Alif and "kun" (Be!)

As I explained in the previous message, the disconnected letters are Arabic letters that appear at the beginning of some surahs of the Qur'an. In the Tablet of the Disconnected Letters, Baha'u'llah discusses the three that appear at the beginning of Surah 2, The Cow. The letters are A, L and M. Baha'u'llah explains that, of these three, A (alif) is the most important. It was created first and all the other letters come from it.

To get an idea of how the alif is central to creation, let's look at how Baha'u'llah links it to the Arabic word "kun", which means "Be!". "Kun" is the first word of the phrase: "Be, and it is!". We know from the writings that this phrase alludes to the power of God to command creation to "Be!" in a certain way, and then that command is brought about.

To understand the link between the alif and "kun" we must first understand that all the letters of the Arabic alphabet have a numerical value. This is called the Abjad system. The values that will be referred to are: A = 1 and K = 20.

In the Tablet of the Disconnected Letters, Baha'u'llah says that if the alif is made to revolve about itself, this results in two alifs; that is, l and l. "Know then that shouldst thou make this divine "A" to revolve about itself, there would be manifest two upright "A"s.? [VII:47] Imagine, then a cosmic "1" in the celestial sky doing a complete revolution, the result being one alif revolving around another.

Baha'u'llah goes on: if these two alifs are raised to the "value of the tens", this results in "the number of twice ten". This means that if you take each of the two alifs, which are side by side (l l), and raise each to the value of the tens, you get 10 and 10. Added together, this results in the number 20.

The Arabic letter with the abjad value of 20 is kaf (K). This is the first letter of the Arabic word "kun" ("Be"), from the phrase, "Be! And it is." Bahá'u'lláh explains that, by means of this phrase, "the Temples of Divine Unity, the Manifestations of Singleness and the loci of abstracted reality were called into being".

Baha'u'llah then explains that all the disconnected letters "return unto this all-eternal A - It is assuredly a manifestation of the Letters?" [VII:53]