FA’SDA' BI-MA TU'MAR A MOTIF-BASED STUDY OF SURAT AL-HIJR

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Sarra Tlili

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Abstract

A stone motif runs through several levels of the fifteenth surah of the Qur'an, Surat al-Hijr, along with two lesser motifs of sound and dryness. Several textual features suggest that around the time of this surah’s revelation, resistance to Muhammad’s call became more intense and that he was deeply affected by this opposition. When read in this light, the stone motif appears to represent the rigidity of those who reject the Qur'an, thus perhaps aiming to prepare the Messenger for the challenges he was about to face. The dryness motif further reinforces the theme of rigidity, whereas the sound motif is linked to various verbal manifestations, including the Qur'an itself and the Meccans’ ridicule of the Prophet. In this article, I study these motifs with the aim of not only drawing attention to a literary feature of Surat al-Hijr that—to the extent of my knowledge—has remained thus far unexplored, but also to add my voice to those who call for the surah to be read as a unity, in this case through the study of surah motifs as a structuring device.


doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.31441/jiqsa.4.2019.a002

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