The word sunnah means a way or a habit. This word comes often in the Qurʾān in reference to the sunnah of Allah. We see this written two different ways:

سُنَّة الله

سُنَّت الله

They are both pronounced identically (as long as you don’t stop) and they both have the same general meaning. So then why have them written in two different ways? Let’s first look at all the scenarios.

1. سُنَّة الله – occurs 8 times in the Qurʾān

2. سُنَّت الله – occurs 5 times in the Qurʾān


So what is the difference? A modern scholar by the name of زياد السلوادي mentions in his book عجائب القرآن الكريم؛ الدليل على صدق:

سنّت الله بتاء مفتوحة هي نظامه الفاعل في الآخرة
سنّة الله بتاء مربوطة هي نظامه الفاعل في الدنيا

If it comes with a ت then it is referring to the hereafter. If it comes with a ة then it refers to this world.

Thus the nuanced understanding in certain verses would be as such:

سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلًا

[This is] the way Allah deals with those who passed on before [in this world]; and you will not find in the way of Allah any change. [33:62]


فَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلًا ۖ وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّهِ تَحْوِيلًا

But you will never find in the way of Allah [in the hereafter] any change, and you will never find in the way of Allah [in the hereafter] any alteration. [35:43]