METAPHORS IN THE HOLY QUR’AN: SOME SELECTED VERSES

This note aims to highlight the inimitable depth of the expressive language of the Holy Qur’an which is rich with lively images and profound metaphors. One could almost visualize a motion picture upon reading some verses, yet another indication that the Holy Qur’an could not have been produced by an “unschooled” human being.

A Grain That Sprouts Seven Hundred Grains:

Al-Baqara(The Cow) 2:261 “The likeness of those who spend their wealth for the sake of God is as the likeness of a grain[of corn] that sprouts seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for God grants manifold increase unto whom He wills; and God is infinite, all-knowing…”aya 1

 

 

 

 

Barren Rocks Versus Fertile Gardens:

Al-Baqara(The Cow) 2:264“…… he [the disbeliever], who spends his wealth only to be seen and praised by men, and believes not in God and the Last Day: for his parable is that of a smooth rock with [a little] soil, upon it –on it falls heavy rain which leaves it barren. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned: for God does not guide people who refuse to acknowledge the truth. ”aya 2

 

 

 

 

 

Al-Baqara (The Cow) 2:265 “….And the likeness of those who expend their wealth, seeking God’s good pleasure [believers], while they are certain that God will reward them, is as the likeness of a garden on a height: heavy rain falls on it, and thereupon it doubles its yield of harvest; and if it does not receive heavy rain, soft rain suffices it. And God sees all that you do. ”aya 3

 

 

 

 

A Harvest Destroyed by a Freezing Blast:

Al- Imran(The House of Imran) 3:117“The likeness of what they [the unbelievers] spend in this world is as the likeness of a freezing blast which struck the harvest of people who wronged themselves, and it destroyed it: God wronged them not, but they wronged themselves”aya 4

 

 

 

 

A Camel And A Needle’s Eye:

Al-Araf (The Heights) 7:40 “Verily, those who belie Our Ayat [verses, messages, signs, evidence, revelations] and treat them with arrogance, for them the gates of heaven shall not be opened; and they shall not enter paradise any more than a camel [some interpretations say a twisted rope rather than a camel] can pass through a needle’s eye: for thus do We recompense the sinners”aya 5

 

 

 

 

People Who Deny God’s Revelations Act Like What?

Al-Araf (The Heights) 7:175“…..But he inclined towards the earth and followed his lust. So the likeness of him is as the likeness of an [excited] dog; if you drive him away he [pants and] lolls his tongue out, and if you leave him alone he [still pants and] lolls his tongue out. Such is the parable of people who cried lies to Our signs. So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect”aya 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashes In The Furious Wind:

Abraham 14:18“The parable of those who disbelieved in their Lord is that their deeds are as ashes on which the wind blows furiously on a stormy day, they shall not be able to get any benefit whatsoever of what they have earned. That is the straying far away [from the Right Path] ”aya 7

 

 

 

 

Plunging Down From The Sky:

Alhajj(The Pilgrimage) 22:31“……for he who ascribes divinity to anything but God is like one who is hurtling down from the sky whereupon the birds snatch him away, or the wind sweeps him headlong into a place far away.”aya 8

 

 

 

 

A Mirage In The Desert:

Al-Noor (The Light) 24:39“As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in the desert, which the thirsty supposes to be water – until, when he approaches it, he finds that it was nothing: instead, he finds [that] God [has always been present] with him, and [that] He will pay him his account in full [hell] – for God is swift in reckoning!”aya 9

 

 

 

 

Darkness In A Vast Deep Sea:

Al-Noor (The Light)24:40“Or [the state of a disbeliever] is like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with waves topped by waves topped by dark clouds, layers of darkness upon darkness, if a man stretches his hand, he can hardly see it: And he for whom God has not appointed light, for him there is no light ”aya 10

 

 

 

 

The Life Of This World is Only a Deceiving Enjoyment:

Al-Hadeed (The Iron) 57: 20 “KNOW [O men] that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. It is as the likeness of vegetation after rain: thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it crumbles into dust…..The life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment. ”aya 11

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