Codex Arabe 331 – A Qur'ānic Manuscript From 1st Century Hijra At The Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

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First Composed: 7th December 2014

Last Updated: 5th April 2015

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(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

(f)

Folios of manuscript Arabe 331 (a) 3 recto, (b) 24 recto, (c) 36 verso and (d) 44 verso at Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. Folios of (e) Leiden Or. 14.545b recto and (f) Leiden Or. 14.545c recto at the University Library, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Date

1st century of hijra.

Noseda included this manuscript in his table of ḥijāzī manuscripts from 1st century hijra. Giving information about a ḥijāzī manuscript kept at the Universiteitsbibliothek Leida (i.e., University Library, Lieden), he does not mark any dash to indicate the contents of the manuscript.[1] One may surmise that perhaps Noseda had only limited information concerning this manuscript at the time of writing and made note of the existence of the manuscript.

Originally believed to date from the latter part of the eight century, the folio of MS Leiden Or. 14.545b has now been subject to radiocarbon analysis under the auspices of the Corpus Coranicum project and has been dated to 652-763 CE with 95.4% probability, with that range being broken down into a 89.3% probability that it dates to between 652 and 694 CE and a 6.1% probability that it dates to between 747 and 763 CE.[2]

Manuscript Number

Arabe 331 (at Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris) and Ms. Leiden Or. 14.545b + Or. 14.545c (at University Library, Leiden).

Size & Folios

41.3 cm x 34.8 cm. There are 19 lines per page. Manuscript on parchment.

This manuscript has 58 folios = 56 (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris)[3] + 2 (University Library, Leiden).[4]

History Of The Manuscript

François Déroche was the first person to give a brief description in his handlist of manuscripts at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. It is not mentioned how this manuscript was acquired. Ms. Leiden Or. 14.545b + Or. 14.545c were purchased in May 1979 from Mr. H. C. Jorissen, former Dutch ambassador in Beirut, where he had purchased the fragments.

Script & Ornamentation

Ḥijāzī or ḥijāzī-like. B 1a according to the classification of Déroche. The script is upright though slightly tilted to the right and is penned in a brownish ink. The consonants are frequently differentiated by oblique strokes. There is no vocalisation. Usually six, sometimes less, small oblique strokes (giving the appearance of dots) arranged in a triangular formation punctuate the verses. Every tenth verse is indicated by alphabetic numerals (abjad) usually enclosed in a black hollow circle. The beginning and end of the sūrahs are characterized by an extra blank line that has been added with the absence of any ornamentation. After the last word of the sūrah written in a smaller script almost without diacritics, possibly by a later(?) copyist, or, sometimes in the space between the two sūrahs, we find the phrase "khatimatu sūrati...".

Contents

The contents of the manuscript are tabulated below.

Arabe 331 / Ms. Leiden Or. 14.545b + Or. 14.545c
Folios Qur'anic Surah / Ayah Image Publication Comments
1r 2:125 - 2:132
1v 2:132 - 2:140
2r 2:140 - 2:144
2v 2:144 - 2:151
3r 2:151 - 2:161
3v 2:161 - 2:167
4r 2:168 - 2:175
4v 2:175 - 2:180
5r 2:181 - 2:187
5v 2:187 - 2:191
6r 2:201 - 2:210
6v 2:210 - 2:213
7r 2:213 - 2:218
7v 2:219 - 2:222
8r 2:222 - 2:229
8v 2:229 - 2:232
9r 2:232 - 2:235
9v 2:235 - 2:240
10r 2:240 - 2:246
10v 2:246 - 2:250
11r 2:250 - 2:255
11v 2:255 - 2:258
12r 7:162 - 7:169
12v 7:169 - 7:176
13r 7:176 - 7:186
13v 7:186 - 7:194
14r 7:194 - 7:205
14v 7:205 - 7:206; 8:1 - 8:6
15r 8:6 - 8:16
15v 8:16 - 8:25
16r 8:25 - 8:33
16v 8:34 - 8:41
17r 8:41 - 8:47
17v 8:47 - 8:54
18r 8:54 - 8:64
18v 8:64 - 8:72
19r 8:72 - 8:75; 9:1 - 9:3
19v 9:3 - 9:8
20r 9:8 - 9:16
20v 9:16 - 9:24
21r 9:24 - 9:29
21v 9:29 - 9:35
22r 14:9 - 14:18
22v 14:18 - 14:24
23r 14:25 - 14:35
23v 14:35 - 14:44
24r 14:45 - 14:52; 15:1 - 15:7
24v 15:7 - 15:25
25r 15:25 - 15:45
25v 15:46 - 15:65
26r 15:66 - 15:88
26v 15:88 - 15:99; 16:1 - 16:5
27r 16:5 - 16:15
27v 16:15 - 16:27
28r 16:27 - 16:35
28v 16:35 - 16:43
29r 16:44 - 16:55
29v 16:55 - 16:64
16:96 - 16:105 Witkam, 2007 Ms. Leiden Or. 14.545b (r)
16:106 - 16:114 Witkam, 2007 Ms. Leiden Or. 14.545b (v)
30r 16:114 - 16:124
30v 16:124 - 16:128; 17:1 - 17:4
31r 17:78 - 17:89
31v 17:89 - 17:98
32r 17:98 - 17:107
32v 17:107 - 17:111; 18:1 - 18:6
33r 25:65 - 25:77
33v 26:1 - 26:19
34r 43:81 - 43:89; 44:1 - 44:7
34v 44:8 - 44:28
35r 45:8 - 45:18
35v 45:18 - 45:27
36r 45:27 - 45:37
36v 45:37; 46:1 - 46:8
37r 46:21 - 46:29
37v 46:29 - 46:35
38r 47:1 - 47:10
38v 47:10 - 47:16
39r 47:36 - 47:38; 48:1 - 48:6
39v 48:6 - 48:14
40r 48:14 - 48:20
40v 48:20 - 48:26
41r 48:27 - 48:29; 49:1 - 49:2
41v 49:2 - 49:9
42r 49:9 - 49:14
42v 49:15 - 49:18; 50:1 - 50:7
43r 50:7 - 50:26 Déroche, 1983
43v 50:26 - 50:43
44r 50:44 - 5:45; 51:1 - 51:23
44v 51:23 - 51:43
45r 51:43 - 51:60; 52:1 - 52:2
45v 52:2 - 52:25
46r 52:25 - 52:45
46v 52:45 - 52:49; 53:1 - 53:21
47r 53:21 - 53:32
47v 53:32 - 53:62
48r 54:41 - 54:55; 55:1 - 55:10
48v 55:11 - 55:36
49r 55:36 - 55:64
49v 55:65 - 55:78; 56:1 - 56:19
50r 56:19 - 56:55
50v 56:55 - 56:53
51r 56:54 - 56:96; 57:1 - 57:5
51v 57:5 - 57:12
52r 57:12 - 57:19
52v 57:19 - 57:25
53r 57:25 - 57:29; 58:1
53v 58:1 - 58:7
54r 58:7 - 58:12
54v 58:12 - 58:22
55r 58:22; 59:1 - 59:4
55v 59:4 - 59:9
56r 59:9 - 59:16
56v 59:17 - 59:23; 60:1
63:1 - 63:7 Witkam, 2007 Ms. Leiden Or. 14.545c (r)
63:8 - 63:11; 64:1 - 64:4 Witkam, 2007 Ms. Leiden Or. 14.545c (v)

Location

Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; University Library, Leiden.

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References & Notes

[1] S. N. Noseda, "Note Esterne In Margin Al 1° Volume Dei ‘Materiali Per Un'edizione Critica Del Corano’", Rendiconti: Classe Di Lettere E Scienze Morali E Storiche, 2000, Vol. 134, Fasc. 1, pp. 19-28.

[2] "Oudste Leidse Koranfragmenten ruim een eeuw ouder dan gedacht". For English translation of the same see "Oldest Quran Fragments in Leiden" at Leiden University. Both the links accessed on 25th December 2014.

[3] F. Déroche, Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, Bibliothèque Nationale: Paris, p. 67 & Plate IX.

[4] J. J. Witkam, Inventory Of The Oriental Manuscripts Of The Library Of The University Of Leiden, 2007, Volume 15, Manuscripts Or. 14.001 - Or. 15.000, Ter Lugt Press: Leiden, p. 253; J. J. Witkam, ''Course of Islamic Paleography'', The Netherlands, 2007, available online.

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