On The ʾaṣ-Ṣulb and ʾat-Tarāʾib: A Linguistic Perspective

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Rashid Al-Balushi


Allah Almighty says in verses (Q. 86:5-7) that the human being is created from ‘gushing water’ that emanates from between ʾaṣ-ṣulb and ʾat-tarāʾib. These two terms have been associated with different body parts in the traditional interpretations and modern translations of the Holy Qurʾān, as well as in some of the contemporary investigations into the issue of human procreation. This paper surveys these views, and cites two modern views on this issue, one is anatomical and the other is cosmological. Besides, it shows that language can provide yet another understanding, one according to which ʾaṣ-ṣulb may refer to the ‘tailbone’, and ʾat-tarāʾib may be interpreted to refer to ‘the rest of the human body’.


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Research Article (English)