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      “The Grace of God” as evidence for a written Uthmanic archetype: the importance of shared orthographic idiosyncrasies

      Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          Abstract

          This paper takes a novel approach to the question of when and how the text of the Quran was codified into its present form, usually referred to as the Uthmanic text type. In the Quran the phrase niʿmat allāh/rabbi-ka “the grace of god/your lord” can spell niʿmat “grace” either with tāʾ or tāʾ marbūṭah. By examining 14 early Quranic manuscripts, it is shown that this phrase is consistently spelled using only one of the two spellings in the same position in all of these different manuscripts. It is argued that such consistency can only be explained by assuming that all these manuscripts come from a single written archetype, meaning there must have been a codification project sometime in the first century. The results also imply that these manuscripts, and by extension, Quran manuscripts in general, were copied from written exemplars since the earliest days.

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          The Codex of a Companion of the Prophet and the Qurān of the Prophet

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            Ṣan‘ā’ 1 and the Origins of the Qur’ān

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              When did the consonantal skeleton of the Quran reach closure? Part I

              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.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                applab
                Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
                Bull. Sch. Orient. Afr. stud.
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0041-977X
                1474-0699
                June 21 2019
                : 1-18
                Article
                10.1017/S0041977X19000338
                8178941a-92ed-40e4-9f81-acaabb3953ad
                © 2019

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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