¡ Kāf. Hā. Yā. ʿAyn. Ṣād.
1 The five Arabic letters at the beginning of this sūrah are among the “separated letters” (al-muqaṭṭaʿāt) found at the beginning of twenty-nine sūrahs. Among them, this sūrah is the only one that begins with these particular letters, which constitute the longest set of such letters found in a single verse. Although the meaning of these letters is considered by most commentators to not be known clearly, some have speculated that the letters at the beginning of this sūrah may stand for various Names and Attributes of God found in the Quran. For example, some suggest that the Kāf stands for the Divine Name Kabīr (“Great”) or Karīm (“Generous”). Alternately, some consider these five letters, strung together but pronounced individually (i.e., kāf-hā-yā-ʿayn-ṣād), to constitute one of the Names of God or else a name for the Quran (Ṭ). For a fuller commentary on the separated letters, see 2:1c.