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Istiʿāra

(4,083 words)

Author(s): Udo Simon
Istiʿāra is used as a technical term in the Arabic linguistic and literary tradition for a figure of speech or mode of expression that is usually described as a metaphor in classical and modern rhetorical theory. The literal meaning of istiʿāra is ‘borrowing’, which in the given context means borrowing the name or an attribute of something to stand for something else, as in raʾaytu ʾasadan ‘I saw a lion’, ʾasad being borrowed to stand for a brave man, to cite the simplest form. This linguistic phenomenon may be found in Western manuals also under the heading of simile or allegory, when related to the level of a sentence. As in Western rhetoric, the concept of metaphor and its definitions vary with time and theorist. Within the mainstream theory of metaphor…
Date: 2018-04-01

Majāz

(5,617 words)

Author(s): Udo Simon
The term majāz, used both in Arabic linguistic thought and in the hermeneutics of the Qurʾān, is usually translated as ‘trope’, although its meaning is not completely congruent with the Western concept. Majāz is explained as a verbal noun of jāza ‘to go beyond something’, in the sense of a participle denoting al-kalimatu al-jāʾizatu ʾay al-mutaʿaddiyatu ma…
Date: 2018-04-01