Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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The comparison of two things, made explicit — and distinguished from metaphor (q.v.) — by the use of “like” or “as.” “Zayd fought like a lion” is a simile. In Arabic rhetoric (see arabic language; rhetoric and the qurʾān; literary structures of the qurʾān), “simile” or tashbīh has the same general sense, and the same general distinction is made between simile and metaphor ( istiʿāra). The “like” or “as” in the simile is usually made with the particle ka, though a locution using the noun mathal may substitute. E…

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Beaumont, Daniel, “Simile”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 29 September 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_00183>

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