AWEJ Special Issue on Translation No. (2) 2013                                                                       Pp86-95

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Intra-textuality in Translating Some Problematic Qur’anic Verses

Asim Ismail Ilyas
Arab Open University
Jordan branch


This paper is an attempt to solve the problems of translating some ambiguous items in the Qur’anic text by using the notion of intra-textuality. The term intra-textuality is defined and compared with that of inter-textuality. The intra-textuality technique seems quite useful when a ST problematic item has more than one parallel occurrence in a text. It is used to establish some form of  discourse-semantic-pragmatic relation between the problematic lexical item and its other parallel occurrence(s) in the macro text.  It is applied to four problematic items in the Qu’ranic text, for  which not only different translators have produced different rendering for the same item , but even one and the same translator has produced inconsistent renderings in different editions of his translation work, probably  as a result of some change in the translator’s experiential knowledge or  ideologies. Based on such a discourse-oriented  perspective, interpretation and translation solutions are suggested for the four cases  investigated.

Key Words: translation, intra-textuality, inter-textuality, ambiguity, macro-text.


Asim Ilyas got his Ph.D. in Linguistics and Translation from ST. Andrews in 1981.
Currently, he teaches at the Arab Open University, Amman, Jordan. His research interests
are in the domains of translation, sociolinguistics, semantics, and discourse analysis. translation