Faith in the time of Coronavirus: A corpus-driven analysis


  • Siti Aeisha Joharry Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)



Abstract: Since the Coronavirus, numerous studies have examined ways in which people communicate news or information surrounding the pandemic. This specialized discourse can be seen particularly with regard to discussions from a political, economic or social view, but rarely are there research exploring how the virus is communicated from a faith-based perspective. This paper acts as a preliminary case study that describes one Islamic research institution and its efforts to compile writings on scholarly view of the pandemic shared freely on the internet. More specifically, the work explores language used in these writings that may be different to ones that are for a more general audience. Using the corpus linguistic approach, a collection of these articles are firstly compared against the Covid-19 corpus on Sketch Engine where keywords analysis reveal salient words that are more faith-based in terms of discussing the topic (e.g. words referring to God, acts of devotion and martyrdom). Further analysis includes examining collocations as well as investigating the use of certain words in more detail via concordancing (words in context). The main difference in language use between the two corpora is noticeable in the way that there are more words referring to God and the Prophet as well as words related to faith. Accordingly, these articles “tackle” issues relating to the virus in terms of the concept of ‘tawakkul’, which means reliance on or trust in Allah (or God), whether the virus is a punishment or a mercy, as well as how to deal with grief. Articles from this Islamic institution, although located in the United States, stimulate the faith-based discussion of how Muslims and non-Muslims alike can obtain information regarding the virus from the well-researched Islamic content provided and in turn, help readers to cope with the pandemic during these unprecedented times. 


Keywords: Coronavirus, Covid-19, Corpus Linguistics, Sketch Engine, Islamic Views


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How to Cite

Joharry, S. A. (2023). Faith in the time of Coronavirus: A corpus-driven analysis. Intellectual Discourse, 31(1).