SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Abdel-Haleem, Muhammad (2020) 'Sūrat Maryam (Q. 19): Comforting Muḥammad.' Journal of Qur'anic Studies, 22 (2). pp. 60-85.

Text - Accepted Version
Download (473kB) | Preview


Mary is a very important figure in the Qur'an, in which she is mentioned by name 34 times. In addition to passing references, such as in Q. 23:50 and Q. 66:12, two important Qur'anic pericopes are devoted to her: Q. 3:33–50 and Q. 19:16–36. Over and above this, Sura 19 is named after her. Much has been written about this sura, with recent scholarship giving particular attention to its structure. Identifying the structure within the sura is of course important, especially in view of the way the material is presented in the muṣḥaf, which sets out the entire sura in continuous text, without any divisions or paragraphs apart from the markers at the end of each verse. Structural analysis can be useful in terms of identifying main subject topics of a given sura, but there is a danger that overreliance on structural analysis can focus too heavily on form, thereby overlooking the message and purpose that runs throughout each sura. Form and literary analysis are important but only insofar as they indicate topics and meanings and show the purpose of the entire sura. In this article, I seek to undertake a structural analysis of Sūrat Maryam which identifies a different structure from those outlined by previous scholars. This structural analysis is based in, and led by, the study of the theme and purpose of this sura, which I maintain is to provide comfort and reassurance for the Prophet Muḥammad.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Mary, Maryam, structure, coherence, function, Qur'an, Sura 19,
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre of Islamic Studies
Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
ISSN: 14653591
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press in Journal of Qur'anic Studies, 22 (2). pp. 60-85 The Version of Record is available online at: © Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 11:15
Funders: Other

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item