The Semantics of Qurʾanic Language: al-Āḫira


In The Semantics of Qurʾanic Language: al-Āḫira, Ghassan el Masri offers a semantic study of the concept al-āḫira ‘the End’ in the Qurʾān. The study is prefaced with a detailed account of the late antique concept of etymologia (Semantic Etymology). In his work, he demonstrates the necessity of this concept for appreciating the Qurʾān’s rhetorical strategies for claiming discursive authority in the Abrahamic theological tradition. The author applies the etymological tool to his investigation of the theological significance of al-āḫira, and concludes that the concept is polysemous, and tolerates a large variety of interpretations. The work is unique in that it draws extensively on Biblical material and presents a plethora of pre-Islamic poetry verses in the analysis of the concept.

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Ghassan el Masri, Dr. Phil (2011), Freie Universität Berlin, teaches and researches at the university. He has published several articles on the Qurʾān and Pre-Islamic Poetry.
1. Introduction
2. Etymology, Historic and Semantic
3. Arabian Terms and Notions
4. Time between Beginning and End
5. Biblical Vocabulary
6. The Qurʾanic Shifts
7. The Middle Meccan Period
8. The Late Meccan Period
9. The Medinan Developments
10. Conclusion
Appendix – Occurrences of the Root ʾ-ḫ-r and their Correlates
All interested in the history and language of the Qurʾān, etymology, semantic theory, pre-Islamic poetry as well as Islamic theology and eschatology.