Importance of No 19

S. Abdullah Tariq

Q.1. I read the article about ‘The Ultimate Revelations’ in Islamic Voice. I found it very interesting and revealing. I have some doubts on that subject. My doubt is, why is the number 19 given so much important in the Qur’an? Does the number 19 refer to the 20th Century which may bring Qayamat at its close?

Saif Ahmed; Madras

Ans. 1. No extraordinary importance has been given to number 19 in Qur’an, as far as the Message of Qur’an and the guidance therein is concerned. What you read in the said review of ‘The Ultimate Revelation’ was actually about a miraculous ‘19-based’ mathematical arrangement through which the letters, words, verses and the Surahs of holy Qur’an are related together. Why do not you go through the book for a full perception of the above?

Why number nineteen? Why is the mathematical system not based on any other number? Well, in that case you could have questioned the wisdom of using that number. Describing the attitude of an unbeliever, the Almighty says: Then said he, this (Qur’an) is nothing but magic derived from of old. This is nothing but the word of a mortal. Soon will I cast him into Hell-Fire. Would that you knew what Hell-Fire is like! Naught does it permit to endure and naught does it leave alone. Darkening and changing the colour of man! Over it are nineteen (keepers). We have appointed none but angels to guard the fire and fixed their number only as a trial for unbelievers so that those to whom the scriptures were given may be convinced and the true believers strengthened in their faith; that those to whom the scriptures were given and the true believers, may have no doubts; and that those in whose hearts there is disease, together with the disbelievers, may say; ‘What could Allah mean by this’? Thus Allah leaves in error whom He will and guides whom He pleases. (Qur'an 74:24-31)

But being a stout believer, your intention of asking the wisdom behind 19-based mathematical miracle, I am sure, is to increase your faith like Prophet Abraham, when he said: ‘My Lord, show me how you raise the dead.’ The Lord said, ‘Have you no faith?’ ‘Yes’, said Ibrahim, ‘But I wish to reassure my heart.’

The exact significance of the same is known by Allah only. However following is what I could think of.

It had to be a prime number (one that is not divisible by any number other than 1 and itself). The miracle comprises of large numbers arrived at by different relations between letters, words and Surah of Qur’an. All these numbers are multiple of number 19, Nineteen is a prime number (which means it is divisible by only two numbers viz., 1 and 19). Had it not been a prime number, say, were it 18 (divisible by 2,3,6 and 9 besides 1 and 18), then the miracle would not have been based on 18 only but upon its smaller factors also. Any figure, which is divisible by 18, is also a multiple of 2,3,6 and 9. So it had to be a prime number. There are other prime numbers, you may question, like 7,11, 13, 17,23,29 and so on. What is the speciality of 19 as a prime number? I think the number had to belong to the family of basic number ‘1’ to retain its unique individuality. 19 reduces to the basic number ‘1’ as it comprises of digits 1 and 9, 1+9=10 and again in 10, 1+0=1, 19 is the smallest prime number belonging to the family of basic number ‘1’. Those who are familiar with a little of numerology can fully appreciate the importance of belonging to the family of 1, of a number which is used in the mathematical miracle of Qur’an.

There may also be other wisdom behind the use of number 19 as the base of miracle, but as hinted earlier, the main importance is of the miracle and not that of the number on which it is based.

The life on earth being extremely short in relation to the infinite life Hereafter, Qiyamah has always been close. There is nothing to corroborate the special proximity of Qiyamah in the 20th century. Moreover, the solar calendar cannot form the basis of any Qur’anic prediction.


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