Abjad for “Ba”

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ 

Arabic numerology is known as abjad.  This article is about the spiritual meaning of the letter, Ba. 

The Arabic letter, “Ba” is equivalent to the letter “B” in the English alphabet.  It is the second letter in the Arabic alphabet.  Ba” has the value 2.  

The first Revelation received by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) consisted of the first give verses of Surah al-‘Alaq: 

سُوۡرَةُ العَلق

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

ٱقۡرَأۡ بِٱسۡمِ رَبِّكَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ (١) خَلَقَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مِنۡ عَلَقٍ (٢) ٱقۡرَأۡ وَرَبُّكَ ٱلۡأَكۡرَمُ (٣) ٱلَّذِى عَلَّمَ بِٱلۡقَلَمِ (٤) عَلَّمَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مَا لَمۡ يَعۡلَمۡ (٥) 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Proclaim!  (Read!) in the Name of your Lord and Cherisher, Who Created ― Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim!  And your Lord is Most Bountiful ― He Who Taught (the use of) the Pen ― Taught man that which he knew not. (Surah al-‘Alaq:1-5) 

The verse points to the letter “Ba”. 

The letter “Ba” is the first letter in the Basmallah.  Every surah in the Qur’an starts with the Basmallah except the ninth surah, at-Tawbah.  If the Basmallah were not absent from the beginning of one surah, most of us would take it for granted.  The second through eight suwar either begin with “Alif” or “Ya”.  Surah at-Tawbah, which does not have the Basmallah, begins with the “Ba”.  The second surah, al-Baqarah, also begins with a “Ba”, the “2”. 

The first surah, al-Fatihah, is a prayer to seek guidance from Allah (s.w.t.).  The second and third suwar, al-Baqarah, and Ali ‘Imran, are about Divine Guidance.  Both begin with “Alif Lam Mim”: “Alif” for Allah (s.w.t.), “Lam” for “Laa ilaha illa Allah”, and “Mim” for “Muhammadur Rasulullah”.  The fourth to eight suwar are about further guidance and nourishment for the soul.  Then, Surah at-Tawbah is the warning and final advise.  It is like the birth of a human being, and the nine stages of the womb. 

After testifying to the kalimah shahadatayn with certainty, Allah (s.w.t.) Grants the salik an opening, to seek the “Ba”.  Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abu Thalib (k.w.) spoke of the dot beneath the “Ba” for a reason, since knowledge of it is the key to Paradise.  Allah (s.w.t.) Created Man from ‘alaq, a clot, and everything from a metaphorical dzurrat, atom.  That is the dot of Creation  beneath the “Ba”.  When we were Created, our nafs was tainted with that  inclination towards dunya.  This seeking requires a purification of the nafs, such that we do not see ourselves. 

That dot beneath the “Ba” further represents the circle of Messengers before the arrival of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), the Seal of Prophets.  This is represented at the end of the Basmallah with the “Mim”.  This explains why the Basmallah was Given to every Messenger in their moment of greatest need, and then Taken Back.  It was not Granted to their umam.  That completion of the Basmallah, our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) had to come.  This is why it is Granted to this ummah.  That circle is completed, and prophethood is sealed.  

The missing Bismillah is found in Surah an-Naml: 30 

سُوۡرَةُ النَّمل

إِنَّهُ ۥ مِن سُلَيۡمَـٰنَ وَإِنَّهُ ۥ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ (٣٠) 

“It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): ‘In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful:’” (Surah an-Naml 30) 

Surah an-Naml is the 27th surah, the third 9. 

Ba” has further significance as well.  For example, the first Baytullah, House of Allah, was established in the Valley of Bakka, which we now know as Makkah.  This is a Barakah from Allah (s.w.t.).  It is at this Bayt, the Ka’bah itself, where the pilgrim performs thawaf, circumambulation.  This is the process of completing the dot beneath the “Ba”, just as electrons circle the nucleus.  Every electron is exactly the same, holding the same spin and charge.  Before Allah (s.w.t.), the pilgrim stripped of pretensions, is equal before Him.  We are nothing and have nothing.  It is the reflection of Divine Attributes in us that discriminates one from the other. 

Since the number for “Ba” is 2, it is also the source of power that moves technology.  This can be seen in the binary system we use for our computing.  That zero in the binary system is found in that dot.  This is also alluded to, in the Qur’an: 

سُوۡرَةُ یسٓ

سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلۡأَزۡوَٲجَ ڪُلَّهَا مِمَّا تُنۢبِتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ وَمِنۡ أَنفُسِهِمۡ وَمِمَّا لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ (٣٦) وَءَايَةٌ۬ لَّهُمُ ٱلَّيۡلُ نَسۡلَخُ مِنۡهُ ٱلنَّہَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظۡلِمُونَ (٣٧)

Glory to Allah, Who Created in pairs all things that the Earth produces as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge.  And a Sign for them is the night: We Withdraw therefrom the day, and behold they are plunged in darkness; (Surah YaSin:36-37) 

سُوۡرَةُ اللیْل

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

وَٱلَّيۡلِ إِذَا يَغۡشَىٰ (١) وَٱلنَّہَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّىٰ (٢) وَمَا خَلَقَ ٱلذَّكَرَ وَٱلۡأُنثَىٰٓ (٣) 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

By the night as it conceals (the light); by the day as it appears in glory; by (the mystery of) the creation of male and female ― (Surah al-Layl:1-3) 

The two states of night and day, can be equated to 1 and 0 or 0 and 1.  The word, “خَلَقَ”, “creation”, is used in both the suwar to emphasise, the two states.  Another analogy of two states is the uncreated state and the created state.  This represents Allah’s (s.w.t.) attribute of al-Khaliq, the Creator.


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