03 Nov What is the divine wisdom behind the frequent repetitions in the Qur’an?.Part1
Human beings dislike repetition, no matter what is being repeated, whether it is the reiteration of words or having the same kind of food every day, even if it is something that they are very fond of.
Likewise, people do not enjoy reading texts that are repetitious. If something is repeatedly mentioned in a poem, story, or novel it causes weariness and even makes the reader fed up. If the repeated thing is composed of the same sentences, then, it becomes inevitable that one will become very bored. However, this is not the case with the repetitions in the Qur’an.
Important matters which require our serious attention are repeated frequently in the Qur’an in such a way that they penetrate the life of all sorts of people, from those who are arrogant to the more retiring; these repetitions make them feel connected with the Qur’an, thus producing a feeling of peace and serenity on the reader.
One of the best and most beautiful examples of this is that the Qur’an frequently utilizes repetitions, speaking of the same matter sometimes with a clear expression, sometimes with allusions, sometimes briefly, or sometimes in great detail; this repetition emphasizes and produces acceptance of the belief in the Divine Oneness and cures the spiritual illness of polytheism.
Certain sentences, words and stories have been mentioned repeatedly in different parts of the Qur’an.
- All such instances of repetition are made with a definite aim and target, and they are never boring to the reader.
With each repetition, the reader or listener is aware of different sentiments. The oneness and unity of God, for instance, is repeatedly mentioned, sometimes even in the very same verse; however, each time a different aspect of it is taken into consideration. Sometimes a certain aspect is dealt with in length while another is only mentioned briefly; sometimes we are presented with proof of the true faith, while at other times we are given a parable.
- The repetitions in the Qur’an have different styles in keeping with the purpose they are intended to serve.
One such aim is to reinforce or intensify the message that is being conveyed and to influence the listener. In order to provide reinforcement, for instance, the same expression is repeated twice in,
“No indeed! You will surely come to understand (when death comes to you). Again, no indeed!You will surely come to understand it (when you are raised from the dead)” (Takathur 102:3-4).
- The Qur’an also deters with warnings.
By repeating the same expression twice in the verse,
“What enables you to perceive what the Day of Judgment is? Again: What is it that enables you to perceive what the Day of Judgment is? ” (Infitar 82:17-18),
the Qur’an intends to indicate that the Day of Judgment is such a serious subject, that the magnitude and horror of the doomsday is so great, that a feeling of awe is instilled in the heart of those who are being addressed. The following verse may be given as a further example of this:
“The sudden, mighty strike! What is the sudden, mighty strike? What enables you to perceive what the sudden, mighty strike is? ” (Qari’a 101:1-3).
The term qari’a, after which Sura Qari’a is named, is one of the names of the Day of Resurrection and is repeated here in the verse to raise a sense of awe about the dreadful occurrences on the Day of Resurrection.
- Another aim of such repetitions is to amaze and astound the reader/listener.
The following verse is an example of this: The repeated words in,
“He pondered and he calculated (how he could disprove the Qur’ān in people’s sight). Be away from God’s mercy, how he calculated! Yea, may God preserve him from the evil eye! How he calculated! ” (Muddatthir 74:18-20)
are, in fact, depicting the actions of a person, and it is as if a picture or even a snapshots has been made. First, this person pondered and then he plotted. He is afterwards cursed by divine ordinance: “Be away from God’s mercy” and is ridiculed by the description, “Yea, may God preserve him from the evil eye! ” The original of the initial phrases in these last two sentences, namely “Be away from God’s mercy” and “Yea, may God preserve him from the evil eye! ” is qutila, which has the meaning of both being removed from something and being protected against something. Its usage in the second case is figurative and derisive, and is telling us how badly this action was preformed to demonstrate how deserving this person was of the divine curse.