The Pragmatic Functions of the Recitation of Qur'anic Verses by Muslims in their Oral Genre: The Case of Insha'Allah, 'God's Willing'

Ayman Nazzal


In this study, I set out to investigate the motivations and reasons which induce Muslims to invoke the recitation of Quranic verses in their ordinary discourse. Based on the analysis of the data complied, Muslims seem inclined to recite Quranic verses for a host of pragmatic functions. These pragmatic functions range from mitigating ones commitment for carrying out a future action or failing to honor ones commitment, to avoiding the effects and adverse consequences of ones actions on others. In addition, the recitation appears to function as a confirmation of the participants religious, cultural, and linguistic identities. Furthermore, the findings of this study underlie the multifaceted functions that Muslims attach to and associate with use of Quranic verses. Muslims can exonerate themselves from the responsibilities of rejecting directives or turning down offers or avoiding staking the self-image of their recipient particularly when their actions are face-threatening or have undesirable consequences on their recipients. Moreover, the findings of this study reveal that Muslims are inclined to use Quranic verses as a rhetorical strategy of indirect persuasion to lend credibility to the claims they wish their prospective audiences to act upon them.

Keywords: Pragmatic functions, Communicative practices, Quranic verses as rhetorical strategies of
persuasion, Indirectness in the oral genre of Muslims discourse patterns.

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