Pathos’ as Persuasive Technique in The Holy Quran

An Analysis of Surah Az-Zumar


  • Haleema Saadia Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi
  • Sarwet Rasul Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi


Persuasion, the Holy Quran, pathos, fear appeal, praise


The study of persuasion in communication is one of the oldest studies which date back to Greek philosopher Aristotle in 384 BC -322 BC. In a communicative activity concerning persuasion, the communicator tries to seek a desired response from the receiver; however, the response from the receiver is considered to be voluntary. In religious texts, various persuasive strategies are used which help the communicator achieve expected and desired response for the message. The current study aims to explore and study the use of ‘Pathos’ as a persuasive technique in the Holy Quran. Surah Az-Zumar, chapter 39 which is a Makki Surah of the Holy Quran, is taken as a sample; and its English translation by Shabbir Ahmed is used for analysis. The persuasive technique ‘Pathos’ can be applied by addressing various types of emotions. However, two main ways that are used to persuade through pathos are ‘fear appeal’ and ‘praise’; and the data of the current research is also explored under only these two main categories to provide insights into how the Holy Quran has used pathos to persuade people.