A study of speech acts in Ghadir Hadith based on Austin and searle theory

Document Type : Original Article


1 MA in Qoran and Hadith Siences, University of Shahed, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Quran and Hadith Siences, University of Shahed, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, faculty of Persian Language and Literature. University of Shahed, Tehran, Iran.


Speech act proposed by Austin and Searle is a groundbreaking theory in pragmatics. This theory shows how language is used to do things or perform acts. It looks at language use in contexts and seeks to reveal
implied meanings and implicatures, enabling scholars to provide a more comprehensive and thorough analysis of texts. According to speech act theory, human beings do not just employ words and grammatical
structures of language to convey meanings to each other, they perform certain acts through speech. The current study aims to explore and analyze the speech acts present in Ghadir Hadith according to the speech
act theory. The findings show that multiple speech acts are tapped on to convey the main message of Ghadir speech made by the holy prophet. In declarative speech acts, after the successful employment of declarative verb, a new situation emerges and Imam Ali is appinted as the successor of the holy prophet. Also, in directive speech acts, the addressee is requested to shoulder his divine responsibilities vis-à-vis the rightousness of Imam Ali as the successor of Holy Prophet. In representative/assertive acts, the actual reality about succession of prophet is made manifest in the speech of prophet and attempt is made to exhibit its rightness. In commissive acts, the prophet sees himself committed to convey the divine decree about Imam Ali’s succession. In expressive acts, prophet portrays the elevated status of Imam Ali and conveys his emotions by the use of expressive domains of language and expressive speech acts. Withdueregard to situational/contextual factors and speech acts used in Ghadir hadith, the addresser sought to introduce his successor by directing the addressees, asserting his virtues and reminding the addressees of his noble qualities. The addresser in Ghadir hadith sought to share his line of reasoning and thoughts with the addressees and call upon them to swear allegiance to Imam Ali. The current paper concludes that through gaining metalinguistic awareness of elements in Ghadir speech and by tapping on the functions of language, Muslims can gain a deeper understaning of the hidden semantic layers and unveil the shrouds about subtle facts.