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Updates for the years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.


27th December 2012

Two more additions to the material from early Islam. Two papyri dealing with debt with the dating formula sanat qadā’ al-mu’minīn (“the year of the dispensation of the believers”) are added. They are P. Louvre Inv. J. David-Weill 20 – A Papyrus Bearing Acknowledgement Of A Debt, 42 AH / 662-663 CE and P. Vindob. A 1119 – A Papyrus About Debt Settlement, 57 AH / 676-677 CE. These are in the section The Arabic Papyri.

Consequently, we have updated Dated Muslim Texts From 1-72 AH / 622-691 CE: Documentary Evidence For Early Islam.


20th November 2012

One place which is mentioned more than any other is Egypt, referred to as miṣr in the Qur’an. While Joseph was a foreigner in Egypt, presumably from the land of Canaan, and Pharaoh, on the other hand, a native of Egypt, they both referred to Egypt as miṣr. A valid question may be asked as to whether Egypt during the time of Joseph and Moses was indeed called miṣr by foreigners as well as rulers of Egypt. The article On The Use Of Miṣr In The Qur'ān provides an answer to this question.

This article is in the section Refutation Of The So-Called External Contradictions In The Qur'an.


1st November 2012

The article Concise List Of Arabic Manuscripts Of The Qur'ān Attributable To The First Century Hijra receives its eighth interim update. Though rare, carbon dating of Qur'anic manuscripts is increasingly being used in conjunction with other well-established methods to assist in solving some of the questions surrounding the genesis of Qur'anic scripts still vexing modern researchers. We give details of a new manuscript which has been carbon dated (presently unpublished) that was mentioned in a lecture ‘Of Volume and Skins’ by Professor François Deroche given at the fourth biennial Hamad Bin Khalifa Symposium On Islam Art in October 2011, as well as providing details of other folios from the same manuscript. Given the current state of manuscript research, it is an unfortunate state of affairs that auction house catalogs are still an important source of information regarding early Qur'anic manuscripts. Therefore, we wish to bring to light some of the earliest manuscripts of the Qur'an that have been sold at auction in London by the three main auction houses dealing in Islamic art and related objects, namely Sotheby's, Christie's and Bonhams. In the first stage of this enterprise, with a few exceptions, we have searched through all of Sotheby's biannual Arts of the Islamic World catalog (formerly Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures) from 1984 until 2012, and picked out for mention the earliest manuscripts of the Qur'an. Where a folio has been sold more than once, or different parts of the same manuscript have been sold, we provide a reference only to the latest instance of its sale.

All the relevant statistics and tables have been updated accordingly as well as providing a few additional references and comments. The total text of the Qur'an in the manuscripts from 1st century hijra now stand at ~91.7%.

This article is present in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


19th May 2012

Today our article Concise List Of Arabic Manuscripts Of The Qur'ān Attributable To The First Century Hijra receives its seventh interim update, the biggest update since its initial release on the 17th July 2009. There are quite a few modifications to Table I and we mention them here for the benefit of the interested reader who can quickly locate the changes. Is 1615 II and Arabe 330g are from the same codex. The addition of the manuscript from al-Maktaba al-Sharqiyya [a truly remarkable (re)discovery] that belongs to Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I. Two very important manuscripts auctioned in France in September 2011, Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 151, a palimpsest belonging to the same manuscript as Ms. 1611-MKH235, and, Lot 152, belonging to the same manuscript as Arabe 326a and KFQ34. Lastly, the entries for Arabe 6140a and Ms. Add. 1125 have been merged as they belong to the same manuscript. We have also given Table II a new layout so the precise contents of the respective manuscripts can be ascertained far easier than before. All the relevant statistics and tables have been updated accordingly as well as providing a few additional references and comments. The total text of the Qur'an in the manuscripts from 1st century hijra now stand at ~91.7%.

This article is present in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


9th April 2012

Addition of M a VI 165 – A Qur'ānic Manuscript From The 1st Century Hijra At The Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen, Germany. Written in the ḥijāzī script though listed as kufic in the catalogue entry. The script is fairly large, thick, rather narrow, slightly rounded, with high shafts and slight tilt to the right. In some folios, the script has faded and it has been retouched by a later hand with black ink. The consonants are frequently differentiated by dashes. A set of 2 or 3 oval dots punctuate the verses. Every tenth verse is marked by a red hollow circle surrounded by dots. The end of sūrahs is characterized by a series of sets of dots forming triangles to fill the line. The beginning and end of the sūrahs is characterized by ornamentation and with sūrah heading written in the naskhi script, both of which are done inconsistently by a later hand. The muṣḥaf is vocalised by red dots and black dashes, the latter very inconsistently, and is of a later hand. This manuscript has 77 folios, containing continuous text of the Qur'an from 17:35 to 36:57. This constitutes about 26.2% of the total text of the Qur'an.

This article is present in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


23rd March 2012

In 2004, Razan Ghassan Hamdoun submitted her master's thesis to Al-Yemenia University, the subject of which was a detailed study of one very early ḥijāzī manuscript of the Qur'an comprising of 40 folios. Unknown to herself or anybody else at that time until today, these folios are from the same manuscript as DAM 01-27.1 - now known collectively as Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I. We have re-written the article Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I – A Qur'ānic Manuscript From Mid–1st Century Of Hijra presenting the history of the manuscript in roughly chronological order highlighting the important events, studies and twists and turns along the way. Also, we provide a full table of contents including the folios located at al-Maktaba al-Sharqiyya brought to notice by Dr. Hamdoun. Referring to the lower text, Sadeghi and Goudarzi said of Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I, “… at present the most important document for the history of the Qur’an. … it has the greatest potential of any known manuscript to shed light on the early history of the scripture.” This hitherto unknown section of the manuscript made known by Hamdoun is a remarkable (re)discovery without parallel since 1965/72. Slightly larger than the section contained in Dār al-Makhṭūtāt, it is tremendously significant and provides additional very early material evidence of the text of the Qur’an and its subsequent collection and standardisation.

This article is present in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


10th February 2012

Addition of Arabe 6140a – A Qur'ānic Manuscript From 1st Century Hijra At The Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. Written in the ḥijāzī script. It has 6 folios; 4 (Arabe 6140a, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris) + 2 (Camb. Ms. Add. 1125, University Library, University of Cambridge). These folios contain about ~4.2% of the text of the Qur'an. The format is vertical, and the script which is thin and slender, also has a distinct vertical emphasis, despite the slant to the right. The text is written in brown-black ink, with occasional diacritical strokes.

This article is present in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


29th January 2012

Dr. Alba Fedeli has researched the provenance of several early fragments of the Qur'ān located in various institutions around the world including the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland, the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, the University Library, University of Birmingham and the National Library of Russia, St. Petersburg. In the process she has established the common origin for said fragments by relating them to fragments already known. We have thus taken the opportunity to provide the sixth interim update to our article Concise List Of Arabic Manuscripts Of The Qur'ān Attributable To The First Century Hijra. Also, an early ḥijāzī manuscript from Cambridge and one from Istanbul we had mentioned previously have now been included in the table due to the recent publication of high quality images allowing for a better assessment of their principal characteristics. Additionally, an early ḥijāzī folio unsold at Sotheby's recent sale of Islamic Art, ‘tentatively’ dated to the second half of the 7th century has been included in the table also. We have brought to attention an early ‘ḥijāzī’ codex comprising 270 pages that has been put back on display at the newly renovated Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, Egypt. Details of this manuscript are sparse and it would appear never to have been the subject of detailed study. All the relevant statistics and tables have been updated accordingly as well as providing a few additional references and comments. The total text of the Qur'ān in the manuscripts from 1st century hijra now stand at ~90.5%.

This article is present in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


18th January 2012

The third and fourth caliphs, i.e., ʿUthmān and ʿAlī, share a very interesting aspect – attribution of ‘authorship’ of numerous manuscripts of the Qur'an. We have added The “Qur'ān Of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib” (The Ṣanʿāʾ Muṣḥaf) From 1st / 2nd Century Hijra. This manuscript was written in kufic script and contains 275 folios. The extant folios contain about 86% of the text of the Qur'an. The script is slightly sloping backwards and is reminiscent of the type of well-executed kufic script exhibited during the Umayyad period.

This article is present in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


1st January 2012

Comprehensive modern investigations into the historicity of the Book of Esther including its characters have shown that it cannot be considered a strict historical narrative. Therefore, it can no longer be considered acceptable for one to predicate their criticisms on the appearance of Haman in the Qur'an in a different historical period than that of Esther, on the basis of the assumed historicity of the later. The debate has moved past this point engendering a different approach. In this updated article we make a detailed examination of Dr. Adam Silverstein's hypothesis regarding the alleged transformation of Haman from the Bible to the Qur'an. What makes Silverstein's approach particularly interesting, is that he does not base his argument on the historicity of Esther, differentiating his methodology from almost every other critic. Silverstein analyses a number of sources whose application to the Qur'anic story of Haman has hitherto never been made, however, his interpretation, analysis and subsequent application of these sources is disputable. Surprisingly, no attempt is made to engage with sources from ancient Egypt, the setting in which the Qur'an mentions Haman. We thus take the opportunity to further investigate just who Qur'anic Haman could be, updating a previous view of ours, by focussing more closely on his Qur'anic setting in conjunction with ancient Egyptian history, beliefs and practices. We have renamed the article as Biblical Haman » Qur’ānic Hāmān: A Case Of Straightforward Literary Transition? to reflect the modern scholarhship on Haman in the Qur'an (Our earlier version of the article was titled: ‘Historical Errors Of The Qur'an: Pharaoh & Haman’).

Furthermore, making use of any data from ancient Egypt requires scientific validation of its chronology as suggested by egyptologists. Fortunately, we now have the radiocarbon dates (14C dating) of the objects from ancient Egypt which can be used to date the reign of rulers as well as the chronology various Kingdoms (or Dynasties). Giving and taking a few years, the New Kingdom chronology, suggested by egyptologists, is now validated scientifically using 14C dating. This important piece of information is now added in the article The Identification Of Pharaoh During The Time Of Moses.

These articles are in the section Refutation Of The So-Called External Contradictions In The Qur'an.


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