A Study of Quranic Quotations in Iqbal’s Poetry: an Intertextual Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


University of Sistan and Baluchestan


The present article studies Quranic quotations in the poetry of Mohammad Iqbal Lahori based on the approach of intertextuality. Iqbal is one of the greatest poets and intellectuals of the Eastern Muslim world. Quran is a source of inspiration both in his life and poetic career. His poetry is interwoven with Quran through intertextual Quotations. These Quranic quotations are central to the production of meaning in Iqbal’s poems. The present research limits itself to Julia Kristeva’s concept of intertextuality. Kristeva (1980) states that meaning is not inherent in the text rather it is produced through the intertextual relations between texts. This research aims to apply Plett’s (1990) set of structural codes of quotations to Iqbal’s poetic text to expose the role of scriptural quotations in his poetry. The findings of this paper show that Quranic quotations mostly follow the rules of general quotations; except that as authoritative words they are open to some transformations at surface structure but not at deep structure. The semantic fixity of Quranic quotations does not prevent their application as means of power for purposes not endorsed by Quranic instructions. Finally, the authoritative nature of Quranic quotations allows Iqbal not to employ quotation markers in his text wherever he makes use of them. 


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