Balanced, concise and comprehensive expression in the Qur’an

  • Mustafa Jahić, dr.
Keywords: Qur'an, stylistics, grammar, ways of expression, equanimity, consolidated way of expression, extensive expressions, expression, statement, meaning


The subject of this paper covers the ways of expressing the Quranic statements, classified according to the relation of the term (lafẓ) and meaning (ma’nā). From the grammatical-stylistic aspect, and according to the extent of the expression (lafẓ) which expresses the desired meaning (ma’nā murād), the Qur’anic and general expressions (kalām) are divided into three types. The first type belongs to (musāwāt), statement of equanimity in which the expression and meaning are in an equivalent relationship. Since in this way of expression the number of words or sentences that make up the statement corresponds to the meaning that is meant to be expressed, it represents the basic type of expression. However, according to most Arabian stylists, this type of expression in the Qur’an almost does not exist. The second type is the statement in which the desired meaning is expressed by a small number of words or sentences from the basic mode of expression and is designated as consolidation (īǧāz) of the statement. This way of expression is achieved by eliding some parts of expression (īǧāz al-ḥaḏf) without compromising its meaning or shortening (īǧāz al-qiṣar) without eliding. The third type is the statement in which the desired meaning is expressed by a larger number of words or sentences than the basic expression and is designated as the extensiveness (iṭnāb) of the statement, and is achieved by introduction of additional words or sentences which do not express additional meanings. The common characteristic of all three types of expression (kalām) is to convey the desired meaning (ma’nā), which fully responds to the situation context (muqtaḍā al-ḥāl), with its expression (lafẓ), regardless of its scope. These expressions, as a special Arabic stylistic characteristic, are also present in the Qur’an and, besides stylistic values, are also important for understanding of the Qur’an, which is why they are often the subject of research by Arabic grammarians, stylists, and Qur’an commentators.