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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The influence of the Qur’an on all aspects of medieval Islamic culture, including the Arabic literary tradition, is immeasurable. That its language is Arabic and that it was considered God’s literal speech caused the spread and development of the Arabic language and its literature. Even when ‘literature’ is taken in its restricted sense of texts aiming to delight, to move, and to entertain, one hardly finds any work that does not quote or allude to the holy text. As a genre the Qur’an is sui generis and imitation of its form and style is considered impossible (according to the doctrine of the inimitability of the Qur’an) and even blasphemous. Qur’anic ideas and idioms, however, have imbued even thoroughly secular works.

Keywords: Qur’an, literature, genre, iʿjāz (inimitability), quotation, parody

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