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Al-Ḥawāmīm: Intertextuality And Coherence In Meccan Surahs

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Chapter Summary

Among the twenty-nine surahs beginning with disconnected letters (al-ḥurūf al-muqaṭṭaʿa), seven begin with disconnected letters ḥāmīm. These are surahs 40 (Ghāfir), 41 (Fuṣṣilat), 42 (ash-Shūrā), 43 (az-Zukhruf), 44 (ad-Dukhān), 45 (al-Jāthiya), 46 (al-Aḥqāf), with surah 42 beginning with ḥā mīm ʿayn sīn qāf. These surahs are commonly known in traditional Muslim sources as the Ḥawāmīm. This chapter argues that an intertextual reading, attentive to the chronological development of these surahs will corroborate the thus far common, yet unstudied notion that these surahs are interrelated. Surah coherence - a notion which has received fair attention recently will be broadened to include coherence in a number of surahs. It also argues that consideration of the formal, formulaic, and thematic aspects shows that the surahs in question are interrelated in a variety of ways, and that this interrelatedness grants the surahs their coherence.

Keywords: Ḥawāmīm; Surah coherence



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