بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Assalamu Alaikum Our Sheikh, and may Allah help you to what pleases Allah and His Messenger.
Allow me to ask a question, despite your preoccupations, but it is sufficient for me that you are trusted to answer:
[لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ]
“…there is nothing like unto Him…” ]Ash-Shura: 42[. Here the letter (ك) (kaaf) is additional, so is this not a metaphor in the particle? Please clarify the issue, may Allah reward you.
Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
It was never mentioned in the book of The Islamic Personality that the metaphor does not fall in the particle, but it is stated that the metaphor in the essence can only be in the generic noun and cannot be in the particle or the verb in all its divisions, nor the derivative in all its divisions, nor the proper noun. The metaphor cannot exist in all of these essentially, but it exists in them subsequently. It has been explained in the book why the metaphor in these things does not exist essentially and that it exists only subsequently.
And I cite for you what is stated in this regard in the book of The Islamic Personality Volume 3, in section "The Real Meaning and the Metaphor":
(The metaphor in the speech can be in the essence, i.e. the original, and it can be in the subsequence. The metaphor in the essence can only be in the generic noun which denotes the selfsame essence which is applicable to many things without any consideration to other qualities, like the word ‘lion’ for the brave person, and the word ‘killing’ for the hard beating, and it cannot be in other than that. And the matters in which the metaphor cannot essentially exist are:
One of them: the particle. Metaphor cannot be in the particle because it does not denote its meaning by itself, but it does not denote it except by mentioning its relevance with it, so since it does not denote by itself, the metaphor cannot exist in it, because its existence is a branch of that the speech benefits a meaning. And as for the existence of the metaphor in the particle subsequently, it can be by using the attached word to it metaphorically, then the metaphor extends from the attached words to the particles, like the saying of Allah Ta'ala:
[فَالْتَقَطَهُ آلُ فِرْعَوْنَ لِيَكُونَ لَهُمْ عَدُواً وَحَزَناً]
“Then the people of Fir'awn picked him up (from the river) so that he (Mousa) becomes to them an enemy and a sorrow …”, since reasoning picking him up by becoming an enemy is a metaphor, so the performance of the illah particle (لِ) is also a metaphor, so the metaphor came in the particle following what is attached to it, but the metaphor does not exist initially in the particle.
The second: the verb in all its divisions, and the derived noun in all its divisions, like beater and the similar, because the verb and the derived noun follow their origins which is the infinity whether it is of the real meaning or the metaphor. So, calling someone by the beater after or before the beating is a metaphor, because using the beating in this situation like saying: "so and so has beating" is metaphor not real.
The third: the proper noun, because if it is improvised (مُرْتَجَل) or transformed without a relation (to a quality), there is no doubt that it is not a metaphor, and if it is transformed for a relation, like if someone named his son Mubarak means blessed for the blessing that accompanied his pregnancy or birth, it is also not metaphor, because if it is metaphor then it will be prevented to call it after the disappearance of the relation, and the situation (with the names) is not as such, which shows that it is not metaphor.) End.
It is clear from this text that the metaphor exists in the particle but it does not exist essentially in the particle, i.e. not in the original, “because the particle does not denote its meaning by itself, but it does not denote it except by mentioning its relevance with it, so since it does not denote by itself, the metaphor cannot exist in it, because its existence is a branch of that the speech benefits a meaning”, but if relevance words to the particle are used metaphorically, then the metaphor extends from the attached words to the particles, so the metaphor in the particle follows what is attached to it.
Now let us come to the example you mentioned in the question about the existence of the metaphor in the particle, which is stated in the book of The Islamic Personality Volume 3 in section "The Real Meaning and the Metaphor": when talking about the relevance of metaphor and their types, where the following was mentioned with the ninth type:
(The ninth kind: the additional, and that is when the talk can still be well arranged by dropping a ward of it, so they judge that it is additional like the saying of Allah Ta'ala
[لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ]
“…there is nothing like unto Him…” ]Ash-Shura: 42[, it means: (لَيْسَ مِثْلَهُ شَيْءٌ) there is nothing like Him; this is called additional metaphor, because the letter (ك) (kaaf) is additional, since the aim is negating the similar not the similar of the similar, because the (ك) kaaf means similar, then it necessitates a similar to Allah Ta'ala and this is impossible, so the (ك) kaaf must be additional for more affirmation.) End.
In this example, the metaphor in the letter (ك) kaaf in the saying of Allah Ta'ala,كَمِثْلِهِ like Him, was not the metaphor in the essence, i.e. the original, but it was in the subsequence; this is because the relevance of the letter (ك) kaaf is what contains the metaphor, and it extends from it to the letter (ك) kaaf. Thus the letter (ك) kaaf benefits similarity to the real meaning, but if the letter (ك) kaaf in this sentence is made to denote the real meaning, the sentence becomes incorrect because it would mean then that there is a similar to Allah Ta'ala and that this similar thing is not like anything i.e., does not resemble anything. But this is not what is meant by the verse, but the meaning of the verse is that there is no similar to Allah. Thus, the verse means: (لَيْسَ مِثْلَهُ شَيْءٌ) there is nothing like Him, and this meaning of the verse necessitates directing the letter (ك) “kaaf” from denoting similarity to not denoting similarity, but to benefit affirmation i.e., directing from the real meaning to the metaphor because of the composition, that is, because of the sentence. The word"كمثله" "like Him" actually indicates "the similar of the similar", but it metaphorically indicates " similar" only as a result of the additional attachment i.e., considering the letter (ك) kaaf additional. This metaphorical meaning of the word "كمثله" "like Him" necessitates that the letter (ك) kaaf be considered additional, and considering it additional is a metaphor because it has been directed from its original meaning, which is similar to not similar, which is to be additional for affirmation. The metaphor in the word "like Him" in the entire sentence extended to the letter (ك) kaaf, that is, it extended from the attachments of the particle to the particle.
The conclusion is that the metaphor mentioned in verse
[لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ]
“…there is nothing like unto Him…”, considering that the letter (ك) kaaf is additional is a subsequent metaphor that can exist in the particles, because the additional of the letter (ك) kaaf was necessitated by the sentence (“…there is nothing like unto Him…”); thus, the letter (ك) kaaf was directed from denoting similarity due to the structure in which the letter (ك) kaaf was placed, that is, metaphor occur in it because of the sentence in which it was put.
I hope the matter is clear now.
Please accept my regards.
The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page