rabbis, or other creatures real or imagined, such as with Hindu mythology) with Creator in their devotion, thus denying Allah’s higher power and mercy. “Denial” also includes self-worship and/or devotion/ allegiance to various types of worldly things, such as drugs, luxuries, social status, power or whatever it is that one prefers to Allah the Most High.

Note that the Quran was sent about 300 years after the First  Council of Nicaea codified the Nicene Creed of “3-in-1” claiming God and Jesus are one (using a formulaic rhetorical construct). 

‎كَانَ ٱلنَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَٰحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّبِيِّۦنَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ لِيَحۡكُمَ بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ فِيمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِۚ وَمَا ٱخۡتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَتۡهُمُ ٱلۡبَيِّنَٰتُ بَغۡيًۢا بَيۡنَهُمْۖ فَهَدَى ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لِمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ مِنَ ٱلۡحَقِّ بِإِذۡنِهِۦۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَهۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٍ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ

All humanity was one nation; then Allah sent prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path. (Al-Baqara 2:213)

Thus to “differ” is similar to “part” from one another into sects or groups, differing over matters of faith, some basically upholding truth, and others following lies. But of all the scriptures, only the Quran now exists with its truth, and its clear proof/evidence, entirely intact. 

And after the Quran was sent no genuinely new religion or Divine message has appeared, only variants of previous messages such as the Book of Mormon (variant of Christianity), the Talmud (Rabbinical writings), or other writings. All these changes and writings refer back to the Quran’s revelation as a seminal event, which for centuries Christians deliberately denied and tried to hide, but which now, with the whole world connected, has been again “opened up” and reached the farthest places on the planet. 

Sura 98 Al-Bayyina “The Proof” – Aya-by-Aya Explanation

The Parting of Ways

Al-Bayyinah 98:113 words, 55 (5•11) letters, total 68 (2²•17), sod 14

لَمۡ يَكُنِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّىٰ تَأۡتِيَهُمُ ٱلۡبَيِّنَةُ

Those who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists were not to be parted until there came to them clear evidence – (98:1)

The word munfikeen مُنفَكِّينَ (in bold) is derived from the root f-k-k which means “freed/released” as in the “freeing of a slave” in 90:13. It has also been translated “to leave/ part.” One may wonder “leave from what?” Saheeh International’s translation reads “parted [from misbelief]” which doesn’t clarify what exactly is meant here, although it follows Ibn Kathir’s tafsir. In light of the aya itself, where Allah refers to “those who disbelieved” meaning that they already disbelieved — in light of the history of the Nicene Creed, this makes sense — it doesn’t make sense that they “depart from dis- or misbelief” in the same sentence while Allah already defined them as such. Thus, it refers to those who disbelieved among these named groups being separated from those among them who, within their hearts, were actually or potentially believers. This means there was a subset of Jews and Christians whose faith was intrinsically monotheistic in focus. To this very day, an observant Muslim can notice a difference between the rabid devotees of particular dogmas and the more balanced and compassionate people of faith who do not constrain their devotion by false dogmas but quietly accept truth when they find it.

Another possible interpretation takes the word munfiqeen as it is used to mean “released” from something ”binding” to refer to the covenant binding Jews and Christians (and possibly others, such as possibly from the Arabs those still holding to elements of tawheed or monotheism as found in archaeological evidence) — until there came the promised messenger from the lineage of Abraham through His firstborn son Isma’il (Ishmael) as promised in the Torah, the Gospel, and other books (possibly also the Vedas or other Sanscrit texts and texts from who is referred to as Buddha). Al-Bayyina or the ”evidence” would then be Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) “reciting” the Quran.

Why reciting? Because recitation can’t be revised. How it is recited has to be perfect as is, and what human being can come up with a flawless book without writing and revising, thinking, copying? Thus the very name of the Quran, the Recitation, symbolizes this element of the miracle. This explains why naysayers called Prophet Mohammad ”crazy” and ”a poet.” Everyone knew him as ”unlettered.” This was comparable to prophet Jesus speaking as an infant. The words Mohammad recited were ”pure,” perfect, beautiful, sophisticated, impossible for anyone to just recite as if out of nowhere. It was obvious they weren’t his own words or speech patterns.

This tafsir is offered by Ibn Taymiyyah, who further adds that the Quran clearly tells us that the Torah and Gospel mention the coming of Prophet Mohammad using the name “Ahmad” (61:6).  (Some have suggested the name was translated into Greek as “Paraclete” mentioned in actual extant Bibles which have not, in traditional Christian bibles, been interpreted this way for obvious reasons.) And awaiting that prophet, Mohammad, is part of the covenant binding both Christians and Jews, and also possibly Hindus whose holy text Vedas has been explicated rather convincingly by Dr. Zakir Naik to show Prophet Mohammad’s coming was mentioned there too.

This idea explains why the very next aya mentions “A Messenger from Allah, reciting pure scriptures.” The coming of prophet Mohammad with the Quran is a single whole event, fulfilling the promise of a great prophet bringing the final revelation from Allah. And it is thus his coming as a prophet too which “releases” the disbelievers from their covenant. The aya below highlights how the Quran as Al-Bayyinah is also Al-Furqan (literally “that which separates”), separating the rejecters from the faithful.

This understanding is reflected below: 

وَلَا تَكُونُواْ كَٱلَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُواْ وَٱخۡتَلَفُواْ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡبَيِّنَٰتُۚ وَأُوْلَٰٓئِكَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment. (Aal-e-Imran 3:105)

“Divided and differed” means they denied the truth despite clear proofs. Thus the deniers were “outed,” as similarly disbelievers would be when the Quran came.

‎وَلَقَدۡ أَنزَلۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ ءَايَٰتٍۢ بَيِّنَٰتٍۖ وَمَا يَكۡفُرُ بِهَآ إِلَّا ٱلۡفَٰسِقُونَ

And We have certainly revealed to you verses [which are] clear proofs, and no one would deny them except the defiantly disobedient. (Al-Baqara 2:99)

Yet another aya shows that people differ once they obtain knowledge, similar to being shown evidence. 

وَلَقَدۡ بَوَّأۡنَا بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٰٓءِيلَ مُبَوَّأَ صِدۡقٍ وَرَزَقۡنَٰهُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَٰتِ فَمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ حَتَّىٰ جَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡعِلۡمُۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَقۡضِى بَيۡنَهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ فِيمَا كَانُواْ فِيهِ يَخۡتَلِفُونَ

And We had certainty settled the Children of Israel in an agreeable settlement and provided them with good things. And they did not differ until [after] knowledge had come to them. Indeed, your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ (Yunus 10:93)

Here similarly it is knowledge, like evidence, which itself by Allah’s design brings out these differences and divisions. 

Al-Bayyinah, The Proof, Revealed

Al-Bayyinah 98:26 words, 25 letters (5²), total 31 whose reversed digits 13 match the word count of aya 98:1 and also total sum of digits in 6,2,5 (digits of word and letter counts) = 13

رَسُولٌ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ يَتۡلُواْ صُحُفًا مُّطَهَّرَةً

A Messenger from Allah, reciting pure scriptures (98:2)

The number 25 is the number of prophets mentioned in the Quran, thus this number refers to Mohammad as the final prophet, the 25th of those mentioned, not as a literal but a symbolic count (in the letter count representing human input), whereas 6, the number of carbon from which, by Allah’s word, humanity was created, symbolically represents Allah’s input.

This aya tells us immediately what is the meaning of Al-Bayyinah — the Proof — and that is the Quran, but also Allah’s messenger of the Quran, Prophet Mohammad, fulfilling the prophecy in previous scriptures (61:6). The Quran is the actual scripture being recited containing truth as proof of what all previous scriptures contained. The messenger himself is also evidence/proof, as described above. The word “purified” here means that what Mohammad recites is directly from Allah and not adulterated by human hands. 

This is an important point because the alteration of previous scriptures such as the Torah and the Gospel (Injeel) is written,. We think of all books as “written,” and even Scripture is commonly, among Christians and Jews, described as being written by the various prophets, saints, or “apostles.” But the Quran is first recited and memorized as a recitation — the meaning of Quran. It’s emphasized that the prophet recited to show he did not write but recited, hence the text was never composed as humans write, deliberating, making changes, and working out a text. This literally came from God intact as a whole, but received part by part in time, the eternal arrangement given when delivery of the text was complete. 

فَوَيۡلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَكۡتُبُونَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ بِأَيۡدِيهِمۡ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَٰذَا مِنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ لِيَشۡتَرُواْ بِهِۦ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًاۖ فَوَيۡلٌ لَّهُم مِّمَّا كَتَبَتۡ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَوَيۡلٌ لَّهُم مِّمَّا يَكۡسِبُونَ

So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn. (Al-Baqarah 2:79)

Although it is of course also possible to alter an oral transmission:

وَإِنَّ مِنۡهُمۡ لَفَرِيقًا يَلۡوُۥنَ أَلۡسِنَتَهُم بِٱلۡكِتَٰبِ لِتَحۡسَبُوهُ مِنَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ مِنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ

And indeed, there is among them a party who alter the Scripture with their tongues so you may think it is from the Scripture, but it is not from the Scripture. And they say, “This is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah . And they speak untruth about Allah while they know. (Aal-e-Imran 3:78)

Nonetheless, what we have in the Old Testament, for example, is written down, and it is in the writing of it that adulteration of the text was secured. What was on the tongues of those who altered the words was then written and canonized as Scripture. Whereas the Quran has been memorized so extensively from the outset that any false writing would be immediately caught by one of the many who memorize it. It is now well-known with untold numbers of recitations recorded. This method is actually itself more secure than stone engraving, which is subject to weather and forgetting. But for humans, whose Arabic name insan relates to the root nasyan “forgetfulness,” to keep the entirety of the Quran in their collective memory, was the method Allah chose to keep the words intact and perfectly as sent — memorization being incumbent on Muslims at the time it was sent and now at this moment. 

Al-Bayyinah 98:33 words, 11 letters, total 14 – (sod of elements in 98:1) 

فِيهَا كُتُبٌ قَيِّمَةٌ

Within which are correct/upright writings.

Here is affirmation that the recitation was also written down, as has been proven by the Birmingham Manuscript, but was accepted as true by Muslims for centuries prior to that discovery. The Quran’s words and their undeniable truth, beauty, and equitable qualities make the above statement fully confirmed, with or without radiocarbon-dated manuscripts, although the latter is physical evidence which may secure the faith of those who consider that more reliable.

The numbers here correlate with this meaning: 3 symbolizes language and writing, 11 symbolizes balance (“correct”), and the total, 14, is a number referred to in 15:87 as “seven of the pairs and the Great Quran” where “seven pairs” would be 14, half the Arabic alphabet and the number of cryptic Quranic Initials, thus this too significantly relates to the Quran and its writing. 

Al-Bayyinah 98:412 words, 43 letters, total 55 (same as letters in 98:1) 

وَمَا تَفَرَّقَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَتۡهُمُ ٱلۡبَيِّنَةُ

Nor did those who were given the Scripture/Book become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence/proof.

This aya states the same thing as quoted above from 3:105. It therefore supports aya 1, the same meaning of “released (from)” as also a “separating,” but without specifying “disbelievers” — thus opening the understanding that this also means dividing the believers/faithful from the deniers/faithless, here focusing on the people who had scriptures from Allah. Of those, some may continue as monotheists following the path given them in their scriptures, and others may follow their own desires or adulterate the worship of Allah/God with that of others (shirk), such as Jesus, Rabbis, political or religious “leaders” who mislead them, etc. This part doesn’t apply to polytheists who didn’t receive Divine revelations (such as the Quraish). 

Note the total of words and letters is 55, matching the number of letters in aya 1, showing that the total words and letters count of this aya 4 equals the letter count of aya 1 — why? What does that mean? It means that here we come to the implementation of aya 1, adding Allah’s commands as “12,” a number associated with “completion,” the end of a cycle/year, but also with Bani (children of) Israel (Jacob), who received the Torah and were given signs relating to the number 12 such as 12 tribes, 12 leaders, and 12 springs. The 43 letter count reverses the number 34 associated with Allah’s mercy (Al-Raheem as a name mentioned 34 times), showing we reached a “reciprocity” — separating each group according to their faith and deeds, the next step being the reciprocal response: punishment for evil, reward for good. 

All Messages Were Essentially the Same as the Quran

Al-Bayyinah 98:510 (2•5) words, 77 (7•11) letters, total 87 (3•29)

وَمَآ أُمِرُوٓاْ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مُخۡلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ حُنَفَآءَ وَيُقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَيُؤۡتُواْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَۚ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ ٱلۡقَيِّمَةِ

And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct/established/ upright religion/system.

The word in bold is hunafa’ coming from hanifa which means “monotheist,” worshiping none but God — no incarnations, sons, intercessors, mediators, or anything else. The translation “inclining to truth” is ok, but “monotheist” is closer. The “words” being 10, a “perfect” number, applies to a “correct/upright” system.  

The Quran recommends to take “the way of Ibrahim” described as hunafa’ by which is meant monotheism as described below:

قُلۡ إِنَّنِى هَدَىٰنِى رَبِّىٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٍ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ دِينًا قِيَمًا مِّلَّةَ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ حَنِيفًاۚ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ

Say, “Indeed, my Lord has guided me to a straight path –  a correct religion –  the way of Abraham, inclining toward truth (hunafa’). And he was not among those who associated others with Allah.” (Al-An’am 6:161)

This aya 5 relates to aya 3, and the letter counts reflect this: aya 3 has 11 letters and this aya 5 has 11•7 or 77 letters. The number eleven symbolizes balance, with two equal digits/parts; this same symbolic element applies to multiples of 11 up to 99, whose digits likewise are two equals. And 7 is an especially significant number in the Quran. 

The word count (3) reflects all 3 ayat relating to Allah’s “sunnah” or system: aya 1 has 13 words; aya 4 has 3 words and aya 5 has 10 words for a sum of 26 which is 2•13, exactly double the words in aya 1

The meanings of these 3 ayat cover the same subject, namely, that the Quran is the bayyina or proof/evidence which indisputably presents the truth, against which people’s faith will be measured and accounted for. Aya 1 presents this for both “people of the book/scripture” and “polytheists;” aya 3 presents it specifically for people of the scripture; and aya 4, which we reference here, asserts that all the previous messages said essentially the same thing as the Quran. The numbers 11 and 77 reflect, as “double matching digits,” the idea of balance and scales, subtly showing this is about that very thing, balancing the scales and reciprocity. 

The Punishment Goes Into Effect

Al-Bayyinah 98:611 words, 64 (2⁶) letters, total 75 (2²•3) sod 12 

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ فِى نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآۚ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ هُمۡ شَرُّ ٱلۡبَرِيَّةِ

Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures.

Notice the word count 11 of this verse matches the letter count 11 in verse 3 and the 11 multiple 77 letter count in verse 5. Now the word count, representing Allah’s command, shows Allah’s reciprocity or “balancing” of punishment for evil — the “release” or “separation” caused by the revelation of Al-Bayyinah (proof), the Quran. In the very next sura, Al-Zalzala 99, people are “separated” prior to Judgment into groups; and this same action is delineated here. Once their kufr is made clear and they have insisted on it, Allah the Exalted Omniscient’s command goes into effect here: they will be in the Fire of hell. Add all the numbers up: 11+11+77=99, and this is the number of Surat Al-Zalzala, where the separation is further confirmed right before the Scales are presented. At that point, there’s no turning back. 

Also, the exponent form of 64 as 2⁶ is a configuration of 2,6 which also forms the total (26) of the words in all 3 ayat specifically relating to Allah’s plan: ayat 1, 4, and 5. Interestingly, these ayat numbers form two 5’s as [1+4, 5], further reflecting the two 55’s shown above. Thus the count of “words of Allah coming into effect” matches the digits in the exponent formulation of deeds – matching the meaning of how that effect transformed into an exponential (extreme) form of punishment by their bad deeds.

The Reward of the Righteous Believers

Al-Bayyinah 98:710 words, 40 letters, total 50 – 

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ هُمۡ خَيۡرُ ٱلۡبَرِيَّةِ

Indeed, they who have believed and done righteous deeds –  those are the best of creatures.

Note in the counts above that they are all multiples of 10, symbolizing both perfection and the celestial realm opening. The number 50 gives that value to the righteous “hands:” their deeds are now given celestial value by Allah’s words/command.

Al-Bayyinah 98:822 words, 80 letters, total 102 (2•51) (chiastic center of 51 is 26)

جَزَآؤُهُمۡ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ جَنَّٰتُ عَدۡنٍ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُ خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدًاۖ رَّضِىَ ٱللَّهُ عَنۡهُمۡ وَرَضُواْ عَنۡهُۚ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَنۡ خَشِىَ رَبَّهُۥ

Their reward with Allah will be gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them and they with Him. That is for whoever has feared his Lord. (98:8)

This is one of the most beautiful passages in the Quran, describing the unimaginable joy of mutuality between human and Allah, both in a relationship of mutual understanding and love. That is indeed the supreme attainment! It’s almost impossible to get the same feeling in translation except with imagination. 

Regarding the counts, 22 relates to fulfillment in the highest sense (Surat Al-Hajj “Pilgrimage” is sura 22), and 102 is equal to 100 (a perfection) +2 (repetition/increase). The letter count 80 is the number 8 — associated with paradise, as well as with the number of angels who are “carriers of the throne” — multiplied tenfold, a celestial increase. 

Totals for the last 2 ayat: total words+letters = 152 (2³•19) Here the 23 (basic human chromosomes thus representing humanity) 2,3 pairing is formulated using an exponent as the factor 2³ – showing humanity – x19 – the number 19 mentioned only in 74:30 as “above it (hell) are 19” — means humanity at their best (the righteous) are above and therefore saved from hell. 

Last 2 ayat total words: 32 — this is reversed digits of 23, symbolizing reciprocity fulfilled for the true-to-Allah humans. Also, sura 32 is Al-Sajda (Prostration), and prostration is symbolic of Islam itself, the true surrender to Allah’s will. 

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لَا يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ عَنۡ عِبَادَتِهِۦ وَيُسَبِّحُونَهُۥ وَلَهُۥ يَسۡجُدُونَ۩

Indeed, those who are near your Lord are not prevented by arrogance from His worship, and they exalt Him, and to Him they prostrate. (Al-A’raf 7:206)

This is especially apt because only the righteous will be able to prostrate on Judgment Day and those who refused to prostrate in this worldly life will not be able to on that Day:

يَوۡمَ يُكۡشَفُ عَن سَاقٍ وَيُدۡعَوۡنَ إِلَى ٱلسُّجُودِ فَلَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ

The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able, (Al-Qalam 68:42)

خَٰشِعَةً أَبۡصَٰرُهُمۡ تَرۡهَقُهُمۡ ذِلَّةٌۖ وَقَدۡ كَانُواْ يُدۡعَوۡنَ إِلَى ٱلسُّجُودِ وَهُمۡ سَٰلِمُونَ

Their eyes humbled, humiliation will cover them. And they used to be invited to prostration while they were sound (capable). (Al-Qalam 68:43)

The number 32 =2⁵ which when the digits 2,5 are configured as 25, which represents the prophets, of whom 25 are mentioned in the Quran as mentioned above. The faithful are those who followed God’s messengers, and in our time, the 25th messenger specifically. 

Surat Al-Sajda #32 is also in the 8th “house” in Quranic architecture, associated with Allah’s Throne, the carriers of which on Judgment Day will be 8, which is also associated with paradise (many hadiths state the gates of paradise are 8). Thus the number 80, 8 multiplied tenfold, is a highly celestial number showing the marvelous reward for “Allah’s chosen servants.”

Total last 2 ayat letters: 120 (10•12, 2³•3•5) – the ultimate success 

The number 12 is associated with the completion or fulfillment of a journey/cycle, as with the year, and also with Allah’s giving, as with the 12 tribes and 12 springs, both fertility and water, essential for life and a key element of paradise frequently mentioned (43 times) with rivers running beneath it and/or springs. Again, an increase of tenfold gives it a celestial value. Looking at 120’s prime factorization, 2³ is again another 23 (human chromosomes) reconfiguration that refers to human, multiplied here by 15 or 5×3, symbolizing 3 hands: our two hands (deeds) plus the “hand of Allah.” Could there be any greater success?

Summary: A Sign of the Hour?

Before discussing the total word and letter counts, it’s important to assess this sura in terms of its describing a sign of the approach of the Hour or Day of Resurrection. This is made clear in the fact that the Quran is described as powerful evidence of Allah’s reality and also of the necessity that humanity act on His guidance in terms of the highest ethical behavior. And there is precedence in the Quranic narratives for the presentation of “clear evidence” or bayyina as being the factor in bringing about a reciprocal event as punishment for major infractions, after giving people time to reconsider. 

أَلَمۡ يَأۡتِكُمۡ نَبَؤُاْ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَبۡلُ فَذَاقُواْ وَبَالَ أَمۡرِهِمۡ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Did the news not come to you of those who had rejected before? They had tasted the consequences of their decision and they incurred a painful retribution. (At-Taghabun 64:5)

ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُۥ كَانَت تَّأۡتِيهِمۡ رُسُلُهُم بِٱلۡبَيِّنَٰتِ فَقَالُوٓاْ أَبَشَرٌ يَهۡدُونَنَا فَكَفَرُواْ وَتَوَلَّوا۟ۚ وَّٱسۡتَغۡنَى ٱللَّهُۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ

That was because their messengers came to them with clear proofs, but they said: “Shall mere mortals (humans) guide us?” So they rejected and turned away. And Allah is free of need. And Allah is Rich, Praiseworthy. (At-Taghabun 64:6)

And on Judgement Day the rejecters will ask for mercy, and in response will be questioned by angels:

They will say: “Did your messengers not come to you with proofs?” They will say: “Yes.” They will say: “Then implore, but the imploring of the rejecters will be nothing but in vain.” (Ghafir 40:50)

The difference between the Quran as Al-Bayyina and previous messages as bayyanat is that the Quran is the final message and its messenger prophet Mohammad is the seal of the prophets, ie, the final prophet. And Allah the Exalted mentions in the Quran how the way of severe punishment to specific communities as a response to their criminal behavior is no longer in force with the same localized limitation. Because Mohammad and the message he brought were sent to all the worlds, even the jinn in a dimension we cannot normally see, and most importantly, for all times until the Day of Resurrection.

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ حَقَّتۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

Indeed, those upon whom the word of your Lord has come into effect will not believe, (Yunus 10:96)

وَلَوۡ جَآءَتۡهُمۡ كُلُّ ءَايَةٍ حَتَّىٰ يَرَوُاْ ٱلۡعَذَابَ ٱلۡأَلِيمَ

Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful punishment. (Yunus 10:97)

This means that those who have passed the point of no return in their defiance of faith and ethics and reason, who continue their greed and profiteering in deceit and selfish amusement, will be disabled from faith and thus commit worse deeds until the time for punishment. 

And that punishment could be in this world too, but in this sura is clearly to be applied on Judgment Day. And thus as we see many of the signs predicted by prophet Mohammad have already come to pass — men of the desert competing in building tall buildings, increase in brutality and senseless killing, time “narrows,” “women who are clothed yet naked,” prevalence of abortion, Muslims on earth in great numbers but “like foam on a river,” and usury so prevalent it is unavoidable (to pay but not consume), and more — so we can see that the sign of the Quran as the ultimate Proof is that which brings out the divisions over religion and faith whose ultimate consequence is on that Day, also called the Hour, so momentous that all measurements of time will be one. 

And the Quran has not only been sent down and revealed, now disseminated to almost the entire world, but its dissemination is increasing, knowledge too is increasing, and yet persecution of Muslims for their faith is rampant worldwide. These events indicate the Hour is approaching; and the Quran is also proven as a Proof: the worldwide economic crash of 2009 was only saved by banks that were shari’a compliant, to the point that shari’a compliance became a watchword for people to include in their wealth portfolios. What the future will bring exactly we cannot know. But surely we can continue to do our best to understand the Quran and have it be our guide through this life — even in our turbulent times — towards success in the next, far better life, that is, for those who place their trust in the Almighty, All-Merciful. 

قُلۡ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ قَدۡ جَآءَكُمُ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْۖ فَمَنِ ٱهۡتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهۡتَدِى لِنَفۡسِهِۦۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيۡهَاۖ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ عَلَيۡكُم بِوَكِيلٍ

Say, “O mankind, the truth has come to you from your Lord, so whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever goes astray only goes astray [in violation] against it. And I am not over you a manager.” (Yunus 10:108)

Because whole world is now interconnected, what happens in one place affects the rest of the world in unpredictable ways. We all see the consequences of people’s evil deeds become evident and even predictable to scientists, people of reason, in such things as the climate change crisis, the pandemic, pollution and its horrific destruction of the biosphere, species extinction, and other major events, as a result of “what human hands earned” — namely, the fruits of their unchecked greed and profligacy — including possible human extinction or near-extinction, or corruption of the gene pool, and the destruction of desperately-needed resources, suddenly and without warning. Or perhaps a caldera or two will be triggered. 

We have no way to know the specific consequences but there’s no doubt humanity is at a tipping point, the greed and excess have reached a point of no return, and the rich/powerful despots and hoarders would drown or destroy every good thing with them, in a debacle that could make the Jonestown massacre or the Holocaust look like child’s play. Until then, they continue to lie and to promote ignorance among their supporters, telling them it’s fine to be selfish and greedy, it’s ok to let other people die or become diseased because what happens to them is none of our business, and they demonize those who want to promote justice and equality among people or help migrants as “trying to take our jobs” or “causing an invasion” as scare tactics so they can continue their evil ways. Yet despite all this, Muslims, people of faith, those yet capable of compassion and not deluded, have a responsibility to work towards justice and truth for as long as we live. 

Sura 98 Total Word and Letter Counts & Analysis

Total words: 87 (3•29)(chiastic center 44) – note that chiastic center 44 is exactly 2•22, showing Allah’s command is fulfilled. The number 87 is also the number of Surat Al-‘Ala (the Most High), confirming that Allah is indeed the Most High.

Total letters: 395 (5•79) If we examine the total letters in this sura, 395, minus the last two ayat letter count (120), we get 395-120=275 (5•55). Two amazing numbers: 120 – 12×10 representing the Reward of the Righteous, and 275 (5×55) emphasizing, with the three fives, the importance of deeds/hands and their relationship to Allah’s commands. If we follow Allah’s commands, his “hand” (commands) will join our “hands” (deeds), the best possible outcome. If we reject Allah’s “hand,” (His Authority, commands, books, messengers, angels) then His “hand” will reciprocally reject our “hands” (deeds), which is the worst possible outcome.

Another interesting point is that 395 has a chiastic center of 198, whose factors are 2×99. And the next sura 99, Al-Zalzala, culminates in the weighing of deeds.

Total words+letters: 482 (2•241) (sod 14) +98 (sura number) = 580 (2²•5•29) (5•116) (sod13) – note that 580 and 87 (total word count) both have 29 as a factor. Also the sod (sum of digits) of the total 482 is 14 and the factorization of sura number 98 is 2x7x7 or 14×7.

A recap of each aya’s counts for reference:

  1. 98:113 words, 55 (5•11) letters, total 68 (2²•17), sod 14
  2. 98:26 words, 25 letters, total 31 – 6+7 (sod of 35)=13, reverse of 31 & same as words in 98:1
  3. 98:33 words, 11 letters, total 14 – (sod of total in 98:1)
  4. 98:412 words, 43 letters, total 55 (same as letters in 98:1) 
  5. 98:510 (2•5) words, 77 (7•11) letters, total 87 (3•29)
  6. 98:611 words, 64 (2⁶) letters, total 75 (2²•3) sod 12, 2⁶ (=64) a configuration of 2,6
  7. 98:710 words, 40 letters, total 50 – 
  8. 98:822 words, 80 letters, total 102 (2•51) (chiastic center of 51 is 26)

Multiples of 5 (multiples of 10 in bold):

  1. 55 letters
  2. 25 letters 
  3. none
  4. 55 total w/l
  5. 10 words
  6. 75 total w/l
  7. 10 words, 40 letters, 50 total
  8. 80 letters
  9. Total letters 395
  10. Total letters last 2 ayat: 120

Notable counts: 

  • total 10 multiples 1-8 =190, 10•19
  • all ayat except aya 3 have multiples of 5
  • Total 5 multiples 1-8 =400 (includes 190)
  • Total words+letters+sura #98 = 580, a multiple of 10 and 5
  • Similar pair of ayat 1 and 4’s letter count combined is 55+43= (sura#) 98
  • Total letter count 395 can be divided into last two ayat (120=2³ •3•5 or 10•12) and the rest of sura (275=5² •11), each of which meaningfully reflects important numbers in the separate counts: 55 (twice), 11 (twice), 25, 75 (as digits), 10 (twice), 12, and multiples and/of factors. 

Letters each aya

  1. 55 
  2. 25 
  3. 11 
  4. 43 
  5. 77 
  6. 64
  7. 40
  8. 80

Words each aya

  1. 13
  2. 6
  3. 3
  4. 12
  5. 10
  6. 11
  7. 10
  8. 22

The above lists are for further study. The color analysis below shows related ayat and their meaning in English. 

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