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Mockery

(824 words)

Author(s): Ammann, Ludwig
Insulting or contemptuous action or speech. Mockery ( h-z-ʾ, s-kh-r) figures regularly in the Qurʾān. The nouns and verb forms derived from h-z-ʾ appear forty-three times, those derived from s-kh-r fifteen times. Both are used synonymously as is attested by q 6:10 and q 21:41. Mockery in the Qurʾān usually expresses disbelief (see belief and unbelief ) in God and is thus closely linked with the subject of disbelieving laughter (q.v.). It does so in a more or less formulaic way and in a manner that underlines the assumed universality of Muḥammad's pro…

Laughter

(2,056 words)

Author(s): Ammann, Ludwig
Sound and/or facial expressions generally indicative of merriment. Laughter does not figure prominently in the Qurʾān: verb forms and participles derived from ḍ-ḥ-k occur just ten times compared to a stunning 179 appearances of its synonymous Hebrew cognates s-ʾ-ḥ-q/ṣ-ḥ-q in the Hebrew Bible. B-s-m for smiling appears just once and never the onomatopoetic q-h-q-h for strong laughter (an Arabic root form which, incidentally, more or less reverses and doubles the western Semitic onomatopoetic *-ḥ-q from which the various triliterals for laughter seem to be derived). La…