Quran Code: History
Please note this is an old version of this entry, which may differ significantly from the current revision.
Subjects: Religion

The term Quran code (also known as Code 19) refers to the claim that the Quranic text contains a hidden mathematically complex code. Advocates think that the code represents a mathematical proof of the divine authorship of the Quran and they also think that it can be used to identify orthographic errors within the Quranic text. Proponents of the Quran code claim that the Quran code is based on statistical procedures compared to the Bible code, which is ostensibly based on steganography. However, this claim has not been confirmed by any independent mathematical or scientific institute.

  • mathematical proof
  • statistical procedures
  • steganography

1. History

In 1969, Rashad Khalifa, an Egyptian-American biochemist, began analyzing the separated letters of the Quran (also called Quranic initials or Muqattaʿat), and the Quran to examine certain sequences of numbers.[1] In 1973 he published the book Miracle of the Quran: Significance of the Mysterious Alphabets, in which he describes the Quranic initials through enumerations and distributions.[2]

Khalifa then claimed to have discovered a mathematical code in the Quran in 1974, which is based on the number 19. He wrote the book The Computer Speaks: God’s Message to the World, in which he thematizes this Quran code. For the existence of such a code, based on the number 19, he relies on Surah 74, verse 30: "Over it is nineteen,".[3][4]

2. Example

Proponents of this claim, such as the Submitters, who are members of United Submitters International, an association initiated by Rashad Khalifa, as well as a part of Quranists and traditional Muslims, often use certain word counts, checksums and cross sums to legitimize this code.[5]

Edip Yüksel, a Turkish Quranistic author and colleague of Rashad Khalifa, makes the following claims in his book Nineteen: God’s Signature in Nature and Scripture (assuming that 9:128-129 does not belong to the Quran, see section Criticism):[6]

  • The Basmala (bismi ʾllāhi ʾr-raḥmāni ʾr-raḥīmi), the Quranic opening formula, which, with one exception, is at the beginning of every surah of the Quran, consists of exactly 19 letters.
  • The first word of the Basmala, Ism (name), without contraction, occurs 19 times in the Quran (19×1). [Also no plural forms, or those with pronoun endings]
  • The second word of the Basmala, Allah (God), occurs 2698 times (19×142).
  • The third word of the Basmala, Rahman (Gracious), occurs 57 times (19×3).
  • The fourth word of the Basmala, Rahim (Merciful), occurs 114 times (19×6).
  • The multiplication factors of the words of the Basmala (1+142+3+6) give 152 (19×8).
  • The Quran consists of 114 chapters (19×6).
  • The total number of verses in the Quran including all unnumbered Basmalas is 6346 (19×334). The cross sum of 6346 is 19.
  • The Basmala appears 114 times (despite its absence in chapter 9, it appears twice in chapter 27); 114 is 19×6.
  • From the missing Basmala in chapter 9 to the additional Basmala in chapter 27, there are exactly 19 chapters.
  • The occurrence of the additional Basmala is in Surah 27:30. Adding this chapter number and the verse number gives 57 (19×3).

3. The Separated Letters in the Quran

The Quran consists of 114 surahs, of which a total of 29 surahs are provided with separated letters, Muqattaʿat or also called Quranic initials.[7] These are listed in the following table:

Number of the Surah Initial letter(s) Number of Verse in that Surah
2 Alif–Lām–Mīm 286
3 Alif–Lām–Mīm 200
7 Alif–Lām–Mīm–Sād 206
10 Alif–Lām–Rāʾ 109
11 Alif–Lām–Rāʾ 123
12 Alif–Lām–Rāʾ 111
13 Alif–Lām–Mīm–Rāʾ 43
14 Alif–Lām–Rāʾ 52
15 Alif–Lām–Rāʾ 99
19 Kāf–Hāʾ–Yāʾ–ʿAin–Sād 99
20 Ṭāʾ–Hāʾ 98
26 Ṭāʾ–Sīn–Mīm 135
27 Ṭāʾ–Sīn 227
28 Ṭāʾ–Sīn–Mīm 88
29 Alif–Lām–Mīm 69
30 Alif–Lām–Mīm 60
31 Alif–Lām–Mīm 34
32 Alif–Lām–Mīm 30
36 Yāʾ–Sīn 83
38 Sād 88
40 Ḥāʾ–Mīm 85
41 Ḥāʾ–Mīm 54
42 Ḥāʾ–Mīm and ʿAin–Sīn–Qāf 53
43 Ḥāʾ–Mīm 89
44 Ḥāʾ–Mīm 54
45 Ḥāʾ–Mīm 37
46 Ḥāʾ–Mīm 35
50 Qāf 45
68 Nūn 52

Rashad Khalifa claims in his book The Computer Speaks: God's Message to the World that the separated letters of the Quran, or so called Quranic Initials show patterns of 19 within the Quran's 29 initialised Surahs.[8][9]

He assumed, among other things, that the correct spelling or reading of the word "basṭatan", which occurs in Surah 7, verse 69, contains the Arabic letter Sīn instead of Sād.[10][11] He supports his assertion by the fact that, for example, in the Samarkand Codex, an old Quran manuscript, the spelling with the letter Sīn is present.[12]

4. Quranic Gematria

Each Arabic letter can be assigned a specific numerical value, also called gematria:[13][14]

Alif ا 1
Yā' 10 ي Ṭā' 9 ط Ḥā' 8 ح Zāy 7 ز Wāw 6 و Hā' 5 ه Dāl 4 د Dschīm 3 ج Bā' 2 ب
Qāf 100 ق Sād 90 ص Fā' 80 ف ʿAin 70 ع Sīn 60 س Nūn 50 ن Mīm 40 م Lām 30 ل Kāf 20 ك
Ghain 1000 غ Zā' 900 ظ Dād 800 ض Dhāl 700 ذ Chā' 600 خ Thā' 500 ث Tā' 400 ت Schīn 300 ش Rā' 200 ر

Abdullah Arik, a Quranistic author, uses this method in his book Beyond Probability: God's Message in Mathematics to analyze the Basmala gematrically. He gives various numerological arguments relying on these values to bolster his arguments.[15]

5. Reception in the Western World

Khalifa's research received little attention in the Western world. In 1980, Martin Gardner mentioned Khalifa's work in Scientific American.[16] In 1997, after Khalifa already had passed away, he devoted a short article to the subject while being a columnist for the Skeptical Inquirer.[17]

6. Criticism

Criticism of these ideas typically follows standard critiques of numerology. Stochastic processes, in particular, explain the way that patterns of the sort being claimed arise in any large dataset.

There is also criticism from numerous Muslims regarding this claim. Among other things, Khalifa claimed that two verses in the Quran text, namely Surah 9, verse 128 and 129, were humanly added. He supports this claim by the hadith Sahīh al-Buchārī 7425, according to which Zaid ibn Thābit discovered the Quran verses 9:128–129 only at one person, namely Chuzaima al-Ansari, when he wanted to collect the Quran and its corresponding verses.[18] Thus, Khalifa claims that the Quran has only 6346 verses instead of 6348, because if you take these two verses into account, the result is, for example, 2699 for the occurrence of the word "Allah" and 115 for the word "Rahim", both of which are not multiples of 19. He also claimed that the initial "Nūn" in Surah 68 should be spelled differently, namely "Nūn Wāw Nūn". This leads to 133 (19×7) nūns in Surah 68 instead of 132, which is not a multiple of 19. However, such a spelling for this initial has not yet been found in a Quranic manuscript.[19]

His counting of the Alif and the Lām in accordingly initiated surahs are also questioned. Since the number of Alif in some words is controversial, this causes problems with the frequency of this letter in surahs that are initiated with this letter, among other things.[20]

Furthermore, the version of the Quran code is questioned, as it is only used for certain aspects or Quranic initials. Surahs that are not initiated are not fully examined in this context. Since early Quran manuscripts differ orthographically in certain passages, it makes it difficult to reconstruct an "urtext" – or in another expression a "primordial text" – for the Quran, which in turn is used for letter enumerations as well as gematria.[21][22]

The content is sourced from: https://handwiki.org/wiki/Quran_code


  1. Musa, A. (2008-05-12) (in en). Hadith As Scripture: Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam. Springer. pp. 87. ISBN 978-0-230-61197-9. https://books.google.com/books?id=vdbGAAAAQBAJ. 
  2. Melton, J. Gordon; Group, Gale (2003) (in en). Encyclopedia of American Religions. Gale. pp. 971. ISBN 978-0-7876-6384-1. https://books.google.com/books?id=TzMOAQAAMAAJ. 
  3. Bangert, Kurt (2016-04-25) (in de). Muhammad: Eine historisch-kritische Studie zur Entstehung des Islams und seines Propheten. Springer-Verlag. pp. 114–116. ISBN 978-3-658-12956-9. https://books.google.com/books?id=zCYWDAAAQBAJ. 
  4. Momen, Moojan (1999) (in en). The Phenomenon of Religion: A Thematic Approach. Oneworld. pp. 561. ISBN 978-1-85168-161-7. https://books.google.com/books?id=wv_WAAAAMAAJ. 
  5. SAALEH, ABDURRAHMAAN (2016). "Sectarian Islam in America: The Case of United Submitters International-The Foundation". Islamic Studies 55 (3/4): 235–259. ISSN 0578-8072. https://www.jstor.org/stable/44739746. 
  6. Yuksel, Edip (2011) (in en). Nineteen: God's Signature in Nature and Scripture. Brainbow Press. ISBN 978-0-9796715-9-3. https://books.google.com/books?id=8bJIYgEACAAJ. 
  7. Khwaja, Jamal (2012-11-06) (in en). Living the Qur′an in Our Times. SAGE Publications India. pp. 45. ISBN 978-81-321-1724-7. https://books.google.com/books?id=q1QlDAAAQBAJ. 
  8. Geisler, Norman L.; Saleeb, Abdul (2002). Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross. Baker Books. pp. 107, 190. ISBN 978-0-8010-6430-2. https://books.google.com/books?id=jB1SNwAM_FQC. 
  9. Khalifa, Rashad (1981) (in en). The Computer Speaks: God's Message to the World. Renaissance Productions International. pp. 104–197. ISBN 978-0-934894-38-8. https://books.google.com/books?id=ILmepwAACAAJ. 
  10. Sardar, Ziauddin (1989) (in en). Explorations in Islamic Science. Mansell. pp. 41. ISBN 978-0-7201-2004-2. https://books.google.com/books?id=uLjaAAAAMAAJ. 
  11. Pickthall, Marmaduke William; Asad, Muhammad (1988) (in en). Islamic Culture. Islamic Culture Board. pp. 39. https://books.google.com/books?id=MYJCAAAAYAAJ. 
  12. Corpus Coranicum (2021-06-03). "Manuscripta Coranica". https://corpuscoranicum.de/handschriften/index/sure/7/vers/69?handschrift=141. 
  13. Bugday, Korkut (2014-12-05) (in en). An Introduction to Literary Ottoman. Routledge. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-1-134-00655-7. https://books.google.com/books?id=8HPZBAAAQBAJ. 
  14. Taylor, Isaac (1883) (in en). The Alphabet: An Account of the Origin and Development of Letters. Kegan Paul, Trench. pp. 314–316. https://books.google.com/books?id=0AsYAAAAYAAJ. 
  15. Arik, Abdullah (2012), Beyond Probability, United Submitters International, pp. 17–36, ISBN 9781890825027 
  16. Gardner, Martin (1980). "Mathematical games". Scientific American 243 (3): 20–24. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0980-20. ISSN 0036-8733. Bibcode: 1980SciAm.243c..20G.  https://dx.doi.org/10.1038%2Fscientificamerican0980-20
  17. Gardner, Martin (September–October 1997). "The numerology of Dr. Rashad Khalifa". Skeptical Inquirer, (Column "Notes of a Fringe Watcher") 21 (5): 16–17, 58. ISSN 0194-6730.  http://www.worldcat.org/issn/0194-6730
  18. "97 Oneness, Uniqueness of Allah (Tawheed)" (in en, ar). https://sunnah.com/bukhari:7425.  listed at sunnah.com
  19. Sardar, Ziauddin (1989) (in en). Explorations in Islamic Science. Mansell. pp. 41. ISBN 978-0-7201-2004-2. https://books.google.com/books?id=uLjaAAAAMAAJ. 
  20. Sardar, Ziauddin (1989) (in en). Explorations in Islamic Science. Mansell. pp. 31, 35. ISBN 978-0-7201-2004-2. https://books.google.com/books?id=uLjaAAAAMAAJ. 
  21. Brubaker, Daniel Alan (2019-05-21) (in en). Corrections in Early Qurʾān Manuscripts: Twenty Examples. Think & Tell. ISBN 978-1-949123-03-6. https://books.google.com/books?id=tFLfxQEACAAJ. 
  22. Brockopp, Jonathan E. (2017-08-10) (in en). Muhammad's Heirs: The Rise of Muslim Scholarly Communities, 622–950. Cambridge University Press. pp. 73, 76. ISBN 978-1-108-50906-0. https://books.google.com/books?id=MRkuDwAAQBAJ. 
This entry is offline, you can click here to edit this entry!