ples and proofs, and allude to primary and secondary meanings; so too with the elements of the subject and predicate and their modes of expression, it should infer the repulsion of doubts and delusions – as though each part of it is the answer to an implicit question. If you want an example, study the Opening Sura of the Qur’an!
The Twelfth Matter
Know that there are three sorts of style or modes of expression (uslūb):
The First is a sheer or abstract style (al-uslūb al-mujarrad); it is of a single colour and is characterized by its conciseness, naturalness, correctness, and integrity. It is smooth and even, and used for business, discussions, and the instrumental sciences. If you want a fluent example of it, study the works of Sayyid al-Jurjani.
The Second is the embellished style (al-uslūb al-muzayyan); it is characterized by embellishment and illumination, and by arousing the heart with either longing or disgust. Suitable places for it are addresses [intended to] praise or censure and so on, and for persuasion and similar things. If you are looking for an embellished example, enter Dalā’il al-I‘jāz and Asrār al-Balāgha, for in them you will happen on many an ornamented garden.
The Third is the high style (al-uslūb al-‘ālī), which is characterized by its intensity, power, grandeur, and spiritual loftiness. The suitable places for it are divine matters, the principles of religion, and philosophy. If you want a perspicuous and miraculous example, study the Qur’an, for in it are eloquent truths that have been seen by no eye nor occurred to any heart.
This section is concluded here in summary form.
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Consider this: the noteworthy points in the verse we were discussing: “Their parable is that of people who kindle... (Mathaluhum ka-mathal alladhī istawqada...)” (to the end of the verse, 2:17), are as follows:
Firstly: its positioning in regard to what precedes it.
Secondly: the positioning of [and relationships between] its phrases.
Thirdly: the positioning of [and relationships between] the constituents of its phrases.
Bearing in mind the above [discussion on eloquence], know that having given a clear description of the dissemblers’ circumstances and their crimes, the Qur’an cites the following comparison (tamthīl) for three reasons: