Literary Analysis of the Verse 112 of the Chapter Bee from the Perspective of Typology of Metaphor

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Rahim Nobahar(PhD)
Faculty of Law, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract: The verse 112 of the chapter Bee (16) in Qurʾān talks about the people of a city who were bestowed the favors of security, tranquility and economic welfare; but they turned ungrateful to those divine favors. Consequently, God made them taste hunger and fear. The concept of God’s recompense to those people is mentioned in the format of a metaphorical preposition; God made them taste the garment of hunger and fear. This metaphor has attracted the attention of the scholars of Qurʾānic studies from the early beginning. The metaphor has always been considered one of the linguistic beauties of Qurʾān. Recently, Abdolkarim Soroush has counted this metaphor among a series of evidence proving the idea of assuming Qurʾān not as revelation of God, but as the dreams of the Prophet Mohammad. To evaluate this single claim this article analyses the content and conceptual order of the verse. The article also analyses the main metaphor of the verse i.e. likening the hunger and fear to garment, and the secondary metaphor i.e. making people tasting the garment of hunger and fear. The article also studies the metaphor from an intertextual point of view and gives some examples from Arabic poems in pre-Islamic era. Considering all above-mentioned dimensions the article eventually concludes that according to the ordinary and normal principles of Arabic language, the metaphor used in the verse is absolutely reasonable and normal. Therefore, the metaphor cannot be counted among the evidences of considering Qurʾān as the dreams of the Prophet.

Keywords: Garment of hunger, garment of fear, the nature of revelation,metaphor, intertextuality.

The full Persan version of this article would be published in the Research Quarterly Journal of Literary-Qur’anic of Arak University, Iran, No. 21, June 2018.

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