Wednesday, 29 January 2014

DawahMan - 11 Rhetorical devices in 3 words of the Quran

On the London Dawah Movement's last show (Fridays at 7pm UK time) there was some brief talk about the linguistic miracle of the Quran.  It was claimed that there are 11 rhetorical statements in only 3 words in the Quran.  Someone later emailed me and asked me what my opinion was on this claim, so I watched the video link they had provided.

My immediate impression was that Imran was doing a lot of talking without actually saying anything; it was nothing more than rambling repetitive sophistry.  The verse in question is the first in Sura Al Kauthar (108.1)

So to prove a point, I too have performed this exercise on a 3 word sentence that I have made myself.

Everything, we've given!

Imran said: Quran used the correct word - Gift/Reward
Response: I have used the word "Given", which is also the perfect word to use for something that has been given.

Imran said: Quran used a past tense word
Response: So did I in "We've"

Imran said: Quran uses hyperbole
Response: So did I by using the word everything, there is nothing more than everything, how much more hyperbole can you get?

Imran said: Quran used Emphasis
Response: I emphasised the word everything by making it the first word of the verse.  Also by placing a comma after it for additional emphasis in the pause.

Imran said: What Allah has given is all good.
Response: Yes, the universe is amazing, and that comes under "everything" so I have done that too.

Imran said: The inclusion of AL (The)
Response: "Everything" includes THE universe.  I was able to do the same thing without having to include an additional word in my English sentence.

Imran said: The thing given can be many things (love etc)
Response: "Everything" in my sentence also includes emergent phenomenon such as love, awe, and happiness: rather than only physical things.

Imran said: Quran uses We (plural) have given
Response: I used "We've" which is equally as miraculous.

Imran said: Emphatic particle
Response: I have used the emphatic particle too by capitalising the W in "We've"

Imran said: Grammatical shift
Reponse: No, the grammatical shift occurs in the next verse, you can't count the next verse without counting its total number of words too.  I can just as easily claim I do this too in my next verse when I too use to "Us" instead of "We".

In addition to the 10 above...

1: There is a double meaning in my sentence.  It is not only addressing the people and telling them they have been given everything, it is addressing everything and telling it that it has been given to (The eagle its eyesight, the bird its wings, the Earth its existence, and the Sun its radiance)

**I have used an exclamation mark at the end, this has a double-emphasis
2: It emphasises the whole sentence.
3: It is attached to the word "given" to emphasise even more that this has been given in free will.
4: It denotes confidence that this is a statement of unquestionable fact.

**The word "everything" consists of two logical parts, "every" and "thing".
5: Using the word "every" is all-encompassing not only in physical aspects but also time. For example "On every individual occasion We have given, it has been a gift."
6: Using the word "thing" additionally notes that all material items in our possession are by the grace of Allah alone.

7: In using the word "given" the verse implies what has been given is a gift (otherwise it would be sold/rented/passed), so there is a double-meaning not only that everything has been given in free will, but also freely as a gift.

8: And finally...PARODY. In writing this verse I am mocking the silly claims about there being 11 rhetorical devices in 3 words of the Quran proving it is from a divine entity.

I could add Cliché, Irony, Satire and Farce too, perhaps Tragedy is appropriate too?  I'll leave it there, my point has been made.

I had the option of using a mixture of capital and lowercase letters too which would have added further emphasis in the speech(EVERYThing) but didn't want to take advantage of the inherant features of the English language and claim them as miracles of my own words.

My verse is 8 syllables, where'as the verse in the Quran is 10.  So that's 18 Rhetorical devices in only 3 English words and 20% more efficient in terms of the number of syllables used.  I can make mundane statements about short unimpressive sentences too.

Al Hamdu Rashunaleezer