Darkness (ẓulumāt) as a Koranic literary image has not been systematically analyzed, even though it is connected to fundamental Koranic topics such as understanding, salvation and the omniscience of God. The aim of this article is to argue for a close reading of the occurrences of ẓulumāt in the Koran and to discuss their metaphorical usage. By joining cognitive metaphor theories with the Koranic material, the article contributes to a new understanding of how and why modes of darkness are applied in the Koran. In the article, I argue for a six-fold classification of the occurrences, in which the utilization of particularly two conceptual metaphors, a mental state is darkness and protection is darkness appear. The former is employed to explain the imperative difference between belief and unbelief through the binary pair of darkness and light, whereas the latter is chosen to elucidate the omniscience of the Koranic God.
Ibid. p. 62; for Madigan it is central to “disregard for the moment how the later community of faith presents the Qurʾân to us and look more carefully at how the Qurʾân presents itself. This is useful not because the former has no validity or because the latter is the only ‘real’ Qurʾân but because of the insight it might afford into the earliest community’s experience of revelation.”
Ibid. p. 11-12. Madigan criticizes Izutsu’s definition of the ‘basic meaning’ as something inherent in the word detached from its cultural context. Madigan sets out to show how the word kitāb has been mistakenly perceived as something written in its basic meaning. The term appears to be much more complex coming into the Koranic vocabulary. For the whole argument as well as other points of criticism see Madigan The Qurʾân’s Self-Image p. 82-83.
Ibid. p. 16-28; key-words in a specific semantic field can be focus-words in another field and that is how semantic fields overlap. The selection of both focus-words and key-words is arbitrary and should according to Izutsu be discussed from case to case (p. 18 22). This is what Madigan does arguing for kitāb as a focus-word see Madigan The Qurʾân’s Self-Image p. 90 ff.
PunterMetaphor p. 2; in this sense the conventional literality could contain metaphor “but metaphor that is no longer novel it is dead”; Long “Literality and God-Metaphors in the Hebrew Bible” p. 514. This notion of ‘dead’ metaphors will be treated below.
Ibid. p. 99-124; Robinson argues inspired by Neuwirth for the Koranic use of ‘six principal subjects’ (eschatological narrative sign revelation polemical and messenger sections) in analyzing the coherence and unity of the Koranic suras cf. Neuwirth Studien p. 290.
Lakoff and JohnsonMetaphors We Live By p. 117; the body is not the only ‘natural kind of experience’ also “our interactions with our physical environment” and “Our interaction with other people within our culture” are mentioned i.e. embodiment is not equal to conceptual metaphor theory.