A Functional Linguistic Analysis of the Incest Taboo Relationships in the Holy Quran

Hashim Aliwy Mohammed Al-Husseini, Ambigapathy Pandian, Ghayth K. Shaker Al-Shaibani


This paper presents the incestuous relationships as defined in the Holy Quran; they are regarded as the most sensitive aspects in the regulation of family structure and they are important in the people’s righteous life. This study aims to link the social and religious concept of incest taboo with the functional-linguistic views by employing Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) theory (1985). It is an attempt to understand whether incestuous relations are determined by cultural, social or religious constraints. The data analysed in this study include a typical Quranic text selected purposefully from the Holy Quran for its functional and linguistic features. It was concluded that the analysis of the Quranic text is not a matter of displaying the linguistic form, but to arrange certain familial and marriage relations and to differentiate between incestuous relatives and non-incestuous ones and thus defining proper marriages. Moreover, the Authorized Participant Almighty Allah who has the power over the other participants who can be Muslims and non-Muslims as expressed in this Quranic text has imposed regulations and rules on them. The identification of the incestuous relations is based on the analysis of three situational dimensions: field, tenor and mode.


incestuous relationships, kinship terms, marriage, systemic Functional Linguistics

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