Qur’anic Interpretation and the Phenomenon of Ellipsis and Brevity: A Critical Analysis (Tafsiran al-Quran dan Fenomena Ellipsis dan Breviti: Analisa Kritikal)

  • Israr Ahmad Khan Professor, Faculty of Islamic Sciences, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakifi University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Abstract

Scholars of Qur’anic Studies like al-ZarkashÊ (d.794 A.H.) and al-SuyËÏÊ (d.911 A.H.) have dealt in detail with Qur’anic ellipsis and brevity (Íadhf and ÊjÉz) in their respective works on Qur’anic Studies. Commentators of the Qur’an like al-ÙabarÊ (d.310 A.H.), al-ZamakhsharÊ (d.538 A.H.), and al-RÉzÊ (d.606 A.H.) have identified the phenomenon of ellipsis and brevity at several places in the Qur’an. Yet, this feature of the Qur’an did not get proper recognition in the methodology of Qur’anic interpretation. The Qur’an came down in the linguistic style of Arabs in general and Quraysh in particular who loved to apply ellipsis and brevity in their poetry and prose. Any poem or oration deplete with this style was not appreciated by Arabs. One of the main reasons for the Arabs’ acceptance of the Qur’an as the most effective and highly moving discourse was its brevity (ÊjÉz) due to the ellipsis (Íadhf) of details of the matter concerned. It seems then quite pertinent to interpret the Qur’an by taking into consideration, among others, phenomenon of ellipsis and brevity. One may see four kinds of ellipsis occurred in the Qur’an: (1) the background of revelation, (2) certain words, (3) complete sentence, and (4) whole paragraph. Interpretation of the Qur’an needs to be based on the identification of one kind of ellipsis or another. This exercise may facilitate the serious task of Qur’anic interpretation. This paper will identify and explain the four categories of ellipsis and brevity in the Qur’an.

Keywords: Ellipsis, Brevity, the Qur’an, Interpretation, Revelation.

Abstrak

Para ulama al-Quran seperti al-ZarkashÊ (d.794 A.H.) dan al-SuyËÏÊ (d.911 A.H.) dalam kajian mereka telah membincangkan elipsis dan brevity  (Íadhf and ÊÉz)  dalam al-Quran. Para pengulas al-Quran seperti al-ÙabarÊ (d.310 A.H.), al-ZamakhsharÊ (d.538 A.H.), dan al-RÉzÊ (d.606 A.H.) telah mengenalpasti fenomena elipsis dan brevity di beberapa tempat dalam al-Quran. Namun tidak diberi pengiktirafan dalam metodologi penafsiran al-Quran. Al-Quran diturunkan dalam gaya linguistik Arab amnya dan Quraysh khususnya dimana mereka  mengaplikasikan konsep elipsis dan brevity dalam kebanyakan puisi dan prosa mereka. Sebarang puisi yang tidak mempunyai elipsis dan brevity adalah tidak diminati oleh orang Arab. Salah satu sebab utama orang Arab mempercayai al-Quran sebagai kitab yang paling tinggi adalah kerana brevity (ÊjÉz) yang disebabkan elipsis (Íadhf)  butiran perkara berkenaan. Jadi ia nampaknya sangat penting untuk menafsirkan al-Quran dengan fenomena elipsis dan brevity. Ada empat jenis elipis yang berlaku dalam al-Quran: (1) latar belakang wahyu, (2) perkataan tertentu, (3) ayat sepenuhnya, dan (4) perenggan. Penafsiran al-Quran perlu berasaskan pengenalan elipsis. Latihan ini boleh memudahkan kerja penafsiran yang serius terhadap al-Quran. Kajian ini akan mengenalpasti dan menjelaskan keempat-empat kategori elipsis dan brevity yang terdapat dalam al-Quran tersebut.

Kata Kunci: Ellipsisi, Brevity, Quran, tafsiran, Wahyu.

References

Abdullah Yusuf Ali. The Holy Qur’Én: English Translation of the Meaning and the Commentary. Al-Madinah: King Fahd Qur’an Printing Complex, 1410 A.H.

Al-FayrËz ÓbÉdÊ, Muhammad ibn Ya‘qËb. Al-QÉmËs al-MuÍÊÏ. Beirut: DÉr IÍyÉ’ al-TurÉth al-‘ArabÊ, 1997). vol. 2.

Al-FarÉhÊdÊ, al-KhalÊl ibn Ahmad. KitÉb al-‘Ayn. Beirut: DÉr IÍyÉ’ al-TurÉth al-‘ArabÊ, 2001.

Al-FarÉhÊ, ‘Abd al-×amÊd. RasÉ’il al-ImÉm al-FarÉhÊ fÊ ‘UlËm al-Qur’Én. Saraimir, Azamgarh, India: Al-DÉ’irah al-×amÊdÊyyah, , 1991), p. 171.

Fazlur Rahman. Major Themes in the Qur’an. Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust, 1999.

IÎlÉÍÊ, AmÊn Aísan. Tadabbur-e-Qur’Én. Delhi: Taj Company, 1997. vol. 1.

MawdËdÊ, Sayyid Abul A‘lÉ. TafhÊm al-Qur’an. Delhi: Markazi Maktabah Islami, 1983. vol. 1.

Muhammad Asad. The Message of the Qur’Én. Gibraltar: Dar al-Andalus, 1980.

Sayyid QuÏb. FÊ ZilÉl al-Qur’Én. Cairo: DÉr al-ShurËq, 1996. vol. 1.

Al-SuyËÏÊ, JalÉl al-DÊn. Al-ItqÉn fÊ ‘UlËm al-Qur’Én. Beirut: DÉr al-Kutub al-‘IlmÊyyah, 2000. vol. 2.

Al-ÙabarÊ, Muhammad ibn JarÊr. JÉmi‘ al-BayÉn. Beirut: DÉr al-Kutub al-‘IlmÊyyah, 2000. vol. 1.

Al-ZarkashÊ, Badr al-DÊn. Al-BurhÉn fÊ ‘UlËm al-Qur’Én. Beirut: DÉr al-Ma‘rifah, 1994. vol. 3.
Published
2018-12-24
How to Cite
Khan, I. (2018). Qur’anic Interpretation and the Phenomenon of Ellipsis and Brevity: A Critical Analysis (Tafsiran al-Quran dan Fenomena Ellipsis dan Breviti: Analisa Kritikal). Journal of Islam in Asia <span Style="font-Size: 0.6em">(E-ISSN: 2289-8077)</Span&gt;, 15(2), 411-429. https://doi.org/10.31436/jia.v15i2.757
Section
English Articles