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.

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