03 Nov What is the divine wisdom behind the frequent repetitions in the Qur’an?.Part2
- Another aim of the repetition in the Qur’an is to openly warn people and to receive a favorable response from the addressee.
The Qur’an sometimes repeats certain words in the very same sentence or in two related sentences to heighten the awareness of its audience. We can mention the verses,
“And the one who believed said (continuing his warnings): ‘O my people! Follow me so that I may guide you to the way of right guidance. O my people! The life of this world is but a (passing) enjoyment, while the Hereafter – that is indeed the home of permanence’”(Mu’min 40:38-39)
as an example of this. The expression, “O my people” is repeated twice at the beginning of both verses, attracting the attention of the audience so that they will carefully listen to the message.
- Another aim is to remind us of the core idea if the preceding sentences are lengthy.
In such cases it is possible for the reader/listener to have forgotten what was mentioned before or their attention or focus may have wandered. Certain words are repeated in the middle or at the end of sentences to avoid this case, as in the following verses:
Then indeed your Lord is – to those who do evil in ignorance (as a result of failing to counter the prompting of the evil-commanding soul), and then repent (soon as they realize what they have done is wrong) and mend their ways and conduct – indeed your Lord is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate (with special mercy toward His penitent servants). (Nahl 16:119)
(Remember) when God took a covenant from those who were given the Book: “You shall make clear to the people (the whole truth of all that is in) the Book (including mention of the Last, promised Prophet), and not conceal it.” But they paid no heed to it, flinging it behind their backs, and sold it for a trifling price (such as worldly advantage and position, status and renown).
How evil a bargain they made! Never suppose that those who rejoice in what they have thus contrived, and who love to be (famed and) praised for what they have not achieved (such as being devout and pious and defenders of God’s law) – never suppose that they have saved themselves from the punishment: for them is a painful punishment. (Al Imran 3:187-8)
- Another aim of such repetitions is to re-express the meaning that is related to the repeat.
We also see that certain sentences or verses in the Qur’an have been repeated at certain intervals within the same chapter. Such repetition is neither unnecessary nor purposeless; rather, each one has a different goal. Each and every instance of repetition relates itself to a situation that is different to that of the previous one. For instance, the expression:
“Then, (O humankind and jinn) which of the favors of your Lord will you deny? ”
is repeated 31 times in Sura Rahman. Each repetition is mentioned after a divine favor is described, and the intention is to remind both human beings and jinn of these divine favors and that they should show their thanksgiving to their Almighty Creator and not forget their duties as God’s servants.
Likewise, in Sura Mursalat, the expression:
“Woe on that Day to those who deny! ”
is repeated ten times. The meaning of each matter that is explained prior to the repetition of this expression should be taken into consideration to better understand the context. For instance, the first repetition is speaking of the Day of Judgment, the second repetition is associated with the torment that sinners will receive, the third repetition is concerned with God’s Knowledge and Power, while the fourth tells us that humankind is needy and has limited power whereas Divine Power encompasses everything, and so on. As has been clearly set out and explained until now, certain expressions are repeated in the Holy Qur’an.
Such repetition might consist of words or sentences, but in all cases, the repetitions are made with a certain aim or purpose, not because there is a paucity of alternative words or sentences. Moreover, repetition influences the listener/reader to a greater degree.
With this method the Qur’an aims to perfectly instruct and educate those whom it corrected, to train its students with the affection of a guide and to better convey the information that they need.