In the never ending “different interpretations” misdirection about Quran, the most cited verse is Quran 3:7. Isn’t it ironic that the very Book (s) sent by God to reset our misunderstandings of the truth to the time when there were none (Quran 2:213) is made the source of it. The verse Quran 3:7 is often quoted as a license to distort the intended meaning of God’s verses. The claim is that there are mutashabihat verses (In simple term not clear) that only God knows the meaning of. The implication being promoted is two-pronged: One, that since there are mutashabihat verses in the Quran not everyone can understand the Quran as a whole and two that the verses of the Quran can be interpreted in different ways. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
The first noticeable thing wrong with the above assertions is bad logic. If there are verses in the Quran that only God knows their meaning then the logical questions that must be answered, are: What are these verses doing in a Universal message meant as a guide for humanity in the first place? The second issue that arises is how do these verses affect the ease of understanding of the verses that are not mutashabihat verses? The third issue that needs focus is that why would it give any advantage to a “scholar”, Sheikh, Imam etc to better understand the Quran than the common man?
If the above were true, as claimed then why don’t this self-styled cabal let the people know which verses are mutashabihat verses and which are not and then let them study the Quran without any supposed difficulties? After all, these are the same people that love to divide God’s message into parts as pointed out by God Himself. There are the Meccan Medina verses and there are the Nask and Mansuke verses and so on. Their real agenda is that they want to hold on to the illegal right to “interpret” the word of God in a way that opens the door to subjugation.
When the verse Quran 3:7 is reflected upon, it becomes clear that it cannot be taken to mean that some whole verses are only understood by God. The verse is clearly pointing out the fact that the underlying truths of the allegorical references in the mutashabihat verses, linguistically the whole book, are only known to God. And then the warning that these references should not be removed from their proper context and made a focus of a separate interpretation by themselves. The mention of the “tree” in Quran 7:19 and light and oil in Quran 24:35, God’s throne in Quran 20:05 are some examples of what is being referred to. The use of these words should be taken in their proper context and not taken out of the context of the verse and speculated upon, especially not in their literal sense.
While some commentators like Dr. Gary Millerare is right to draw our attention to the locked nature of the Muhkamat verses (In simple term entirely clear), in my opinion, the same thing applies to the mutashabihat verses, in fact, every single verse of the Quran is locked in a superstructure, free of contradiction. The mutashabihat verses are even more locked in the sense that any specific words used to describe a reality in them, that is similar but not the same, must stay (the words) exclusively in the context of that particular verse (s). None of the words that obviously points to something similar as opposed to the literal meaning it carries can become a separate focus of speculation or discussion. The verse itself, as always, in its transmission of the intended meaning, is clear and easy to understand.
The real warning in verse 3:7 is that there are those who twist the allegorical meaning to fool the people, the verse goes on to use the often used Quranic term “those whose hearts have perversity” (قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ) to drive the message home.
In the case of the Huruf-e-Muqatta’at (abbreviated letters or letter symbols), which are often referenced to support their arguments, the question to be asked should be: What exactly is the perversity in trying to determine their meaning? Especially when they can be logically demonstrated to be part of the design that proves the perfect preservation of the Quran and its inimitable nature.
In fact Huruf-e-Muqatta’at (abbreviated letters or letter symbols) boomerangs on the traditionalist’s interpretation that their meaning is indeterminable by mere mortals even though it is part of the message intended for mere mortals. It boomerangs on them because they are taking the “manufactured” allegorical meaning, I say manufactured because it is not the Quran that is using ALIF LAM MIM to convey the notion of absence of meaning, not a single verse of the Quran even hints at it. When applying Quran 3:7, one has to be clear that the use of a word allegorically carries an understood meaning, to begin with, albeit allegorical.
If one were to take the default or face value of Huruf-e-Muqatta’at then these above all are characters of the Arabic alphabet, each representing a phoneme of the spoken language. They can neither be self-referenced into allegorical nor not having any meaning. In fact, they are the essence of representing meanings in written form. What they do perfectly well is to be part of a system and act as placeholders by offering themselves to be counted and give words their meaning when aggregated to form one, which is exactly what characters of an alphabet are supposed to do.
Once again, if we were to go by the traditionalist interpretations which tries to shut the door to understanding parts of the Quran then we will be going against the very premise of a message which above all Quran is. Mind you this is different than not being able to understand the underlying truth of the allegorical reference or not understanding something momentarily due to lack of relevant domain knowledge. The verse makes it clear that people of understanding believe in all the verses of the Quran as the word of God. They wait for the understanding to come to them with the help of new knowledge when a verse’s interpretation momentarily eluded them.
Note: The term “mutashabih” should not be confused with where God uses ‘parables’ (mathal) in Quran. In those instances almost every time the clear heads-up is there by the use of the word (mathal) accompanying it.

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