CHAPTER III : F. The Disagreement of the Word with Its Literal Meaning

F. The Disagreement of the Word with Its Literal Meaning

Ibn Qutaybah mentions twenty-six categories of idiomatic expression which can be condensed into ten categories in the chapter entitled مخالفة ظاهر اللفظ معناه in his work Ta’wīl. They are as follows: 

1.imprecation, 

2.repetition of words indicating sanction, 

3.rhetorical questions, 

4.imperatives, 

5.specifications, 

6.number,

 7.iltifāt, 

8.juncture, 

9.tempora, and 

10.morphology. 

They will be discussed as follows:

1. Imprecation

The imprecation referred to here by Ibn Qutaybah is something which is not meant to occur (الدعاء على جهة الذم لا يراد به الوقوع). He cites three examples from the Qur’ān, namely,

 قُتِلَ الْخَرَّاصُونَ (الذاريات : ١٠) 

“Woe to the conjecturers” (Q. 51:10),

 قتل الإنسان ما أكفره (عبس: 17) 

“Woe to man! What hath made him reject God?” (Q. 80:17, Ali), and 

قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ (التوبة :٣٠) 

“God’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the truth.”(Q. 9:30, Ali).

The literal meanings of the above verses are respectively as follows:

“May the conjecturers be killed!”, “may man be killed!” and “may Allah fight them, how perverted they are!” 

The use of the past tense in Arabic may indicate imprecation as we have seen in the above verses and in the du‘ā’, such as the expression like جزاك الله (“may Allah reward you”, used to express thanks to somebody), and رحمه الله (“may Allah bless him” used after mentioning the name of a deceased person).

However, Ibn Qutaybah’s view that the imprecations in the above verses are not meant to occur is rejected by Ibn Fāris. He contends that nobody should suggest what Allah said as a du‘ā’ was not meant to occur. On the contrary, these imprecations are intended by Allah to occur and they actually occurred. Whoever is cursed by Allah will never escape. Ibn Fāris mentions as an example in the case of Abū Lahab. He was cursed in the Qur’ān as follows: 

(اللهب : ١) تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ 

“Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he!” (Q. 111:1, Ali).

Imprecation is also used to express wonder, and as such, according to Ibn Qutaybah, it is also not meant to occur. When someone is right in his reasoning, knowledge, or contention, it is said

 قاتله الله ما أحسن ما قال 

(lit., “May Allah fight him, what a good thing he has said!”),

 أخزاه الله ما أشعـره

 (lit., May Allah disgrace him, how knowledgable he is!”), and

 لله دره ما أحسن ما احتج به 

(lit., “His achievement is due to Allah, what a good argument he has given!”). 

2. Repetition

Among the words which disagree with their literal meanings are the repeated ones which change their meanings to be jazā’ (recompense, reward, punishment) for the first (original) meaning, such as

 وَجَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِثْلُهَا (الشورى : ٤٠) 

“The recompense of an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree)…” (Q. 42:40, Ali). 

وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ (آل عمران : ٥٤) 

“And they schemed and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.” (Q. 3:54),

 in which Allah’s scheme means His punishment by destroying them according to Abū ‘Ubaydah, or His requital for their scheme, according to al-T.abarsī,

 فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُوا عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ (البقرة : ١٩٤)

 “And one who attacketh you, attack him in the like manner as he attacked you….” (Q. 2:194, Pickthall). 

Here the first attack is a hostile act and a wrongdoing, whereas the second one is not, but a retaliatory measure.

3. Rhetorical Question

The significance of rhetorical questions is divided by Ibn Qutaybah into three categories:

 (a) affirmation (تقرير), such as

 وَمَا تِلْكَ بِيَمِينِكَ يَا مُوسَى (طه : ١٧) 

“Now, what is this in thy hand, O Moses?” (Q. 20:17, Asad); 

Allah already knew what was in Moses’s hand when He asked him this question, but He wanted to remind him that what he had in his hand was only a staff which later turned into a serpent; 

(b) wonder (تعجّب), such as 

عَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ. عَنِ النَّبَإِ الْعَظِيمِ (النبأ : ١-٢) 

“About what do they [most often] ask one another? About the awesome tiding [of resurrection],” (Q. 78:1-2, Asad), and

 (c) reproach (توبيخ), such as

 أَتَأْتُونَ الذُّكْرَانَ مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ. وَتَذَرُونَ مَا خَلَقَ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ (الشعراء : ١٦٥-١٦٦) 

“Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, and leave those whom God has created to be your mates?” (Q. 26:165-6, Ali).

Al Zarkashī in his work al-Burhān gives us more information about the إستفهام (asking a question) in the Qur’ān. 

He divides the إستفهام into two types: 

one means خبر (lit., “news”), and the other meansإنشاء (lit., “composition”). 

He divides the إستفهام meaning خبر into نفي (negation) and إثبات (affirmation). 

He calls the former إستفهام إنكار (in modern terminology, إستفهام إنكاري, negative question) and the latter إستفهام تقرير (in modern terminology, استفهام تقريري, affirmative question) which has been dealt with briefly by Ibn Qutaybah above.

 Al-Zarkashī goes further and divides the latter into twelve divisions with examples from the Qur’ān. With regard to the إستفهام meaning إنشاء , al-Zarkashī divides it into eighteen divisions including wonder and reproach briefly dealt with by Ibn Qutaybah above. 

4. Imperative

Ibn Qutaybah divides the significance of imperative into four categories: 

(a) threat (تهديد), such as 

اعْمَلُوا مَا شِئْتُمْ (حم : ٤٠) 

“Do what you will …” (Q. 41:40, Asad); 

(b) admonition (تأديب), such as

 وَأَشْهِدُوا ذَوَيْ عَدْلٍ مِنْكُمْ (الطلاق : ٢) 

“…. And let two persons of [known] probity from among your own community witness [what you have decided]; …” (Q. 65:2, Asad), 

(c) exemption (إباحة), such as

 فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَاةُ فَانْتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ (الجمعة : ١٠) 

“And when the prayer is ended, then disperse freely on earth…” (Q. 62:10, Asad), and 

(d) religious duty (فرض) such as 

(البقرة : ٤٣) وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآَتُوا الزَّكَاةَ 

“… and be constant in prayer, and spend in charity, …” (Q. 2:43, Asad).

5. Specification

Ibn Qutaybah mentions eight Qur’ānic verses as examples of general statement meant to be particular (خاصّ) in time and person, among which are as follows: 

a. وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ (الأنعام : ١٦٣) 

“…, and I am the first of those who surrender (unto Him).” (Q. 6:163, Pickthall), meaning that the Prophet was the first person who surrendered himself unto Allah in his time.

b. وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (الأعراف : ١٤٣) 

(“…, and I am the first of (true) believers.” (Q. 7:143, Pickthall), meaning that Prophet Moses was the first believer in his time.

c. وَالشُّعَرَاءُ يَتَّبِعُهُمُ الْغَاوُونَ (الشعراء : ٢٢٤) 

“Poets are followed by erring men” (Q.26:224), meaning some of them only; 

d. الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ (آل عمران : ١٧٣) 

“those who have been warned by other people, ‘Behold, a host has gathered against you; so beware of them!’…” (Q. 3:173, Asad). 

According to one tradition Nu‘aym ibn Mas‘ūd al-Ashja‘ī said to the companions of the Prophet: 

“People have gathered against you,” meaning Abū Sufyān, ‘Uyaynah ibn H.is.n and Mālik ibn ‘Awf. Therefore, the first الناس (the people) is meant to be a particular person, Nu‘aym ibn Mas‘ūd, while the second الناس is intended to be a group of people, namely, Abū Sufyān, ‘Uyaynah and Mālik mentioned above. 

e. وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ (الذاريات : ٥٦) 

“I created the jinn and human-kind only that they might worship Me.” (Q. 51:56, Pickthall),

 meaning that only some of the jinn and human-kind, namely, the believers among them are created to worship Him. Others are created for Hell. To support his view, Ibn Qutaybah cites the following verse: 

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ (الأعراف : ١٧٩) 

“We have made for hell many of the jinn and humankind…” (Q. 7:179).

He gives the basic meaning of ذرأنا , namely, “We create” in the above verse, so that it means “We created for hell…” This is also the view of al-Qushayrī who said that children and insane people are excluded from the injunction of worshipping Allah as well as those who are created for Hell. Moreover, in the variant reading of ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ubayy it is written

 وما خلقت الجن و الإنس من المؤمنين إلا ليعبدون 

“I created the jinn and human-kind among the believers only that they might worship Me.”

 This view is supported by al-Zajjāj who cites the verse:

 وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا إِلَهًا وَاحِدًا (التوبة : ٣١)

 “… they were bidden to worship only One God.” (Q. 9:31, Pickthall).

However, according to Ibn ‘Abbās, the meaning of the verse in question is that the jinn and the humankind are created to confirm the bondage willingly or unwillingly.

6. Number

In this category Ibn Qutaybah shows us the application of number (singular, dual, or plural) to nouns, adjectives and verbs in the verses of the Qur’ān, so that their literal (ostensible) meanings are in disagreement with their real meanings, as follows: 

a. Noun
We can divide this section into two:

 1) the plural noun meaning (a) singular, (b) dual, (c) dual and plural, and (d) singular, dual, and plural; and

 2) the singular noun meaning plural. They will be discussed as follows:

(1) The use of the plural which is meant:

(a) singular, such as إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُنَادُونَكَ مِنْ وَرَاءِ الْحُجُرَاتِ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ (الحجرات : ٤) 

“Verily, [O Prophet,] as for those who call thee from without thy private apartments – most of them do not use their reason.” (Q. 49:4, Asad), as there was only one person who called the Prophet from behind his private apartments, saying: 

“O Muh.ammad, my praise is good, and my abuse is disgracing” 

(يا محمد إن مدحي زين وإن شتمي شين);

 That person, according to al-D.ah.h.āk, was al-Aqra‘ ibn H.ābis. 

There is also another view that there was another person who called the Prophet besides al-Aqra‘, namely, ‘Uyaynah ibn H.is.n. However, according to Mujāhid, the people who called the Prophet were the Banī Tamīm tribe who entered the mosque and wanted him to come out of his apartment. This view is supported by Ibn Mas‘ūd’s variant reading أكثرهم بنو تميم لا يعقلون (“and the majority of them were Banū Tamīm, who did not use their reason.”). It is possible that one or two persons of the Tamīm tribe called the Prophet on their behalf.

(b) dual, such as (التحريم : ٤) إِنْ تَتُوبَا إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا 

“[Say, O Prophet:] ‘Would that you two turn unto God in repentance, for the hearts of both of you have swerved [from what is right]…'” (Q. 66:4, Asad). Here the expression قلوبكما is meant to be قلباكما (“the two hearts of both of you”). 

(c) dual and plural, such as فَإِنْ كَانَ لَهُ إِخْوَةٌ فَلِأُمِّهِ السُّدُسُ(النساء : ١١) 

“and if he has brothers and sisters, then his mother shall have one-sixth…” (Q.4:11, Asad). The term إخوة (brothers) includesأخوان (two brothers). 

(d) singular, dual, and plural, such as وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (النور : ٢)

 “And let a group of the believers witness their chastisement.” (Q. 24:2, Asad).

 Here the term طائفـة (a group, a band, a troop, a party) means one, two, and more persons. 

(2). The use of the singular intended for the plural, such as قَالَ إِنَّ هَؤُلَاءِ ضَيْفِي فَلَا تَفْضَحُونِ (الحجر : ٦٨)

“Exclaimed [Lot]: ‘Behold, these are my guests: so put me not to shame.'” (Q. 15:68, Asad). 

The term ضيفي (my guest) is used to mean ضيوفي (my guests). Another example is (الحج : ٥) ثُمَّ نُخْرِجُكُمْ طِفْلًا 

“…, and then We bring you forth as infants …” (Q. 22:5, Asad).

 The term طفلا (an infant) is used instead of أطفالا (infants). As an example from poetry Ibn Qutaybah cites the poem of al-‘Abbās ibn Mirdās al-Sulamī, as follows:

فقلنا اسلموا إنا أخـوكـم * و قد برئت من الإحن الصـدور 

Then we said: ‘Surrender, verily, we are your brothers; the hearts have been healed from the old feuds.’ 

The term أخوكم(your brother) is intended to meanإخوانكم (your brothers). 

b. Adjective (quality, attribute)

This section can be divided into two: 

1) the adjective in the singular for a plural object, and 

2) the adjective in the plural for a singular object, as follows:

(1) The use of an adjective in the singular for a plural object, such as

 وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا (المائدة : ٦) 

“…. And if you are in a state requiring total ablution, purify yourselves.” (Q. 5:6, Asad). 

The term junub (unclean) is in the singular but is used for the plural “you”. Another example is the verse

 وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ ظَهِيرٌ (التحريم : ٤)

 “…; and furthermore the angels are his helpers.” (Q. 66:4, Pickthall). The term z.ahīr (lit. “a state of being helpful”) is an adjective and in the singular, and the noun “angels” is in the plural.

 In poetry, Ibn Qutaybah cites the poem of an unidentified poet, as follows: إن العواذل ليس لي بأمير 

“Verily, the reprovers are not consultant to me.” The term amīr (lit., “a person who is consulted”) here is in the singular. 

(2) The use of an adjective in the plural for a singular object, such as the poem of an unidentified poet, as follows:

 جاء الشتاء و قميصي أخلاق 

“The Winter has come and my dress is worn out.”

 The term أخلاق the plural of خلق (shabby, threadbare, worn), but is intended for the singular, as it is describing a single object, namely, the dress.

c. Verb
We can divide this section into four, as follows: 

(1) a verb that refers to two different things and is intended for one of them only; 

(2) a verb that refers to one of two different things but is intended for both of them; 

(3) an imperative verb in dual but is intended for one, two, or more persons; and

 (4) a verb with a plural pronoun intended for one person indicating respect. They are as follows:

(1) A verb that refers to two different things but is intended for one of them only, for example:

 (الكهف : ٦١) فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجْمَعَ بَيْنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا

 “But when they reached the junction between the two [seas], they forgot all about their fish, …” (Q. 18:61, Asad).

 It was Yūsha‘ ibn Nūn only who had forgotten the fish, for he said to Prophet Moses فَإِنِّي نَسِيتُ الْحُوتَ (الكهف :٦٣) 

“…, I forgot about the fish…” (Q. 18:63, Asad). 

Another example is as follows: يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِنْكُمْ (الأنعام : ١٣٠) 

“O ye assembly of the jinn and humankind! Came there not unto you messengers of your own…?” (Q. 6:130, Pickthall). Here it means that messengers came from humankind only. 

(2) A verb that refers to one of two different things but is intended for both of them is the same as the one in the following verse:

 وَاللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُرْضُوهُ (التوبة : ٦٢)

 “… – the while it is God and His Apostle whose pleasure they should seek above all else,..” (Q. 9:62, Asad). 

Here the verb أن يرضوه (“to please Him”) is used for أن يرضوهما (“to please them both”). 

Another example is as follows: 

وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انْفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا (الجمعة :١١)

 “Yet, [it does happen that] when people become aware of [an occasion for] worldly gain or a passing delight, they rush headlong towards it…” (Q. 62:11, Asad). 

Here the verse means انفضوا إليهما (“they rush headlong towards both of them”). 

As an example from poetry Ibn Qutaybah cites the poem of ‘Amr ibn Imru’ al-Qays al-Ans.ārī addressing Mālik ibn al-‘Ajlān, as follows:

نحن بما عندنا و أنت بمـا * عندك راض و الرأي مختلـف 

“We are content with what we have and you with what you have, and the opinion is different.” 

Instead of راضون in the plural form, the term راض in the singular form is used for both نحن (we) and أنت (you). 

(3) An imperative verb in the dual but is intended for one, two, or more persons is the same as that in the following verse:

 أَلْقِيَا فِي جَهَنَّمَ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ (ق : ٢٤) 

“[Whereupon God will command:] ‘Cast, cast into hell every [such] stubborn enemy of the truth.'” (Q. 50:24, Asad). 

Here the verb القيا is in the dual form but it is intended for one person only, namely, Mālik, the angel who is in charge of Hell. It may also be intended for more persons, namely, the zabāniyah (the infernal attendants of Hell), or the two angels mentioned in the previous verse Q. 50:21, one is a driver (سائق) who drives people to do what Allah has ordered them to, and the other is a witness (شهيد) who registers what people do; this is the view of Mujāhid, ‘Uthmān and al-Zajjāj. Abū ‘Uthmān al-Māzinī and al-Mubarrad, both of the grammarian school of Bas.rah, state that the verb القيـا is in the dual to indicate repetition, namely,الق الق as translated by Asad above. 

Ibn Qutaybah states that according to al-Farrā’ it is common among the Arabs to use imperative verbs in the dual when they are addressing one person or more, such as the expression ويلك ارحلاها وازجراها

 “Woe unto you! Move her away and drive her away both of you.”

 One of the examples from poetry given by Ibn Qutaybah is the poem of Suwayd ibn Karrā‘ al-‘Ukalī, as follows: 

فإن تزجراني يا ابن عفان انزجـر * و إن تدعاني أحم عرضا ممنعـا

“If you drive me away O Ibn ‘Affān, I shall go away, but if you leave me alone, I shall protect my honour from those who hurt me.” 

Here تزجراني (“you both drive me away”) and تدعاني (“you both leave me alone”) are in the dual form when the poet meant Ibn ‘Affān only. Al-Farrā’ says that the number of people needed to form a company (رُفقة) is three people. In this case, the conversation occurs between one of them and the other two by using verbs in the dual form. Poets use them most when they say يا صاحبَيّ (“O my two companions”) and يا خليلَيّ (“O my two friends”).

(4) A verb with a plural pronoun intended for one person indicating respect is like the king’s statement when he said: “We did this” instead of “I did this”. There are many examples in the Qur’ān, among which are as follows:

 قَالَ رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِ (المؤمنون : ٩٩) 

“…, he prays: ‘Oh my Sustainer! Let me return, let me return [to life].'” (Q. 23:99, Asad).

 Here ارجعون (namely, ارجعوني) in the plural is used instead of ارجعن (namely, ارجعني) in the singular to indicate respect. Another example is

 نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ (يوسف :٣) 

“We explain it to thee in the best possible way, …” (Q. 12:3, Asad) in which the expression نحن نقص (“We explain”) refers to Allah alone. 

7. Sudden Transition (Iltifāt)

Ibn Qutaybah deals with three categories of what is later called إلتفات. They are as follows: 

a. It is addressing a person who is present (namely, the second person), then suddenly the address is changed into the wording of a third person (تخاطب الشاهد بشيء ثم تجعل الخطاب له على لفظ الغائب أن); 

b. It is addressing the third person by using the wording of the second person (خطاب الغائب للشاهد); and 

c. It is addressing a person with something, then suddenly the address is shifted to another person (أن تخاطب الرجل بشىء ثم يجعل الخطاب لغيره); this includes: addressing two persons then suddenly the address is directed to one of them only, and addressing somebody, but the address is intended for somebody else. They are dealt with as follows:

a. With regard to addressing a person who is present (the second person), then suddenly the address is changed into the wording of a third person, Ibn Qutaybah gives three examples from the Qur’ān, one of which is as follows:

 حَتَّى إِذَا كُنْتُمْ فِي الْفُلْكِ وَجَرَيْنَ بِهِمْ بِرِيحٍ طَيِّبَةٍ وَفَرِحُوا بِهَا (يونس : ٢٢) 

“…. And [behold what happens] when you go to sea in ships: [they go to sea in ships,] and they sailed on in them in a favourable wind, and they rejoiced thereat…” (Q. 10:22, Asad). 

Here the words جرين بهم (“they sail on in them”) and فرحوا بها (“they rejoiced thereat”) is a sudden transition from جرين بكم (“you sail on in them”) and فرحتم بها (“you rejoiced thereat”) respectively. We notice that in translating the above verse Asad says “they go to sea in ships” between brackets to indicate the occurrence of the shift from the direct address and the second person plural “you” to the third person plural “they”. The purpose of this shift, as he stated it, is “to bring out the allegorical character of the subsequent narrative and to turn it into a lesson of general validity”.

Ibn Qutaybah does not explain the purpose of the iltifāt in this verse, but al-Zarkashī mentions three views concerning its purpose, as follows: 

(1) it is to indicate wonder about people’s deeds and disbeliefs; 

(2) it is to single out the rebellious among the people; before the iltifāt the address was to people in general, believers as well as non-believers; then the iltifāt is used to indicate that the reproof is exclusively for those who rebel wrongfully after being delivered from danger, as mentioned in the above verse and that which follows it (Q. 10:23); 

(3) it is to indicate the two conditions of people: when they were on board a ship they felt confined and feared perishing and changing wind; in this case they were addressed the way people who are present are addressed (in the second person); but when the danger passed with a favourable wind, they were happy, and their presence was no longer required in referring to them; therefore, the iltifāt is used, the address was given in the third person, and it was said و جرين بهم “and they sailed on in them”.

b. With regard to addressing the third person by using the wording of the second, Ibn Qutaybah does not give us any example from the Qur’ān, but one from poetry by Abū ’l-Kabīr al-Hudhalī, as follows:

ويح نفسي كان جدة خالـد * و بياض و جهك للتراب الأعفـر 

“O woe unto myself, the wealth of Khālid and the whiteness of his [lit. your] face are for the dust coloured soil [in which he is buried].” 

Here, after mentioning Khālid as a third person, the poet spoke to him in the second person, when he said “the whiteness of your face”.
Al-Zarkashī mentions many examples from the Qur’ān, one of which is as follows: 

(مريم : ٨٨-٨٩) وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَنُ وَلَدًا. لَقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئًا إِدًّا 

“As it is, some assert, ‘The Most Gracious has taken unto Himself a son’! Indeed, [by this assertion] you have brought forth something monstrous.” (Q.19:88-9, Asad). 

Instead of جاؤا (“they brought forth”) it is used جئتم (“you brought forth”) to indicate that whoever makes a statement like theirs he is to be reproached and rejected. Here Allah is addressing them directly as if they were present.

c. With regard to addressing a person with something, then suddenly the address is shifted to another person Ibn Qutaybah gives us two examples, as follows: فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكُمْ “And if they do not respond to your call” which was addressed to the Prophet, and then suddenly shifted to unbelievers, as the verse continues withفَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا أُنْزِلَ بِعِلْمِ اللَّهِ وَأَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ “then know that [this Qur’ān] has been bestowed from on high out of God’s wisdom alone, and that there is no deity save Him.”

This is evident as the verse continues addressing the unbelievers thus

 فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ (هود : ١٤) 

“Will you, then, surrender yourselves unto Him?” (Q. 11:14, Asad). The other example is

 إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا (الفتح : ٨) 

“Verily, [O Muhammad,] We have sent thee as a witness [to the truth], and as a herald of glad tidings and a warner.” (Q. 48:8, Asad). 

This verse was addressed to the Prophet; then the address was suddenly shifted from him to people in the following verse: 

لِتُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتُعَزِّرُوهُ وَتُوَقِّرُوهُ وَتُسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا (الفتح : ٩) 

“so that you [O men] might believe in God and His Apostle, and might honour Him, and revere Him, and extol His limitless glory from morn to evening.” Q. 48:9, Asad).

With regard to addressing two persons and suddenly the address is directed to one of them only, Ibn Qutaybah gives us two examples.

They are: قَالَ فَمَنْ رَبُّكُمَا يَا مُوسَى (طه : ٤٩) He replied: ‘Who, now, is this Sustainer of you two, O Moses?'” (Q. 20:49, Asad). Here Pharaoh spoke at first to both Moses and Aaron, but later spoke to Moses alone., saying, “O Moses.” 355

Another example is the following verse:

 فَقُلْنَا يَا آَدَمُ إِنَّ هَذَا عَدُوٌّ لَكَ وَلِزَوْجِكَ فَلَا يُخْرِجَنَّكُمَا مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَتَشْقَى (طه : ١١٧) 

“And thereupon We said: ‘O Adam! Verily, this is a foe unto thee and thy wife: so let him not drive the two of you out of this garden and render thee unhappy.'” (Q. 20:117, Asad). We notice here that at the beginning the address was directed to Adam only, then to him and his wife, then again to him only.356

With regard to addressing somebody, but the address is intended for somebody else, Ibn Qutaybah mentions the following example:

 إِذْ أَنْشَأَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ (النجم : ٣٢) 

“… , and when He brings you into being out of dust.” (Q. 53:32, Asad).

Here Allah means Adam himself, not his descendants.357
Al-Zarkashī in his work al-Burhān examines the iltifāt in more detail. He mentions its definition, advantages, and divisions. He says that the iltifāt is the change from one style to another as a means to alert and attract the listener, to renew his energy, and to protect his mind from boredom and discontent caused by listening to an incessant single style هو نقل الكلام من) أسلوب إلى أسلوب آخر تطرية و استدرارا للسامع و تجديدا لنشاطه و صيانة لخاطره من الملال و الضجر بدوام الأسلوب الواحد على سمعه). 358

Al-Zarkashī divides the advantages of the iltifāt into general and particular. The general advantage is that it gives an opportunity to use various styles and to shift from one style to another which alert the listener and attract his interest, to broaden the flow of the speech, and to facilitate the use of poetic measure and rhyme (التفنن والإنتقال من أسلوب إلى آخرلما فى ذلك من تنشيط السامع و اتساع مجاري الكلام و تسهيل الوزن و القافية). The particular advantages are: to honour the position of the person who is spoken to (the second person), to direct attention to the significance of the statement, to complete the meaning intended by the speaker and to indicate hyperbole, specification, significance and reproach.359
Al-Zarkashī divides the iltifāt into seven divisions: from the first person (the speaker) to the second (the person spoken to), from the first person to the third, from the second person to the first, from the second person to the third, from the third person to the first, from the third person to the second, and the formation of a verb for the object after the expression or the speech has been given by its subject 360(بناء الفعل للمفعول بعد خطاب فاعله أو تكلمه). 

Al-Zarkashī also includes the shift of the speech from one subject to another in what he calls “close to the iltifāt” (يقرب من الإلتفات). The purpose of this shift is to stop the discussion of a particular subject with an ignorant and fanatical opponent, and to bring him to a new and different subject, so that he will keep his attention on the new subject and forget the previous one. This is because the more we enter into the discussion with him on that particular subject; the more he will reject our view. Then the former subject is introduced slowly within the new subject. Al-Zarkashī includes in this category of expression close to the iltifāt: the shift from addressing one to two persons, from one to three persons, from two to one person, from two to three persons, from three to one person, and from three to two persons. He also includes what are called tempora and morphology which will be dealt with later.361

Ibn Qutaybah’s treatment of this subject, the iltifāt, is very brief and rudimentary. He does not even use the term iltifāt in his work Ta’wīl, since this technical term seems to have been unknown in his time. Commentators like al-T.abarī, al-Qurt.ubī, al-T.abarsī, and al-Zamakhsharī did not mention it, and often give different interpretations rather than using it.

8. Juncture

Juncture is the joining of two different statements of two different persons, so that they appear to be the statement of one person or one group of persons. Among the examples given by Ibn Qutaybah are the following Qur’anīc verses: 

a. قَالَتْ إِنَّ الْمُلُوكَ إِذَا دَخَلُوا قَرْيَةً أَفْسَدُوهَا وَجَعَلُوا أَعِزَّةَ أَهْلِهَا أَذِلَّةً (النمل : ٣٤) 

“Said she: ‘Verily, whenever kings enter a country they corrupt it, and turn the noblest of its people into the most abject.'” (Q. 27.34, Asad).362 

This statement of Queen Bilqīs of Sheba is followed by Allah’s statement وَكَذَلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ (النمل: 34) “And this is the way they [always] behave.” (Q. 27:34). This is the view of Ibn ‘Abbās. However, another view says that the latter statement also belonged to Queen Bilqīs who had witnessed and heard the habits of kings in the past. 363
b. (يس : ٥٢) قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا مَنْ بَعَثَنَا مِنْ مَرْقَدِنَا “They will say: ‘Oh, woe unto us! Who has roused us from our sleep [of death]?'” which will be the statement of righteous Muslims when they are resurrected. The verse continues with the angels’ following statement:

 هَذَا مَا وَعَدَ الرَّحْمَنُ وَصَدَقَ الْمُرْسَلُونَ (يس : ٥٢)

 “[Whereupon they will be told:] ‘This is what the Most Gracious has promised! And His message bearers spoke the truth!.'” (Q. 36:52, Asad).364 

This is the view of Ibn ‘Abbās and al-Farrā’ adopted by Ibn Qutaybah. 

However, it is also possible that the statement of the angels is shared by the believers, or it is exclusively the statement of the muttaqīn according to al-H.asan. Another view suggests that the statement refers to the unbelievers who, after asking each other who raised them from their sleep, will finally believe in the Resurrection Day, when this belief was now of no avail. 

9. Tempora

Ibn Qutaybah mentions the use of a verb in the past-tense when it is meant for the present or the future. He cites seven examples, among which are as follows:

a. كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ (آل عمران : ١١٠) 

“You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind: …” (Q. 3:110, Asad). 

The word كنتم (lit. “you were”) means “you are” and “you will be”. The use of the verb “to be” in the past-tense indicating the present and the future is found profusely in the Qur’ān, such as: قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَنْ كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا (مريم : ٢٩) “They exclaimed: ‘How can we talk to one who [as yet] is [كان , lit., “was” ] a little boy in the cradle?'” (Q. 19:29, Asad).366

There are several views concerning the use of the verb كان(in this case كنتم) in the above verse. Some say that it is used for emphasis. The other view is that kāna indicates the past, namely, the believers were the best community in the sight of Allah as mentioned in the Preserved Tablet (اللوح المحفوظ) which is the interpretation of al-Farrā’ and al-Zajāj; according to al-H.asan they were the best community mentioned in the previous Scriptures. Kāna is also interpreted as s.āra (has become) and wujida (to be found) or khuliqa (to be created), so that the verse in question means “You have become (صرتم ) indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind, because you enjoin…”, and “you have been found (or created) to be the best community…”.367

b. وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنْتَ قُلْتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَهَيْنِ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ (المائدة : ١١٦) “And lo! God said: ‘O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, “Worship me and my mother as deities beside God”?’…” (Q. 5:116, Asad). The verb قال is in the past tense but is meant in the future when Allah speaks to Jesus on the Last Day. The evidence that the occurrence of the dialogue will be in the future is the verse that which follows reads: قال الله قَالَ اللَّهُ هَذَا يَوْمُ يَنْفَعُ الصَّادِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ (المائدة : ١١٩) “[And on Judgment Day] God will say: ‘Today, their truthfulness shall benefit all who have been true to their word: theirs shall be gardens through which running waters flow,…'” (Q. 5:119, Asad). The day referred to in this verse is the Last Day, the Judgement Day. 368 This is the view of Qatādah, Ibn Jurayj, and the majority of the commentators, and is supported by al-Qurt.ubī and al-T.abarsī. Another view is that the dialogue had taken place, namely, when Jesus ascended to Heaven, which is the view of al-Suddī and Qut.rub.369

c. أَتَى أَمْرُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ (النحل : ١) “God’s judgment is [bound to] come: do not therefore, call for its speedy advent! …” (Q. 16:1, Asad). The verb أتى (lit. “it came”) which is in the past-tense proclaims the future, namely, “it will come to pass”, translated by Asad as “is bound to come” as mentioned above. 370 Various interpretations of أمرالله (“Allah’s judgment”) are given, among which are as follows: (1) the Judgment Day which is the view of Ibn ‘Abbās; (2) Allah’s punishment to the idolaters which is the view of al-H.asan and Ibn Jurayj as stated by al-T.abarsī, whereas according to al-Qurt.ubī it is the view of al-Zajjāj; (3) Allah’s injunctions and laws which is the view of al-D.ah.h.āk according to al-T.abarsī, whereas according to al-Qurt.ubī, it is also the view of al-H.asan and Ibn Jurayj.371

d. وَاللَّهُ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ الرِّيَاحَ فَتُثِيرُ سَحَابًا فَسُقْنَاهُ إِلَى بَلَدٍ مَيِّتٍ فَأَحْيَيْنَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا كَذَلِكَ النُّشُورُ (فاطر : ٩)

 “And [remember:] it is God who sends forth the winds, so that they raise a cloud, whereupon We drive it towards dead land and thereby give life to the earth after it had been lifeless: even thus shall resurrection be!” (Q. 35:9, Asad).

 We notice here that the verb أرسل (“He sent forth”), فسقناه (“then We drove it”) and فأحيينا به (“thereby We gave life to it”) are in the past-tense, but they mean the present and the future.372

Ibn Qutaybah does not mention the opposite of the above tempora, namely, the use of the present or the future-tense for the past-tense, such as: وَاتَّبَعُوا مَا تَتْلُو الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَى مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ (البقرة : ١٠٢) “And follow [instead] that which the evil ones used to practice during Solomon’s reign…” (Q. 2:102, Asad), in which تتلو in the present or future is meant to be تلت in the past. 373

 The other example is: قُلْ فَلِمَ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنْبِيَاءَ اللَّهِ مِنْ قَبْلُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ (البقرة: ٩١)

“…. Say: ‘Why, then, did you slay God’s prophets aforetime, if you were [truly] believers?'” (Q. 2:91, Asad), in which the verb تقتلون (“you slay”) in the present or future-tense is meant to be قتلتم (“you slew”) as translated above.374

10. Morphology

Ibn Qutaybah briefly mentions four categories of words which morphologically disagree with their literal meanings. They are as follows:

a. A passive participle in the form of an active participle (أن يجيء المفعول على لفظ الفاعل), such as: 

(1) قَالَ لَا عَاصِمَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا مَنْ رَحِمَ (هود : ٤٣)

“Said [Noah]: ‘Today there is no protection [for anyone] from God’s judgment, save [for] those who have earned [His] mercy!’….” (Q. 11:43, Asad). 

The word عاصم (lit. “protector”) which is an active participle, means معصوم (“protected”) in a passive participle in the above verse, namely, “nobody is protected from His judgment” (لا معصوم من أمره). 375

This is one interpretation. The second interpretation is that لا عاصم means لا مانع (“no protector”), so that the verse means “there is no protector from Allah’s punishment except He [Allah] Who has mercy” since it is on that day of reckoning that the unbelievers deserve punishment.376 The third interpretation is mentioned by al-T.abarsī, namely, “there is no protector except to whom Allah has mercy,” meaning that whom Allah has mercy for will be protected. 377 

(2)(الطارق : ٦) خُلِقَ مِنْ مَاءٍ دَافِقٍ 

“He is created from a gushing fluid.” (Q. 86:6, Pickthall). The verb دافق (gushing) is an active participle meaning مدفوق (gushed) in passive participle. 378 

(3) The following verse of Wa‘lat al-Jarmī:
و لما رأيت الخيل تترى أثايجـا * علمت بأن اليوم أحمس فاجـر

“When I saw the horses following each other in groups, I realised that it was a hard impudent day.”

The word فاجـر (lit., immoral actor) is an active participle meaning a passive participle مفجور (acted upon immorally), so that the verse means “a hard day in which immorality was committed” (يوم صعب مفجور فيه).379 

b. The verb pattern فعيل which means مفعل (doer), such as: 

(1) بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ (البقرة : ١١٧؛ الأنعام : ١٠١) “The originator is He of the heavens and the earth:…” (Q. 2:117, Asad and 6:101). The word badī‘ means mubdi‘ (“originator”, “creator”); 380 

(2) عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (البقرة : ١٠, ١٠٤, ١٧٨)”a painful punishment” (Q. 2:10, 104, and 178). 381 The word أليم (painful) means مؤلم (causes pain); 

(3) The verse of ‘Amr ibn Ma‘dīkarib who was longing for his sister Rayh.ānah who was taken captive by al-S.immah ibn Bakr as follows:
أمن ريحانة الداعي السميع * يورقني و أصحابي هجوع 

“Is it from [listening to] the inviter who makes us listen [to what he said] about Rayh.anah that makes me anxiously sleepless while my companions are peacefully sleeping?”

Here the word سميع means مسمع (who makes people listen). However, this is an isolated meaning, since سميع means “all-hearing”.382

c. The verb pattern فعيل which means the active participle فاعل , such as حفيظ (all-preserving), قدير (all-powerful), سميع (all-hearing), بصير (all-seeing), عليم (all-knowing), مجيد (glorious), and بديء الخلـق (originator of creation). All these are the صيغة مبالغة (emphatic form) ofحافظ (preserving), قادر (powerful), سامـع (hearer), باصر (seer), عالـم (knower), ماجـد (possessor of glory), and بادىء الخـلق (originator of creation) respectively.383

d. Active participle in the form of passive participle (أن يأتي الفاعل على لفظ المفعول به) which is very rare, such as: إِنَّهُ كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَأْتِيًّا (مريم : ٦١) “… Verily, His promise is ever sure of fulfilment…” (Q. 19:61, Asad) in which the word مأتيّا (lit., “is being brought”) means آتيا (lit. “is coming”).384
Ibn Qutaybah’s material of disagreement of a word with its literal meaning is very brief. It lacks organisation and details. He divides it into twenty-six categories with examples, which I divide systematically into ten categories. More details are available in literature of later times, such as al-Burhān of al-Zarkashī, Jāmi‘ of al-T.abarsī and al-Jāmi‘ of al-Qurt.ubī. Moreover, he does not mention the other views which are contrary to his. The lack of details and systematic division, as well as different views is apparent in Ibn Qutaybah’s treatise of the phenomena of figurative language.

ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER III

1. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 134.

2. See Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 5, p. 326. 

3. For further details, see ‘Iwad. H.amad al-Qawzī, al-Mus.t.alah. al-Nah.wī: Nash’atuhu wa Tat.awwuruhu h.attá Awākhir al-Qarn al-Thālith al-Hijrī (Riyadh: ‘Imādat al-Shu’ūn al-Maktabāt, Riyadh University, 1401/1981), pp. 15-16.

4. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 20.

5. For further details, see Ibn Taymīyah, Majmū‘ Fatāwá, vol. 7, pp. 87-90 (Kitāb al-Imān).

6. Al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 2, p. 255.

7. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 115-20. See also al-Jāh.iz., al-H.ayawān, 7 vols. (Cairo: Mus.t.afá ’l-Bābī ’l-H.alabī, 1366/1947), vol. 6, pp. 248-52 in which the author indicated his disbelief in ghouls, and said that stories about them were invented by bedouins in their poetry and laymen who did not make any distinction between what to believe, doubt, and what to disbelieve. Some of them falsely claimed to have seen ghouls; others, killed, accompanied, even married them.

8. See Abū Ya‘qūb Yūsuf ibn Abī Bakr al-Sakkākī, Miftāh. al-‘Ulūm, ed. and annot. Na‘īm Zarzūr, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmīyah, 1407/1987), p. 371. For the definition of majāz according to al-Sakkākī which is slightly different from what has been mentioned above, see ibid., p. 359.

9. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 104; Sayf al-Dīn al-Kātib, et al., eds. and comment., Sharh. Dīwān Umayyah ibn Abī al-S.alt (Beirut: al-Wat.anīyah, 1352 A.H.), p. 28; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 1, p. 112. Abū ‘Uthmān ‘Amr ibn Bah.r al-Jāh.iz. said معاقلنا instead of مقابرنا in the above poem, see Kitāb al-H.ayawān, vol. 5, p. 437;

10. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 104. According to Ibn Zayd and Ibn ‘Abbās, Hell is called “a mother” because to it the unbeliever will take refuge as a baby does to his mother. See al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 30, pp. 182-3; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, p. 167.

11. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 106-7; and Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 303. The camel is said to complain when it is tired of walking, when it extends its neck and moans very often, see Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 14, p. 440.

12. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 108. 

13. Ibid., p. 110 and idem, ‘Uyūn al-Akhbār, 4 vols. (Cairo: Dār al-Kitāb, 1324 A.H.). vol. 2, p. 306. There are various versions of this poem: for example, in one version it is written أزمنة, شتت and الحياة, instead of ألسنة, سبت and القبور; see Abū ’l-‘Atāhiyah, Dīwān Abī ’l-‘Atāhiyah (Beirut: Dār S.ādir, Dār Bayrūt, 1384/1964), p. 92; in another version, according to Mas‘ūdī’s report, it is written وبكتك ساكتة and أعظم instead of ونعتك ألسنة and أوجه; see Anonymous, al-Anwār al-Zāhiyah fī Dīwān Abī ’l-‘Atāhiyah (Beirut: Mat.ba‘at al-Ābā’ al-Yasū‘īyīn, [1304-5]/1887), p. 53, n. 1. 

14. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 110 and idem, Tafsīr, p. 342.

15. Idem, Ta’wīl, p. 111.

16. For further details on this dialogue and event, see Q. 7:11-8; 15:31-44; 17:61-5; 38:71-85.

17. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 112. Ibn Qutaybah cites an example in which the term وحي means تسخير from the poem of al-‘Ajjāj (d. 144/762) dealing with the earth, as follows: و حى لهـا القـرار فاستقـرت “He revealed [i.e., subjected] to it [the earth] to be settled and it became settled.” See also ibid., pp. 111-2 and 490. For further details on this poem, see Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 15, pp. 380-1. 

18. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 113.

19. Ibid., pp. 114-5. Al-T.abarī mentions the view of أهل العلم as well as of Ibn ‘Abbās that Allah did actually talk to and order the heaven to raise its sun, moon and stars, and to the earth to bring out its trees and fruit, and to split its rivers, see al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 24, p. 64. The h.adīth mentioning the Jewish woman who tried to poison the Prophet was reported by Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dā’ūd, al-Dārimi, Ibn Mājah and Ah.mad ibn H.anbal; see Wensinck, al-Mu‘jam, vol. 2, p. 533 (s.v. سم); the h.adīth mentioning the camel that complained to him was reported by Abū Dā’ūd; see ibid., vol. 3, p. 168 (s.v. شكى).

20. See ‘Abd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī, Asrār al-Balāghah fī ‘Ilm al-Bayān, ed. Ritter (Istanbul: Mat.ba‘at Wizārat al-Ma‘ārif, 1954), p. 29.

21. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 135; idem, Gharīb al-H.adīth, vol. 1, pp. 439-40; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 1, p. 216.

22. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 139. According to Abū ‘Ubaydah the verse means that their hearts become empty of reasoning, for they have no intellect (لا عقول لهم), see Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 344; Another interpretation is given by Ibn ‘Abbās, that their hearts become empty due to their fright and terror, see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 321.

23. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 140; al-Farrā’ gives “misguidance” instead of “infidelity” as the metaphor for “death” in this verse, see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 353. 

24. This is the view of Ibn Qutaybah and Abū ‘Ubaydah, see Ta’wīl, p. 140 and Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 303. This is also the view of Mujāhid and Qatādah. According to al-D.ah.h.āk, wizr means shirk (polytheism). See al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 30, p. 150. According to al-Murtad.á, sin is called wizr because it is a burden for the sinner. However, anything which can be a burden can be called wizr. Therefore, it is possible that the term wizr in the above verse means the Prophet’s sorrow of his people’s disbelief when he and his companions were still in a weak position; see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 508.

25. Ibn Qutaybah, Tafsīr, p. 532. This is also the view of Ibn Zayd when he said that wizr means “the Prophet’s sin before his prophethood”. See al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 30, p. 150. The word athqāl (load) is also a metaphor for sin in Q. 29:13; see Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 140 and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p.331.

26. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 145; al-Zamakhsharī gives “the permanent reward”, whereas al-T.abarsī gives “Allah’s reward” and “Allah’s Paradise” for the meaning of رحمة الله in the above verse, see al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 226 and Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 485.

27. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl. pp. 145-6; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 431 and vol. 4, p. 400 and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 7, p. 229 and vol. 14, p. 321.

28. For further details, see Jamāl al-Dīn Abū al-Faraj ‘Abd al-Rah.mān ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzhat al-A‘yūn al-Nawāz.ir fī ‘Ilm al-Wujūh wa ’l-Naz.ā’ir, ed. Muh.ammad ‘Abd al-Karīm Kāz.im al-Rād.ī, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Mu’assasat al-Risālah, 1405/1985), pp. 331-4; idem, Muntakhab Qurrat al-‘Uyūn ’l-Nawāz.ir fī ’l-Wujūh wa ’l-Naz.a’ir fī ’l-Qur’ān al-Karīm (Summary of Qurrat al-‘Uyūn), ed. Muhammad al-Sayyid al-Saft.āwī and Dr. Fu’ād ‘Abd al-Mun‘im Ah.mad (Alexandria: Munsha’at al-Ma‘ārif, n.d.), pp. 135-8; al-H.usayn ibn Muh.ammad al-Dāmaghānī, Qāmūs al-Qur’ān aw Is.lāh. al-Wujūh wa al-Naz.ā’ir fī ’l-Qur’ān al-Karīm, ed. ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Sayyid al-Ahl (Beirut: Dār al-‘Ilm lil-Malāyīn, [1403-4]/1983), pp. 199-202; and Abū al-Fad.l Hubaysh ibn Ibrāhīm [al-] Tiflīsī, Wujūh (Vujūh-i) Qur’ān, ed. Dr. Mahdī Muh.aqqiq (Tehran: 1360/[194] ), 4th ed., pp. 112-4. 

29. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 147; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 16, p. 93; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 49. Other Qur’ānic verses in which dhikr is a metaphor for sharaf according to Ibn Qutaybah are Q. 21:10 and 23:71.

30. See Ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzhah, pp. 302-6; idem, Qurrah, pp. 117-22; al-Dāmaghānī, Qāmūs, pp. 180-3; and Tiflīsī, Wujūh, pp. 103-7.

31. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 167-8; and Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 14, p. 83. According to al-T.abarsī and al-Murtad.á the poem is the elegy of Jarīr on ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz, see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 64; and Amālī, vol. 1, pp. 38-9.

32. For another example from the Qur’ān, see Q. 11:84. The Arabs used to mention a place when they mean its content. They say, for example, أكلت قـدرا (I have eaten a good pot). See al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, pp. 216-7. In the English language we say “the kettle boils” when we mean the water in it.

33. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 169-70; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 25, pp. 74-5; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, pp. 64-5; see also al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 16, pp. 140-2 and Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, vol. 4, pp. 153-4. 

34. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 170. Ibn ‘Abbās’s variant reading for ليزلقونك is ليزهقونك, meaning “in order to kill and to destroy you”, see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 341. Therefore, the verse means “they looked at you with a kind of look that if they could kill or destroy you with it, they would have done it”. Al-Qurt.ubī asserts that ليزهقونك is also the variant reading of Ibn Mas‘ūd, al-A‘mash, Abū Wā’il and Mujāhid; see al-Jāmi‘, vol. 18, p. 255.

35. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 171; idem, Tafsīr, p. 482 and idem, Ta’wīl Mukhtalif al-H.adīth, ed. M.Z. al-Najjār (Beirut: Dār al-Jayl, 1393-1973), pp. 342-3. See also Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 7, p. 218; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 18, p. 256. 

36. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 171. Al-Farrā’ says that the verse means “they were so frightened that their lungs swelled and pushed their hearts upward to their throat”, see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 340. It is said that this happens when a person is in the state of fear, so that a coward is said to have his lung swollen. However, the expression is only to indicate the disturbance of the heart of a person who is in such extreme terror that his heart almost reaches his throat; see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 145.

37. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 172.

38. For further examples of hyperbole in poetry, see ibid., pp. 172-80.

39. Ibid., p. 181; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 290; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 9, p. 52; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 170.

40. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 181 and 155.

41. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, p.123.

42. See al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 177; see also Abū al-Faraj al-As.bahānī, al-Aghānī, vol. 19, p. 85.

43. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp.185-6 and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 41. Here al-T.abarsī is quoting Ibn Qutaybah. For another example of sarcasm in the Qur’ān, see Q. 11:87.

44. Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 12, p. 336; al-Zamakhsharī, Asās al-Balāghah (Beirut: Dār S.ādir – Dār Bayrut, 1965) p. 354 (s.v. صرم); and Lane, Lexicon, pt. 4, p. 1684 (s.v.صرم ).

45. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 186-7; idem, Tafsīr, p. 479; Ibn al-Anbārī, al-Ad.dād, p. 8; and Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 12, p. 336. This is also the view of Ibn ‘Abbās, al-Farrā’, and Abū ‘Amr ibn al-‘Alā’ī; see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 18, p. 241; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 336. Al-Qurt.ubī quotes another view of Ibn ‘Abbās, who said that the term صريم in the above verse means “black ashes” in the language of the Khuzaymah tribe. Another view is that of al-Thawrī who says that it means “the harvested field”; see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 18, p. 242; see also Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 3, p. 345; and Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 12, p. 336. 

46. According to Abū Zayd سدفة in the language of Banī Tamīm means ظلمة (darkness), while in that of Qays it means ضوء (light). Al-As.ma‘ī was reported to have said that سدفة in the language of Najd means “darkness”, while in that of others it means “light”. According to Ibn Fāris سدفة means “the mixture of darkness” (إختلاط الظلام), see Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 1, p. 148. For further details, see Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 9, pp. 146-8; and Lane, Lexicon, pt. 4, p. 1333 (s.v. سدف).

47. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 178; see also Ibn al-Anbārī, al-Ad.dād, p. 9.

48. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 187.

49. See Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 3, p. 348.

50. See also Q. 2:230 and 249; 18:53, and 21:31.

51. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 187-8; idem, Tafsīr, p. 406; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi’, vol. 1, p. 375 and vol. 11, pp. 3-4; Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 3, p. 462; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, pp. 39-40; and Ibn al-Anbārī, al-Ad.dād, p. 14.

52. Tiflīsī, Wujūh, p. 198; al-Dāmaghānī, Qāmūs, pp. 311-2; Ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzhah, pp. 425-6; and idem, Qurrah, pp. 172-3. For further details on z.ann, see Lane, Lexicon, pt. 5, pp. 1924-5 (s.v. ظن).

53. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 188.

54. Al-Suyūt.ī, al-Itqān, vol. 2, pp. 203-5; al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 4, p. 159; Ibn Fāris, al-S.āh.ibī, p. 157; and Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 134.

55. Al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1503.

56. Al-Suyūt.ī, al-Itqān, vol. 2, pp. 232-3 and al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 4, pp. 392-4. Ibn Fāris said that according to some grammarians of the school of Bas.rah la‘alla signifies hope; others said that it is motivation, as in Q. 16:15; see Ibn Fāris, al-S.āh.ibī, p. 170.

57. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 188; idem, al-Shi‘r wa al-Shu‘arā’, ed. Ah.mad Shākir, 2 vols. (Cairo: Dār Ih.yā’ al-Kutub al-‘Arabīyah, 1364 A.H.), vol. 1, p. 321; Abū al-Faraj al-As.bahānī, al-Aghānī, vol. 17, p. 55; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, pp. 48 and 304; al-Murtad.á, Amālī, vol. 2, pp. 95-6; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 3, p. 21; Ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzhah, p. 373; and idem, Qurrah, p. 150. 

58. Ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzhah, pp. 373-4; idem, Qurrah, p. 150; and al-Dāmaghānī, Qāmūs, p. 263. For further details, see Lane, Lexicon, pt. 4, p. 1544 (s.v. شرى).

59. Ibn al-Anbārī, al-Ad.dād, p. 34. 

60. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 189; idem, Tafsīr, p. 270; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 412; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 487; al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 4, pp. 288-9; and Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 6, p. 104; see also Lane, Lexicon, pt. 8, p. 2933 (s.v. ورء). According to al-Qurt.ubī, some commentators say that وراء in this verse means “behind”, but the majority say it means أمام (“before”), as Ibn ‘Abbās and Ibn Jubayr read أمامهم instead of وراءهم. Al-Māwardī mentions three views concerning the use of وراء meaning أمام, as follows: (1) It is possible in any condition and place, because it belongs to al-ad.dād; (2) It is possible only with time, because it can be passed by man, so that it becomes behind it; and (3) It is possible only with bodies which have no direction (في الأجسام التي لا وجه لها), such as two stones which are opposite each other, so that they are behind each other; this is the view of ‘Alī ibn ‘Īsá. See al-Jāmi‘, vol. 11, pp. 35-6.

61. Ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzhah, pp. 608-9; idem, Qurrah, pp. 233-4 (mentions three homonyms only); Tiflīsī, Wujūh, p. 307; and al-Dāmaghānī, Qāmūs, p. 486. 

62. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 189-90; and Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 205. However, according to al-Zajjāj and al-T.abarī, ba‘d will not mean kull, see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 54; and al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 25, p. 55.

63. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 190. According to al-Qayrawānī there is an ellipsis of the expression أحبتـه (“she liked”) in the above verse rather than interpreting “all” as “some”, so that the verse means “she has been given all things she liked”; see Makkī ibn Abī T.ālib al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān [mistakenly] attributed to al-Zajjāj; re-ed. by Ibrāhim al-Abyārī, 3 pts. with continuous pagination (Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-Lubnānī, 1406/1986), pt. 3, p. 783.

64. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 190; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 35; and Ibn al-Anbārī. al-Ad.dād, pp. 249-50. 

65. See al-Farrā‘, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, pp. 20-1.

66. Lane, Lexicon, pt. 6, p. 2462 (s.v. فوق).

67. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 67. Ibn ‘Abbās was reported to have mentioned as something above the gnat. According to Abū ‘Ali al-Fārisī, fawqa is possible to mean “smaller” if it refers to quality, such as the هذا صغيروفوق الصغير (“This is small and above small”) and هذا قليل و فوق القليل (“This is little and above little”). But it is not possible to say هذه نملة و فوق النملة (“This is an ant and above the ant”) and حمار وفوق الحمار (“a donkey and above the donkey”) to mean respectively smaller than the ant and the donkey, because they are not qualities but nouns. See al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 1, pp. 107-8. 

68. For further details, see T.iflisī, Wujūh, pp. 228-9; Ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzhah, pp. 473-4; idem, Qurrah, pp. 188-9; and al-Dāmaghānī, Qāmūs, pp. 364-5.

69. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 190-1. For more examples, see Q. 2:182 and 229. See also Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 2, pp. 184-5 and Lane, Lexicon, pt. 2, pp. 745 (s.v. خشي) and 823 (s.v. خوف).

70. Lane, Lexicon, pt. 2, p. 745 (s.v. خشي).

71. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 191; idem, Tafsīr, p. 271; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 5, p. 169; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 3, p. 50 and vol. 18, p. 303; see also Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 73; Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 2, pp. 494-5; and Lane, Lexicon, pt. 2, p. 794 (s.v., خوف).

72. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 18, p. 303. 

73. Ibn al-Anbārī, al-Ad.dād, pp. 9-10; see also ‘Ubayd ibn Sallām, Lughāt al-Qur’ān, pp. 183-4, n. 5.

74. Ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzhah, p. 308; idem, Qurrah, p. 123; Tiflīsī, Wujūh, pp. 109-10; al-Dāmaghānī, Qāmūs, pp. 197-8; and Ibn ‘Abbās, Gharīb al-Qur’ān, pp. 55 and 65.

75. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 192; idem, Tafsīr, pp. 227-8; Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, vol. 2, p. 534; Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 6, pp. 153-4; Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 6, p. 260 (s.v. يئس); al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 3, p. 53; and al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 1, pp. 109-10. It is said that ya’isa meaning ‘alima is the language of Hawāzin tribe, see al-Zarqānī, Manāhil al-‘Irfān, vol. 1, p. 390. Ibn Qutaybah does not give us any example for the basic meaning of ya’isa in the Qur’ān which is in Q. 12:87; see Ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzhah, p. 633; idem, Qurrah, p. 246; and al-Dāmaghānī, Qāmūs, p. 501. There are variant versions in the verse in question: (a) ibn fāris Zahdam; the horse Zahdam belonged to Suh.aym ibn Wathīl al-Yarbū‘ī; therefore, in this case, the poem belonged to his son Jābir ibn Suh.aym; (b) ibn qātil Zahdam; Zahdam was a person killed by Wathīl; in this variant version the poem belonged to Suh.aym; (c) ibn fāris Lāzim; Lāzim was the horse of Suh.aym; in this variant version, the poem belonged to Jābir ibn Suh.aym; see Ibn al-Kalbī, al-Khayl: Nasab al-Khayl fī ’l-Jāhilīyah wa ’l-Islām (Leiden: N.p., 1928), p. 17, quoted by ‘Abd al-Salām M. Hārūn in Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 6, p. 154, n. 1.

76. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 194. 

77. Ibid., p. 197; al-A‘shā’s version of the poem is حتى إذا ما أوقد بـه * فالجمر مثل ترابها (“Until it was kindled, then the firebrand was like its dust”); see Maymūn ibn Qays al-A‘shá, Diwān al-A‘shá (Beirut: Dār S.ādir, 1966), p. 18.

78. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 193. Al-Farrā’ says that if a transitive verb has two objects, and one of them is a person, the person should be mentioned first, although it can be mentioned second; for further details, see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, pp. 79-80. Al-Zamakhsharī said that wa‘d is mentioned first in the verse to indicate that Allah does not break His promise, let alone breaking away from His messengers; see al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 713.

79. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 193. Al-Farrā’ gives the interpretation of the above verse, namely, “if you worship them, they will be enemies for me [namely, Prophet Abraham] till the Judgement Day”. In this case, there is no inversion; see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 281.

80. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 193. See also al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 725.

81. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 95. According to al-Zajjāj both words have the same meaning, except that daná means “to be near” (qaruba), whereas tadallá means “to become nearer” (زاد في القرب), see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 173.

82. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 193 and idem, Tafsīr, p. 500. This interpretation of Ibn Qutaybah is cited by al-T.abarsī under the name of al-Qutaybī, but without mentioning the occurrence of inversion, see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 396. Al-Qayrawānī mentions two interpretations of this verse, also without mentioning the occurrence of any inversion in it, as follows: (1) بل الإنسان بصيرة على نفسه (“but man shall be an eye-witness against himself”) and (2)الإنسان ، بصيرة على نفسه بل (“but man, [there] shall be an eye-witness againnst himself”). The second interpretation is like the expression زيد في داره غلام (“Zayd, there is a boy in his house”). This is the interpretation to which al-Qayrawānī leans. See I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, pp. 536-7.

83. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 195.

84. Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 92.

85. Al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 202.

86. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 439.

87. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 193, 195 and 197-8; and Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, pp. 38-9. From here, namely page 198, Ibn Qutaybah deals with the inversion by mistake up to page 205 inclusively. He then begins examining this particular inversion we are dealing with again.

88. For further details, see al-T.abarsi, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, pp. 47-8; see also al-Murtad.á, Amālī, vol. 2, pp. 115-9.

89. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 205-6; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 133; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 15, p. 126; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 10, p. 351; al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 713; and al-T.abarsi, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 449.

90. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 206; Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 10, p. 460; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 725.

91. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, pp. 21-2.

92. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 9, p. 67.

93. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 180. This view of al-Zajjāj was chosen by al-S.ābūnī, see M.A. al-S.ābūnī, S.afwat al-Tafāsīr (Beirut: Dār al-Qur’ān al-Karīm, 1402/1981), vol. 2, p. 24.

94. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 206; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 269; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, p. 79; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 30, p. 137; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 725.

95. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 207-8.

96. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 7, pp. 91-2; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 357; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, pp. 370-1.

97. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 7, p. 92.

98. Ibid.

99. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 358.

100. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 7, p. 93.

101. See al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 8, p. 33; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, pp. 437-8.

102. Ibn al-Munayyir, al-Ins.āf (in the margin of al-Kashshāf), vol. 2, p. 53, quoted by Dr. Labīb al-Sa‘īd, Difā‘, pp. 75-6.

103. Niz.ām al-Dīn al-Nīsābūrī, Gharā’ib al-Qur’ān wa Raghā’ib al-Furqān, in the margin of al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 8, p. 31. 

104. For further details, see Ibn al-Jazarī, al-Nashr, vol. 2, pp. 263-4.

105. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 208; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 723.

106. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 442.

107. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 8, p. 164; al-Suyūt.ī, al-Itqān, vol. 3, p. 33; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 39.

108. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 11, p. 260 and al-Suyūt.ī, al-Itqān, vol. 3, p. 33. See also al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 725.

109. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 208-9; and al-T.abarsī, Jāmi‘, vol. 16, p. 167.

110. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 35.

111. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 209.

112. According to al-T.abarsī, this is also the view of the majority of the philologists (ahl al-lughah), see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 2, p. 82.

113. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 5, p. 292; see also al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, pp. 279-80. Al-T.abarsī mentions the fourth view which is almost similar to the third, see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 2, p. 82.

114. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 199; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 99; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 15, p. 253.

115. This is one example of the expresssion “some” which means “one” in the classical Islamic literature. It is said “some scholars say” or “some jurists say” when it sometimes means “one scholar” and “one jurist”.

116. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 199; and Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 64.

117. Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, pp. 63-4.

118. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 2, p. 214; and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, pp. 99-100.

119. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 203; and idem, Tafsīr, p. 68.

120. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi’, vol. 2, pp. 214-5.

121. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 203.

122. Al-Farrā’ mentions both views and says that both are correct; see, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, pp. 99-100. For further details on the above verse, see al-Murtad.á, Āmālī, vol. 1, pp. 154-7. 

123. Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 64 and vol. 2, p. 39.

124. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, pp. 311-2. Lane mentions two Arabic words for the “key”, مِفتاح with its plural مَفاتيح, and مِفتَـح with its plural مَفاتح. مَفاتحis also the plural of مَفْتح which means “a place in which things are reposited, stowed, laid up, kept, preserved, or guarded (syn. مخزن and خِزانه); a hoard, a treasure, or a buried property (syn. كنـز)”; see Lane, Lexicon, pt. 6, p. 2329 (s.v. فتح). 

125. Al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 266. Ibn Qutaybah mentions Qatādah’s view only, namely, عصبة constitutes between ten and forty people, see Tafsīr, p. 335.

126. See Asad, The Message, p. 603, n. 85.

127. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 199 and 203; and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 310.

128. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 200 and 204; idem, Tafsīr, p. 536; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, pp. 285-6; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 307; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 30, p. 180; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, p. 162; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 530; and Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 3, p. 234.

129. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 200 and 205; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 83.

130. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 205, and al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 19, p. 34.

131. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 205; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 274; and al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 19, p. 34.

132. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 210. Al-Zamakhsharī says that the meaning of the verse in question is “love and desire to worship the calf had penetrated into their hearts like the penetration of gum into clothes”, see al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 90.

133. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 61; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 47; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 163; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 2, p. 31.

134. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 210.

135. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 119; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 2, p. 405; and Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 2, p. 227.

136. What al-Qurt.ubī means is that, it is like أيّاما معدودات, which means في أيّام معدودات, see al-Jāmi’, vol. 2, p. 405.

137. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 210; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 386; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 779.

138. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 10, p. 301; see also al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 431.

139. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 211; and Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 2, p. 79 (s.v. كفت). 

140. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 212-3. It is assumed here that Ibn Qutaybah reads also h.ūr ‘īin in dative case, like فاكهة and لحم طير, see Ta’wīl, p. 213. Al-Farrā’, al-Qurt.ubī, al-T.abarsī and al-Zamakhsharī mention three possible readings of حورعين : حورٍ عينٍ (genitive), حورًا عيناً (accusative), and حورٌ عينٌ (nominative). (1) حورٍ عينٍ is the reading of H.amzah and al-Kisā’ī and others, because it is affected by a hidden verb, namely, يتنعّمون بـ (“they enjoy”) as if it is said تنعمون بأكواب و فاكهة و لحم طير و حورعين (“They enjoy bowls, fruit, flesh and companions pure, most beautiful of eye”). (2) حورًا عيناً is the reading in Ubayy ibn Ka‘b’s and Ibn Mas‘ūd’s codices which is also the reading of al-Ashhub al-‘Uqaylī, al-Nakhā‘ī, and ‘Īsá ibn ‘Umar al-Thaqafī. The noun is affected by the hidden verb و يتزوجون (“and they marry”). (3) حورٌ عينٌ which is the reading of the jumhūr, as if it is said و عندهم حورٌ عينٌ (“and with them companions pure, most beautiful of eye”). For further details, see al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, pp. 123-4, al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, pp. 204-5; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, pp. 215-6. For a slightly different interpretation, see al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, pp. 1441-2.

141. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 213; and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 124. According to al-Qurt.ubī, the ellipsis of the verb is due to its being related to the verb foddering, see al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 357.

142. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 213; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 123; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 205. Lane translates the above poem as follows: “When the females content with their husbands (or with their beauty) shall go forth (or went forth) one day, and shall lengthen (or lengthened) with black collyrium the eyebrows and the eyes.” See Lane, Lexicon, pt. 3, p. 1215 (s.v. زج). Al-Numayrī was a camel-herdsman (راعي الإبل); see Brockelmann, Ta’rīkh, vol. 1, p, 217; and Nicholson, A Literary History, p. 245.

143. Ibn Qutaybah. Ta’wīl, p. 214; this view was also mentioned by later commentators, such as al-Qayrawānī, Ibn Kathīr and al-Zamakhsharī; see I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 1, p. 21; Tafsīr, vol. 2, pp. 533-4; and al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 691. 

144. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 9, pp. 318-9. See also al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 1, p. 21

145. See Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 331.

146. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 9, p. 319; and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, pp. 7 ad 63.

147. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 9, p. 319; Asad, The Message, p. 465; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 293.

148. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 215; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 491.

149. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol.15, p.240. For further details, see al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, pp. 1349-50.

150. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 215.

151. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 216; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 78; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 1, p. 14. It was said that Ishmael was still young at the time, and Abraham alone built the Ka‘bah. This is an isolated view, and therefore, according to al-T.abarsī, is unacceptable. Both Abraham and Ishmael built the Ka‘bah, although Ishmael merely handed stones to Abraham, according to Ibn ‘Abbās. Moreover, both prayed that their duty be accepted by Allah, indicating that both built it. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 207; see also al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 104.

152. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 2, p. 126; al-Farrā’ mentions the variant reading of ‘Abd Allāh only, see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 78 and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 207.

153. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 217 and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 120. Al-T.abarsī mentions the ellipsis of both terms wa qad.á and wa aws.á, in the above verse, see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, pp. 408-9.

154. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 10, p. 237.

155. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 218; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 116; al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 1, p. 19; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 10, p. 223; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 759.

156. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 217; idem, Adab al-Kātib, p. 235; and idem, Gharīb al-H.adīth, vol. 1, p. 538. Al-T.abarī and al-Qurt.ubī mention dhahaba only, see Jāmi‘, vol. 1, p. 154l; and al-Jāmi‘, vol. 1, p. 262.

157. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 224; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 19, pp. 194-5; and al-Zamakshsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1574. Al-T.abarsī mentions the ellipsis of either of the two main clauses, namely, ليبعثنّ (“they will verily be raised”) or إنّ في ذلك لعبرة (“verily, there is an example in them”), see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 429. 

158. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 223-4; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 4.

159. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 75. Al-T.abarsī mentions a similar view to that of al-Farrā’, see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, pp. 140-1.

160. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 225. Beside the ellipsis of lā, both al-Qurt.ubī and al-T.abarsī also mention the ellipsis of كراهةً (lit, “disliking”), so that the verse means كراهةً أن تزولَ (“disliking them to deviate”), see al-Jāmi‘, vol. 14, p. 356 and Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 412; see also al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1181.

161. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 14, p. 356. Al-Zamakhsharī also mentions this interpretation with the ellipsis of min, so that the verse means مِن أن تزولَ ; see al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1181.

162. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 225 and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 70.

163. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 16, p. 306. As in the previous verse (Q. 35:41), al-T.abarsī also mentions the occurrence of the ellipsis of كراهةً or لا (namely, لئلاّ) in this verse, see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 130. Al-Zamakhsharī gives two interpretations of the verse أن تحبط أعمالكم, as follows: (a) لأجل حبوط (“because it brings your good deeds to nought”), and (b) لحبوط أعمالكم أي لخشية حبوطها “for bringing your good deeds to nought, namely, for fear of bringing them to nought”). He cites the variant reading of Ibn Mas‘ūd فتحبطَ أعمالكم (“so that your good deeds come to nought”), see al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1385. According to Ibn ‘Abbās the occurrence of the ellipsis of لا in يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ أَنْ تَضِلُّوا in Q. 4:176 meaning … أَنْ لاَ تَضِلُّوا is the language of the Quraysh, see Gharīb al-Qur’ān, p. 43.
164. For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 9, pp. 249-50 and al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 28.

165. Ibn Qutaybah Ta’wīl, p. 226; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 14, p. 361, and vol. 15, p. 195; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 156; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, pp. 412-3; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1182. In fact, the earth has been mentioned earlier in the previous verse (Q. 35:44). The above verse was misquoted by Ibn Qutaybah when he used بظلمهم rather than بماكسبوا. However, a similar verse using the term بظلمهم and عليها rather than بما كسبوا and على ظهرها is as follows: وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِظُلْمِهِمْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَيْهَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ (النحل : ٦١) “Now, if God were to take men [immediately] to task for all the evil that they do [on earth], He would not leave a single living creature upon its face.” (Q. 16:61, Asad).

166. Ibn Qutaybah Ta’wīl, p. 226.

167. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, p. 158; and Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, vol. 4, p. 579.

168. See Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 529.

169. See al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1627.

170. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 228; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 159. Asad translates ālā’ as “powers” since the repeated verse “bears not only on the bounties which God bestows on His creation but, more generally, on all manifestations of His creativeness and might…”, and refers the dual كما (“of you both”) to “the two categories of human beings, men and women, …” rather than man and jinn. For further details, see The Message, pp. 824-5, n. 4.

171. See al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1436.

172. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 227.

173. Ibid., p. 228; idem, al-Shi‘r wa al-Shu‘arā’, vol. 1, p. 357; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 231 and vol. 2, pp. 7-8; and al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 22, p. 98.

174. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 228; and Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 289; see also al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1588.

175. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, pp. 245-6; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 19, p. 252. Other examples are the people of Hijāz say وزنتك حقّك and كلتك طعامك, whereas others say وزنت لك حقّك and كلت لك طعامك; see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 451.

176. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 230; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 27; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 414; and Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, vol. 3, p. 42.

177. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 229; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 229; and Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 4, p. 265.

178. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 219.

179. For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 14, pp. 324-5. For other interpretations, see al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1170; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 401.

180. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 222; al-Farrā’, and Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 377. Instead of مشترِكة, al-Zamakhsharī interprets the ellipsis of the clause as “is not only for them, because the idolaters are their partners in it (the world)”, see al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 445.

181. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 7, pp. 199-200. See also al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 2, p. 413.

182. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 221; idem, al-Shi‘r wa ’l-Shu‘arā’, vol. 1, p. 26; Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, al-‘Iqd al-Farīd, vol. 1, p. 101; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān. vol. 1, p. 74. According to Abū al-Faraj al-As.bahānī and al-Mufad.d.al, instead of khāmirī it is abshirī in the poem; see al-As.bahānī, al-Aghānī, vol. 21, p. 136; and C.J. Lyall, ed., The Mufad.d.alīyāt: An Anthology of Ancient Arabian Odes; compiled by al-Mufad.d.al son of Muh.ammad [al-D.abbī] according to recension and with the commentary of Abū Muh.ammad al-Qāsim Muh.ammad al-Anbārī, 1st ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921), p. 197. According to al-Jāh.iz. the poem belongs to Ta’abbat.a Sharran, whereas according to al-Murtadá, it might belong to Ta’abbat.a Sharran or al-Shanfará; see al-Jāh.iz., al-H.ayawān, vol. 6, p. 450 and al-Murtad.á, Amālī, vol. 2, p. 72.

183. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 230; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 5, p. 242; and Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, vol. 1, p. 519.

184. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 231.

185. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 6, p. 141.

186. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 238; and al-Murtad.á, Amālī, vol. 1, pp. 83-4 in which al-Murtad.á is quoting Ibn Qutaybah. The asbāb al-nuzūl of these verses as reported by Ibn Ish.āq from Ibn ‘Abbās is that al-Walīd ibn al-Mughīrah, al-‘Ās. ibn Wā’il, al-Aswad ibn ‘Abd al-Mut.t.alib and Umayyah ibn Khalaf met the Prophet and said to him: “O Muhammmad, let us worship what you worship, and you worship what we worship, so that we share all together in all of our matters. If what you are bringing is better than what we have, then we will have our share from it by joining you. But if what we have is better than what you have, then you will have your share by joining us.” Then Allah revealed: “Say: O disbelievers!…”. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, p. 224.

187. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 552; and al-Murtad.á, Amālī, vol. 1, p. 84.

188. For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, pp. 225-9; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 552; al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1638; al-Murtad.á , Amālī, vol. 1, p. 85; and Mah.mūd ibn H.amzah ibn Nas.r al-Kirmānī, Asrār al-Takrār fī ’l-Qur’ān, ed. ‘Abd al-Qādir ‘At.ā (Cairo: Dār al-I‘tis.ām, 1398/1978), pp. 226-7. 

189. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 239. If the repetition of the above verse serves as reminder to people about Allah’s favours, why does it also occur after mentioning something other than favours, even punishment or threat? To this, al-Murtad.á gives us his answer as follows: Although the punishment is itself not a favour, but mentioning, describing or giving a warning of it is a great favour. This is because punishment as well as reward is intended only for those who deserve it. See al-Murtad.á, Amālī, vol. 1, p. 88 and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 206. Asad, however, renders the translation of ālā’ here as “powers” adopting the interpretation of some of the earliest commentators, such as Ibn Zayd; see p. 208, n. 170 above and Asad, The Message, pp. 824-5, n. 4.

190. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 240. Al-Qurt.ubī is quoting the interpretation of Ibn Qutaybah, whom he called al-Qutabī, on the above verse, see al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, pp. 159-60. For other examples of repetition, see Q. 102:3-4; 94:5-6; 75:34-5; 82:17-8; 54:15, 17, 22, 32, 40 and 51. Partial repetition of words is also treated by Ibn Qutaybah, namely, when a letter is substituted by another in the repeated word, because the speaker does not like to repeat the same word, such as حَسَن and بَسَن, عَطْشان and لَطْشان, and شَيطان and لَيْطان. However, he does not mention any example from the Qur’ān for this partial repetition, and hence, we do not deal with it in this study. 

191. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 240; Abū Mans.ūr ‘Abd al-Mālik al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah wa Asrār al-‘Arabīyah (Egypt: al-Mat.ba‘ah al-Adabīyah, 1318 A.H.), p. 216; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 211; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 3, pp. 818-9. It is said that the date-palm and the pomegranate were singled out in this verse because at that time they were people’s main food and were grown abundantly from Madinah to Makkah and Yaman. Another view is that both are not only fruit; the date-palms are food and fruit, whereas the pomegranates are fruit and medicine; this is the view of Abū H.anīfah. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 186. According to al-Farrā’, the date-palm and the pomegranate were singled out in this verse to attract the inhabitants of Paradise (ترغيبا لأهل الجنة), see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 119. For further details, see al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1438.

192. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 240-1 and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 57. It was reported by Muh.ammad ibn Ka‘b al-Qurazī that three people were talking together between the Ka‘bah and its curtains. Two of them were Qurayshīs, and the other was a Thaqafī, or two Thaqafīs and one Qurayshī. One of them asked: “Do you think that Allah hears our conversation?” The other answered: “If you speak loudly He will hear it, but if you speak secretly He will not.” But another one said: “If He hears you when you speak loudly He will also hear you when you speak secretly.” Then the above verse was revealed. See al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 25, p. 60; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 16, p. 119. Al-Zamakhsharī simply makes the distinction between the two terms by saying that سِرّ is something a person says to himself or to others in privacy (في مكان خال, lit. “in a vacant place”), and نجوى is something people talk among themselves; see al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1335.

193. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 241; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 57.

194. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 243; see also al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, pp. 135-6.

195. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 291.

196. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 242. See also Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 6, p. 158; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 8, p. 251, vol. 14, p. 147, vol. 15, p. 75, and vol. 18, p. 275.

197. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 244; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 1, p. 132.

198. For further details, see al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 374.

199. Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 211.

200. See Ibn al-Anbārī, al-Ad.dād, p. 216.

201. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 7, p. 170.

202. Al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 8, p. 97.

203. See al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 439.

204. See al-Sakkākī, Miftāh. al-‘Ulūm, p. 367.

205. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 245-6; and Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, pp. 26 and 211.

206. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 246-7.

207. Al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 394.

208. Al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1554. لأقسم was also the reading of al-H.asan, al-A‘mash and Ibn Kathīr; see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, p. 59.

209. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 207; Ibn al-Anbārī, al-Ad.dād, pp. 215-6; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 19, pp. 91-2. See also al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 1, p. 133; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, pp. 393-5; and al-Zamakshsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1554.

210. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 247; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 143.

211. Idem.

212. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 247-8 and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 149. For the location of the poem, see W. Ahlwardt (ed.), Kitāb al-‘Iqd al-Thamīn fī Dawāwīn al-Shu‘arā’ al-Jāhilīyīn (al-Nābighah, ‘Antarah, T.arafah, Zuhayr, ‘Alqamah, Imru’ al-Qays) (Greifswald, 1870. Reprint of the edition 1870; Osnabrück, Biblio Verlag, 1972), p. 57.

213. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 248; idem, Adab al-Kātib, p. 547; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 304; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 513; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 672.

214. For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, p. 119.

215. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wil, p. 248; idem, Adab al-Kātib, pp. 547-8; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 215; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 19, p. 126; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 407. For further examples from the Qur’ān mentioned by Ibn Qutaybah, see Ta’wīl, pp. 248 and 250, (Q. 23:20, 19:25, 68:6, 60:1, and 22:25). It is also possible that instead of omitting bi in the interpretation of the above verse, it is put in place of min, so that the verse means عينـا يشرب منها as translated by Dawood above. For further details, see below p. 298.

216. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 250. Although al-Qurt.ubī gives the same interpretation, he says that the position of the particle min in this verse is صلة ; see al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 56.

217. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 250; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 674.

218. For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 7, p. 293. The last view is mentioned by al-Zamakhsharī, see al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 480.

219. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 250; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 24; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān., pt. 2, p. 673.

220. For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 16, p. 8. 

221. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 250-1; idem, Adab al-Kātib, p. 549; the translation of the verse is based on Ibn al-Sayyid’s commentary. Sarh.ah is the name of a kind of thorny tree, but is used here as a metaphor for a woman. Poets had promised ‘Umar ibn al-Khat.t.āb not to celebrate a woman in their poetry, and the poet here uses the name of a tree as a metaphor for his beloved. Here, the preposition على is additional, as the verb تروق is a transitive verb which does not require a preposition. It is said راقني الشيء (the thing pleases me), not راق عليّ الشيء . See Ibn al-Sayyid, al-Iqtid.āb, p. 458, quoted by al-Sayyid Ah.mad S.aqr in Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 250, n. 6. Lane gives us some details of the Sarh.ah tree. He says that it is “a certain kind of trees, of great size, or seldom eaten by the camels, &c. [sic], but used for their shade: they grow in Nejd, in plain, or soft and in rugged ground, but not in sand nor upon a mountain; and have a yellow fruit; or any tree without thorns”. See Lane, Lexicon, pt. 4, p. 1344 (s.v. سرح).

221. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 251. According to al-Zamakhsharī, the pronoun hi in amrihi belongs to Allah, as translated by Pickthall above, or to the Prophet, see al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 964.

222. Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 69.

223. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Ijmā‘, vol. 12, p. 323.

224. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 251.

225. See al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 799. Al-T.abarsī gives slightly different interpretations, also indicating that inna is not additional in this verse; see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, pp. 466-7.

227. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 251.

228. See al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1482; see also al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 288; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 5, p. 24.

229. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 251; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 12, p. 23; and Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 12, p. 164. According to Muh.ammad Ibrāhīm Jum‘ah, instead of إنّ الخليفة, it reads يكفي الخليفة ; see Jum‘ah, Jarīr (Cairo: Dār al-Ma‘ārif, 1965), p. 68.

230. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 12, p. 23.

231. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 251-2; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1360.

232. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 56.

233. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 61.

234. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 16, p. 208; see also below, p. 290. It seems to me that Ibn Qutaybah was not sure whether in in the above verse is additional or not. In his work Ta’wīl, he mentioned the above verse as an example of the occurrence of the additional إن, then said وقال بعضهم (“and some of them said”) mentioning the first interpretation (that إن is additional in the above verse); then, he said again وقال بعضهم, mentioning the second interpretation (that إن is original); see Ta’wīl, pp. 251-2. However, in his work Tafsīr, Ibn Qutaybah commented on the verse with إن as an original meaning لم (“not”), then said ويقال (“and it is also said”) mentioning the view that إن in this verse is additional; see Tafsīr, p. 408. 

235. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 16, p. 208.

236. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 251; idem, al-Shi‘r wa ’l-Shu‘arā’, vol. 1, p. 197; al-As.bahānī, al-Aghānī, vol. 9, p. 11 and vol. 13, p. 136; and al-Jāh.iz., al-Bayān wa ’l-Tabyīn, 3 vols. in one binding (Cairo: al-Mat.ba‘ah al-Tijārīyah, 1926-7), vol. 1, p. 86

237. This is one of two interpretations given by al-Zamakhsharī; the other interpretation is with the ellipsis of أذكر (remember) preceeding إذ; see al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 67. 

238. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 252 and idem, Tafsīr, p. 45.

239. Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 36.

240. This is al-Qurt.ubī’s version of al-Zajjāj’s interpretation, see al-Jāmi‘, vol. 1, p. 262. Al-T.abarsī’s version is “The beginning of your creation was when He said…”; see Jāmi‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 73.

241. See al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 1, pp. 153-4; and Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, vol. 1, p. 72.

242. For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 1, pp. 261-2; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 1, p. 12.

243. See Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 73.

244. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 252.

245 Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 14, pp. 62-3.

246. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 252. 

247. Ibid.; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 58; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 12, p. 124. According to al-Farrā’, mā in this verse is صلة, see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 133.

248. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 252. It is also said that ما in this verse is صلة . For further details, see Al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 446. 

249. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 253.

250. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 15, p. 285. According to a h.adīth reported by Bukhārī and Muslim on the authority of Ibn Sa‘d al-Sa‘īdī, Paradise has eight gates and will be opened before its companions come to them. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 511.

251. See al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 68.

252. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 253.

253. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 330. The expression “our way” in this verse, according to al-T.abarsī, means “our religion”, see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 275.

254. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 254; Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 11, p. 568 (s.v. قمل); and al-T.abarī, Jami‘, vol. 4, p. 85.

255. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 15, p. 104.

256. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 254, and al-Murtad.á, Amālī, vol. 3, p. 49.

257. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 322.

28. See Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 112. However, Abū ‘Ubaydah was said to have been asked by al-Thawrī the meaning of وجهَه in the above verse, and said that it meantجاهَه (His glory, dignity, honour). It is like the expression لفلان وجه في الناس , meaning “Such-and-such has an honour among people”. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 322. In this case, I lean to what he himself wrote in his work Majāz al-Qur’ān rather than what is reported to be his statement to al-Thawrī.

259. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 314. This is also the interpretation given by al-Dāmaghānī, Tiflīsī and Ibn al-Jawzī; see Qāmūs, p. 483; Wujūh, p. 304; and Nuzhah, p. 618 and idem, Qurrah, p. 235. Although Ibn al-Jawzī mentions الذات as the meaning of وجه, after giving examples from the Qur’ānic verses, including the above verse, he mentions أي الله . What he means is that وجه الله means “Allah” Himself; see Nuzhah, p. 618.

260. See al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1069. 

261. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 254. This is also the view of al-Dāmaghānī, Tiflīsī and Ibn al-Jawzī; see Qāmūs, p. 483; Wujūh, p. 304; Nuzhah, p. 618 and Qurrah, p. 235 . 

262. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 255; and Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 16. 

263. Al-T.abarī, Tafsīr, vol. 1, p. 40.

264. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 1, p. 99.

265. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 255.

266. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 193.

267. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 255; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 1, pp. 98-9. Al-As.bahānī states that the above line of verse was recited by either Labīd, Ish.āq, or Ibrāhīm to his two daughters while he was dying; the two daughters wore their mourning dress and attended the court of Banī Ja‘far ibn Kilāb for one year of mourning for their father’s death; see al-As.bahānī, al-Aghānī, vol. 14, pp. 101-2.

268. See al-Sakkākī, Miftah. Al-‘Ulūm, p. 402.

269. Ibid., p. 403. Sometimes what is thought to be h.aqīqah is in fact kināyah. A friend said jokingly that in order to see a dentist a man had to go abroad, because in his homeland he was not able to open his mouth; he had to keep his mouth shut.

270. The kunyah had become more commonly used since the second/eighth century. With some exceptions, such as Anas ibn Mālik, it became impolite to address someone directly with his name in this time, unless he was socially inferior to the speaker. The honoric title (laqab), such as Fakhr al-Dīn (“Glory of the Faith”) and ‘Alā’ al-Dīn (“Loftiness of the Faith”) was intrduced, and the nisbah (lit., “kinship”, “affilication” or “affinity”) developed. Besides the old tribal and genealogical nisbahs, such as al-Qurashī (from the Quraysh tribe), there appeared other types of nisbahs, such as the bearer’s place of birth or residence (e.g., al-Rāzī, “from the town of Rayy”), of his religious rite (e.g., al-Mālikī, “the adherent of the Mālikī rite”) and of his profession (e.g., al-Bāqillānī “the green-grocer”). The patronymic – namely, the name derived from that of a parent, consisting of Ibn (“son of”) or Bint (“daughter of”) followed by the name of one of the parents, usually the father, or ancestors – based on profession also developed, such as the name Ibn al-Khāt.ib (“son or descendant of the preacher”). An example of a complete name is ‘Imād al-Dīn (laqab) Abū al-Fidā’ (kunyah), Ismā‘īl (name) Ibn al-Athīr (patronymic) is simply called Ibn al-Athīr. Since more than one well-known person bears this name, his laqab or kunyah is added to it and becomes ‘Imād al-Dīn Ibn al-Athīr and Abū al-Fidā’ Ibn al-Athīr. See A.F.L. Beeston, “Arabic Nomenclature,” Arabic Literature, pp. 19-20. Al-Sakkākī includes the patronymic in the category of kunyah; see Miftah. al-‘Ulūm, p. 402.

271. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 256.

272. Ibid.; al-‘Uzzá is the name of an idol in pre-Islamic Arabia, see idem, al-Ma‘ārif, ed. Tharwat ‘Ukāshah (Egypt: Dār al-Ma‘ārif, [1969]), p. 75.

273. Idem, Ta’wīl, pp. 257-8; and idem, al-Ma‘ārif, p. 330.

274. See idem, al-Ma‘ārif, pp. 331, 70, 146. Abū Hurayrah’s personal name could also be ‘Abd al-Rah.mān, ‘Abd ‘Amr, ‘Umayr ibn ‘Āmir and others, see ibid, p. 158. Ibn Qutaybah states further that the kunyah which consists of Abū and the name of the first son is sometimes considered a unit by the Arabs. They write, for example, ‘Alī ibn Abū T.ālib and Mu‘āwiyah ibn Abū Sufyān, rather than respectively ibn Abī T.ālib and ibn Abī Sufyān in genitive case, see idem, Ta’wīl, p. 257. See also al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1641.

275. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 260. We are told that it was the Arabs’ tradition to name their children with the names of animals and things, such as the leopard, the wolf, the lion, and the stone. When a child was born he was named with something their parents saw or heard and with which they were optimistic, such as the stone which is the symbol of solidness, patience and eternity; see al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, p. 248. At present we have Fahd (a cheetah, a panther, a lynx) who is the king of Saudi Arabia, and Asad (a lion) who is the president of Syria. In the West we have, for example, names such as: Leo (a lion), Deborah (a bee), Arthur (a bear) and Ursula (a she-bear).

276. Al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1641.

277. See Asad, The Message, p. 983, n. 1; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, pp. 236-237.

278. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 260-261.

279. Ibid., p. 261.

280. Ibid., pp. 261-2. ‘Uqbah was killed by ‘Alī at the battle of Badr, and Ubayy ibn Khalaf was killed by the Prophet at the battle of Uh.ud, see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 166; al-Qurt.ubī and al-Suyūt.ī were not sure of the name of the person meant here, either Ummayyah ibn Khalaf or his brother Ubayy; see al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 25 and al-Itqān, vol. 4, p. 88.

281. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 262-3. See also al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 974.

282. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 26.

283. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 263.

284. See Lane, Lexicon, pt. 5, p. 2004 (s.v. عرض). 

285. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 263-4; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 160. Ibn ‘Abbās provides the example of ta‘rīd. in the above case as follows: “I want to marry a woman who has such-and-such characteristics” by mentioning those that are obviously hers; see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 338.

286. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 267; and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 155. Ubayy ibn Ka‘b was said to have held the same view with that of Ibn ‘Abbās; see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 484. The expression “instilling allusions is an alternative to lying” is also the saying of the Prophet. ‘Umar said that by using allusion the Muslims can avoid lying. In fact, the use of allusion as an alternative to lying is a proverb among the Arabs. See Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 7, p. 183

287. Al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 11, p. 20; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 809.

288. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 268; idem, Mukhtalif al-H.adīth, p. 35; and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, pp. 206-7. 

This statement of Prophet Abraham is, in fact, a confession on his part that it was he and not the chief idol who had destroyed the idols; see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 11, p. 300. This is one of the three lies he is alleged to have told. The other two are his statement after looking at the stars that he was sick (Q. 37:88-9) and his telling the Pharaoh that his wife Sarah was his sister because he feared for himself and his wife.

A h.adīth mentioning these three lies was reported by al-Bukhārī, Muslim, al-Dārimī, al-Tirmidhī, Abū Dā’ūd and Ah.mad; see A.J. Wensinck and J.P. Mensing, cont. J. Bergman, Al-Mu‘jam al-Mufahras li-Alfāz. al-H.adīth al-Nabawī (H.adīth Concordance), 8 vols. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1936-88), vol. 7, p. 550 (s.v.كذب ). It was also reported by al-Bayhaqī; see Abū Bakr Ah.mad al-Bayhaqī, Kitāb al-Sunan al-Kubrá, appended with al-Maridīnī (“Ibn al-Turkmānī”)’s work al-Jawhar al-Naqī, and an index of h.adīths, ed. Dr. Yūsuf al-Mur‘ishlī, 10 vols. (Beirut: Dār al-Ma‘rifah, n.d.), vol. 7, p. 366. 

According to Ibn Qutaybah, these statements of Prophet Abraham are merely allusions. His statement إني سقيم (“verily, I am sick”) means إني سأسقم (“verily, I shall be sick”). It is similar to the verse إنك ميت (lit. “verily you are dead”) which means إنك ستموت (“verily, you will die”), see Q. 39:30. 

His statement that his wife Sarah was his sister was not a lie, because human beings as children of Adam are brothers and sisters. Moreover, Allah said that the believers are brothers and sisters (Q. 49:10). Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 267-8; and idem, Mukhtalif al-H.adīth, p. 35. 

289. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 54. Al-Zamakhsharī mentions four interpretations on the above verse, as follows: 

(1) It is like the answer of a calligrapher to an illiterate or semi-illiterate person who asks him “Did you write this?” with “You did it.” (2) They should not deny the act of the big idol, since whoever is worshipped and called a god has the right to be able to do such an act and more.                                                                                                                   (3) It is reported that Prophet Abraham said: “The largest of them has done it, because he was angry at being worshipped together with the small ones.”                                                                                                              (4) The variant reading of Muh.ammad ibn al-Sumayfi’ فعلّه كبيرهم , meaning فلعلّ الفاعل كبيرهم (“perhaps the executor was the big one among them”). See al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 887.

290. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 269; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 389. According to al-Farrā’ and Abū ‘Ubaydah the word aw (or) means wa (and), so that the verse means إنا علي هدى و إياكم في ضلال مبـين “We [who believe in Him] are on the right path, and you [who deny His oneness] have clearly gone astray.” For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 14, pp. 298-9; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 22, p. 65; and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 362.

291. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 269-70. The use of generic “you” is common in English. While talking about Lake Tempe near my home town (Sengkang, South Sulawesi), Mrs. Messie Stock who taught me English at Cokroaminoto University (Solo, Indonesia), asked me: “Can you swim in that lake?” When I answered: “No, I can’t,” she said: “I mean, can people swim there?” Then I realised that “you” here meant “people in general”.

292. Ibid., pp. 272-3.

293. Ibid., p. 273. This is the view of Qatādah. However, according to Muqātil the man referred to in the above verse is al-Aswad ibn ‘Abd al-Asad. Another view says that it was Ubayy ibn Khalaf. Yet, another view says that it refers to all disbelievers; see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 19, p. 271.

294. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 273.

295. Ibid., p. 274. This is also the view of al-T.abarī, see Jāmi‘, vol. 11, pp. 115-116.

296. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 479. For further details, see al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 11, pp. 115-116.

297. Al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 133.

298. The conjecturers meant in this verse according to al-Farrā’ and Ibn Zayd are those who made conjectures in belying the Prophet that he was a magician, a poet, a soothsayer, and a tale-teller; see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 83; and al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 26, p. 119.

299. According to Mujāhid the expression قتِل الإنسان in the Qur’ān is meant to be the disbelievers among the people. The verse was revealed, as reported by al-D.ah.h.āk from Ibn ‘Abbās, in the case of ‘Utbah ibn Abī Lahab who became apostate after converting to Islam. The Prophet’s imprecation against him took place when he was attacked by a lion on his business journey to Syria. His father mourned him, saying “Whatever Muh.ammad has ever said happens.” See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 19, pp. 217-8. A third view is attributed to al-D.ah.h.āk, that the person referred to in the verse was Umayyah ibn Khalaf, see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 438. The verse ما أكفرَه has two interpretations: (a) it is ta‘ajjub (wonder) of man’s unbelief (ungratefulness), as translated by Pickthall and Arberry respectively as “how ungrateful!” and “how unthankful he is!”; Ibn Jurayj says that it means “how strong is his disbelief”; this is also al-Zamakhshari’s interpretation; (b) it is istifhām tawbīkh (now called istifhām tawbīkhī, a rhetorical question indicating reproach) as reported by Abū S.ālih from Ibn ‘Abbās, as translated by A. Yusuf Ali above. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 19, pp. 217-8; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 30, p. 35; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 237; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 438; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1579.

300. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 275. According to Ibn ‘Abbās the expression قاتلهم الله meaning “God’s curse be on them” is the language of H.imyar, see Gharīb al-Qur’ān, p. 71.

301. According to Ibn ‘Abbās the word qutila as in the above verses is meant lu‘ina (curse be!). This is also the view of the majority of grammarians and commentators, such as al-Farrā’, al-Zamakhsharī and Ibn al-Anbārī who say that those who are cursed by Allah are similar to dead and perished people. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 33; al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1409; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 23 and vol. 5, p. 153. 

302. Ibn Fāris, al- S.āh.ibī, p. 169. Abū Lahab did actually perish a week after the battle of Badr. The term تَبّ indicates the occurrence of the imprecation; see al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1640. This is supported by Ibn Mas‘ūd’s variant reading و قد تَبّ with the emphasis قد ; see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 558. 

303. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 276. Even today the Arabs in Palestine and Lebanon still use the expression قبّحه الله (“may Allah make him disgraceful”) or قبّح الله وجهَه (“may Allah make his face ugly”) in praising a smart person or blaming a tricky one.

304. See Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 95.

305. See Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 448.

306. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 277; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 288.

307. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 279; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 8. Al-Zarkashī places this type of question in the above verse into the category of إناس (intimacy), whereas Ibn Fāris places it as إفهام(giving understanding), namely, that there was something important about Moses’s staff which he did not know. See al-Zarkashī. al-Burhān, vol. 2, p. 343.

308. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 279; al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1569; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 421.

309. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 279-80.

310. Al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 2, pp. 328-38.

311. Ibid., pp. 338-44.

312. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 280-1. See also Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 197; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, pp. 15 and 288.

313. According to al-Farrā’ the verse was revealed about Ibn al-Ziba‘rá and poets like him who ridiculed the Prophet with their satiric poems; see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 285.

314. Al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 247; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, pp. 250-1. There are many interpretations on the above verse, among which are as follows: 

(a) The opinion of Mujāhid, Muqātil, ‘Ikrimah and al-Kalbī that the person who informed the s.ah.ābah was Nu‘aym ibn Mas‘ūd al-Ashja‘ī as mentioned by Ibn Qutaybah above; (b) The opinion of al-Suddī that when the Prophet and his companions were preparing to go out and fight Abū Sufyān and his allies, the hypocrites came to them to stop them; (c) Abū Ma‘shar said that they were a group of people from the Hudhayl tribe among the people of Tihāmah who came to Madinah and informed the Prophet’s companions about Abū Sufyān and his followers. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 4, pp. 279-80.

315. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 281-2. Al-Farrā’’s commentary on this verse is that Allah did not create the people among the two groups, the jinn and the human beings, except to believe in the oneness of God; see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 89. Al-Zamakhsharī’s commentary is that Allah wants the people to worship Him based on their free will and not by force, because they are created with the ability to choose, and some of them choose not to worship Him; see al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1414. 

316. For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 55.

317. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 161.

318. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 283.

319. See al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 2, p. 221.

320. See al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1387.

321. See Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 219; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 131. For further details, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 16, pp. 309-10 and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 70.

322. Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 219. According to Ibn Abī Dā’ūd al-Sijistānī this was the reading of Mujāhid, whereas Ubayy read بنو تميم أكثرهم , see Ibn Abī Dā’ūd al-Sijistānī Kitāb al-Mas.āh.if, pp. 304 and 106.

323. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 283; idem, Gharīb al-H.adīth, vol. 1, p.

232; al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, p. 219; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān., pt. 3, p. 787. Al-T.abarsī mentions four views regarding the use of the plural قلوب instead of the dual in قلوبكما in this verse, as follows: 

(1) The dual is plural in meaning, namely, more than one, so that the plural form is used here for the dual; it is the same as the verse , وَكُنَّا لِحُكْمِهِمْ شَاهِدِينَ (الأنبياء : ٧٨) (“… and We bore witnesses to their judgement” Q. 21:78, Asad) in which هِم (their) is referring to two, namely, David and Solomon; (2) Most members of the human body consist of pairs, such as hands, legs and eyes; if the these pairs are mentioned in two persons (dual), such as their (dual) hands and their (dual) eyes, it is said respectively أيدِيهِما and أعُينهما in which hands and eyes are used in the plural instead of the dual. Although قلب (the heart) is not a pair in human body, it is annexed to and grammatically treated like the pair, so that it is said قلوبكما ; (3) Since كما is already in the dual, it is not necessary to put another dual before it; therefore قلب is said in plural, because, the plural is simpler. Moreover, unlike the dual, the plural and the singular forms have a similar i‘rāb. However, the Arabs also say qalbāhumā, and even mix the dual and the plural, as in the following poem: ظهراهـما مثل ظهـور الترسـين (“Their two backs are like the backs of two shields”). Here ظهـور is used in plural, although it is for the dual. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, pp. 312-3. 

324. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 283; idem, Gharīb al-H.adīth, vol. 1, p. 232; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 118; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 5, pp. 72-3; al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 274; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 2, p. 15. For more examples, see al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 3, pp. 787-90.

325. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 282. Ibn Fāris, al-S.āh.ibī, p. 212. The term طائفة according to Ibn ‘Abbās is for one to one thousand people according to one report, whereas according to another, from four to forty. However, there are different views concerning the minimum number of people for the term طائفة in the verse in question, as follows

(1) One person, according to Mujāhid and al-H.asan. It is because, according to Mujāhid, the term طائفة in فَلَوْلَا نَفَرَ مِنْ كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِنْهُمْ طَائِفَةٌ (التوبة : ١٢٢) “From within every group in their midst, some shall refrain from going forth to war, … ” (Q. 9:122, Asad) means one person. (Hereطائفة is translated by Asad, Pickthall and Ali as “some”, “a party” and “a contingent” respectively). Moreover, the term طائفتان (two groups) in وَإِنْ طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا (الحجرات : ٩)”Hence, if two groups of believers fall to fighting, …” (Q. 49:9) means two fighting people, as the verse was revealed about them. (2) Two persons, according to ‘Ikrimah and ‘At.ā’. This is also the established view of Mālik who says that it is the same as that of bearing witness, where the minimum of two witnesses are required. (3) Three persons, according to al-Zuhrī, probably because it is the minimum number in Arabic plural. (4) Four persons, according to Ibn Zayd who says that the case is like that of adultery where four witnesses are required. This is also the view of Mālik in another report, al-Layth, al-Shāfi‘ī and Ibn Zayd. See al-Q urt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 12, p. 166; al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 936; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 124.

326. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 284; idem, Tafsīr, p. 316; al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, p. 220; al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 765; and Ibn Fāris, al-S.āh.ibī, p. 211. For more examples, see Q. 63:4 and 4:69; and al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 2, p. 233.

327. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 285. See also Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 14, p. 21; Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz, vol. 1, p. 79 and 131, vol. 2, pp. 44 and 195; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘, vol. 1, p. 365. However, it is also possible that the expression إنّا أخوكم here means “Verily, we are your brothers” (in plural) based on Sībawayh’s view that the term أخ (brother), like أب (father), can also be formed in plural with أخون (أخين) and أبون (أبين) beside their respective broken plural إخوان and آباء. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 2, p. 138.

328. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 285. However, according to Abū ‘Ubaydah, the term junub is invariably used disregarding gender and number; therefore, هو (هي, هما, هم or هنّ) junub is used; see Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 155. See also al-Munjid fī ’l-Lughah wa ’l-A‘lām (Beirut: Dār al-Mashriq, 1969), p. 103 (s.v. جنب). However, some Arabs also sayهما جنبان (for the dual), هم أجناب and هم جنبون (for the masculine plural), and هنّ جنبات (for the feminine plural); see Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 1, p. 279. 

329. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 285; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 19, p. 34, al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 83; and Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, pp. 45 and 261. For the meaning of amīr, see al-Munjid, p. 17 (s.v. امر).

330. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 286; Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 11, p. 315; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 14, p. 14, vol. 19, p. 47; and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 427.

331. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 287; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, pp. 154 and 180; and Ibn Fāris, al-S.āh.ibī, pp. 217 and 224. It is possible that both forgot the fish; Yusha‘ forgot to carry it, or to tell Moses that it had escaped, whereas Moses forgot to tell Yusha‘ to carry it. It is also possible that the term نَسِيَا here means “both postponed”; in the du‘ā’ it is said أنسى الله في أجلك , meaning “may Allah postpone your instant of death”; because both of them left the fish, both postponed it; see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 11, pp. 12-3; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 480.

332. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 287. There are different views concerning messengers to the jinn, among which are as follows: (1) al-D.ah.h.āk: Allah sent messengers to the jinn just as He sent them to mankind; (2) al-Kalbi: The messengers are sent to mankind only, except Prophet Muhammad who was sent to mankind and the jinn; (3) Ibn ‘Abbās: Messengers among the jinn are those who convey the revelation they heard to their people; (4) Mujāhid: Messengers are from mankind, and warners are among the jinn; this is the explanation of Ibn ‘Abbās’s view. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 7, p. 86; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 2, p. 367; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 426. Al-D.ah.h.āk’s view is isolated; other views complement each other and confirm Ibn Qutaybah’s view. For another example, see Q. 55:20 where pearl and coral stones are said to come from both salt and fresh waters, when it is meant from salt water only. (However, it is said recently that pearls are being successfully cultivated in fresh water).

333. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 288; and al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, p. 219. According to al-Qayrawānī and al-T.abarsī the verse means (تقديره): والله أحق أن يرضوه ورسوله أحق أن يرضوه; al-T.abarsī explains further that the first يرضوه is dropped for easing (تخفيف), brevity (إيجاز), predominance (تغليب), and because it is indicated by the sentence itself. See al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 610; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 45 and vol. 1, pp. 89 and 100.

334. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 288; Ibn Fāris, al-S.āh.ibī, p. 218; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 157; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān., pt. 2, p. 611. According to Abū ‘Ubaydah the verse means: أو لهوا و إذا رأوا تجارة انفضوا إليها (“Yet, [it does happen that] when people become aware of [an occasion for] wordly gain, they rush headlong towards it, or a passing delight…”), see Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 258. Al-T.abarsī mentions two views regarding this verse: (1) The pronoun ها is used here exclusively for easing, brevity, and predominance, as the verse means: و إذا رأوا تجارة انفضوا إليها أو لهوا انفضوا إليه (“Yet, [it does happen that] when people become aware of [an occasion for] worldly gain, they rush headlong towards it, or a passing delight, they rush headlong towards it”), similiar to Abū ‘Ubaydah’s view above; (2) The pronoun ها is used exclusively for the تجارة (worldly gain) because the تجارة is more important for them than the لهو (the passing delight), in this case, the beating of the drum, which only indicates the presence of the تجارة; this is the view of al-Farrā’ mentioned above. See Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 289; vol. 1, pp. 89 and 100.

335. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 289; see also al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 2, p. 611; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, pp. 89 and 100; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, pp. 434 and 445; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 8, p. 127. Again, the verse means نحن … راضون و أنت … راض (“we … are content, and you … are content”), see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 45.

336. See al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 2, p. 239; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 147; apparently, this is also the view of al-Khalīl and al-Akhfash when they say that alqiyā is the dual intended for the singular, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 16.

337. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 291. This is the view of al-Farrā’ according to al-Zarkashī, see al-Burhān, vol. 2, p. 239. 

338. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, pp. 14 and 16.

339. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 147.

340. See al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1403; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 16; and al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 2, p. 240.

341. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 291; and al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 78. This is also the view of al-Khalīl and al-Akhfash, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 16; see also Ibn Fāris, al-S.āh.ibī, pp. 218-9.

342. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 291; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol, 3, p. 78; Ibn Fāris, al-S.āh.ibī, pp. 218-9; and Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, vol. 4, p. 241. According to al-T.abarī, the verse was cited by Abū Tharwān; see Jāmi‘, vol. 26, p. 103.

343. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 292; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 3, p. 78; and al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 26, p. 103. There is a tradition where the Prophet said: الراكب شيطان والراكبان شيطانان والثلاثة ركب “A person travelling alone is a satan, two travellers are two satans, while three travellers make a travelling party.” (Reported by Mālik, Abū Dā’ūd, al-Tirmidhī and Ah.mad ibn H.anbal); see Wensinck, al-Mu‘jam, vol. 3, pp. 125 and 130 (s.v. شطن).

344. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 292; al-T.abarī, Jāmi‘, vol. 26, pp. 103-4; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 17, p. 16; and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1403.

345. This is al-Farrā’’s interpretation, see Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, pp. 241-2. Another interpretation, however, is that the expression رَبِّ is إستغاثة (an appeal for help) addressed to Allah, and إرجعون is addressed to the angels. There is, then, an إلتفات here, or the expression is directed to both Allah and the angels; see al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 2, p. 235. This is the view of Ibn Jurayj. The third interpretation is that irji‘ūn means the repetition of the word, namely إرجعن إرجعن , similar to ألقيا meaning ألق ألق mentioned above, which is the view of al-Māzinī and al-Mubarrad. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 12, p. 149. See also al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 117. The term إرجعون is originally إرجعوني. The letter yā’ is dropped for the sake of the rhyme. Such omissions occur several times in the Qur’ān, such as the omission of ي in أطيعون in Q. 3:50, 26:108, 110, 126, 144, 163, and 179, 43:63 and 71:3, and the omission of ي in فاعبدون in Q. 21:25 and 94, and 29:56.

346. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 293. For other examples, see Q. 54:49, 10:83, 11:14, and 44:36.

347. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 290-1.

348. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 289; al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 101; and al-Qayrawānī, I‘rāb al-Qur’ān, pt. 3, p. 923.

349 Asad, The Message, p. 293, n. 34.

350. Al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 3, p. 318. Al-Zarkashī mentions also the mubālaghah (hyperbole) as the objective of the iltifāt in the verse in question, see ibid., p. 329. The remaining examples from the Qur’ān given by Ibn Qutaybah are Q. 30:39 and 49:7, and the remaining ones given by al-Zarkashī are Q. 43:70-1, 21:92-3, and 21:92-93. 

351. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 290.

352. Al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 3, pp. 322-3 and 330. According to al-T.abarsī, there is an ellipsis of قل لهم يا محمد “say to them O Muh.ammad”, then the verse continues with “Indeed, [by this assertion] you have brought forth something monstrous.”, see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 531. For other examples of this category of iltifāt from the Qur’ān, see al-Burhān, vol. 3, pp. 323-5.

353. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 290. Al-Qurt.ubī mentions three interpretations of the pronouns in the words لكم and فاعلموا , as follows: (1) both are for all the people; (2) both are for the idolaters; (3) in لكم it is for the Prophet and the believers, but in فاعلموا it is for the idolaters, see al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 9, p. 13. Al-T.abarsī also mentions three interpretations as follows: (1) both are for the Muslims; (2) both are for the unbelievers; (3) in لكم it is for the Prophet, whereas inفاعلموا here is no commentary; see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 147. Al-Zamakhsharī has the same interpretation as al-T.abarsī regarding the term لكم above, see al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 606. 

354. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 290. The above reading is that of the majority of qurrā’, except Ibn Kathīr, Ibn Muh.ays.in and Ibn ‘Amr who read it with yā’, namely, ليؤمنوا … و يعزّروه و يوقّروه و يسبّحوه. The first reading is chosen by Abū Hātim, the second by Abū ‘Ubayd. According to al-D.ah.h.āk the pronoun “him” in تعزّروه (“you might honour him”) and توقّروه (“you might revere him”) refers to the Prophet, whereas تسبّحوه (“you might glorify Him”) refers to Allah. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 16, p. 266. The argument of those who read the above verse with ي is that at the end of the verse that follows, it readsفسيؤتيه “He will bestow on him” (Q. 48:10), instead of “on you”, see al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 112.

355. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 290. Al-T.abarsī mentions two views on the above verse: (1) It means فمن ربّك و ربّه يا موسى (“Who, now, is this Sustainer of you and the Sustainer of him, O Moses?”), and (2) It means فمن ربّكما يا موسى وهارون (“Who, now, is this Sustainer of both of you, O Moses and Aaron?”). See Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, p. 13.

356. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 290.

357. Ibid., p. 291. However, there is also another interpretation that all human beings are referred to here, since they are all created from dust as they eat food which comes from it; see Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 5, p. 180.

358. Al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 3, p. 314.

359. Ibid., pp. 325-330.

360. Ibid., pp. 315-325.

361. Ibid., pp. 333-337.

362. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 294; al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 292; and Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, vol. 3, p. 375. 

363. See al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1036; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 13, p. 195; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 4, pp. 220-1.

364 Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 294. 

365. See al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1193; al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 15, p. 42; and Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, vol. 3, p. 582. For further examples, see Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 294-5 and Q. 7:109-10 and 12:51-52.

366. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 295. 

367. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 486 and al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 1193. 

368. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 295. 

369. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 6, pp. 374-375; and al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 2, p. 268.

369. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 295; and idem, Tafsīr, p. 241.

370. See al-T.abarsī, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 348; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 10, pp. 65-66.

371. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 296.

372. The verb tatlū in this verse means “to relate” and “to follow” according to ‘At.ā’ and Ibn ‘Abbās respectively. The commentators also have different interpretations of على ملُك سليمان. It means “against the laws and prophethood of Solomon” according to Ibn al-‘Arabī; it means “during Solomon’s reign” according to al-Zajjāj, as translated by Asad above; another view mentiond by al-Qurt.ubī says that it means “stories, characters and accounts of Solomon’s reign”. What the evil ones used to relate, to follow (or to practice, according to Asad) in this verse was sorcery. The above verse means “the evil ones (men or jinn) practiced sorcery during Solomon’s reign”, or “the evil ones related bad things about Solomon’s reign, claiming that Solomon was not a prophet, and his magic power was merely the product of sorcery rather than a miracle from Allah”. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 2, pp. 41-3. The first interpretation was followed by Asad, the second by Pickthall and Ali.

374. See al-Farrā’, Ma‘ānī ’l-Qur’ān, vol. 1, pp. 60-1; al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, p. 221; and al-Zarkashī, al-Burhān, vol. 3, pp. 373-4. Al-T.abarsī adds further comment on this verse. He says thatفعل مضارع (imperfect verb) is also used to indicate habit, such as saying of a criminal “he steals and kills” (which corresponds to the English present simple tense indicating habitual actions); it is also a reproach for the crimes he did in the past and not what he will commit in the future. However, the crime committed by their ancestors in the verse in question is ascribed to them, namely the killing of prophets, for one of the following reasons: their remaining and following the same ways and religion of their ancestors suggested their participation in the crime; or they were content with their ancestors’ actions, and by so doing, they belong to them. See Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 1, p. 161.

375. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 297; and al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, p. 221. 

376. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 9, pp. 39-40.

377. See Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 163.

378. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 297; al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, p. 221; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 20, p. 4.

379. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 296-7; Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, al-‘Iqd al-Farīd, vol. 5, p. 231; and Abū al-Faraj al-As.bahānī, al-Aghānī, vol. 15, p. 77. According to al-Mufad.d.al, the poem belongs to al-H.ārith ibn Wa‘lat al-Jarmī; see Lyall, ed., The Mufad.d.alīyāt, pp. 330-1.

380. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 297; and al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 2, p. 86.

381. The expression عذاب أليم is found in over fifty places in the Qur’ān, such as: Q. 3:77, 91, and 177; 5:36, 37, and 94; 6:70; and 7:73.

382. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 297; idem, al-Shi‘r wa ’l-Shu‘arā’, vol. 1, p. 332; Ibn Manz.ūr, Lisān, vol. 8, p. 164 (s.v.سمع ); Abū ‘Ubaydah, Majāz al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, p. 282; al-T.abarī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 1, p. 95; Abū al-Faraj al-As.bahānī, al-Aghānī, vol. 14, p. 33; and Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, vol. 1, pp. 126-7.

383. Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, pp. 297-8 and idem, Adab al-Kātib, pp. 586-7. Ibn Qutaybah does not cite any example from the Qur’ān due to the vast number of times it appears, such as: h.afīz. in Q. 6:104, 11:57, 86, 34:21 and 50:32; qadīr in Q.2:20, 106, 109, 148, 259, and 284; samī‘ and ‘alīm in Q. 2:181, 224, 227, 244, and 256; bas.īr in Q. 2:96, 110 233, 227, and 265; and majīd in Q. 11:73 and 85:21. With regard to bādi’u ’l-khalq we do not find it in the Qur’ān; what we find is bada’a ’l-khalq (Q. 29:20), yabda’u ’l-khalq (Q. 10:4, 34, 27:64, 30:11 and 27), and yubdi’u … ’l-khalq (Q. 29:19).

384 . Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wīl, p. 298; and al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, p. 222. The object مأتيّا in this verse is also the subject آتيا, because, al-T.abarsī states, in Arabic whatever you come to also comes to you, and vice versa. For example, it is said أتيت على خمسين سنة (“I have come to fifty years”) can also be said أتت عليّ خمسون سنة (“Fifty years have come to me”). See Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, p. 521. The other example is حجابا مستورا “… a hidden barrier”. (Q. 17:45). The word مستور (hidden) means ساتر (hiding) of what is behind it. This is the first interpretation. See al-Tha‘ālibī, Fiqh al-Lughah, p. 222. The second interpretation, however, says thatمستور here is in its original meaning, namely, hidden from our eyes. See al-Qurt.ubī, al-Jāmi‘, vol. 10, p. 271.

POSTED BY DR. MUHAMMAD AMIN A. SAMAD AT 2:42 AM 

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