Saussure’s Concept of Binary Oppositions: Looking through the Lens of the Holy Qur’an


  • Nasim Gul Visiting Lecturer Department of English, Kohat University of Science & Technology (KUST) Kohat & FATA University, Kohat, KP
  • Athar Farooq Assistant Professor, Department of English, Hazara University, Mansehra, KP
  • Dr.Akbar Ali Assistant Professor/Chairperson Department of English, FATA University, Kohat,KP



Binary oppositions, the Holy Qur’an, the Holy Surah As-Shams, Ferdinand de Saussure, Structuralism


Our world is the combination of opposite things. Black opposes white, water opposes fire, right opposes wrong. According to Ferdinand De Saussure language is also considered a system of Binary oppositions. Therefore, the main aim of this article is to exhibit Saussure’s theory of binary oppositions through the Holy text of Qur’an. This has been demonstrated through 15 verses of Surah As-Shams. Terms are placed opposite to each other in this surah for comprehension. Three kinds of binary oppositions are identified and explained through the selected verses. The first is binary pair i.e. two opposites in one like God. Second, opposites in two different beings like the Sun and the Moon. The third one includes two absolute oppositions i.e. the existence of one means the non-existence of the other. For instance, Sin and Righteousness, Day and Night etc. The first two types of binary oppositions contribute to the first type of opposition because these are the instances of God creatures. The study further demonstrates that binary opposition also brings aesthetic or stylistic effects in the Holy text of the Holy Quran and other texts as well.