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A Study of the Etymology of the Arabic Word "Istorah": A Historical and Comparative Outlook


 

 

Abstract

 

This paper revisits the meaning of the Arabic word ʔustˤu:rah in the Qur'anic text, arguing that this word means a written-down narrative, regardless of accuracy of its content. ʔustˤu:rah may thus denote a true or false piece of writing. This encounters the orthodox viewpoint that ʔustˤu:rah, which appears nine times in the Qur'anic text in the plural as ʔasatˤi:r, means qisˤsˤah (tale), xura:fah (legend), and/or ħika:jah (fable). We contend that ʔustˤu:rah is associated with the form of the narrative rather than its informative value. This reasoning helps us resolve, among other things, the contradiction resulting from viewing ʔustˤu:rah as a synonym of fictitiousness-oriented words like qisˤsˤah, xura:fah and ħika:jah on the one hand and on the other, introducing mastˤu:r, an adjective derived from the same Arabic tri-consonantal root of ʔustˤu:rah (S-T-R), to praise the nature the Holy Qur'an itself, as evident in (ʔatˤ-tˤur: 2).

Keywords: Historical linguistics, Literary translation, ʔustˤu:rah narrative form, Holy Qur'an.

Authors: Malek Zuraikat , Marwan Jarrah , Rasheed Al-Jarrah

Doi: https://doi.org/10.47012/jjmll.13.2.1

 

Cited by: Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and literatures (JJMLL) 2021, 13 (2): 191-200

 

Full text

 

 

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