Translating Qur’anic Deictic terms: A Systemic Functional Perspective

Mhamed Krifa


Abstract:  Many grammatical structures are a serious problem in the understanding and translation processes of certain Qur’anic verses, crucial to the everyday life of believers due to their juridisprudential value. An example is the punishment suggested for the crime of “Fāhisha” in verses 15 and 16 of the fourth surah (An Nisa). The two verses are understood and translated in different ways due to the ambiguity of the relative clauses in both verses that is caused by ambiguity at the level of reference of the two relative pronouns “allāti” and “allathāni”, known in Arabic as “asma’ mousula”.  The paper examines this linguistic phenomenon from a systemic functional linguistics perspective.


Qur’an, relative pronouns, fāhisha, systemic functional linguistics, exegesis, translation.

Full Text:



_ Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1989). The Holy QUR’An: Text, Translation and Commentary. U.S.A: Amana Corporation.

- Asad, Mohamed (1980). The Message of the Qur’an translated and explained. Gibraltar: Dar Al Andalus.

- THE QUR’AN:Arabic Text with Corresponding English Meanings. Edited by Saheeh International. (1997. Riadh: AbulQasim Publishing House

Secondary Resources

- Aboud, Ala Tareq (2015) “Usage of Relative Pronouns in Arabic and English: A Contrastive Study”, International Journal and Magazine of Engeneering, Technollogy, Management and Research, Vol 2: 1078 _1083

- Buhler, K. (2011). Theory of Language. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company .

- Fontaine, L. (2013) Analyzing English Grammar: A systemic-functional introduction. Cambridge: Cambrige University Press

- Munday, Jeremy (2009) “The Concept of the Interpersonal in Translation”, SYNAPS 23: 15 – 30

- Official site of Muhamed Hasanin Fadl Allah :

- Perkins, R (1992).Deixis, Grammar and Culture. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

- Tahri, Mohamed Hedi (2016). Adwaa ala an nas al Qur’ani.Tunis: dar Mohamed Ali al Hammi

Vinh To, Quynh Lê, Thao Lê, (2015) "Applying Halliday’s linguistic theory in qualitative data analysis", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 15 Issue: 2, pp.135-146,


  • There are currently no refbacks.