After a gap of many months, I feel ready to present a (still) tentative outline of my anthology of metaphors in the Qur’an.
This anthology can be presented in many ways. In this introductory part. I lay down my way of grouping the metaphors. I have not strictly followed any typologies from literature and sciences. Rather I have attempted to present all the salient ones as well as culling some examples under other idiosyncratic headings in order to fully cover the diversity of metaphor usage in the Qur’an. In deciphering the meanings I am relying on traditional authentic sources, all referenced in loco. The actual examples will take up many posts, grouping by grouping. These may be considered as bouquets of selected gleanings from the Qur’an rather than as a continual exposition on a uniform topic. Here goes:
1. Metaphors can come clothed in a number of devices (see Illuminating Metaphors Part I of the Qur’an Cycle). Examples will be presented of catachresis, parables, similitude, metonymies, symbols, allegories, irony, personifications, anthropomorphisms, and of course plain metaphor in various rhetorical forms.
2. A series of metaphors often litter a text in various combinations. Examples of how different metaphors in the Qur’an are connected with each other will be presented. There are systems of metaphors, each metaphor corresponding to a place of meaning in the larger conceptual backdrop. Sometimes, a single image or concept of significance is recurently represented through different metaphors (constellations). Some metaphors are contrasted not just meaningfully but also by juxtaposing them in the text.
3. Metaphors serve various specific functions in the text such as achieving comparisons, argumentation, suggestion and persuasion, visualization, etc.; depiction of imagery, emotions, mental states, scientific facts, or conceptual scenarios and of course the metaphysical reality.
4. Finally, assorted types of metphors, described by various authors on the subject are also included, such as conceptual, conventional, literary, mixed types. Metaphors clothed in idiomatic and proverbial expressions and in roots of words are also illustrated under this category.