Association of Arab Universities Journal for Arts مجلة اتحاد الجامعات العربية للآداب

Association of Arab Universities Journal for Arts  مجلة اتحاد الجامعات العربية للآداب

Document Type



This study deals with simile as a figure of speech in the field of theoretical linguistics and relevance theory. It presents a model in analyzing the degree of relevance in comparing “Houris” in the Quranic discourse, based on the inductive approach in reviewing related literature and the descriptive approach in selecting the material. In other words, this study further illustrates some of its pragmatic functions via Qur'anic discourse by utilizing the selected simile of "Houris"-the nymphs of paradise in the Qur'anic verses: "and wide-eyed houris, as the likeness of nestled pearls"(Al-Waqi'ah: 22-23). The use of relevance theory here reaffirms the analytical benefits of cognitive linguistic accounts. This paper is divided into two main sections. The first section is for providing conceptual clarity to the notion of simile as a single basic phenomenon. The second section provides the practical application of the study’s theoretical premise by scrutinizing the realization the Degree of Relevance of the simile “Houris” in the Holy Qur'an. This study finds that simile is more related to metaphor than to literal comparison. Unlike literal comparison, both metaphor and simile figuratively involve ad hoc concepts, even though the concepts work, and are constructed and perceived differently. It further reveals that Qur'anic simile is used as a cognitive tool that facilitates inferential and interpretative processes via its communication of abstract and unseen and nuanced themes of God’s message to its audience. The houris' similes essentially provide its recipients with strong ostensive stimuli with strong contextual effects, while the contents enable them to exert the least cognitive effort to grasp the intangible and immeasurable, and infer the utterance intended meaning.