On (De) Personification in Prophet Muhammad’s Tradition

Ahmad El-Sharif


In this paper, I discuss the themes of personification and de-personification in the Prophet Muhammad’s Tradition from a cognitive linguistic viewpoint. Instances of personification and de- personification in Prophet Muhammad’s Tradition are analysed following approaches of conceptual metaphor theory and critical metaphor analysis. The analysis reveals that the two linguistic phenomena are eminent in the language of the Prophet Muhammad. Personification, for instance, is frequently used for ontological purposes to portray and conceptualise non-human entities such as abstract concepts, body parts, and human deeds. De-personification, on the other hand, is used to evoke more prevalent ideological implication whereby people are classified into a hierarchical scale according to the degree of their faith and the nature of their deeds and behaviours.

Keywords: Personification, Islam, Prophet Muhammad’s Tradition, Conceptual Metaphor Theory

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