Footing and Speech Acts in the Qurʼanic Dialogue of Allah and Iblīs: A Pragmatically Enhanced Approach


This study seeks to examine the interface potentially holding between footing and the speech acts performed in the main Qurʼanic dialogue of Allah and Iblīs (Q15:32-43). The study utilizes a synthetic approach that combines two theoretical strands: (i) Erving Goffman’s (1979, 1981) interaction model of footing as orchestrated by the speaker roles of animator, author, and principal; (ii) Searle’s (1976) classification scheme of illocutionary acts and their felicity conditions. Crucially, the pragmatically enhanced footing analysis of the Qurʼanic speech event that binds Allah and Iblīs has demonstrated how the two participants perform illocutionary acts that determine their theologically felicitous speaker roles as animator, author, and/or principal. Five categories of illocutionary acts have been identified in the overall participation framework of the dialogue: expressives, directives, declarations, representatives, and commissives. Based on these categories, both Allah and Iblīs have performed acts as authors, whose utterances are animated via the reportorial style of the Qurʼanic text; further, the perlocutions of certain acts have manifested the discursive positions of each participant in a way that reflects his manipulating speaker role in the speech event.


Amir H. Y. Salama


Allah, footing, Ibl?s, principal, the Qur?an, speech acts