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      God Loves not the Wrongdoers ( ẓālimūn): Formulaic Repetition as a Rhetorical Strategy in the Qur'an

      research-article
      Journal of Qur'anic Studies
      Edinburgh University Press
      Repetition in the Qur'an, Qur'anic rhetoric

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          Abstract

          The Qur'an contains various types of repetition. One of them is the formula, a sequence of words or roots that occurs more than once in a text corpus. The formula as a literary feature is applied differently throughout the Qur'anic text. In the later material, for example, formulae often function as so-called clausulae, i.e. concluding rhymed phrases of a long verse or passage that transform the discourse to a metatextual level. In this study, I suggest, through formulaic and semantic field analysis, that the Qur'an strategically uses such repeated formulae and clausulae as a versatile rhetorical tool to persuade its listeners of fundamental tenets that form part of the Qur'anic worldview: the formula is an indicator of a specific worldview, a carrier of this worldview's key messages. Through a case study of the 40 yuḥibbu/ lā yuḥibbu ( God loves/does not love) formulae in the Qur'an, the article shows that this short repeated phrase is used continually to remind the listeners of God's love (or lack of love) and the means by which it can be either obtained or lost. Even though the formula occurs in a multitude of thematic contexts, each time it is read or recited it transcends the message to a metatextual level, thereby engaging the listeners to make a choice regarding their own status. The Qur'anic employment of formulae should therefore be discussed not only as a stylistic characteristic of the text but also as part of a deliberate didactic and rhetorical strategy.

          Most cited references170

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JQS
                Journal of Qur'anic Studies
                Edinburgh University Press ( The Tun - Holyrood Road, 12(2f) Jackson's Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ UK )
                1465-3591
                1755-1730
                February 2020
                : 22
                : 1
                : 92-132
                Affiliations
                University of Southern Denmark
                Article
                10.3366/jqs.2020.0413
                f9bc9f4a-ba36-4366-a295-48b597c5ce7d
                © Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS
                History
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 7, References: 105, Pages: 41
                Categories
                Articles
                Islamic Studies

                Political science,Literature of other nations & languages,Art history & Criticism,Religious studies & Theology,Arab world & Islam,History
                Repetition in the Qur'an,Qur'anic rhetoric

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