Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Qur’an is well and truly a text in context, having been revealed over a period of twenty-three years in response to particular situations and questions. Because of this and due to specific features of its language, like polysemy, conciseness, etc. it is easy to miss the context and quote out of context. In some tafsīr writing and in most of the translations of the Qur’an into English, as well as in much of what is written about the Qur’an, insufficient regard to the context seriously mars understanding and misrepresents the Qur’anic message. Thus the study of context (siyāq) has a central place in balāgha (rhetoric) and Qur’anic Studies in Arabic, but it is hardly mentioned in Qur’anic studies written in English. This chapter discusses context in relation to the Qur’an, the types of context, its role in determining the meaning of words and sentences. The discussion includes what linguistic features can cause difficulties in determining meaning and what clues are given in the Qur’an to help identify the context and the proper meanings. Examples are given from translations of the Qur’an, tafsīr, and Qur’anic Studies.

Keywords: context, siyāq, maqām, Sword Verse, maʿānī, balāgha, wujūh

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.