Day 2: Qur’ān Reflections for Ramadān – Linguistic Miracle of Qur’ānic Palindromes and Chiasma

rabbuka fa kabirDay 2:

I’m going to be posting something interesting about the Qur’ān every day during Ramaḍān, the month the Qur’ān was revealed.

Palendromes are sentences/phrases which if said backwards are the same sentence/phrase. They are usually made by constant editing. The Prophet was illiterate so it seems almost amazing that he would be able to structure such linguistic gems and then not tell anyone.

In Sūrat al-Muddaththir (74:4), it says رَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرۡ meaning ‘magnify your Lord’. The Arabic words are ‘Rabbaka fa kabbir’ (your Lord, then magnify). If spelled backwards it’s still ‘Rabbaka fa kabbir’ in Arabic.

In addition to this, there is an interesting chiasmatic symmetry in āyatu-l-kursī, or the “Throne Verse” of the Qur’ān (2:255). It is the most famous verse of the Qur’an and is widely memorized and displayed in the Islamic world due to its emphatic description of God’s power over the entire universe. The contents are as follows:

– Sifāt (Attributes of God)
– He doesn’t tire (by sleep)
– To Him belongs everything in the universe
– No one can intercede with Him except by His Will
– He knows what is before them and what will be after them
– They do not know Him except by His Will
– His Throne extends over the universe
– He doesn’t tire (by preserving the universe)
– Sifāt (Attributes of God)

Read it upwards and then downwards.



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