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By Abdul Gabbar Mohammed Al-Sharafi (auth.)

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The first element is that of musnad ’ilayh ‘subject’, the second is that of musnad ‘predicate’ and the third element is the relationship of ’isnäd ‘predication’. On the basis of this distinction al-Jurjäni proposes his theory of majäz. He maintains (Al-Jurjäni 1954:345–60) that if the transfer is in the word that is functioning as predicate then the type of figuration is lughawï ‘linguistic’ because it is going to be a play on the meaning of the word – a quality that is provided by the language as a conventional system.

Both metonymic examples are actually euphemistic examples of metonymy to express taboo meanings. According to al-‘Askari, the word ‘couches’ in example (13) is used to suggest women, as this type of interpretation is warranted by following Qur’anic discourse. Among the literary critics who discussed kinäyah in their critical works is Ibn Rashïq al-Qayrawäni (d. 1063/456), who wrote a book entitled al-‘Umdah fi Sinä‘at al-Shi‘r wa Naqdihi. Al-Qayrawäni included a chapter on the rhetorical aspect he called tatbï ‘.

The discussion is detailed and sophisticated. It strongly suggests the importance of the distinction between haqïqah and majäz because of the religious background this distinction came to represent. In fact, the differences that cropped up between the various Muslim groups involved in the scholastic debates known as ‘ilm al-kaläm was basically the issue of interpreting the verses which exhibit figurative use of the language. The main thrust of al-Jurjäni’s discussion of majäz is the distinction between three elements in the sentential semantic structure.

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