Document Type

Original Study


Universally, language is used not only as a means of communicating information, ideas, etc., but as a means for maintaining and enhancing interpersonal relations. Each language has its own set of tools to achieve this end. In Arabic, as part of the Arab Islamic culture, there exists a large number of rapport enhancing formulas within the Prophetic Hadith. Formulas like:

1. "May Allah bless for you, and may He bless on you, and combine both of you in good (works)",

2."May Allah bless your family and your wealth for you: the reward for lending is praise and repayment.", and

3. "To Allah belongs what He takes and what He gives, and everything has a limited period (in this world). Endure patiently, and expect the reward of Allah.

which are used on the occasions of congratulating someone who is newly married, thanking someone for lending money and condoling someone, respectively, represent linguistic formulas for enhancing rapport among the community individuals.

This paper aims at shedding light on these different rapport enhancing formulas after surveying the books of Prophetic Hadith (especially Muslim’s and Al-Bukhari’s). It also aims at presenting and analyzing these formulas within a politeness perspective. It tries to answer the following questions: (i) What are the strategies used to enhance rapport by using politeness formulas? (ii) What linguistic forms do these formulas take? The analysis of these rapport formulas will be within the framework of politeness making use of Spencer-Oatey’s (2008) approach and the use of linguistic strategies of associative expressiveness.

This study concludes that most of these formulas represent different aspects of one super strategy that works as an umbrella covering a number of sub-strategies. This super strategy takes the form of supplication used by different community members wishing others bliss, health and reward from Allah. It also shows that the linguistic structure of these formulas varies in length and complexity.