Until Rashad Khalifa discovered the awesome mathematical miracle of the Qur’an, most Islamic scholars believed this passage to relate to angels; specifically 19 angels. Yusuf Ali, in his footnote 5793, states, "The figure nineteen refers to angles appointed to guard Hell." Verse 31 does in fact relate to angels as guardians and that God has, "fixed their number."
Muhammad Asad draws a different conclusion and translated the passage as, "Over it are nineteen [powers]" and he states in his correspondingly long footnote that, "…Razi advances the view that we may have here a reference to the physical, intellectual and emotional powers within man himself." He goes on to describe the nineteen powers as seven organic functions, five external or physical senses, and five internal or intellectual senses. He then sums up the argument by stating, "…that in the aggregate, it is these powers and faculties that confers upon man the ability to think conceptually, and place him, in this respect, even above angels."
How he or Razi deduced all of this from Q74:30 is beyond me and I must confess that this is just one example where "man" has extended himself in trying to analyze and draw conclusions from the Qur’an. Man has continually, and sometimes erroneously, over analyzed and read much into the Qur’an’s eternal message.
If the Qur’an had stated 18 or 20 instead of 19 they would have written that there were 18 or 20 angels standing guard and only 18 powers, omitting one from their list, or 20 powers and deduced yet an additional power to complete their argument.
In both cases they assumed the word nineteen referred to "something" and that nineteen was the count of those items – angels or powers. They therefore gave in their translations a plural form to nineteen and therefore used the word "are" instead of "is" within the verse. In both cases, as well as many other translations, the verse is translated as, "Over it are nineteen" instead of "Over it is nineteen" as does Rashad Khalifa.
Why the difference? Until Rashad Khalifa was allowed by God to unlock the mathematical miracle of the Qur’an, Islamic scholars were forced to view "nineteen" as a number which counted something tangible, as in powers, or something intangible, as in angels. They viewed the context of the verse within the Surah and drew their conclusions.
Then what is the significance of nineteen and this Qur’anic verse? The words "Over it" appear straightforward. "Over," according to Webster’s dictionary, means to be above in position, authority, or scope as in to tower over them or to obey those over you.
If we assume the singular form of nineteen, referring to a single thing or being, then we would comply with the use of "is" and not the use of "are". The use of the word "is" will become clearer when we discuss the term nineteen.
The word nineteen only occurs once in the Qur’an and appears in this verse and Surah. Its’ significance was discovered by Rashad Khalifa when he unlocked the mathematical code of the Qur’an and launched a wave of discoveries concerning the meaningfulness of nineteen.
It is not the scope of this article to discuss, at length, the detailed discovery of the mathematical code. We will feature a series of articles on this important break-through over the next several issues.
Suffice to say, the number nineteen permeates through, governs and authenticates the authorship of the Qur’an as being from God. For no one of this earth could have developed the intricate mathematical relationships within the Qur’an while maintaining a poetic and stylistic literature that has not been surpassed.
What is significant, for the purpose of this article, is that the number nineteen refers to the mathematical code and also appears to be the signature, if you will, of God. God has created, through this coding, a means to authenticate and establish, without doubt, the legitimacy of the Qur’an as being the work of God and not the work of man.
But why nineteen and why is it significant? All of God’s original scriptures, not only the Qur’an, were apparently mathematically coded with the number nineteen or its multiple. Even the universe bears God’s divine signature. The number nineteen possesses unique mathematical properties beyond the scope of this article, but for our purposes let’s consider just the following:
- The number nineteen is a prime number. In other words it is only divisible by itself and one. Numbers such as 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19… are all prime numbers. God has chosen the number 19 as his signature prime number.
- Nineteen embraces the first numeral (1) and the last numeral (9), as if to proclaim God’s attribute in the Qur’an (57:3) as the "first and the Last". "He is the First and the Last, and the Outward as well as the Inward: and is established on the throne of His almightiness."
- Nineteen looks the same in Semitic and European languages. Both components, 1 and 9, are the only numerals that look the same in these languages.
- Nineteen possesses many peculiar mathematical properties. For example, 19 is the sum of the first powers of 9 and 10 (9+10=19) and the difference between the second powers of 9 and 10 (100-81=19).
Nineteen is the gematrical value of the word "ONE" in all the scriptural languages – Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic (please refer to the insert concerning the definition of gematrical value). The number 19, therefore, proclaims the First Commandment in all the scriptures: that there is only ONE God.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 "Hear O Isreal the Lord our God is one Lord and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
Mark 12:29 "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:"
[2:163] Your god is one god; there is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Hebrew Arabic Value V W 6 A A 1 H H 8 D D 4 19
As shown in the table above, the Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic alphabets use to double as numerals in accordance with a universally established system. The Hebrew word for "ONE" is "Vahd" (pronounced V-AHAD). In Arabic, the word "ONE" is "WAHD" (pronounced WAAHED).
- The Qur’an’s dominant message is that there is only "One God". The word "One" occurs in the Qur’an 25 times. Six of these occurrences do not refer to God (one kind of food, one door, etc.). The remaining 19 occurrences refer to God.
- The word "God" occurs 2,698 times throughout the Qur’an or a multiple of 19 (2,698 = 19x142).
- The number of verses where the word "God" occurs add up to 118,123 also a multiple of 19 (118,123 = 19x6217).
- On a more celestial level, the earth, sun and moon become aligned in the same relative position every nineteen years.
- Halley’s comet, a profound heavenly phenomenon, visits our solar system once every 76 years, which is 19x4.
- God’s stamp upon each of us is manifested in the medical fact that the human body has 209 bones or 19x11.
- Langman’s medical embryology, by T. W. Sadler, is used as a textbook in most medical schools in the United States. On page 88 of the fifth edition, we read the following statement: "In general the length of pregnancy for a full term fetus is considered to be 280 days or 40 weeks after the onset of the last menstruation, or more accurately, 266 days or 38 weeks after fertilization." The numbers 266 and 38 are both multiples of 19 or 19x14 and 19x2 respectively.
The above examples are but a few of the hundreds of 19 based phenomena embracing the Qur’an that have been identified by Rashad Khalifa. Most of them are too complex to be mere coincidence. Over the next few issues of Muslim Executive and Expatriate, we will feature many more of these unique and truly divine revelations.
Until then perhaps we could revisit the Qur’anic verse that is the title of this article – "Over it is nineteen." Perhaps, for our own purposes, we should consider a wider and more revealing explanation for this verse; namely – "Over [the Qur’an] is nineteen." Or perhaps on a broarder and more all encompassing explanation – "Over [all things] is [one God]."
What is a "Gematrical Value"?
When the Qur’an was revealed, 14 centuries ago, the number system known today did not exist. An alphabetic system was utilized whereby the letters of the Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Roman alphabets were used as numerals. The Roman numeral system (I, V, X, C, etc.) is still used extensively today. The number assigned to each letter is its "Gematrical Value."
God Almighty described His Mathematical Miracle of the Quran as one of the great miracles, swearing by the moon and by the night and day, see 74:35. Like all the miracles of God , it was intended for the sincere believers, those who seek Him ALONE and do not hesitate to worship Him ALONE. Miracles of God were never meant to convince the disbelievers or insincere people to change their minds. Since God 's rule is clearly stated "There shall be no compulsion in religion" 2:256 , the miracles were reserved ONLY for those who already committed themselves to worshipping God ALONE. The others do not see or appreciate any aspect of the miracle. They did not deserve it according to God. See Pharoah's example in the Quran.
[7:146] I will divert from My revelations those who are arrogant on earth, without justification. Consequently, when they see every kind of proof they will not believe. And when they see the path of guidance they will not adopt it as their path, but when they see the path of straying they will adopt it as their path. This is the consequence of their rejecting our proofs, and being totally heedless thereof.