The Islamic tradition credits the promulgation of a uniform consonantal skeleton ( rasm) of the Quran to the third caliph ʿUthmān (r. 644–656). However, in recent years various scholars have espoused a conjectural dating of the Quran's codification to the time of ʿAbd al-Malik, or have at least maintained that the Islamic scripture was open to significant revision up until c. 700 ce. This two-part article proposes to undertake a systematic assessment of this hypothesis. The first instalment assesses the evidence adduced in favour of a late seventh-century closure of the Quranic text, including the interest which ʿAbd al-Malik's governor al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf reportedly took in the text. It is argued that neither the epigraphic nor the literary evidence examined is incompatible with the conventional dating of the Quranic text.