قصة الخلق والعصيان في القرآن: غياب حواء ومركزية إبليس / The Story of Creation and Disobedience in the Quran: The Absence of Eve and the Centrality of Satan



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محمود, محمد; Mahmoud, Mohammed

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[This paper is a 'close reading' of the creation story in the Quran. The Quran does not recount the creation story as one continuous narrative. Rather, the story's elements are distributed over seven narrative sequences in several suras (chapters). The article's working assumption is that these narrative sequences are in fact sub-texts of a master-text that can be reconstructed by working one's way upwards. Analytically, the paper moves from the aya (verse) level to the level of the narrative sequence. The plot of the master-narrative is reconstructed by listing the elements of the seven narrative sequences in a chronological order. The Quranic creation story presents us with a specific set of characters and events and the interaction of these characters and events in the process of the story's dramatic unfolding. One important aspect is the story's point of view as the story is narrated through two voices: God's voice and a third person voice that is grammatically distinct from God's voice though dramatically subsumed by it. Dialogue is the key device through which characters unfold and interact and hence the distinctive dramatic significance of the 'voice' element. On the basis of this element, it is the voices of God and Iblis (Satan) that dominate the story and drive the plot. Other voices are those of the angels and Adam but these are voices that remain in the background. Eve remains nameless and voiceless throughout the story. Unlike in the Genesis story, Eve does not play in the Quranic story a significant role in the realization of Satan's plan of seducing man. The story's atmosphere is dominated by tensions: a 'primary' tension between God and Satan and 'secondary' tensions involving God and the angels, God and man, man and the angels, and man and Satan. On the basis of event frequency in the story's seven narrative sequences, the paper identifies the story's 'dramatic nucleus'. This turns out to be the highly charged event of Satan's moment of disobedience. What stands at the center of the Qur'anic creation story is not the event of man's creation with the accompanying announcement of his viceregency on earth but rather the moment of disobedience, rebellion, and challenge.]

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