Volume 14, Issue 6 (2024)                   LRR 2024, 14(6): 305-337 | Back to browse issues page

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Dehqan A, Roohi Barandaq K, Parvini K. The Semantics of ‘šaʕara’ (to realize) As a Quranic Word and Its Status in the Semantic Field of Cognition. LRR 2024; 14 (6) :305-337
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-21724-en.html
1- Department of Quranic Science And Islamic ‎Traditions, Humanities school, Tarbiat Modares ‎University, Tehran, Iran
2- Department of Quranic Science And Islamic ‎Traditions, Humanities school, Tarbiat Modares ‎University, Tehran, Iran , k.roohi@modares.ac.ir
3- Department of Arabic Language & Literature, ‎Humanities school, Tarbiat Modares University, ‎Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (3583 Views)
In the holy Quran, several words have been used for the meaning of perception and knowledge. The verb "šaʕara" as one of the words in Persian translations more often is equated with words ‘know’ and ‘understand’; but its more detailed component is the issue of this essay that is devoted to two sections of etymological and contextual study. Etymology based on the methods of historical linguistics and sources of Semitic languages, a comprehensive contextual study of all applications alongside each other, content analysis of verses and use of the anthropological achievements in discourse analysis of Quranic verses are the methods used in this article. Etymological evidences suggest that this word dates back to the ancient Semitic language and is made up of the hypothetical root of the "šʕr" (to divide, break open) in the same language and this root is also derived from the Afro-Asian root (ĉaʕ), meaning "cut" but in the Pre-Islamic Arabic discourse it is influenced by the word šiʕr (poetry) by semantic contamination. Negative application, no application in descriptive phrases, devotion to the perception of hidden affairs are the functional features of the term šaʕara that make the definition of the Qur'anic meaning of šaʕara as a "non-process perception" justifiable. Non-process perception entails an increase in the role of imagination and reducing the role of time-consuming rational processes.

1. Introduction
In the Holy Qur'an, many words are used for the meaning of understanding and knowledge, "ʕalima", "šaʕara", "ʕaqala", "faqiha", "daraya", "ʕarafa" are verbs that specifically indicate the meaning of "understanding". In the translation of these words, words such as "understand, know, percept, feel, recognize" are equated, which are covered under the general title of perception and cognition, but what are the more detailed components and characteristics of each of these words, is the place of questioning and each of them requires a separate research, so the purpose of this paper is exclusively to research about the root of "šaʕara".
In the end, it is expected that this article can open a way to clarify the topics related to cognition and knowledge in the Holy Qur'an, topics that, in addition to being important for the intrinsic value of understanding the Holy Qur'an, also have double importance in some ways, and that is the ever-increasing effort about the question of "cognition" in the current era. In recent decades, a branch of science under the title of "cognitive interdisciplinary studies" has also emerged, which brings together the different fields of human knowledge around the issue of "cognition" and tries to solve the problems of this issue through the synergy of different fields of knowledge (Afrashi, 2015, p. 22).

1.2. Research Questions:
The two questions of this research are:
1. What is the meaning of the root of "šʕr" and the relationship between the different meanings derived from the three-letter root of "šʕr" based on historical linguistic methods and Semitic language sources?
2. What is the meaning of "šaʕara" in Quranic applications according to the context of the verses and the analysis of the content of the verses and using anthropological achievements in the discursive analysis of the verses of the Quran?
2. Literature Review
There are some efforts have been made in the Arabic dictionary and Quran commentary sources to clarify the meaning of this root. These efforts can be divided into two parts: a) etymology, which examines the relationship between different meanings derived from the three-letter root of the "šʕr"; and b) examining the meaning of "šaʕara" in the Qur'anic usage, which has been done according to the context of the verses and specifically the object of the verb "šaʕara". In the continuation of the article, this background will be quoted, examined, and criticized in detail. In today's studies, there is no background for this research, although it can be considered as a similar background to the research organized about words related to the semantic field of perception and knowledge, such as:
  1. Barooti, M., Akbarian, R., & Saidimehr, M. (2018). Tabatabaie on semantics of divine attributes. Contemporary Wisdom, 9(2), 23-45. doi: 10.30465/cw.2018.3448
  2. Hajikhani A, Roohi K, Dehqan A. “Etymology of “Ilm” (knowledge) as a Quranic word in the Semitic languages”. LRR, 7(5), 27-47; URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-6733-fa.html
  3. Dehqan, A., Roohi, K., Pakatchi, A., & Parvini, K. (2018). Research on Components of Universal Concept of Wisdom in its Quranic Concept. Ketab-E-Qayyem, 8(18), 7-30.
  4. Tayyeb Hosseini, S. M., & Sharifinasab, H. (2015). Semantic analysis of "Poetry" and "Poet" in the Quran. Journal of Quranic Theological Exegesis, 2(4), 595-618.
  5. Falahpour, M. (2013). The semantics of science in the Holy Quran and human schools. Scientific Journal of Islamic Education, 21(20).
However, in this article, an attempt is made to pursue these efforts with a more scientific approach and with a more comprehensive view, and to obtain a comprehensive meaning for the word "šaʕara" (understand) and its semantic differences with other words in the field of perception.
Therefore, the current research is organized in two directions: 1) the etymology of the word "šaʕara" based on historical linguistic methods and Semitic language sources, and 2) the study of the context of the word "šaʕara" in the Qur'an, with a comprehensive look at all the uses together, analyzing the content of the verses and usage among the anthropological achievements in discursive analysis of Quranic verses.

3. Methodology
The main research approach is linguistics (specifically lexical semantics), which is possible regarding Quranic words in two ways: diachronic and historical research (etymology) and synchronic research of word usages (in the context of Quranic verses). In this article, to provide a comprehensive and reassuring judgment about the meaning of the word, both historical and synchronic paths have been followed.
However, the innovation of this paper compared to the interpretive-lexical tradition is: 1. in the etymology section, relying on historical linguistics methods and Semitic language sources, and 2. in the context study section, a comprehensive look at all the uses of the word in the Qur'an, and an attempt to categorize them based on the common and different connotations of the word and finally a discursive analysis of the content of the verses, using anthropological achievements.

4. Results
The achievement of the present research in the field of two research questions can be expressed as follows:
  1. In terms of etymology, the word "šaʕara" (to perceive) is not very clear. The most probable analysis is that this word dates back to the ancient Semitic language, although there is little evidence of its presence in non-Arabic Semitic languages, and the Semitic word "šaʕara" (to know) is also from the supposed root "šaʕara" (to divide, break open) in the same language and that also is derived from the Afro-Asiatic root (ĉaʕ) meaning "to cut". In the pre-Islamic period, this word was influenced by the word "šiʕr"(poem) in the discursive atmosphere of the Arabs (by semantic contamination) and assigned to a special type of perception and knowledge, the characteristics of which can be seen in the Qur'anic usages.
2. "šaʕara" in the Qur'an indicates a valuable and special perception that is used to understand secret and unseen things. In terms of defining the Qur'anic meaning of "šaʕara" (beyond the practical features), it seems that the view of the commentators and linguists who defined "šaʕara" as understanding the result of sense (material sense) is more compatible with the Qur'anic usage, but a more accurate interpretation is the definition of the Qur'anic meaning of "šaʕara" as "non-process perception". The non-processual nature of perception requires increasing the role of imagination and reducing the role of time-consuming processes of intellectual and verbal assessment.

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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Arts and Humanities (General)
Published: 2022/12/1

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