Qur’anic Identity Building: A Discourse Analysis of Asmā’ al-Qur’an

Document Type : Research Paper


Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, Indonesia



This paper seeks to explains the way in which the Qur’ān historically established its identity through its use of asmā’ al-Qur’ān (al-qur’ān, al-kitāb, al-furqān, and al-dhikr). In doing so, it combines the analysis of the literary feature and the historical chronology of every single use of asmā’ al-qur’ān terminologies during its formative period. This analysis requires the use of al-tartīb al-nuzūl approach—that of al-Jābiri—integrated with discourse analysis to understand the process of identity building of the Qur’an. According to this study, the Qur’ān language was the tool through which the Qur’ān distributed its power, both explicitly and implicitly. The implicit mechanism manifesting itself as the Qur’ān’s positional play between the traditional shi‘r and earlier scripture in order to influence the Quraish’s psychological state. The explicit mechanism is that it clearly declares itself to be the Arabic scripture (Qur’ānan arabiyya). Asmā’ al-Qur’ān plays an important role in both strategies. There would be no better way to gain influence for the Arab community, which valued language and had a strong emotional attachment to it. Even though few believed in it, the identity of the Qur’an had been successfully established through both strategies in its first seven years.