Concise List Of Arabic Manuscripts Of The Qur'ān Attributable To The First Century Hijra

Islamic Awareness

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First Composed: 14th June 2008

Last Updated: 1st November 2012

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Assalamu-ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

1. Introduction

Accurately dating early Qur'anic manuscripts is a difficult task.[1] There is only one dated manuscript of the Qur'an from the 1st century of hijra[2] and two from the 2nd century, forcing specialists to look elsewhere for comparative material. Dated Arabic papyri and inscriptions from the 1st century of hijra are fairly abundant and thus serve a useful task in providing a basis of comparison with those Qur'anic manuscripts written in the so-called ḥijāzī and kufic styles. Around fifty years ago, Adolf Grohmann was one of the first scholars to specifically list those Arabic manuscripts of the Qur'an attributable to the 1st century of hijra.[3] His list comprised of British Museum Ms. Or. 2165, Arabe 328a, Istanbul Topkapi Saray Medina 1a, A. Perg. 2, P. Cair. B. E. 1700, Vat. Ar. 1605, Arabic Pal. Pl. 44 and P. Michaélidès No. 32. The main basis for Grohmann's dating was palaeographical via comparisons with early dated Arabic papyri. Around thirty five years later, Gruendler compiled all the published dated Arabic texts from the 1st century hijra known to her, in which she briefly discussed early manuscripts of the Qur'an. To Grohmann's list of eight manuscripts (actually seven distinct manuscripts) Gruendler added three more, namely, Ms. Or. 1287 (‘Mingana Palimpsest’), DAM 01-27.1 (belongs to Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I) and LNS 19 CAab.[4] One of the most recent lists of 1st century manuscripts of the Qur'an has been adduced by Noseda and is not based on Grohmann's list nor Grohmann's list as amended by Gruendler. Noseda and Déroche produced a table of ḥijāzī manuscripts of the Qur'an that were known to them,[5] and, according to Noseda, solely from the 1st century of hijra.[6] Noseda compared the contents of the Qur'an in the ḥijāzī manuscripts with the equivalent pages of the so-called King Fuʾād edition, and remarkably, was able to conclude that 83% of the entire Qur'anic text was represented in these manuscripts.[7] The tables provided by Noseda contain only the barest of details. Primarily, only the holding institutions are mentioned and not the actual manuscripts themselves, neither are the exact contents given. Noseda used a combination of dashes to indicate how much of a particular Qur'anic sūrah is present; there are no bibliographic details whatsoever. With Grohmann's list as amended by Gruendler and Noseda's tables as a starting point, we wish to provide additional information as well as mentioning some more folios and manuscripts which have recently come to light or that were not known or originally considered by them.

The aim of this article is modest. It is to present an up-to-date and accurate list of Arabic manuscripts of the Qur'an that are attributable to the 1st century of hijra along with full bibliographic references so that the interested reader may acquire additional information. Only manuscripts of the Qur'an are given consideration here. Qur'anic inscriptions on rocks, coins and other materials from the 1st century of hijra are not included and have been given elsewhere. In many ways, this is a working document, as the information presented in this document would be updated as more manuscripts are published in the scholarly literature.

2. Identification Of Early Qur’anic Manuscripts: Status Quaestionis

Assessing early Qur'anic manuscripts can be a rather daunting task when one considers the relevant technicalities that need to be addressed. For instance, the physical format and dimensions of the page, the margins and ruling, the specific shape of certain letters of the Arabic alphabet in their various forms, letter/word spacing, verse counting/numbering systems, verse and chapter separators, illumination if present, radiocarbon dates, orthographic peculiarities and even the type and colour of ink used. Thus a considerable amount of data, much of which can only be verified by a firsthand inspection of the manuscript, needs to be carefully examined before one can start to consider an early dating. With this in mind, the dating of early Qur'anic manuscripts is the reserve of a limited number of specialists worldwide.

It is oft-repeated that the only reliable way of dating Qur'anic manuscripts is with the presence of an endowment notice. Some scholars suggest that without this potentially reliable piece of evidence it is not possible to safely date Qur'an manuscripts to an early period. This, however, is an unreasonable standard. To think that with the discovery of a single folio of the Qur'an in the ḥijāzī style that is most likely only partially preserved, one should expect to find a perfectly preserved endowment notice is quite unreasonable. Scholars have relied on various evidences and techniques to date the early manuscripts of the Qur'an. We will describe them briefly.

LITERARY EVIDENCE AND SOME NEW CONSIDERATIONS

In terms of the literary identification of the earliest Arabic script, scholars have had to make do with the slender description provided by the Baghdadi Shi’ite bookseller and bibliographer Abū l-Faraj Muḥammad bin Isḥāq Ibn al-Nadīm (d. 380 AH / 990 CE). He said,

Thus saith Muḥammad ibn Ishaq [al-Nadīm]: The first of the Arabic scripts was the script of Makkah, the next of al-Madīnah, then of al-Baṣrah, and then of al-Kūfah. For the alifs of the scripts of Makkah and al-Madīnah there is a turning of the hand to the right and lengthening of the strokes, one form having a slight slant.[8]

A similar interpretation of the second sentence was also advocated by Abbott. A better and probably more accurate rendering of the second sentence is given by Blair from an unpublished article which Whelan had just completed before her death titled, ‘The Phantom Of Ḥijazi Script: A Note On Paleographic Method’.

In their alifs [of the scripts of Makkah and al-Madīnah] there is a turning of the hand to the right and an elevation of the ascenders, and in their form a slight incline.[9]

Based on an interpretation of this text such as is given by Abbott and in Dodge's translation, the three criterion mentioned above have usually been taken to refer to the alifs only. Based on grammatical observations, however, all three criterion can be applied to aspects of the script in general. Thus, based on Whelan's interpretation, the criterion should be properly understood as follows:

  1. alifs which turn to the right,
  2. elevated ascenders, and
  3. slightly inclined form.

After describing the earliest Arabic script of Makkah and Madinah, al-Nadīm goes on to describe the earliest Qur'anic scripts which Déroche and Noseda quite sensibly consider to be identical to those that he lists in the equivalent scripts of Makkah and Madinah. With al-Nadīm's information one is unable to differentiate between the script of Makkah and Madinah, hence the rubric ‘ḥijāzī’ a common geographical area in North-West Arabia including Makkah and Madinah[10] that functions as a catch-all label for the earliest script. Thus, on the basis of these three pieces of data, scholars have come to identify the so-called ḥijāzī style of writing the Qur'an as meeting these requirements.

It should be recognised this is but one small strand of a mountain of literary evidence whose great potential still awaits systematic exploration, investigation and integration in relation to the extant manuscript evidence. The first century hijra witnessed the introduction and use of diacritical signs to distinguish similar looking consonants, vocalisation, special signs marking the division of the Qur'an into sections, statistical counting of letters, words and verses and the separation of surahs – advances pioneered by the early Muslims with the aim of eliminating the faults present amongst some in the speaking, reading and writing of the Qur'an, as well as proving the Qur'an's veracity. We now know with ever greater detail the actors involved in these events, and the time periods when these improvements were accomplished.[11] By relating these advances in the Arabic script used to pen the Qur'an and the various visual techniques to enhance and aid readability and presentation, in conjunction with the modern techniques related in this section, we could perhaps arrive at a more reliable way of dating early Qur'an manuscripts.

For example, consider the following description of the early Qur'anic manuscripts in the literary sources that when probed provides some solid chronological data. Abū Naṣr Yaḥya ibn Abī Kathīr al-Yamāmī (d. 132 AH / 749 CE) a traditionalist and narrator of ḥadīth from several of the Prophet's companions, provides a very important piece of chronological data specifically with regard to the earliest Qur'anic manuscripts. Recently brought to notice by al-A‘zami, this datum has gone unnoticed in western scholarship. He said,

The Qur'an was kept free [of dots, marks, and so on] in muṣḥaf. The first thing people have introduced in it is the dotting at the letter (ﺏ) and the letter (ﺕ), maintaining that there is no sin in this, for this illuminates the Qur'an. After this people have introduced big dots at the end of verses, maintaining that there is no sin in this, for by this the beginning of a verse can be known. After this people introduced marks showing the ends of sūrahs (khawātīm) and marks showing their beginnings (fawāṭiḥ).[12]

A truncated version of the above statement can be found in Ibn Kathir's Tafsīr al-Qur'ān, in the section fada'il al-Qur'an,

Dots were the first thing incorporated by Muslims into the muṣḥaf, an act which they said brought light to the text [i.e., clarified it]. Subsequently they added dots at the end of each verse to separate it from the next, and after that, information showing the beginning and end of each sūra.[13]

It is therefore clear that adding dots/marks to the muṣḥaf was one of the earliest undertakings in order to clarify the text.[14] What makes this statement critically important is that it must have been a near contemporaneous observation; we do not know at what point during his life he made this statement but one may assume it was during his scholarly lifetime, sometime in the late 1st, early 2nd century of hijra. Could this be a polemical or dogmatic statement ascribed to the mouth of Abū Naṣr? Being a piece of incidental information, at first sight, it would not seem to serve any dogmatic purpose. Admittedly, there were debates in the 1st / 2nd centuries hijra regarding the use of dots in early Qur'anic manuscripts, be they something that were disliked or recommended. Could the statement made by Abū Naṣr have been ascribed to him later on by someone wishing to advance their side of the debate? It would seem not. The debate over dotting started in the 1st century hijra and reached its peak during the 2nd century. If one reads Abū Naṣr's statement carefully it becomes apparent he is not advocating a particular viewpoint, neither does he criticise the alternative viewpoint. His statement simply conveys a factual observation, thus lending credence to the fact he actually uttered these words. As there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, it seems safe to assign this statement to the mouth of Abū Naṣr around the late first, early second century of hijra with a terminus ad quem of 132 AH / 749 CE. Based on Abū Naṣr's observations we have a tentative relative chronology of textual aids as follows:

  1. manuscripts without diacritical marks, dots to separate verses or indication of the beginning/ending of a sūrah,
  2. manuscripts with diacritical marks, no dots to separate verses and no indication of the beginning/ending of a sūrah,
  3. manuscripts with diacritical marks, dots to separate verses and no indication of the beginning/ending of a sūrah, followed by
  4. manuscripts with diacritical marks, dots to separate verses and indication of the beginning/ending of a sūrah.

Abū Naṣr's statements give no indication how much time elapsed between these four different stages, but they were obviously important enough for him to draw a distinction between them which must have been recognisable not only to him but to other scholars of that period. This of course does not mean one can simply lump early Qur'anic manuscripts into these four categories in order to sort them chronologically as there would have necessarily been some overlap between these groups; additionally, the tendency towards conservative writing traditions is well known in the Qur'anic manuscript tradition. What this information does allow one to do is to conceptualise the formation of the Qur'anic manuscript tradition within a general chronological framework. With the importance of this datum established, how does Abū Naṣr's statement relate to those manuscripts listed in the table below? All of the early ḥijāzī and kufic style manuscripts listed there have sparse diacritical marks and a combination of dots or dashes variously arranged to (sometimes only occasionally) indicate the end/beginning of verses. It would appear the very earliest Qur'an manuscripts, stages I and II according to the classification given above, probably those written during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad and shortly thereafter, do not seem to have survived or have yet to be discovered. Thus, this datum serves to further solidify the antiquity of ḥijāzī style manuscripts and corroborates the literary description of the earliest Arabic script described by al-Nadīm.

PALAEOGRAPHIC AND CODICOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

In cataloguing the Qur'anic manuscripts kept in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Déroche created a typology of the Qur'anic script, the earliest which were those in ḥijāzī style in which he identified four principle varieties of writing; he named these Ḥijāzī I, II, III and IV, and provided a brief set of criteria which sets out the means by which one can identify the script according to his method.[15] Later on using the same method, Déroche categorised the early Qur'an manuscripts kept in the Nasser David Khalili collection. Importantly, he mentioned that ḥijāzī manuscripts were certainly produced in the 1st century hijra continuing into the early 2nd century of hijra, gradually dissipating due to the prominence given to the so-called kufic script under the institutional reforms of ʿAbd al-Malik. He also clarified that his categories were not to be understood as implying strict chronological development, and that they were subject to change and modification dependant on new discoveries or developments. One problem with Déroche's method is that it is nowhere clear whether the small and sometimes minute variations between the various styles he has identified, are differences in script or simply regional variations or just different scribal practices. Also, his use of letters appeals to the taxonomist but has little meaning when placed into its proper historical context, creating a classification system apart from the Qur'anic manuscript tradition.[16] Based primarily on the literary description of al-Nadīm combined with modern investigations into the earliest Qur'anic manuscripts, Noseda presented a ‘new’ diagram of the development of Arabic palaeography.[17]

Noseda gives no guidance on how one should interpret his diagram. However it is clear that he believes with the emergence of the kufic script as it appeared during the time of caliph ʿAbd al-Malik, the ḥijāzī script slowly gave way to its new successor. Thus largely on palaeographic grounds, scholars now believe the bulk of the ḥijāzī corpus is located in the 7th century CE.[18] Straightening in the epigraphic inscriptions only begins in the sixth decade of hijra with kufic proper not making an appearance until the caliphate of ʿAbd al-Malik. It is partly on this basis that Noseda, Déroche and others dated Qur'ans in the ḥijāzī style to the 1st century of hijra and it is the method used by Noseda in identifying the Qur'anic manuscripts in their table as coming from the 1st century of hijra.

Whereas palaeography in a broad sense refers to the study of ancient writing systems, codicology “refers primarily to the study of the material aspects of codices ...”[19] With just a handful of exceptions extant,[20] the writing surface on which the earliest (and subsequent) Qur'anic manuscripts were written was on parchment. The form of the early Qur'anic manuscripts is the classic codex format. Although there are a few examples of early Qur'ans utilising the rotulus scroll format,[21] it would appear Muslim scribes never used the volumen scroll format, whereby the layout of the lines is perpendicular to the axis with the text arranged in columns. The way by which the early Qur'anic codex itself was physically brought together is still a largely unexplored item. As will soon become apparent, few of the earliest ḥijāzī style Qur'anic manuscripts contain a continuous sequence of folios, which is essential in understanding how the parchment was used to make up quires. Based on a survey of two large collections located at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi, Istanbul, Déroche has shown from the late first until 4th century of hijra, the vast majority of Qur'anic manuscripts are composed of quinions, i.e., quires of ten folios. However, this cannot be taken as a generalisation. For example, whilst Arabe 328c from the second half of the 1st century hijra, is composed of quinions, Arabe 328a, also from the same time period, is composed of quaternions, i.e., quires of eight folios. The use of coloured inks in early Qur'anic manuscripts can be traced to the 1st century of hijra. Before the emergence of Islam, red ink was used for highlighting certain elements of a given text, such as titles and the like. We can observe a few examples in the table below. Is 1615 I and M. 1572 contain sūrah separators penned in red ink in the form of a basic geometric pattern. Ms. Or. 2165 contains surah headings in red ink although these appear to have been added at a later date. Coloured inks were even used to highlight a specific page layout. TIEM ŞE 362 from the late first to early 2nd century hijra uses three contrasting colours to create an observable geometric pattern in the text, likewise TIEM ŞE 12995 from the beginning of the 2nd century hijra. These examples are given to show the complex methods executed by early Muslim scribes and to dismiss the notion held by some that a Qur'anic manuscript showing any form of illumination/decoration cannot possibly be considered an early production. There are of course many other codicological considerations and we have only mentioned a few thought to be particularly relevant to the present study.[22]

ART-HISTORICAL EVIDENCE

Art history is the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts and involves a study of genre, design, format, and look. Therefore, an art historian uses historical method to answer the questions, such as how did the artist come to create the work, who were his or her teachers, who was the audience, who were the patrons, what historical forces fashioned the artist's work and in turn how did it affect the course of artistic, political or social events. Studies by art historians often involve close scrutiny of individual objects. Using them, they attempt to answer in historically specific ways, questions such as what are the key features of its style, what symbols are involved, to which period can the object be dated, what meaning did this object convey, how does it function visually, and so on.

One of the best examples from the Qur'anic manuscripts studied using art-historical method is DAM 20-33.1. The decorative elements of this lavishly illustrated manuscript have been compared with dated and datable buildings from the Umayyad era, most notably the Dome of the Rock, the Great Mosque of Ṣanʿāʾ, the Great Mosque of Damascus and the façades, niches and associated mosaics of various other building structures. The fine geometric, architectural and vegetal patterns calligraphed on this manuscript bear a striking resemblance and share certain stylistic idiosyncrasies pointing towards a similar timeframe of production.[23] By studying the palaeography, ornamentation and illumination of this manuscript, Hans-Caspar Graf von Bothmer dated it to the last decade of the 1st century of hijra, around 710–715 CE, in the reign of the Umayyad caliph al-Walīd.[24] Similarly, Déroche arrived at the 1st century hijra dating of TIEM ŞE 321 (located at Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi, Istanbul) by studying illumination, script, the 10-bifolio quire structure, direct relation of the ornaments used in the manuscript with the mosaics at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. He dates it to the time after 72 AH / 691–692 CE or more probably during the last quater of the 1st (early 8th) century hijra.[25]

Early Islamic “art” is becoming increasingly well studied and recent specialised publications are now giving an even clearer picture of Umayyad tendencies.[26] Some scholars have criticised this method of dating due to its suspected circularity as no wider art-historical samples for comparison beyond the Umayyad era are taken into consideration. It is thus argued the date assigned to a given manuscript using this method is the same time frame from where comparative material is normally adduced.[27]

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE (RADIOCARBON DATING)

In recent years, a highly promising scientific method of dating Qur'an manuscripts has been utilised, namely, radiocarbon dating. One of the great benefits and advantages of this method of dating is that scholarly prejudice and pre-suppositions about the genesis of Arabic scripts and Qur'anic manuscripts are not factored into the calculation. Nevertheless, one of the downsides is the large time intervals which do not prove very useful in dating manuscripts very precisely. Some examples are manuscript St. Petersburg E20 and the Samarqand manuscript, both of which are falsely attributed to ʿUthmān. They both have large ranges of 225 and 260 years, respectively. Such is not always the case. A privately held folio, most likely from Ms 678 originally from Baghdad, has been radiocarbon dated at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit to the 7th century CE with an overall time interval of 154 years. The 95.2% confidence level yields a timeframe of 609–694 CE or the first 75 years of hijra, making this a highly useful result. Radiocarbon dating has been put to the test recently by comparing its results with art historical methods with regard to the dating of Roman and Coptic textiles; the authors conclude that radiocarbon dating can assist the art-historical method and is not something to be frowned upon or be feared.[28] To our knowledge, at least six Qur'anic manuscripts have been successfully dated using this method, four kufic specimens and two ḥijāzī – one late and the other early. Four of them form part of the table below.

Armed with the above-mentioned methods employed for dating Qur'anic manuscripts, especially in light of new documentary evidence, it should no longer be controversial to consider the vast majority of ḥijāzī Qur'ans as belonging to the 1st century of hijra. George says,

The oldest manuscripts of the Qur'an - called 'Hijazi' in modern scholarship, even though many of them were probably not made in the Hijaz - are key witnesses in the genesis of Arabic calligraphy. Their date has been a subject of controversy in modern scholarship, but thanks to the discovery of new documents from the first decades of Islam and to our better understanding of the transformation of Arabic script under the Umayyads, it is becoming increasingly clear that the vast majority of these Qur'ans were written in the first century of Islam.[29]

 Bearing this in mind, let us now tabulate the manuscripts datable to 1st century of hijra using the methods described above and in combination with each other.

3. Ḥijāzī & Kufic Manuscripts Of The Qur'ān From 1st Century Of Hijra Present In Various Collections

The table below lists the ḥijāzī and kufic Qur'anic manuscripts from 1st century hijra present in various collections around the world. This list is certainly not authoritative and omits manuscripts which are known to be present in collections but their accession number, folios and content are not known.

Designation / Inv. No. Medium Format Size (cms) Script Lines per page Leaves Contents (representative sūrahs) Carbon-dating ʿUthmānic Qirā'āt Déroche's Typology Provenance Location

Is. 1615 I[30]

Ms. 68, 69, 70, 699[31]

Sotheby's 2008, Lot 3[32]

TR:490-2007[33]

Parchment Vertical 36 x 27 Ḥijāzī 21–24

32

14

1

1

13-16; 28-48[34] No Yes Arabian Peninsula? Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland; Museum Of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar; Private collections .

Arabe 330g[35]

Is. 1615 II[36]

Parchment Vertical 36.0 x 28.5 Ḥijāzī 18–22

20

4

3-4; 7-10; 85-110[37] No Yes Unclassified Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.

AMAS[38]

DAM 01-27.1[39]

Sotheby's 1992, Lot 551 / David 86/2003 (=Sam Fogg IAGIC)[40]

Sotheby's 1993, Lot 31 / Stanford 2007[41]

Bonham's 2000, Lot 19[42]

Christies 2008, Lot 20[43]

Parchment + Palimpsest Vertical 37 x 28 Ḥijāzī 19–37

40

38

1

1

1

1

2-12; 14-22; 25-35; 37-39; 41-44; 47-48; 55-60 (does not include scriptio inferior) Yes: 578 – 669 CE, 95% confidence level.[44]

Scriptio superior – Yes

Scriptio inferior – No

Western Arabia or Syria Al-Maktaba al-Sharqiyya, Ṣanʿāʾ, Yemen; Dār al-Makhṭūtāt, Ṣanʿāʾ, Yemen; David Collection, Copenhagen and other private collections.
Topkapi Saray Medina 1a[45] Parchment Vertical 32 x 24 Ḥijāzī 17 2 20 No Yes Syria? Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, Turkey.
A. Perg. 2[46] Parchment Vertical 23.7 x 20.5 Ḥijāzī 1 28 No Yes Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Austria.
A. Perg. 213[47] Parchment Oblong 16.0 x 24.8 Ḥijāzī 16 2 51-53 No Yes Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Austria.

Ms 678[48]

Sam Fogg IAGIC[49]

Ghali Adi Fragment[50]

Parchment Square 49 x 54 Kufic 25

1

1

1

9; 11; 74 Yes: 609-694 CE, 95.2% confidence level. Yes CIa Iraq? Iraq Museum, Baghdad; Sam Fogg, London; Private collection, London.
DAM 20-33.1[51] Parchment Square (51 x 47) Kufic 25+ 1-2; 55-56; 67-69; 74-75; 77; 79; 85; 89-90; 99-100; 110; 114 Yes: 657-690 CE; 645-690 CE, 95% confidence level (Chemical test: 700-730 CE). Yes CIa Syria Dār al-Makhṭūtāt, Ṣanʿāʾ, Yemen.

Arabe 328a[52]

Marcel 18[53]

Arabe 328b[54]

Vaticani Arabi 1605[55]

KFQ60[56]

Parchment Vertical 33 x 24 Ḥijāzī 21–28

56

26

14

1

1

2-15; 23-28; 30-31; 35; 38-39; 41-46; 56-57; 60-63; 65-67; 69-72 No Yes Ibn Āmir HI

Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; National Library of Russia, St Petersburg; Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City; Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

Ms. Or. 2165[57]

Arabe 328e[58]

LNS 19 CAab (LNS 63 MS e)[59]

Parchment Vertical 31.5 x 21.5 Ḥijāzī 21–27

121

6

2

5-43 No Yes Ḥimsi HII Egypt British Library, London; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait National Museum.

Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 151[60]

Ms. 1611-MKH235[61]

Parchment + Palimpsest Vertical 19.5 x 27.6 (fragmented) Ḥijāzī 10–12

6

1

5-6 No

Scriptio superior – Yes

Scriptio inferior – ?

Madinah, Arabia? Private collection; Beit al-Qur'an, Manama, Bahrain.
P. Michaélidès No. 32[62] Papyrus Vertical 14.8 x 5.9 Ḥijāzī 1 54-55 No Yes Egypt? University Library, Cambridge (presently lost).
A. 6959[63] Parchment Vertical (40 x 35) Ḥijāzī (18) 1 68 No Yes Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
A. 6988[64] Parchment Oblong (15 x 22) Ḥijāzī 12 1 48-49 No Yes Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.

Ms. Or. Fol. 4313[65]

Arabic Palaeography Pl. 44 [66]

Parchment Vertical 35 x 26 Ḥijāzī

18

7

1

4-5 No Yes Egypt? Staatsbibliothek Zu Berlin, Germany and Dār al-Kutub al-Misriyya, Cairo.
P. Cair. B. E. Inv. No. 1700[67] Parchment Vertical Ḥijāzī 19 (incomplete) 1 25 No Yes Egypt Dār al-Kutub al-Misriyya, Cairo.
Unknown[68] Parchment Vertical? Ḥijāzī 3-4; 8-10; 12-16; 18-24; 27-42; 45-47; 66-76 No Yes Syria Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Istanbul.
TIEM ŞE 321[69] Parchment Vertical Kufic 33+ 31-32 (incomplete) No Yes Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Istanbul.
QUR-1-TSR[70] Parchment Vertical 49.4 x 39 Ḥijāzī 26 1 5 No Yes Arabian Peninsula? Tareq Rajab Museum, Kuwait.
E. 16269 D[71] Parchment Oblong 16.5 x (30) Ḥijāzī 13 1 37-38 No Yes Egypt? University Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DAM 01-25.1[72] Parchment Vertical 33.5 x 26 Ḥijāzī 21–27 29

1-2; 7-8; 10-11; 17-20; 24; 26; 33; 39; 41-46

No Yes Dār al-Makhṭūtāt, Ṣanʿāʾ, Yemen.
DAM 01-29.1[73] Parchment Vertical 43 x 29.7 Ḥijāzī 16–30 35 2-8; 14-17; 19-22; 33-34; 36-37; 39-40; 42-53; 69-74; 80-89 No Yes BIa Dār al-Makhṭūtāt, Ṣanʿāʾ, Yemen.

Marcel 17[74]

M. 1572 (ff. 2-6, 8-9)[75]

Ms. 67[76]

Parchment Vertical 33.5 x 25 Ḥijāzī 21–33

18

7

4

2-4; 4-6; 5-6 No Yes Egypt? National Library of Russia, St. Petersburg; University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; Museum Of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar.

Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152[77]

Arabe 326a[78]

KFQ34[79]

Parchment Oblong 17.8 x 27.0 Ḥijāzī 12–13

36

6

1

12; 14-15; 40-52; 58-62 No Yes HI Private collection; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

Arabe 328c[80]

M. 1572 (ff. 1, 7)[81]

Parchment Vertical 33.5 x 25.3 Ḥijāzī 23–25

16

2

10-11, 20-23; 18-20 No Yes HI Egypt? Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Marcel 19[82]

Arabe 328f[83]

Parchment Vertical 29.0 x 25.0 Ḥijāzī 20

13

2

18-19; 23-26; 28 No Yes HI National Library of Russia, St Petersburg; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Arabe 6140a[84]

Ms. Add. 1125[85]

Parchment Vertical 37.5 x 28.0 Ḥijāzī 22–25

4

2

7-9 No Yes HI Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; University Library, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Sotheby's, 1993, Lot 34[86] Parchment Vertical 41.0 x 28.6 Ḥijāzī 20–27 8 3 No Yes Private collection.
Sotheby's 2010, Lot 3[87] Parchment Vertical 33.0 x 23.0 Ḥijāzī 22 1 6 No Yes Private collection.
Sotheby's 2011, Lot 1[88] Parchment Vertical 36.0 x 27.0 Ḥijāzī 21 1 12 No Yes Private collection.
Christies 2011, Lot 10[89] Parchment Vertical 31.8 x 25.4 Ḥijāzī 18 1 40-41 No Yes Private collection.

M a VI 165[90]

Parchment Vertical 19.5 x 15.3 Ḥijāzī 18-21

77

17-36 No Yes Syria? Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen, Germany

TIEM ŞE 87[91]

Parchment Vertical 38.0 x 29.0 Ḥijāzī 22

2

60-63 No Yes Syria? Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Istanbul

Unknown[92]

Unknown[93]

David 26/2003[94]

TR:491-2007[95]

Unknown[96]

Parchment Vertical 50.0 x 43.0 Kufic 20

7+

20, 43, 60-61, 76-77, 90-93 Yes: 648-691 CE, 95% confidence level. Yes CIa Syria? Raqqada National Museum of Islamic Art, Tunisia; Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar; David Collection, Copenhagen and other private collections.

Table I: Listing of the ḥijāzī and kufic manuscripts of Qur'an from 1st century hijra present in various collections around the world.

A “–” indicates that sufficient information regarding this particular aspect of the manuscript has not yet been published or we are in the process of sourcing this information. In the designation field, if the manuscript has been separated and in the process given different accession numbers, all of them will be listed here, the primary holding institution being mentioned first. Only the maximum preserved size of the surviving folios of the manuscript are mentioned in the dimensions field. If dimensions are given in brackets this is the estimated original size of the folio. Ms. Or. 1287 (‘Mingana Palimpsest’), which contains some portions of Qur'anic text in its scriptio inferior attributable to the 1st century hijra, has not been included in the table and will be added later. The minimum and maximum number of lines are taken only from intact folios; a damaged or incomplete folio has not been used to supply the minimum number of lines in manuscripts which contain one or more non-partial folios. The folios field supplies the number of folios that have been mentioned in the literature. If it is obvious there are more folios belonging to the manuscript, we have added a “+” sign. Where available, bibliographic references are provided that were used to populate the columns with information – this is not intended as a comprehensive bibliography for every manuscript, instead a selection of the primary references. For sake of convenience, all verse numbering is according to the kufan system as found in the modern printed edition of the Qur'an first published in Egypt in 1924. Given the nature of this list, we welcome any comments, additions or corrections to the information contained in the respective columns. Lastly, the information contained in the columns is based on those folios which have been published or mentioned in the literature.

Lest one forget there are a number of important manuscripts of the Qur'an dated to the 1st, 1st / 2nd and 2nd century of hijra (the ones from 1st century have not been included in the above list yet). Amongst them, one could name the following codices from Yemen: DAM 01-28.1, DAM 01-18.3, DAM 01-30.1, DAM 01-32.1, DAM 01-29.2 and DAM 01-32.2;[97] from Turkey: TIEM ŞE 56,[98] TIEM ŞE 80,[99] TIEM ŞE 85,[100] TIEM ŞE 89,[101] TIEM ŞE 358,[102] TIEM ŞE 364[103] TIEM ŞE 709[104] and TIEM ŞE 12995; from Austria: A. Perg. 186, A. Perg 202, and Mixt. 917; from Russia: Marcel 11, 13, 15 + Arabe 330c (same manuscript);[105] from the Netherlands: Ms Or. 14.545a,[106] Ms. Or. 14.545b + c + Arabe 331 (same manuscript);[107] from the USA: AL-17 + `Ayn 444,[108] 1-85-154.101[109] and P. Garrett Coll. 1139;[110] from Egypt: Arabic Palaeography Plates 39-40 + Mss. Arab 21-25 + Arabe 330d + KFQ42 + KFQ62 (same manuscript);[111] from Britain: BL Add. 11737/1[112] and numerous manuscripts from the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art;[113] from France: numerous manuscripts[114] such as Arabe 330a + Ms. 66,[115] Arabe 7191,[116] Arabe 7194[117] and Arabe 7195;[118] from Ireland: Is. 1404 + Arabic Palaeography Plates 19-30 (same manuscript);[119] as well as numerous Qur'ans sold at auction such as Sotheby's 15th October 1984, Lot 206,[120] Sotheby's 22nd May 1986, Lot 269,[121] Sotheby's 30th April 1992, Lots 318 & 319,[122] Sotheby's 28th April 1993, Lot 73,[123] Sotheby's 22nd October 1993, Lot 11, 15, 28 & 29,[124] Sotheby's 19th October 1994, Lot 16,[125] Sotheby's 24th April 1996, Lot 1,[126] Sotheby's 16th October 1996, Lot 1,[127] Sotheby's 15th October 1997, Lot 12,[128] Sotheby's 13th April 2000, Lot 1,[129] Sotheby's 3rd May 2001, Lot 8,[130] Sotheby's 5th October 2011, Lot 47[131] and Sotheby's 3rd October 2012, Lot 11.[132] To this one can also add at least six Qur'ans popularly attributed to ʿUthmān,[133] found in Samarqand, Russia, two in Istanbul (Topkapi Library and TIEM), and two in Cairo (al-Hussein mosque and Dār al-Kutub);[134] also one Qur'an popularly attributed to the fourth caliph ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, found in Ṣanʿāʾ. A hitherto largely unknown Qur'anic manuscript, Kodex Wetzstein II 1913 located at the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin,[135] must rank as one of the most significant manuscripts of the Qur'an in a Western institution that still awaits detailed study. The importance of this manuscript is guaranteed by the remarkably large number of extant folios; in total there are 210 extant leaves meaning some 420 pages of examinable text. It has been input into the database ‘Manuscripta Coranica’ maintained by Corpus Coranicum. Similarly, a substantial ḥijāzī codex comprising 270 pages has recently been put back on display in the newly renovated Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo. Apart from a brief mention by Gerd-R. Puin[136] and some Moroccan scholars,[137] this manuscript has barely managed a notice.

‘CERTAINTY’ AND THE BURDEN OF PROOF

It is normal scholarly procedure to be cautious but as one moves further toward what one could term as ‘extreme’ caution, it can cause more problems than it claims to solve. For example Arberry dated the Chester Beatty Library manuscript Is. 1615 I to the 4th century hijra / 10th century CE. He called his dating cautious and ‘conservative’.[138] Arberry was, of course, writing at a time when dating Qur'anic manuscripts was much less developed. However, one cannot simply attach a date to a manuscript and subsequently append the label ‘conservative’ to it. Dating manuscripts is not based on conservatism or liberalism, it is simply trying to assign an accurate date as possible to its production. Therefore, a Qur'anic manuscript assigned a 4th century date instead of a 1st century date, can do just as much damage to the chronology of the Arabic script as can a manuscript dated to the 1st century that belongs to the 4th. Both dates are inaccurate and injure the chronological time frame resulting in the faulty dating of other manuscripts also. In a similar vein, Blair states that there is no absolute method for dating Qur'anic manuscripts before the 9th century CE / 3rd century hijra.[139] This observation is correct and is not in doubt, however, one should take care between forming a ‘Pascalian’ certainty of which very few events in antiquity could be verified, to an attribution based on a careful study of the extant documentary evidence in conjunction with relevant historical information. For example, both a palaeographic and radiocarbon analysis give a 1st century hijra date for a privately held folio, most likely from Ms 678. One could put their hands up in the air and say there is no absolute method to determine that this is the case and it would be quite true. But one should realise that certainty in the field of history in rarely akin to certainty in mathematics, where a conclusion can be demonstrated as an inevitable result of the premises applied. One could not demonstrate with the same degree of certainty the existence of this manuscript in the 1st century of hijra as one could demonstrate the truth of the Pythagoras theorem. Indeed, if such unjustified epistemological scepticism is advanced to its logical conclusion, centuries of Western Qur'anic scholarship would fall by the wayside with no prospect of a replacement.

Let us consider a somewhat comparable situation in numismatics. The study of Arab-Byzantine coinage from the 7th century, especially the first half of the 1st century of hijra, has been riddled with a certain amount of confusion. Scholars knew the coinage normally associated with this period was very early, but had no secure means by which to attach a specific date to them. From the wider Islamic conquests beginning in the late 630’s until the reign of ʿAbd al-Malik, there is no coin which has clear internal evidence as to its dating. This has all changed as very recently early Islamic numismatics has seen a methodological breakthrough, whereby secure dates can be attributed to identifiable series of early Arab-Byzantine issues in Syria.[140] Although provisional, this breakthrough has been adopted by one of the leading scholars in the field of late Roman and Byzantine history, Clive Foss, who utilises the same chronological methodology in his book on Arab-Byzantine coins held in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection.[141] The earliest Qur'anic manuscripts find themselves in a similar situation today; scholars know they are early but have no generally agreed upon methodology by which to identify them as such. If the breakthrough in the numismatic realm is anything to go by, it shows that promising new research can provide rewarding results.

A QUESTION OF PROVENANCE

If one considers the location of these manuscripts, it will become apparent most of them are located in Western institutions. During the nineteenth and twentieth century, Western imperialist and colonial powers had politically, economically, militarily and culturally dominated the Muslim lands. Many of the most precious artefacts of these countries were appropriated by officials working in or alongside government and by travelling scholars representing their respective countries' higher institutions – as the collections of any oriental studies department in the West will attest. The fruits of such labour can be seen in the works of the German based scholars Gotthelf Bergsträsser and Otto Pretzl, who in their many years of travelling throughout the Muslim lands took approximately 15,000 photographic images amounting to some 450 rolls of film comprising early Qur'anic manuscripts. None of these images were shared with their Muslim hosts. After the untimely death of both men, Anton Spitaler came to inherit these valuable films, lied about their existence and hid them for more than 50 years before secretly passing them on to his student Angelika Neuwirth who now heads the project Corpus Coranicum.[142] The announcement regarding the existence of these films was first made known to the ‘general’ public in a cryptic message posted on an electronic newsgroup on the internet in early 2001,[143] many years before their existence was officially announced to the general scholarly community. It is said that history is bound to repeat itself. After being invited to Yemen to restore a large number of badly damaged early Qur'anic manuscripts discovered in the old mosque of Ṣanʿāʾ, in the process of conserving them, the German team began to systematically photograph them after being inspired to do so based on an observation made by Christoph Luxenberg at a lecture given by him in 1996.[144] Without the express permission of their Yemeni hosts, the original director of the project Gerd-R. Puin attempted to leave the country with some 35,000 images and was subsequently prevented from doing so. Only once Puin succeeded in enlisting the help of the German Government via local German diplomats was the initial resolve of the Yemenis broken, who finally granted the microfilms passage out of the country.[145]

In spite of the fact a significant quantity are sold at auction,[146] it goes without saying none of the Qur'anic manuscripts located in the West are indigenous there. One will also notice some surprising omissions. The most obvious is modern day Saudi Arabia. It would seem inconceivable the birth place of Islam and the Qur'an would not have any early Qur'an manuscripts, despite the fact many of its manuscripts would have moved to different parts of the Muslim community as the spheres of power and influence became progressively spread out. This surprising omission can probably be attributed to a lack of searching and cataloguing, an endemic problem in the vast majority of Muslim countries.

What are the major manuscript discoveries of the Qur'an in modern times? If one limits the scope of the term 'discovery' to those collections containing a sizeable amount of early material that were previously ‘unknown’ (at least in a modern sense), excluding unstudied or understudied collections, then one can identify two landmark events. In 1893 a fire broke out at the Great Mosque of Damascus (Umayyad Mosque) during which a forgotten storeroom containing a huge quantity of used Qur'anic manuscripts was discovered. Those manuscripts which escaped destruction were sent to Istanbul by the Ottoman authorities where they were ‘forgotten’ about once again, until two French scholars ‘re-discovered’ them in 1963 at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Istanbul, Turkey, simply labelled as “Papers from Damascus”.[147] They initially estimated the find to number in the thousands, perhaps dozens of thousands. However, Déroche who studied the collection in depth estimated there were about 210,000 folios, being mostly Qur'ans.[148] At least in terms of size, this is perhaps this most significant ‘discovery’ of Qur'anic manuscripts ever made or ever likely to be made. Just two years later in 1965, heavy rains damaged the roof construction of the Western Library in the Great Mosque of Ṣanʿāʾ, Yemen – a mosque established by a companion of Prophet Muhammad. Qādī Hussain bin Ahmed al-Sayaghy, the then Director of Administration at the Yemen National Museum, instructed an examination of the area concerned be carried out to assess the extent of the damage. During this time a forgotten storeroom with no access door and a single window was discovered to contain a substantial cache of used Arabic manuscripts, almost all being ancient manuscripts of the Qur'an spanning the first few Islamic centuries. Before repairs to the storeroom were complete, five or more sacks of Qur'anic manuscripts were removed and deposited in the Awqāf Library. Over time the curator of the library sold off the contents of the sacks unlawfully with some of the manuscripts ending up in Western libraries. In 1972 in order to consolidate the north-west corner of the external wall to the mosque, it was necessary to remove part of the roof to allow progress to be made in the restoration and renovation works. As the storeroom was also located in this area the remaining manuscripts were permanently removed consisting of some twenty sacks and placed in the National Museum.[149] After the work had been completed, the assessment concluded there were almost 1,000 unique copies of the Qur'an comprising approximately 15,000 parchment fragments, with less than 1% of the find belonging to non-Qur'anic material.[150] Regrettably, despite the large period of time that has elapsed since these finds, only a fraction of their manuscripts has ever been published.[151]

4. The Value Of The Qur'ānic Manuscripts From 1st Century Hijra – An Assessment

The assessment of the value of the Qur'anic manuscripts from 1st century hijra requires tabulation and assessment of their contents, both individually and collectively. These contents can be evaluated as number of verses or the percentage of the actual text these verses represent. As for the latter, we choose the Muṣḥaf of Madinah as a standard to evaluate the actual text – a procedure similar to Noseda's who compared the contents of the Qur'an in the ḥijāzī manuscripts with the equivalent pages of the so-called King Fuʾād edition. But first we need to understand the ‘textual dynamics’ of the Muṣḥaf of Madinah.

TEXTUAL DYNAMICS OF THE MUṢḤAF OF MADINAH

The Muṣḥaf al-Madinah or the Muṣḥaf of Madinah, is one of the most recognized and successful printings of the Qur'an in the world. This gold-on-green hardback of this muṣḥaf has no peers with at least 135 million extant copies (c. 1996).[152] The Arabic text of the Qur'an is prepared, scrutinized, verified and printed at the King Fahd Holy Qur'an Printing Complex in Madinah. This printing complex is a 250,000 sq. m. plant and capable of producing more than 10 million copies annually. The most circulated Muṣḥaf of Madinah is in the reading of Ḥafṣ. The popularity of this edition is such that the arrangement of the text is also emulated by editions of the Qur'an printed in Beirut and Damascus. At the printing complex, the Qur'an in the reading of Warsh is also produced but its usage is largely confined to the North Africa. Furthermore, the centre has also prepared the editions of the readings of Dūrī and Qālūn.

The Muṣḥaf of Madinah is in the reading of Ḥafṣ, and just like any other Qur'an text it is divided into 30 parts or ajza’ (sing. juz’). On an average every juz’ occupies 20 pages (and there are 15 lines per page) except for the first and the last juz’. In the first juz’, sūrah al-Fātiḥah and the first five verses of sūrah al-Baqarah occupy a page each. That makes the first juz’ to extend an extra page, thus making it 21 pages long. As for the last juz’, due to the presence of a lot of sūrah titles and accompanying basmala, the text extends by three pages, making it 23 pages long. Therefore, what would have been a 600 page book (i.e., 30 ajza’ x 20 pages) has now become a 604 page book.

Figure 1: ‘Textual dynamics’ of the widely used Qur'an muṣḥaf printed in Madinah. It is seen that the number of pages the sūrahs occupy in the muṣḥaf decreases in an exponential fashion. However, the cumulative percentage of the text shows that almost 90% of the text of the Qur'an is present between sūrah al-al-Fātiḥah and sūrah al-Mujādilah (i.e., between Qur'an 1 and 58). The rest of the 56 sūrahs contribute just 10% of the text!

The Muṣḥaf of Madinah follows the traditional arrangement of the 114 sūrahs of the Qur'an and has a total of 6236 verses. It is seen that the number of pages a sūrah occupies in the muṣḥaf decreases in an exponential fashion (Figure 1). Another way of looking at the text is the relationship between the cumulative percentage of the text of the Qur'an and sūrahs or what we term as ‘textual dynamics’ (Figure 1). It is seen that 50% of the text of the Qur'an is reached at sūrah al-Kahf (Qur'an 19). The text between sūrah al-Fātiḥah and sūrah al-Mujadilah (Qur'an 58) amounts to 90%. This means that the last 56 sūrahs (or 49% of the sūrahs) contribute only 10% of the text! This interesting information, though not very obvious, will be very useful when we analyze the data from the Qur'anic manuscripts.

SŪRAHS IN THE MANUSCRIPTS – WHAT AND HOW MUCH?

Table II below gives a listing of manuscripts with the sūrahs they contain, corresponding verses, total number of unique verses represented and percentage of verses contained in the sūrah. The manuscripts against a sūrah are separated by a semicolon and likewise the verses they contain in that sūrah. Highly fragmented text such as that found in P. Michaélidès No. 32 is considered only to represent the sūrahs it contains but it is not taken into account for calculation of total number of unique verses. Those manuscripts or sūrahs whose contents or some of their contents have only been mentioned vaguely, are not included in the calculation. For instance, although it is clear DAM 20-33.1 contains every sūrah between the range of 99 up to and including the last sūrah 114, we have not included it in the table as no specific listing of their contents has been given by von Bothmer.[153]

There are two important properties required by any mathematical calculation to ensure its viability. The calculation must be (a) verifiable and, (b) repeatable. As such, all the proceeding calculations have been independently summed and reproduced so the interested reader can establish for himself whether what is being presented faithfully represents what is being claimed.

No. Qur'anic sūrah Manuscripts containing the sūrah Verses represented in manuscripts Total unique number of verses represented in manuscripts Total Number of Verses (Muṣḥaf of Madinah) Percentage of verses represented in manuscripts
1 al-Fātiḥah DAM 20-33.1
DAM 01-25.1
1-7
5-7
7 7 100 %
2 al-Baqarah DAM 01-25.1
DAM 20-33.1
DAM 01-29.1
AMAS
Sotheby's 1993, Lot 31 / Standford 2007
Sotheby's 1992, Lot 551 / David 86/2003
Arabe 328a
Marcel 17
1-16
39-43
140-186
246-265, 286
265-277
277-286
275-286
269-286
109 286 38.1 %
3 āl-ʿImrān Marcel 17
AMAS
Arabe 328a
Sotheby's 1993, Lot 34
DAM 01-29.1
Arabe 330g
1-200
1-154, 179-200
1-43, 84-200
34-184
36-55, 153-156, 164-175
185-200
200 200 100 %
4 al-Nisā Arabe 328a
Arabe 330g
Marcel 17
M. 1572 (ff. 2-6, 8-9)
AMAS
Bonham's 2000, Lot 13
Christies 2008, Lot 20
Ar. Pal. Pl. 44
Ms. Or. Fol. 4313
DAM 01-29.1
1-176
1-172
1-129
129-176
1-33, 56-171
33-56
171-176
54-62
137-155, 172-176
31-60, 89-119
176 176 100 %
5 al-Mā'idah Arabe 328a
AMAS
Ms. Or. Fol. 4313
Ms. 67
M. 1572 (ff. 2-6, 8-9)
Arabe 328e
LNS 19 CAab (LNS 63 MS e)
Christie's 2008, Lot 20
Ms. 1611-MKH235
QUR-1-TSR
DAM 01-29.1
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 151
1-33
32-111
1-87
63-120
1-27
7-65
89-120
1-9
7-12
18-29
18-70
(18-106)
120 120 100 %
6 al-Anʿām Ms. 67
LNS 19 CAab (LNS 63 MS e)
Arabe 328a
Arabe 328e
M. 1572 (ff. 2-6, 8-9)
DAM 01-27.1
Sotheby's 2010, Lot 3
DAM 01-29.1
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 151
1-20
1-12
20-165
39-112
74-143
49-73, 149-165
141-158
74-111
(19-41)
165 165 100 %
7 al-Aʿrāf Arabe 328a
Ms. Or. 2165
AMAS
Arabe 6140a
DAM 01-25.1
DAM 01-27.1
DAM 01-29.1
Arabe 330g
1-206
42-206
40-206
129-179
29-206
1-11
70, 83, 134-157
127-206
206 206 100 %
8 al-Anfāl Ms. Or. 2165
AMAS
Arabe 330g
Arabe 328a
Ms. Add. 1125
Marcel 18
DAM 01-25.1
DAM 01-29.1
1-75
1-75
1-75
1-25
10-73
25-75
1-34
11-41
75 75 100 %
9 Tawbah Arabe 330g
Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 18
Arabe 328a
Arabe 6140a
Ms 678
AMAS
DAM 01-27.1
1-129
1-95
1-66
66-129
23-69
54-72
1-71, 128-129
112-115, 124-127
129 129 100 %
10 Yūnus AMAS
Ms. Or. 2165
Arabe 328a
Vaticani Arabi 1605
Arabe 328c
Arabe 330g
DAM 01-25.1
1-109
9-109
1-78
102-109
35-109
1-31
22-51
109 109 100 %
11 Hūd Ms. Or. 2165
AMAS
Vaticani Arabi 1605
KFQ60
Arabe 328c
Sam Fogg IAGIC
DAM 01-25.1
1-123
1-123
1-13
14-35
1-110
73-95
6-31
123 123 100 %
12 Yūsuf Ms. Or. 2165
Arabe 328a
Arabe 326a
AMAS
Sotheby's 2011, Lot 1
1-111
84-111
96-111
1-49
30-50
111 111 100 %
13 al-Rʿad Ms. Or. 2165
Arabe 328a
1-43
1-43
43 43 100 %
14 Ibrāhīm Ms. Or. 2165
Arabe 328a
Arabe 326a
DAM 01-29.1
Sotheby's 2008, Lot 3
DAM 01-27.1
DAM 01-29.1
1-52
1-52
16-52
43-52
19-44
32-41, 52
24-52
52 52 100 %
15 al-Ḥijr Ms. Or. 2165
Arabe 326a
Arabe 328a
DAM 01-29.1
DAM 01-27.1
TR:490-2007
1-99
1-99
1-87
1-20
1-16
58-99
99 99 100 %
16 al-Nahl Ms. Or. 2165
DAM 01-27.1
TR:490-2007
DAM 01-29.1
1-128
73-128
1-20
86-128
128 128 100 %
17 al-Isrāʾ Ms. Or. 2165
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
DAM 01-25.1
DAM 01-29.1
1-111
1-6, 40-77
35-111
93-96, 100-111
1-4, 53-96
111 111 100 %
18 al-Kahf Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 19
M. 1572 (ff. 1, 7)
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
DAM 01-25.1
1-110
30-110
17-31
22, 32
1-110
22-45
110 110 100 %
19 Maryam Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 19
DAM 01-29.1
DAM 01-27.1
M. 1572 (ff. 1, 7)
M a VI 165
DAM 01-25.1
1-98
1-98
89-98
38-98
91-98
1-98
46, 64
98 98 100 %
20 Ṭāhā Ms. Or. 2165
DAM 01-29.1
DAM 01-27.1
M. 1572 (ff. 1, 7)
Arabe 328c
Topkapi Saray Medina 1a
M a VI 165
DAM 01-25.1
1-135
1-135
1-130
1-40
99-135
99-111
1-135
72, 86
135 135 100 %
21 al-Anbiyā Ms. Or. 2165
Arabe 328c
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
DAM 01-29.1
1-112
1-112
16-19, 38-92, 109-112
1-112
1-50
112 112 100 %
22 al-Ḥajj Ms. Or. 2165
Arabe 328c
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
DAM 01-29.1
1-78
1-78
1, 15-16
1-78
36-78
78 78 100 %
23 al-Muʾminūn Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 18
Marcel 19
Arabe 328c
M a VI 165
1-118
15-118
75-118
1-27
1-118
118 118 100 %
24 al-Nūr Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 18
Marcel 19
M a VI 165
DAM 01-25.1
1-64
1-64
1-64
1-64
2-25, 27-43
64 64 100 %
25 al-Furqān Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 18
Marcel 19
DAM 01-27.1
Arabe 328f
P. Cair. B. E. Inv. No. 1700
M a VI 165
1-77
1-77
1-77
10-59
77
41-51
1-77
77 77 100 %
26 al-Shuʿarā Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 18
Arabe 328f
DAM 01-25.1
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
1-227
1-227
1-51
83-156, 167-189, 208-227
155-176, 198-221
1-227
227 227 100 %
27 al-Naml Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 18
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
1-93
1-93
25-29, 46-49
1-93
93 93 100 %
28 al-Qaṣaṣ Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 18
Is. 1615 I
A Perg. 2
Arabe 328f
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
1-88
1-53
6-22, 25-38, 42-61, 64-82, 84-88
61-80
10-32
58-86
1-88
88 88 100 %
29 al-ʿAnkabūt Ms. Or. 2165
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
1-69
1-14, 18-33, 35-50, 54-69
29-40, 43-54
1-69
69 69 100 %
30 al-Rūm Ms. Or. 2165
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-27.1
Marcel 18
M a VI 165
1-60
1-7, 9-28, 30-47, 49-60
26-54
58-60
1-60
60 60 100 %
31 Luqmān Ms. Or. 2165
Marcel 18
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-27.1
TIEM ŞE 321
M a VI 165
1-34
1-23
1-9, 13-26, 30-34
24-34
33-34
1-34
34 34 100 %
32 al-Sajdah Ms. Or. 2165
DAM 01-27.1
Is. 1615 I
TIEM ŞE 321
M a VI 165
1-30
1-30
1-9, 13-30
1-4
1-30
30 30 100 %
33 al-Aḥzāb Ms. Or. 2165
DAM 01-27.1
Is. 1615 I
M a VI 165
DAM 01-25.1
DAM 01-29.1
1-73
1-37
1, 4-15, 18-32, 43
1-73
20-45
50-73
73 73 100 %
34 Sabʾ Ms. Or. 2165
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
DAM 01-29.1
1-54
1-33, 36-54
52-54
1-54
1-10
54 54 100 %
35 Fāṭir Ms. Or. 2165
Is. 1615 I
Arabe 328a
DAM 01-27.1
M a VI 165
1-45
1-32, 34-44
13-41
1-18
1-45
45 45 100 %
36 Yāsīn Ms. Or. 2165
Is. 1615 I
M a VI 165
DAM 01-29.1
1-83
1-28, 31-50, 54-83
1-57
75-83
83 83 100 %
37 al-Ṣāffāt Ms. Or. 2165
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-27.1
E. 16269 D
DAM 01-29.1
1-182
1-45, 47-145, 149-182
38-59, 73-88, 102-172
170-182
1-27, 35-81
182 182 100 %
38 Ṣād Ms. Or. 2165
Arabe 328a
Is. 1615 I
E. 16269 D
DAM 01-27.1
1-88
66-88
1-10, 20-27, 33-66, 69-88
1-13
73-75
88 88 100 %
39 al-Zumar Ms. Or. 2165
Is. 1615 I
Arabe 328a
DAM 01-27.1
DAM 01-25.1
DAM 01-29.1
1-47
1-23, 27-45, 47-75
1-15
6
34-67
75
75 75 100 %
40 Ghāfir Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-29.1
Ms. Or. 2165
Christies 2011, Lot 10
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
1-7, 10-22, 27-40, 42-59, 62-85
1-34
61-85
66-85
66-85
82 85 96.5 %
41 Fussilat Ms. Or. 2165
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
DAM 01-25.1
Arabe 328b
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-27.1
Christies 2011, Lot 10
1-54
1-54
2-16, 20-54
31-54
1-49, 51-54
17-27, 33-43, 47-54
1-10
54 54 100 %
42 al-Shūra Ms. Or. 2165
Arabe 328b
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-29.1
DAM 01-25.1
DAM 01-27.1
1-53
1-53
1-53
1-12, 15-46, 48-53
45-53
1-53
1-5, 10-16, 21-29, 38-48
53 53 100 %
43 al-Zukhruf Arabe 328b
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
Ms. Or. 2165
DAM 01-29.1
DAM 01-25.1
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-27.1
TR:491-2007
1-89
1-89
1-71
16-30, 77-89
1-89
1-32, 35-89
63-69, 89
26-36
89 89 100 %
44 al-Dukhān Arabe 328b
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
DAM 01-25.1
DAM 01-29.1
DAM 01-27.1
Is. 1615 I
1-59
1-59
1-59
1-19
1-11
1-20, 23-57, 59
59 59 100 %
45 al-Jāthiya Arabe 328b
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-25.1
DAM 01-29.1
1-37
1-37
1-37
1-29, 35-37
25-37
37 37 100 %
46 al-Aḥqāf DAM 01-29.1
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
Is. 1615 I
Arabe 328b
DAM 01-25.1
1-35
1-35
1-27, 29-35
1-8
1-3, 15-17
35 35 100 %
47 Muḥammad Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
DAM 01-29.1
Is. 1615 I
DAM 01-27.1
1-38
1-38
1-4, 7-17, 20-34, 38
15-20, 33-38
38 38 100 %
48 al-Fataḥ Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
DAM 01-29.1
Is. 1615 I
A 6988
DAM 01-27.1
1-29
1-29
1-11, 14-24
25-29
1-2
29 29 100 %
49 al-Ḥujurāt Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
DAM 01-29.1
A 6988
1-18
1-18
1-7
18 18 100 %
50 Qāf Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
DAM 01-29.1
1-45
1-45
45 45 100 %
51 al-Dhāriyāt Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
DAM 01-29.1
A Perg. 213
1-60
1-60
3-60
60 60 100 %
52 al-Ṭūr DAM 01-29.1
A Perg. 213
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
1-49
1-49
1-38
49 49 100 %
53 al-Najm DAM 01-29.1
A Perg. 213
1-52
1-32
52 62 83.8 %
54 al-Qamar P. Michaélidès No. 32 (11-38, 45-55)   55  
55 al-Raḥmān P. Michaélidès No. 32
DAM 01-27.1
DAM 20-33.1
(1-32)
16-78
55-78
63 78 80.7 %
56 al-Wāqiʿah DAM 01-27.1
Marcel 18
DAM 20-33.1
1-69
53-96
1-20
96 96 100 %
57 al-Ḥadid Marcel 18
DAM 01-27.1
KFQ34
1-26
1-10, 16-22, 27-29
13-23
29 29 100 %
58 al-Mujādilah DAM 01-27.1
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
1-6, 11-22
3-22
22 22 100 %
59 al-Ḥashr Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
DAM 01-27.1
1-24
1-10, 14-24
24 24 100 %
60 al-Mumtaḥinah Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
DAM 01-27.1
Arabe 328b
TIEM ŞE 87
1-13
1
7-13
7-13
13 13 100 %
61 al-Ṣaff Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
Arabe 328b
TIEM ŞE 87
1-14
1-14
1-14
14 14 100 %
62 al-Jumuʿah Arabe 328b
TIEM ŞE 87
Rennes Encheres 2011, Lot 152
1-11
1-11
1-3
11 11 100 %
63 al-Munāfiqūn Arabe 328b
TIEM ŞE 87
1-9
1-9
9 11 81.8 %
64 al-Taghābūn       18  
65 al-Ṭalāq Arabe 328b 2-12 11 12 91.7 %
66 al-Tahrīm Arabe 328b 1-12 12 12 100 %
67 al-Mulk Arabe 328b
DAM 20-33.1
1-27
21-30
30 30 100 %
68 al-Qalam A. 6959
DAM 20-33.1
9-24, 36-45
43-52
33 52 63.5 %
69 al-Ḥaqqah DAM 20-33.1
Arabe 328b
DAM 01-29.1
1-50
3-52
44-52
52 52 100 %
70 al-Maʿārij Arabe 328b
DAM 01-29.1
1-44
1-44
44 44 100 %
71 Nūḥ Arabe 328b
DAM 01-29.1
1-28
1-28
28 28 100 %
72 al-Jinn Arabe 328b
DAM 01-29.1
1-2
8-28
23 28 82.1 %
73 al-Muzzammil DAM 01-29.1 1-20 20 20 100 %
74 al-Muddathir Ghali Adi fragment
DAM 20-33.1
DAM 01-29.1
1-27, 34-56
56
1-28
51 56 91 %
75 al-Qiyāmah DAM 20-33.1 1-26 26 40 65.0 %
76 al-Insān       31  
77 al-Mursalāt DAM 20-33.1 5-27 23 50 46.0 %
78 al-Nabāʾ       40  
79 al-Nāziʿāt DAM 20-33.1 29-34 6 46 13.0 %
80 al-ʿAbasa       42  
81 al-Takwīr       29  
82 al-Infitār       19  
83 al-Mutaffifīn       36  
84 al-Inshiqāq       25  
85 al-Burūj Is. 1615 II
DAM 20-33.1
3-22
1-5
22 22 100 %
86 al-Tāriq Is. 1615 II 1-17 17 17 100 %
87 al-ʿAlā Is. 1615 II 1-19 19 19 100 %
88 al-Ghāshīyah Is. 1615 II 1-26 26 26 100 %
89 al-Fajr Is. 1615 II
DAM 20-33.1
1-30
13-30
30 30 100 %
90 al-Balad Is. 1615 II
David 26/2003
DAM 20-33.1
1-19
17-20
1
20 20 100 %
91 al-Shams Is. 1615 II
David 26/2003
1-15
1-15
15 15 100 %
92 al-Layl Is. 1615 II
David 26/2003
1-21
1-21
21 21 100 %
93 al-Ḍuḥa Is. 1615 II
David 26/2003
1-11
1-5
11 11 100 %
94 al-Sharḥ Is. 1615 II 1-8 8 8 100 %
95 al-Ṭīn Is. 1615 II 1-8 8 8 100 %
96 al-ʿAlaq Is. 1615 II 1-19 19 19 100 %
97 al-Qadr Is. 1615 II 1-3 3 5 60 %
98 al-Bayyinah Is. 1615 II 1-8 8 8 100 %
99 al-Zalzalah Is. 1615 II
DAM 20-33.1
1-8
2-8
8 8 100 %
100 al-ʿAdiyāt Is. 1615 II
DAM 20-33.1
1-11
1-8
11 11 100 %
101 al-Qāriʿah Is. 1615 II 1-11 11 11 100 %
102 al-Takāthur Is. 1615 II 1-8 8 8 100 %
103 al-ʿAsr Is. 1615 II 1-3 3 3 100 %
104 al-Humazah Is. 1615 II 1-9 9 9 100 %
105 al-Fīl Is. 1615 II 1-5 5 5 100 %
106 al-Quraysh Is. 1615 II 1-4 4 4 100 %
107 al-Māʿun Is. 1615 II 1-7 7 7 100 %
108 al-Kawthar Is. 1615 II 1-3 3 3 100 %
109 al-Kafirūn Is. 1615 II 1-6 6 6 100 %
110 al-Naṣr Is. 1615 II
DAM 20-33.1
1
2-3
2 3 100 %
111 al-Masad       5  
112 al-Ikhlās       4  
113 al-Falaq       5  
114 al-Nās DAM 20-33.1 3-6 4 6 67 %
Total 5603 6236

Table II: Listing of sūrahs and the manuscripts which contain them. Highly fragmented texts are represented inside brackets. These are considered only to represent the sūrahs they contain but not taken into account for calculation of the total number of unique verses.

Figure 2: The percentage of the sūrah represented in the 1st century AH Qur'anic manuscripts. This graph is plotted using the information presented in Table II. Highly fragmented texts are not considered for calculating the percentages.

Based on the manuscripts and folios that have been published, the following sūrahs are represented: 1-63, 65-77, 79, 85-110 and 114, meaning the sūrahs 64, 78, 80-84 and 111-113 are unrepresented in these manuscripts (Table II and Figure 2). This gives a total of 104 out of 114 sūrahs present. If one includes the ḥijāzī manuscripts mentioned by Noseda that are kept at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art[154] the following sequence would be observed: 1-63, 65-77, 79, 85-110 and 114 meaning sūrahs 64, 78, 80-84 and 111-113 are unrepresented in the manuscripts. This gives a total of 104 out of 114 total sūrahs present. A total of 225 times we observe a continuous changeover from one sūrah to another in twenty two of the thirty three manuscripts. In each and every one of these 225 changeovers, the sequence of sūrahs is identical to the modern printed text. Despite being based on an incomplete data set, this is a significant observation. Not including the section of the manuscript located at al-Maktaba al-Sharqiyya, the scriptio inferior text of Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I has twelve sūrah changeovers. They are sūrah 11, 8, 9 and 19, sūrah 12 to 18, sūrah 15 to 25, sūrah 20 to 21, sūrah 34 to 13, sūrah 39 to 40, sūrah ?? to 24 and sūrah 63, 62, 89 and 90.[155] In its original state it would of course had many more. Despite the fact a few times there is a standard sūrah changeover, considering their placement as it would have been originally, all of them can be considered non-standard. Sadeghi and Goudarzi observed these changeovers somewhat resembled the ordering of the codex of Ubayy b. Kaʿb, though the sampling size was not large enough.[156] In any case, Sadeghi has shown that the scriptio inferior text cannot be identified with the codices known to us in the literary sources but instead it represents an independent codex, text type and textual tradition.[157] One could also add that such an explanation for the differences in sūrah orders (i.e., Companion codices) though feasible, is not the only one. There exist numerous partially written copies of the Qur'an dating well into medieval times that contain a variety of sūrah orders.[158] This phenomenon, however, cannot be attributed to the alleged sequence of sūrahs supposedly found in codices attributed to various companions. Simple logic dictates that if a person or patron wished to copy or have copied a few or even many sūrahs for personal or public edification, he or they were not limited to copying sūrahs adjoining each other only. Thus one must carefully consider to what extent the manuscript in question was originally a full or partial copy.

Kohlberg and Amir-Moezzi claimed that the Qur'anic manuscripts found in the great mosque of Ṣanʿāʾ contain “significant variants in relation to the official version of the Qur’an”.[159] They say the studies mentioned by them “gingerly” point out a few, including the fact that of the 926 unique manuscripts of the Qur'an found in the great mosque of Ṣanʿāʾ, 22% present a sequence of sūrahs “completely different” from what is known today.[160] Kohlberg and Amir-Moezzi further go on to claim that it is “striking” that the sequence of sūrahs found in these manuscripts (i.e., 22% of 926) accord with the codices attributed to Ibn Masʿūd and Ubayy b. Kaʿb, both of which were held in high esteem by the ‘Alids (i.e., Shi’ites).[161] An examination of the sources referred to by them finds no support for their assertions. In actuality they have very badly misread a statement made by von Bothmer who said approximately 22% of the 926 Qur'anic manuscripts found in Ṣanʿāʾ, 208 manuscripts in total, contain a varying number of lines per page.[162] Von Bothmer's statement has nothing to do with sūrah order and as such the explanations and conclusions drawn by Kohlberg and Amir-Moezzi from their misreading of von Bothmer's statements are unconvincing and quite simply inaccurate.[163]

No. Qur'anic sūrah Number of pages the sūrah occupies in the muṣḥaf of Madinah Percentage of the sūrah in the Qur'an Cumulative percentage Percentage of the sūrah in the Qur'anic manuscripts (derived from equivalent number of pages in the muṣḥaf of Madinah) Cumulative percentage of the Qur'an in manuscripts
1 al-Fātiḥah 1.0 0.16 % 0.16 % 0.16 % 0.16 %
2 al-Baqarah 48.0 7.95 % 8.11 % 3.09 % 3.25 %
3 āl-ʿImrān 26.93 4.46 % 12.57 % 4.46 % 7.71 %
4 al-Nisā 29.40 4.87 % 17.44 % 4.87 % 12.58 %
5 al-Mā'idah 21.67 3.60 % 21.04 % 3.60 % 16.18 %
6 al-Anʿām 23.0 3.81 % 24.85 % 3.81 % 19.99 %
7 al-Aʿrāf 26.0 4.30 % 29.15 % 4.30 % 24.29 %
8 al-Anfāl 10.0 1.66 % 30.81 % 1.66 % 25.95 %
9 Tawbah 20.93 3.47 % 34.28 % 3.47 % 29.42 %
10 Yūnus 13.47 2.23 % 36.51 % 2.23 % 31.65 %
11 Hūd 14.07 2.33 % 38.84 % 2.33 % 33.98 %
12 Yūsuf 13.47 2.23 % 41.07 % 2.23 % 36.21 %
13 al-Rʿad 6.13 1.01 % 42.08 % 1.01 % 37.22 %
14 Ibrāhīm 6.87 1.14 % 43.22 % 1.14 % 38.36 %
15 al-Ḥijr 5.40 0.89 % 44.11 % 0.89 % 39.25 %
16 al-Nahl 14.60 2.42 % 46.53 % 2.42 % 41.67 %
17 al-Isrāʾ 11.60 1.92 % 48.45 % 1.92 % 43.59 %
18 al-Kahf 11.40 1.89 % 50.34 % 1.89 % 45.48 %
19 Maryam 7.27 1.20 % 51.54 % 1.20 % 46.68 %
20 Ṭāhā 9.73 1.61 % 53.15 % 1.61 % 48.29 %
21 al-Anbiyā 9.93 1.64 % 54.79 % 1.64 % 49.93 %
22 al-Ḥajj 10.0 1.66 % 56.45 % 1.66 % 51.59 %
23 al-Muʾminūn 8.0 1.32 % 57.77 % 1.32 % 52.91 %
24 al-Nūr 9.73 1.61 % 59.38 % 1.61 % 54.52 %
25 al-Furqān 7.27 1.20 % 60.58 % 1.20 % 55.72 %
26 al-Shuʿarā 10.0 1.66 % 62.24 % 1.66 % 57.38 %
27 al-Naml 8.53 1.41 % 63.65 % 1.41 % 58.79 %
28 al-Qaṣaṣ 11.0 1.82 % 65.47 % 1.82 % 60.61 %
29 al-ʿAnkabūt 8.13 1.35 % 66.82 % 1.35 % 61.96 %
30 al-Rūm 6.40 1.06 % 67.88 % 1.06 % 63.02 %
31 Luqmān 3.93 0.65 % 68.53 % 0.65 % 63.67 %
32 al-Sajdah 3.0 0.5 % 69.03 % 0.5 % 64.17 %
33 al-Aḥzāb 10.07 1.67 % 70.70 % 1.67 % 65.84 %
34 Sabʾ 6.47 1.07 % 71.77 % 1.07 % 66.91 %
35 Fāṭir 5.73 0.95 % 72.72 % 0.95 % 67.86 %
36 Yāsīn 5.73 0.95 % 73.67 % 0.95 % 68.81 %
37 al-Ṣāffāt 7.0 1.16 % 74.83 % 1.16 % 69.97 %
38 Ṣād 5.27 0.87 % 75.70 % 0.87 % 70.84 %
39 al-Zumar 8.93 1.48 % 77.18 % 1.48 % 72.32 %
40 Ghāfir 9.87 1.63 % 78.81 % 1.58 % 73.90 %
41 Fussilat 6.0 0.99 % 79.80 % 0.99 % 74.89 %
42 al-Shūra 6.27 1.04 % 80.84 % 1.04 % 75.93 %
43 al-Zukhruf 6.73 1.11 % 81.95 % 1.11 % 77.04 %
44 al-Dukhān 2.93 0.49 % 82.44 % 0.49 % 77.53 %
45 al-Jāthiya 3.47 0.57 % 83.01 % 0.57 % 78.10 %
46 al-Aḥqāf 4.53 0.75 % 83.76 % 0.75 % 78.85 %
47 Muḥammad 4.07 0.67 % 84.43 % 0.67 % 79.52 %
48 al-Fataḥ 4.40 0.73 % 85.16 % 0.73 % 80.25 %
49 al-Ḥujurāt 2.60 0.43 % 85.59 % 0.43 % 80.68 %
50 Qāf 2.73 0.45 % 86.04 % 0.45 % 81.13 %
51 al-Dhāriyāt 2.73 0.45 % 86.49 % 0.45 % 81.58 %
52 al-Ṭūr 2.47 0.41 % 86.90 % 0.41 % 81.99 %
53 al-Najm 2.60 0.43 % 87.33 % 0.38 % 82.37 %
54 al-Qamar 2.73 0.45 % 87.78 %    
55 al-Raḥmān 3.13 0.52 % 88.30 % 0.40 % 82.77 %
56 al-Wāqiʿah 3.26 0.54 % 88.84 % 0.54 % 83.31 %
57 al-Ḥadid 4.33 0.72 % 89.56 % 0.72 % 84.03 %
58 al-Mujādilah 3.40 0.56 % 90.12 % 0.56 % 84.59 %
59 al-Ḥashr 3.53 0.58 % 90.70 % 0.58 % 85.17 %
60 al-Mumtaḥinah 2.47 0.41 % 91.11 % 0.41 % 85.58 %
61 al-Ṣaff 1.60 0.26 % 91.37 % 0.26 % 85.84 %
62 al-Jumuʿah 1.40 0.23 % 91.60 % 0.23 % 86.07 %
63 al-Munāfiqūn 1.53 0.25 % 91.85 % 0.21 % 86.28 %
64 al-Taghābūn 2.00 0.33 % 92.18 %    
65 al-Ṭalāq 2.07 0.34 % 92.52 % 0.27 % 86.55 %
66 al-Tahrīm 2.00 0.33 % 92.85 % 0.33 % 86.88 %
67 al-Mulk 2.33 0.39 % 93.24 % 0.39 % 87.27 %
68 al-Qalam 2.20 0.36 % 93.60 % 0.23 % 87.50 %
69 al-Ḥaqqah 2.00 0.33 % 93.93 % 0.33 % 87.83 %
70 al-Maʿārij 1.73 0.29 % 94.22 % 0.29 % 88.12 %
71 Nūḥ 1.73 0.29 % 94.51 % 0.29 % 88.41 %
72 al-Jinn 2.00 0.33 % 94.84 % 0.28 % 88.69 %
73 al-Muzzammil 1.47 0.24 % 95.08 % 0.24 % 88.93 %
74 al-Muddathir 1.87 0.31 % 95.39 % 0.24 % 89.17 %
75 al-Qiyāmah 1.20 0.20 % 95.59 % 0.13 % 89.30 %
76 al-Insān 1.87 0.31 % 95.90 %    
77 al-Mursalāt 1.60 0.26 % 96.16 % 0.09 % 89.39 %
78 al-Nabāʾ 1.47 0.24 % 96.40 %    
79 al-Nāziʿāt 1.47 0.24 % 96.64 % 0.03 % 89.42 %
80 al-ʿAbasa 1.07 0.18 % 96.82 %    
81 al-Takwīr 0.93 0.15 % 96.97 %    
82 al-Intifār 0.73 0.12 % 97.09 %    
83 al-Mutaffifīn 1.40 0.23 % 97.32 %    
84 al-Inshiqāq 0.93 0.15 % 97.47 %    
85 al-Burūj 0.93 0.15 % 97.62 % 0.15 % 89.57 %
86 al-Tāriq 0.53 0.08 % 97.70 % 0.08 % 89.65 %
87 al-ʿAlā 0.67 0.11 % 97.81 % 0.11 % 89.76 %
88 al-Ghāshīyah 0.87 0.14 % 97.95 % 0.14 % 89.90 %
89 al-Fajr 1.20 0.20 % 98.15 % 0.20 % 90.10 %
90 al-Balad 0.73 0.12 % 98.27 % 0.12 % 90.22 %
91 al-Shams 0.60 0.10 % 98.37 % 0.10 % 90.32 %
92 al-Layl 0.67 0.11 % 98.48 % 0.11 % 90.43 %
93 al-Ḍuḥa 0.47 0.08 % 98.56 % 0.08 % 90.51 %
94 al-Sharḥ 0.33 0.05 % 98.61 % 0.05 % 90.56 %
95 al-Ṭīn 0.40 0.07 % 98.68 % 0.07 % 90.63 %
96 al-ʿAlaq 0.60 0.10 % 98.78 % 0.10 % 90.73 %
97 al-Qadr 0.33 0.05 % 98.83 % 0.04 % 90.77 %
98 al-Bayyinah 0.80 0.13 % 98.96 % 0.13 % 90.90 %
99 al-Zalzalah 0.47 0.08 % 99.04 % 0.08 % 90.98 %
100 al-ʿAdiyāt 0.47 0.08 % 99.12 % 0.08 % 91.06 %
101 al-Qāriʿah 0.53 0.09 % 99.21 % 0.09 % 91.15 %
102 al-Takāthur 0.40 0.07 % 99.28 % 0.07 % 91.22 %
103 al-ʿAsr 0.27 0.04 % 99.32 % 0.04 % 91.26 %
104 al-Humazah 0.40 0.07 % 99.39 % 0.07 % 91.33 %
105 al-Fīl 0.33 0.05 % 99.44 % 0.05 % 91.38 %
106 al-Quraysh 0.33 0.05 % 99.49 % 0.05 % 91.43 %
107 al-Māʿun 0.40 0.07 % 99.56 % 0.07 % 91.50 %
108 al-Kawthar 0.27 0.04 % 99.60 % 0.04 % 91.54 %
109 al-Kafirūn 0.33 0.05 % 99.65 % 0.05 % 91.59 %
110 al-Naṣr 0.33 0.05 % 99.70 % 0.05 % 91.64 %
111 al-Masad 0.33 0.05 % 99.75 %    
112 al-Ikhlās 0.27 0.04 % 99.79 %    
113 al-Falaq 0.33 0.05 % 99.84 %    
114 al-Nās 0.40 0.07 % 99.91 % 0.05 % 91.69 %
Total 604 ~100 % 91.69 % (~91.7 %)

Table III: Columns showing percentages and cumulative percentages of the sūrahs in the muṣḥaf of Madinah and Qur'anic manuscripts. The data of cumulative percentages of the sūrahs in the Qur'anic manuscripts is plotted in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Comparative study of cumulative percentages of the Qur'anic text as found in the widely used Qur'an muṣḥaf printed in Madinah and the equivalent amount of text in the Qur'anic manuscripts from 1st century of hijra. The value 89.42% excludes the contents of the Is. 1615 II manuscript from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.

Table II shows the percentages and cumulative percentages of the sūrahs in the muṣḥaf of Madinah and Qur'anic manuscripts. The data of cumulative percentages of the sūrahs in the Qur'anic manuscripts is plotted in Figure 3 and it is contrasted with those from the muṣḥaf of Madinah. There are a few interesting points to note. Firstly, the cumulative percentage of the text in Qur'anic manuscripts discussed here is ~91.7%. If ones excludes Chester Beatty manuscript Is. 1615 II, a manuscript containing short sūrahs from the list, the total cumulative percentage of the text comes ~89.4%. Secondly, the cumulative percentage of text in Qur'anic manuscripts lags behind that of the muṣḥaf of Madinah – a fact not surprising given that a good part of sūrah al-Baqarah is missing from the manuscripts. The lag remains nearly constant until sūrah al-Najm (Qur'an 53) and then it starts to widen once again due to missing verses as well as incomplete sūrahs. Thirdly, as noted earlier, the last 56 sūrahs (or 49% of the sūrahs) contribute only 10% of the text and this is well reflected in the cumulative percentage of the text in Qur'anic manuscripts. Thus if the net percentage of the text in the manuscripts is to increase substantially, the bigger contribution from the larger sūrahs must increase, especially sūrah al-Baqarah.

Figure 4: Bar graph of the percentage of text of the Qur'an in the 1st century AH manuscripts of the Qur'an. The filled diamonds shows the cumulative percentage of the unique text in each of the manuscripts starting from the top (i.e., Ms. Or. 2165).

A study of the manuscripts discussed in Table I and the percentage of the Qur'anic text they contain show that Ms. Or. 2165 comes on top of the list with ~53% of the text (Figure 4). After this comes Arabe 328a and DAM 01-29.1 with ~26% and ~22% of the text, respectively. When these three manuscripts are taken together, they contain almost 80% of the unique text of the Qur'an. It can also be noted from Figure 1 that although some manuscripts may contain a decent amount of Qur'anic text, their net contribution towards the unique text is nil. Manuscripts such as M a VI 165, Arabe 328c, M. 1572, Arabe 328e, Arabe 6140a, Marcel 19 and many smaller fragments fall into this category. Thus only a few manuscripts are required to collate substantial portions of the unique text of the Qur'an. Not surprisingly, the cumulative percentage of the unique text in the manuscripts is close to ~91.7% – a value which was computed earlier using the cumulative percentage of text of sūrahs in the manuscripts (Table III).

Let us now return to Noseda's observation that ~83% of the text of the Qur'an can be established in the 1st century of hijra from only the ḥijāzī manuscripts. From the above discussion it is clear that Noseda's conclusions are in need of some modification. Let us not forget that Noseda's table was limited to ḥijāzī manuscripts written on parchment alone. Resultantly, the Qur'ans written on papyri, ḥijāzī parchments from Ṣanʿāʾ and so-called kufic manuscripts were given no attention. These, therefore, cannot be considered deficiencies per se on Noseda's part as they were never designed to be part of his table in the first place. Here we have shown that with the addition of a few more manuscripts unknown to Noseda or not considered by him, this number can be raised to ~91.7%. With regard to Noseda's observation, instead of seeing the cup more than eight-tenths full, Keith Small, a Christian missionary and network leader in the European Ministry to Muslims Network of the evangelical European Leadership Forum, sees it less than two-tenths empty (He says, “substantial portion of the Qur'ān are not represented, particularly from sūra 77 through 114”).[164] This is rather strange. The portion of the Qur'an from sūrah 77 through 114 amounts to a mere ~4% of the text! This amount can't be termed a “substantial portion” by any stretch of the imagination. Clearly, this is not a scientific observation but a polemical one that quickly loses its significance with those possessing a grasp of elementary number skills.

‘... NOR OF THOSE WHO GO ASTRAY’

Despite being universally considered a part of the Qur'an by Muslims, some Western scholars have focussed on a minority of reports which state a few of Muhammad's hundreds of companions, notably ʿAbdullāh Ibn Masʿūd, did not consider sūrah al-Fātiḥah a part of the Qur'an. DAM 01-25.1 is the earliest manuscript yet known to preserve sūrah al-Fātiḥah and contains small parts of the last verses. Significantly, it is followed immediately by sūrah al-Baqarah and the recto side is blank,[165] indicating the sūrah was not preceded by any other text. DAM 20-33.1 contains the entire al-Fātiḥah and also contains half of the last sūrah al-Nās. Therefore we have two very early pieces of documentary evidence showing that the first and last sūrahs were indeed part of the Qur'an in the 1st century of hijrah, as is universally considered by Muslims.

The significance of the palimpsest manuscript Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I should not be underestimated. Both scripts are written in the ḥijāzī style and are so close to each other that they are probably only as much as a generation apart or perhaps even much less. This is somewhat corroborated by the stages of textual aids described by Abū Naṣr; the textual aids in the scriptio inferior exhibits stage IV whilst in the scriptio superior, it is stage III. It appears that the scriptio superior was executed at a time when stage IV had only just begun and it was still common enough to write without sūrah beginnings/endings. It also clearly shows that a non-standard text of the Qur'an could be recognised as such in the mid-1st century of hijra. This shows the strict standardisation of the Qur'anic text in this period. As can be seen in Sadeghi and Goudarzi's editio princeps of this manuscript, there are at least nine instances of ornamental bands between sūrahs in the scriptio inferior, including a simple horizontal line separating sūrahs 8 and 9.[166] One such example is shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I, folio 22A. The scriptio inferior (in the bottom) showing an ornamental band between sūrahs 9 and 19. The scriptio inferior has sūrah 9:121-19:5.

This proves that Qur'anic manuscripts with ornamental bands and/or decorations can indeed predate those without them. One must be careful not to make an over-simplification in the progression of the Arabic script where a strict linear chronological development is envisaged that does not allow for regional variation and the simultaneous existence of different styles. Based on the evidence of the earliest manuscripts of the Qur'an, we can say that well executed ḥijāzī scripts and well executed kufic scripts were certainly in existence in the 7th century. This is indisputable. Although scholars have been reticent to place kufic on parchment into the 7th century, this is no longer a tenable position as the recent radiocarbon dating of a privately held folio, most likely from Ms 678, has shown. If one can write well-executed kufic inscriptions on early Umayyad milestones, the Dome of the Rock and other building structures, why can't one do so on parchment? Such artificial limitations imposed on this style of writing are unjustified and produce a skewed picture of the development of the Arabic script.

WAS THE QUR'AN ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN GARSHUNI?

Many scholars have properly questioned Christoph Luxenberg's tendency to intentionally ignore the extant documentary evidence in relation to the Arabic language and the Qur'an, without focusing on the underlying reasons.[167] Luxenberg believes the earliest documentary evidence is ultimately of “minor relevancy”.[168] He believes the “proto-Koran” and the “original Koranic text” were written in Garshuni.[169] Not one to underestimate his ability,[170] he states the evidence for his hypothesis has been given with “empiric accuracy”.[171] Finally, he concludes there is “concrete evidence” of a “proto-Koran” written in Garshuni.[172] So, what is Garshuni? Garshuni (alt. Karshuni) in a strict sense is a term for manuscripts or printed works in Arabic language in Syriac script. In other words, Garshuni refers to the practice of writing Arabic texts in Syriac script. This practice did not require the modification of Syriac script and thus it did not require a development of separate ductus for writing Arabic. Therefore, it is not surprising that in many manuscripts written in Syriac script, a text in Syriac is often followed by a Garshuni text written by the same hand.

As recently reiterated by Mengozzi, from a theoretical and practical standpoint there was no need for Garshuni due to the high level of competence required in Arabic, including comprehensive knowledge of its grammar and lexicon. On the other hand, Garshuni scribes need only be conversant with the calligraphic techniques associated with their scribal traditions. Simply put by Mengozzi, “It [Garshuni] is an Arabic writing system in Syriac dress, as the use of Arabic diacritics and orthographic conventions clearly demonstrates.” When one peers deeper into the evidence of Garshuni as a writing system, a certain outline begins to emerge. Typically a West-Syriac phenomenon, the majority of Garshuni texts are written in serṭo script, the product of a West-Syrian milieu. An initial text typology given by Mengozzi helps to simplify and classify the diversity of manuscripts containing Garshuni texts. The first important distinction to be made is between short texts (e.g., colophons, notes, comments, glosses, etc.) and complete literary texts. The short texts seem to be a good deal earlier than complete literary texts, the earliest of which hail from the 14th century. When one looks sideways at dated Garshuni texts we find ourselves in a comparable situation. One of the very earliest dated samples of Garshuni text known is from 1154 CE and is one of a number of short notes contained in the famous Rabbula codex. The earliest dated Garshuni inscription in Iraq yet known is from 1630/31 CE.[173]

How does Luxenberg's hypothesis fare when viewed alongside the extant documentary evidence? Firstly, as we have mentioned, he has failed to adduce a single piece of documentary evidence, be it a manuscript or inscription, showing the Qur'an was originally written in Garshuni. This piece of irony has not been lost on scholars who have pointed out the repeated claims made by Luxenberg of the ‘original’ Qur'an being written in Garshuni, yet showing Arabic Qur'anic texts as examples![174] None of the earliest manuscripts of the Qur'an, some of which are listed in the table above, are written in Garshuni. Secondly, he fails to appreciate the fact that the Garshuni writing tradition appears much later on than Arabic.[175] According to Professor Arthur Vööbus, one of the preeminent Syriac scholars of the 20th century, the earliest writing in Garshuni is to be found in a colophon of British Library Add. 14,644 attributed to the 9th century,[176] being an ancient recipe for the manufacture of ink preceded by its corresponding Arabic counterpart. Regarding the date assigned to this note Mengozzi comments, “A precise dating of the note is not possible but the text could be a very early, though rather isolated, instance of use of the Syriac alphabet for writing the Arabic language.”[177] Although there are earlier Syriac borrowings of loan words and phrases from Arabic, especially technical terms and religious expressions such as in the Chronicle of Zuqnīn IV,[178] at present there would appear to be no complete literary text or manuscript written in Garshuni until the 14th century.[179] We have about thirty manuscripts of the Qur'an attributable to the 1st century hijra and many more before the advent of the 9th and 10th century, the time when the earliest samples of short Garshuni texts start to appear. Equating his hypothesis with “empiric accuracy” would seem to be a hasty assessment, one that is at odds with the extant documentary evidence.[180]

German Edition

English Edition

Figure 6: The front cover of the German and English editions of Luxenberg's book showing 1st century hijra ḥijāzī manuscript Arabe 328a located at Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

It is strange that a book that boasts a title The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran - A Contribution To The Decoding Of The Language Of The Koran (German edition: Die syro-aramäische Lesart des Koran: Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Koransprache) has a cover page that does not commensurate its title. One would expect that the author would have unearthed an important piece of evidence in the form of a manuscript, or an inscription to show evidence of the syro-aramäische reading of the Qur'an. Such an evidence on the cover page of the book would have befittingly matched the flowery title. However, to everyone's surprise, the title page in both the German and English editions of the book (Figure 6), is from a 1st century Qur'anic manuscript Arabe 328a located at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.[181]

5. Conclusions

In the last few decades a controversy has arisen over the period in which the text of the Qur'an became codified. The traditional view was that the third caliph, ʿUthmān (r. 23-35 AH / 644-61 CE), charged a group of men at Madinah with collecting and standardizing the text.[182] As for the revisionistic views, many theories have been proposed as to how the Qur'an/Islam came about. According to these various revisionistic schools of thought, Islam was originally a Jewish sect (pace Hagarism);[183] the Qur'an was contemporaneous with the sira (pace John Wansbrough);[184] Islam arose in the Negev desert somehow allegedly validating Wansbrough's hypothesis (pace Yehuda Nevo);[185] the Qur'an came after the sira and ḥadīth (pace Uri Rubin);[186] the Qur'an was an Iraqi product and predates the sira (pace G. R. Hawting)[187] and, recently, the Qur'an is a product of Syriac Christianity and was first written in Garshuni (pace Christoph Luxenberg).[188] It seems that these revisionistic schools often follow methodologies that do not agree with each other (whether in whole or in part) and none of them seem to agree on any one particular scenario, be it historical, social, cultural, political, economic or religious. Something that appears to be more fundamental in their analyses is that the revisionists are willing to formulate any theory to lend verisimilitude to their opinions concerning the Qur'an/Islam, no matter how much it contradicts all of the available well-established evidence, documentary or otherwise.

In this paper, we have discussed the documentary evidence that deals with the ḥijāzī and kufic manuscripts of the Qur'an datable to 1st century hijra. Should one ponder over this list, one will come to the appreciation that scholars involved in this field of study suffer from an embarrassment of riches. Quite simply, there is no other work from Late Antiquity that comes close to the Qur'an in terms of the number of their earliest manuscripts including textual content. Using this manuscript evidence, certain mathematical calculations were carried out to work out percentages of sūrahs available, cumulative percentage of the Qur'an in the manuscripts and cumulative percentage of the unique text in the manuscripts. The total (unique) text of the Qur'an in the manuscripts is found to be ~91.7% which is close to the value ~83% as obtained by Noseda. Noseda's observation was limited to ḥijāzī manuscripts written on parchment alone; Qur'ans written on papyri, ḥijāzī parchments from Ṣanʿāʾ and so-called kufic manuscripts were given no attention. On the contrary, our calculations included the ḥijāzī and kufic manuscripts written on both parchment and papyri. This is reflected in the fact that we have obtained a slightly higher percentage of the text of the Qur'an. Furthermore, a notable omission on our part is the ḥijāzī manuscripts mentioned by Noseda that are kept at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art (Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi), Istanbul. These were not included as only tantalizing details of their contents were provided by him with no mention of accession numbers. The table below summarizes the discussion with the ‘vital statistics’ of the Qur'anic manuscripts from 1st century of hijra.

Vital Statistics of the Qur'anic manuscripts from 1st century of hijra
Required statistics Muṣḥaf of Madinah 1st century AH Qur'anic manuscripts Percent
Total text of the Qur'an present only in the ḥijāzī manuscripts according to Noseda ~83.0 %
Total number of verses present in Qur'an manuscripts (this study) 6236 verses 5603 verses ~89.8 %
Total text of the Qur'an present in manuscripts (this study) 604 pages ~553.7 pages (equivalent) ~91.7 %

It must be added that the current paper is a working document. There are quite a few ḥijāzī manuscripts of the Qur'an dated to 1st century hijra that are waiting to be published, especially from the Şam Evrakı (‘Papers of Syria’) collection at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Istanbul. Apart from the tantalizing details of the ḥijāzī manuscripts mentioned by al-Munajjid and Noseda, Déroche says that there are ~210,000 folios of the early Islamic manuscripts[189] at this museum which are currently being studied.[190] Publication of these manuscripts would lead to further modification of the numbers presented here for the Qur'anic text.[191]

As part of a provocative theory imagined in the mid-seventies, Crone and Cook stated “There is no hard evidence for the existence of the Koran in any form before the last decade of the seventh century, ...”[192] Furthermore they said that in the 2nd century of hijra the textual state of the Qur'an “... may have differed considerably in content from the Koran we now know”.[193] Both were echoing the views of Wansbrough who thought the “canonisation” of the Qur'an was not completed until the 2nd / 3rd century of hijra at the earliest.[194] This statement reflected the general state of methodological imprecision in western Qur'anic studies in the 70s and 80s where theories were being developed in isolation from the manuscript evidence[195] – sadly a practice that still continues in some circles today.[196] The authors suggested one way Muslims could reject their conclusions would be based on their faith if it had reached the level of “as a grain of mustard seed”.[197] On the contrary, a quick glance at the documentary evidence gathered here allows one to confidently discard the aforesaid conclusions. Dismissing Wansbrough's theory for a late compilation of the Qur'an, Noseda said,

Our hijazid manuscripts attributable to the 1st century of the Hijrah do not agree with this theory of his, to which history will decide which nickname to apply, choosing between LUSITANIA and TITANIC. But let us not anticipate.[198]

And Allah knows best!

Appendix: The Qur'an – Between ‘Vulgate’ And ‘Textus Receptus’

One can hardly fail to read many Western publications dealing with the transmission of the Qur'anic text except that one will find the label Vulgate and/or Textus Receptus used.[199] Just listing the references in various different languages would require tens of pages, so let us focus on a recent item which should suffice for our purposes, Déroche and Noseda's Sources de la transmission manuscrite du texte coranique. I. Les manuscrits de style hijazi. Volume 2. Tome I. Le manuscrit Or. 2165 (f. 1 à 61) de la British Library. In the introduction to this manuscript written by Noseda, he names one of the several modern printed texts of the Qur'an, the “King Fuʾād Koran”,[200] and then goes on to say, “From that moment onwards this has been the ‘Vulgate of the Vulgates’, the textus receptus, etc., etc., and has had overwhelming success in the Arab-Muslim world.”[201] No explanation is given as to why these terms are used of this modern printed Qur'anic text and it is not even clear whether Noseda as well as those other writers are fully aware of the historical context of these terms.[202]

The term Textus Receptus was first coined from the second edition of the Greek New Testament published by the famous Dutch printers the Elzevier's in 1633 who enlisted Daniel Heinsius, a Greek and Latin classics professor at the University of Leiden, to write a brief preface for the text.[203] He said of the text printed by the Elzevier's, “Textum ergo babes, nunc ab omnibus receptum: in quo nihil immutatum aut corruptum damus[204] from where the phrase Textus Receptus originated and has become instantly recognisable ever since. In English, “Thus you have here the text, that is now generally received, in which we give nothing changed or corrupted”.[205] Considered a shrewd marketing move in order to maximise sales,[206] scholars came to realise the increasingly fragile nature of the text as the renewed study of textual criticism gradually undermined its textual sacredness. Based on a few manuscripts from the Byzantine textual tradition, the Textus Receptus exhibited additional words, phrases, sentences and even whole periscopes compared to the earlier Alexandrian textual tradition. Startlingly, it even included a hitherto unknown text being I John 5:7, the Comma Johanneum,[207] the only explicit reference to the Christian Trinity in the New Testament; this shows that up until the 16th century CE, the time period when this text can first be surely considered as a verse proper in a Greek New Testament manuscript, it was still possible to include “fabricated” verses in the text of the New Testament.

The question is posed thus – What does a marketing soundbite from a Latin preface to a Greek New Testament written by a Dutch professor from the Renaissance have to do with the text of the Qur'an? Absolutely nothing. We must ask ourselves then why is it that this term is used? There is a reason subtlety assumed and very seldom explained. Some Western scholars are implying the modern printed Qur'anic text is an uncritical text which, like the Textus Receptus, was initially received as flawless but over time will soon come to be discovered as corrupted with the application of modern scholarly tools such as textual criticism. Is such a conclusion supported by the earliest extant manuscripts of the Qur'an, some of which have been listed above? On the basis of the published manuscripts listed in the table above, none of them shows the type, spectrum and extent of textual corruption that plagued the Textus Receptus. The transmission of the Arabic Qur'an is very different from that of the Greek New Testament, rendering a comparison between them one of apples and oranges. The transmutation of terms from a Judeo-Christian milieu into a Qur'anic one is often unhelpful and in many instances illogical. Noseda coined the term ‘Vulgate of the Vulgates’, which strikes one as a rather grotesque phrase. By using this phrase it appears Noseda is highlighting to the reader the widespread success and universal acceptance of the so-called King Fuʾād edition. Given the overall context in which it is used, bearing in mind the origin and original meaning of the word including the current text-critical reception of the Latin Vulgate, one could also interpret his use of the word ‘Vulgate’ as simply another name for an uncritical text; thus translating the meaning of the phrase would give us “king of the uncritical texts”. In any case, this phrase has no application to the Qur'an, either the modern printed texts or its earliest handwritten manuscripts, and should probably remain in the sphere from where it originated.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Professor Christoph Rauch, Subject Specialist for Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Oriental Department, Berlin State Library, for information regards Ms. Or. Fol. 4313 and We. 1913, the references for both, and an image of the later; Dr. Jan Just Witkam, Professor of Codicology and Palaeography of the Islamic World, University of Leiden, the Netherlands, for information regards Ms. Or. 14.545a+b+c and an image of the former; Dr. Jean Walker, Assistant Keeper, Egyptian Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, for information regards E. 16269 A-E and their images; Dr. Elaine Wright, Curator of the Islamic Collections at the Chester Beatty Library, for information regards Is. 1615 I + II and a complete set of images; Professor Brannon Wheeler, Director of the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, Department of History at the United States Naval Academy, for a reference to the ḥijāzī manuscript kept at the Tariq Rajab Museum; Dr. Elisabeth Puin, External Lecturer of Evangelical Theology, University of Saarland, Germany, for information and discussion regarding DAM 01-27.1; Dr. Alba Fedeli, Professor of Arabic Language, University of Milan, Italy, for information regarding DAM 01-25.1 and DAM 01-29.1.

None of the persons mentioned are associated with Islamic Awareness, neither are the views expressed in this article necessarily their own.

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References & Notes

[1] An admirable up-to-date overview is given in S. S. Blair, Islamic Calligraphy, 2006, Edinburgh University Press: Scotland, pp. 101-140 (Chapter 4 – ‘Early Manuscripts Of The Koran’).

[2] E. Herzfeld, "Einige Bücherschätze In Persien", Ephemerides Orientales, 1926, Volume 28, p. 1. In any case there is still no basis for comparison as this manuscript has never been published.

[3] A. Grohmann, "Zum Problem Der Datierung Der Ältesten Koran-Handschriften" in H. Franke (Ed.), Akten Des Vierundzwanzigsten Internationalen Orientalisten-Kongresses München, 28. August Bis 4. September 1957, 1959, Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft e.V.: Wiesbaden, pp. 272-273; idem., "The Problem Of Dating Early Qur'ans", Der Islam, 1958, Volume 33, Number 3, p. 222. In the latter article, Grohmann also includes Arabic Pal. Plate 43, which is a severely mutilated papyrus manuscript of the Qur'an (presently lost) containing a few dozen letters. The image which was reproduced by Moritz is of such poor quality it is practically unreadable rendering it unhelpful for comparative purposes.

[4] B. Gruendler, The Development Of The Arabic Scripts: From The Nabatean Era To The First Islamic Century According To Dated Texts, 1993, Harvard Semitic Series No. 43, Scholars Press: Atlanta (GA), p. 135.

[5] 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. 3-38.

[6] ibid, p. 3;

[7] F. Déroche and S. N. Noseda (Eds.), Sources de la transmission manuscrite du texte coranique. I. Les manuscrits de style hijazi. Volume 2. Tome I. Le manuscrit Or. 2165 (f. 1 à 61) de la British Library, 2001, Fondazione Ferni Noja Noseda, Leda, and British Library: London, p. xxvii.

[8] B. Dodge (Trans. & Ed.), The Fihrist Of Al-Nadīm: The Tenth Century Survey Of Muslim Culture, 1970, Volume I, Columbia University Press: New York & London, p. 10. Arthur Jeffery dismisses the statement of al-Nadim by saying that it belongs to "4th Islamic century" and claims it to be "suspicious" (see A. Jeffery, "Book Review Of N. Abbott's The Rise Of The North Arabic Script And Its Kur'anic Development, 1939, University of Chicago Press", Moslem World, 1940, Volume 30, p. 193). Nabia Abbott, on the other hand, agrees with the statement of al-Nadim and she provides the manuscript evidence to support his statement. She pointed out that Jeffery misread and misrepresented the statements of al-Nadim (N. Abbott, The Rise Of The North Arabic Script And Its Kur'ānic Development, With A Full Description Of The Kur'ān Manuscripts In The Oriental Institute, 1939, University of Chicago Press, Plates VIII, IX and X; idem., "Arabic Paleography: The Development Of Early Islamic Scripts", Ars Islamica, 1941, Volume VIII, pp. 70-79).

[9] S. S. Blair, Islamic Calligraphy, 2006, op. cit., p. 107 & p. 134.

[10] One of the first scholars to use the actual term “ḥijāzī” was Nabia Abbott although much earlier, scholars talked about “écriture du Hidjâz”. See N. Abbott, The Rise Of The North Arabic Script And Its Kur'ānic Development, With A Full Description Of The Kur'ān Manuscripts In The Oriental Institute, 1939, op. cit., p. 23.

[11] O. Hamdan, "The Second Maṣāḥif Project: A Step Towards the Canonization of the Qur'ānic Text" in A. Neuwirth, N. Sinai & M. Marx (Eds.), The Qur'ān In Context: Historical And Literary Investigations Into The Qur'ānic Milieu, 2010, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden: The Netherlands, pp. 795-835. N.B. “The Second Maṣāḥif Project” is a phrase coined by Hamdan which he evidently believes accurately describes the developments discussed by him.

[12] M. Abul Quasem (Trans. & Ed.), The Recitation And Interpretation Of The Qur'an: Al-Ghazālī's Theory, 1979, University of Malaya Press: Kuala Lumpur, pp. 40-41. This is a full translation of the eighth book of al-Ghazālī's Iḥyaʾ ʿUlūm al-Dīn originally composed toward the end of the 5th century hijra around 1096-97 CE.

[13] Ismāʿīl ibn ʿUmar ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr al-Qur'ān al-ʿAẓīm, 1966, Volume 7, Dār al-Andalus lil-Ṭibaʿah wa-al-Nashr: Bayrūt, p. 467. Translation taken from M. M. al-A‘zami, The History Of The Qur'ānic Text From Revelation To Compilation: A Comparative Study With The Old And New Testaments, 2003, UK Islamic Academy: Leicester (UK), p. 148.

[14] The incorrect belief that early Arabic texts - and by extension early Qur'anic texts - were consistently written in a scriptio defectiva has almost become a mantra in Islamic studies. A fairly comprehensive system of diacritical marks was already in place in the early 20's AH, roughly contemporaneous with Uthman's collection of the Qur'an. See ʿA. I. Ghabban (Trans. & Remarks by R. G. Hoyland), "The Inscription Of Zuhayr, The Oldest Islamic Inscription (24 AH/AD 644–645), The Rise Of The Arabic Script And The Nature Of The Early Islamic State", Arabian Archaeology And Epigraphy, 2008, Volume 19, pp. 210-237. Also see A. Jones, "The Dotting Of A Script And The Dating Of An Era: The Strange Neglect Of PERF 558", Islamic Culture, 1998, Volume LXXII, No. 4, pp. 95-103. For another recent study on the ordered use of diacritical marks in early Arabic texts see, A. Kaplony, "What Are Those Few Dots For? Thoughts On The Orthography Of The Qurra Papyri (709-710), The Khurasan Parchments (755-777) And The Inscription Of The Jerusalem Dome Of The Rock (692)", Arabica, 2008, Volume 55, pp. 91-112.

[15] F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, 1992, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, Volume I, Oxford University Press, pp. 35-36; idem., 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, pp. 37-38.

[16] Y. Tabbaa, The Transformation Of Islamic Art During The Sunni Revival, 2001, University of Washington Press, pp. 27-28.

[17] F. Déroche and S. N. Noseda (Eds.), Sources de la transmission manuscrite du texte coranique. I. Les manuscrits de style hijazi. Volume 2. Tome I. Le manuscrit Or. 2165 (f. 1 à 61) de la British Library, 2001, op. cit., p. xxvii; S. N. Noseda, "Parerga To The Volumes Of «Sources De La Transmission Manuscrite Du Texte Coranique» Thus Far Published And In Course Of Publication" in M. S. Kropp (Ed.), Results Of Contemporary Research On The Qur'ān: The Question Of A Historio-Critical Text Of The Qur'ān, 2007, Beiruter Texte Und Studien - Band 100, Orient-Institut: Beirut, p. 167.

[18] A. George, The Rise Of Islamic Calligraphy, 2010, Saqi Books: London, p. 32. Read in conjunction with idem., "Calligraphy, Colour And Light In The Blue Qur’an", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 2010, Volume 11, No. 1, pp. 75-125, one benefits from the fullest description so far detailing the transition from ḥijāzī to kufic script and the rise of the latter. George's explanation has the benefit of interacting with a wide array of indisputably early material evidence, without placing undue emphasis on non-documentary sources.

[19] F. Déroche (Trans. D. Dusinberre & D. Radzinowicz, Ed. M. I. Waley), Islamic Codicology: An Introduction To The Study Of Manuscripts In Arabic Script, 2006, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation Publication - No. 102, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation: London (UK), p. 11. This is an English translation of his French volume including new additions and improvements, see De Codicologie Des Manuscrits En Ècriture Arabe, 2000, Bibliothèque Nationale de France: Paris.

[20] S. N. Noseda, "A Third Koranic Fragment On Papyrus: An Opportunity For A Revision", Rendiconti: Classe Di Lettere E Scienze Morali E Storiche, 2003 (Published 2004), Volume 137, Fasc. 1, pp. 313-326. Noseda conveniently lists all extant (some presently lost) Qur'anic manuscripts written on papyrus. At least one other Qur'anic papyrus manuscript has come to light since Noseda wrote his article, see W. M. Malczycki, Literary Papyri From The University Of Utah Arabic Papyrus And Paper Collection, 2006, Ph. D. Thesis (unpublished), University of Utah, pp. 91-127 (P. Utah. Inv. 342).

[21] S. Ory, "Un Nouveau Type De Muṣḥaf: Les Corans En Rouleaux Conservés À Istanbul", Revue Des Études Islamiques, 1965, Volume 33, pp. 87-149.

[22] One is strongly advised to consult Déroche's volume, from where this paragraph has been summarised, in order one can absorb the details of this rapidly developing field of study. See F. Déroche (Trans. D. Dusinberre & D. Radzinowicz, Ed. M. I. Waley), Islamic Codicology: An Introduction To The Study Of Manuscripts In Arabic Script, 2006, op. cit.

[23] M. Jenkins, "A Vocabulary Of Umayyad Ornament: New Foundations For The Study Of Early Qur'an Manuscripts", Maṣāḥif Ṣanʿāʾ, 1985, Dār al-Athar al-Islāmiyyah: Kuwait, pp. 19-23.

[24] H-C. G. von Bothmer, "Architekturbilder Im Koran Eine Prachthandschrift Der Umayyadenzeit Aus Dem Yemen", Pantheon, 1987, Volume 45, pp. 4-20.

[25] F. Déroche, "New Evidence About Umayyad Book Hands" in Essays In Honour Of Ṣalāḥ Al-Dīn Al-Munajjid, 2002, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation Publication: No. 70, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation: London (UK), pp. 629, 632, 634, 640 and Fig. 11.

[26] See for instance, F. B. Flood, The Great Mosque Of Damascus: Studies On The Makings Of An Umayyad Visual Culture, 2001, Brill: Leiden & Boston; G. Fowden, Quṣayr ʿAmra: Art And The Umayyad Elite In Late Antique Syria, 2004, University Of California Press, Berkley & Los Angeles.

[27] S. S. Blair, Islamic Calligraphy, 2006, op. cit., p. 117.

[28] M. van Strydonck, A. de Moor, D. Bénazeth, "14C Dating Compared To Art Historical Dating Of Roman And Coptic Textiles From Egypt", Radiocarbon, 2004, Volume 46, No. 1, pp. 231-234.

[29] A. George, "On The Rise And Meaning Of Islamic Calligraphy", Hadeeth Ad-Dar, 2011, Volume 33, p. 11.

[30] A. J. Arberry, The Koran Illuminated: A Handlist Of The Korans In The Chester Beatty Library, 1967, Hodges, Figgis & Co., Ltd.: Dublin, p. xix & p. 15 (No. 40); D. James, Qur'ans And Bindings From The Chester Beatty Library: A Facsimile Exhibition, 1980, World of Islam Festival Trust: London, p. 14; A. Fedeli, "Variants And Substantiated Qirāʾāt: A Few Notes Exploring Their Fluidity In The Oldest Qurʾānic Manuscripts", in M. Groß & K-H. Ohlig (Eds.), Die Entstehung Einer Weltreligion II: Von Der Koranischen Bewegung Zum Frühislam, 2012, Verlag Hans Schiler: Berlin/Tübingen, pp. 403-440.

[31] A. Fedeli, "The Provenance Of The Manuscript Mingana Islamic Arabic 1572: Dispersed Folios From A Few Qur'ānic Quires", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2011, Volume 17, Number 1, p. 52.

[32] Arts Of The Islamic World Including Fine Carpets And Textiles, London 8 October 2008, 2008, Sotheby's: London, pp. 16-19 (Lot 3).

[33] D. J. Roxburgh, Writing The Word Of God: Calligraphy And The Qur'an, 2007, The Museum Of Fine Arts: Houston, pp. 5-8.

[34] 13:24–14:5+ (Ms. 68, 69, 70, 699); 14:19–44 (Sotheby's October 2008 Lot 3); 15:58–16:20 (TR:490-2007); 28:6–22, 25–38, 42–61, 64–82, 84–29:14, 18–33, 35–50, 54–30:7, 9–28, 30–47, 49–31:9, 13–26, 30–32:9, 13–33:1, 4–15, 18–32, ends 33:43, 47–55, 34:1–16, 17–33, 36–54, 35:1–13, 14–32, 34–44, 36:1–28, 31–50, 54–83, 37:1–45, 47–100, 100–145, 149–38:10, 20– 27, 33–66, 69–39:6, 7–23, 27–45, 47–67, 68–40:7, 10–22, 27–40, 42–59, 62–77, 78–41:14, 14–30, 31–49, 51–12, 15–24, 24–46, 48–43:11, 12–32, 35–58, 59–81, 82–44:20, 23–57, 59–45:18, 19–35, 36–46:15, 15–27, 29–47:4, 7–17, 20–34, 38–48:11, 14–24 (Is. 1615 I). Is. 1615 I consists of 32 leaves which would have originally been a continuous text with no missing verses. To quote Dr. Elaine Wright, the Curator of the Islamic Collections at the Chester Beatty Library (personal communication - April 2009), “Record of the verses covered on each folio (but note that as all of the beginning and end text of each folio is rarely extant or legible, in most cases the text of the folio originally began (or still begins but it is illegible) before and continues after what is listed below).”

[35] F. Déroche, Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., pp. 145-146.

[36] Is. 1615 II was originally considered part of Is. 1615 I. However in recent times it has been separated into two sections due to the fact they are from different manuscripts. As far as we are aware, there are no published details of this manuscript.

[37] 85:3–87:5, 6–89:6, 7–90:19, 91:1–93:11, 94:1–97:3, 98:1–100:11, 101:1–105:2, 3–110:1.

[38] R. G. Hamdoun, "المخطوطات القرآنية في صنعاء منذ القرن الأول الهجري وحفظ القرآن الكريم بالسطور", 2004, Master’s Thesis (unpublished), Al-Yemenia University.

[39] Maṣāḥif Ṣanʿāʾ, 1985, op. cit., p. 59, Plate 4; S. Noja Noseda, "La Mia Vista A Sanaa E Il Corano Palinseto", Rendiconti: Classe Di Lettere E Scienze Morali E Storiche, 2003 (Published 2004), Volume 137, Fasc. 1, pp. 43-60; E. Puin, "Ein Früher Koranpalimpsest Aus Ṣanʿāʾ (DAM 01-27.1)", in M. Groß & K-H. Ohlig (Eds.), Schlaglichter: Die Beiden Ersten Islamischen Jahrhunderte, 2008, Verlag Hans Schiler: Berlin, pp 461-493; idem., "Ein Früher Koranpalimpsest Aus Ṣanʿāʾ (DAM 01-27.1) – Teil II", in M. Groß & K-H. Ohlig (Eds.), Vom Koran Zum Islam: Schriften Zur Frühen Islamgeschichte Und Zum Koran, 2009, Verlag Hans Schiler: Berlin, pp. 523-581; idem., "Ein Früher Koranpalimpsest Aus Ṣanʿāʾ (DAM 01-27.1) – Teil III", in M. Groß & K-H. Ohlig (Eds.), Die Entstehung Einer Weltreligion I: Von Der Koranischen Bewegung Zum Frühislam, 2010, Verlag Hans Schiler: Berlin/Tübingen, pp. 233-305; idem., "Ein Früher Koranpalimpsest Aus Ṣanʿāʾ (DAM 01-27.1) – Teil IV", in M. Groß & K-H. Ohlig (Eds.), Die Entstehung Einer Weltreligion II: Von Der Koranischen Bewegung Zum Frühislam, 2012, op. cit., pp. 311-402; B. Sadeghi & M. Goudarzi, "Ṣanʿāʾ I And The Origins Of The Qur’ān", Der Islam, 2012, Volume 87, Issue 1-2, pp. 1-129.

[40] Islamic And Indian Art, Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd October 1992, Sotheby's: London, pp. 254-259 (Lot 551); M. Fraser & W. Kwiatkowski, Ink And Gold: Islamic Calligraphy, 2006, Sam Fogg: London, pp. 14-17; Islamic Calligraphy, 2003, Catalogue 27, Sam Fogg: London, pp. 6-11; A. Fedeli, "Early Evidences Of Variant Readings In Qur'ānic Manuscripts", in K-H. Ohlig & G-R. Puin (Eds.), Die Dunklen Anfänge: Neue Forschungen Zur Entstehung Und Frühen Geschichte Des Islam, 2006, 2nd Auflage, Verlag Hans Schiler: Berlin (Germany), pp. 293-316. Nota bene: At this juncture, we should like to mention the authors do not necessarily agree with all the conclusions, inferences and conjectures mentioned in this article, as is the case with a number of the references supplied throughout our examination.

[41] Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Friday 22nd October 1993, Sotheby's: London, pp. 18-23 (Lot 31). B. Sadeghi & U. Bergmann, "The Codex Of A Companion Of The Prophet And The Qurʾān Of The Prophet", Arabica, 2010, Volume 57, pp. 343-436. This is more than just an investigation into one folio of the codex. Rather it is a detailed scientific examination of the entirety of the manuscript, in particular the four auction folios, and the broad text critical conclusions and inferences one may deduce in respect of the transmission of the Qur'anic text as a whole.

[42] Islamic And Indian Works Of Art, Wednesday 11th October 2000, Bonham's: London, pp. 11-14 (Lot 13); A. Fedeli, "Early Evidences Of Variant Readings In Qur'ānic Manuscripts", in K-H. Ohlig & G-R. Puin (Eds.), Die Dunklen Anfänge: Neue Forschungen Zur Entstehung Und Frühen Geschichte Des Islam, 2006, op. cit.

[43] Art Of The Islamic And Indian Worlds, Tuesday 8th April 2008, Christie's: London, pp. 24-27 (Lot 20).

[44] The carbon dating is applicable to the scriptio inferior text. According to Sadeghi and Bergmann, the date which the scriptio superior text was written could be the first or second half of the 7th century or even the early 8th century (more generally the 1st century hijra). See B. Sadeghi & U. Bergmann, "The Codex Of A Companion Of The Prophet And The Qurʾān Of The Prophet", Arabica, 2010, op. cit., p. 344.

[45] G. Bergsträsser & O. Pretzl, Die Geschichte Des Qorāntexts, 1936, Dritter Teil, Lieferung 3, Dieterich'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung: Leipzig, Tafel VIII, Abbildung 10.

[46] H. Loebenstein, Koranfragmente Auf Pergament Aus Der Papyrussammlung Der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Textband, 1982, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek: Wein, pp. 23-26 & Tafel 1-2; A. Fedeli, "A. Perg. 2: A Non Palimpsest And The Corrections In Qur'anic Manuscripts", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2005, Volume 11, No. 1, pp. 20-27.

[47] H. Loebenstein, Koranfragmente Auf Pergament Aus Der Papyrussammlung Der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Textband, 1982, op. cit., pp. 27-30 & Tafel 3-6.

[48] S. Al-Munajjid, Dirāsāt fī Tārīkh al-Khatt al-ʿArabī Mundhu Bidayatihi ilā Nihayat al-ʿAsr al-Umawi (French Title: Etudes De Paleographie Arabe), 1972, Dār al-Kitāb al-Jadīd: Beirut (Lebanon), p. 88 & Plate 45, transcription of the folio on p. 89. N. Al-Naqshbandi, "Early Islamic Era Manuscripts Of The Qur’an", Islamic Review, 1958, Volume 46, No. 1, pp. 18-22 & Plate 1.

[49] M. Fraser & W. Kwiatkowski, Ink And Gold: Islamic Calligraphy, 2006, Sam Fogg: London, pp. 18–21; Arts of the Islamic World, 13th October 2004, Sotheby's: London, pp. 10–11 (Lot 3); D. A. Kerr, The Illuminated Manuscripts Of Hartford Seminary: The Art Of Christian-Muslim Relations, 1994, Hartford Seminary Bookstore: Connecticut, p. 12.

[50] Y. Dutton, "An Umayyad Fragment Of The Qur'an And Its Dating", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 2007, Volume 9, No. 2, pp. 57-87.

[51] H-C. G. von Bothmer, "Früislamische Koran Illuminationen: Meisterwerke Aus Dem Handschriftenfund Der Grossen Moschee In Sanaa/Yemen", Kunst Und Antiquitäten, 1986, Volume 1, p. 25 & plate 3; idem., "Architekturbilder Im Koran Eine Prachthandschrift Der Umayyadenzeit Aus Dem Yemen", Pantheon, 1987, op. cit., pp. 4-20; Maṣāḥif Ṣanʿāʾ, 1985, op. cit., p. 45; M. B. Piotrovsky & J. Vrieze (Eds.), Art Of Islam: Heavenly Art And Earthly Beauty, 1999, De Nieuwe Kerk: Amsterdam & Lund Humphries Publishers, pp. 101-104; H-C. G. von Bothmer, "Masterworks Of Islamic Book Art: Koranic Calligraphy And Illumination In The Manuscripts Found In The Great Mosque In Sanaa", in W. Daum (Ed.), Yemen: 3000 Years Of Art And Civilization In Arabia Felix, 1987?, Pinguin-Verlag (Innsbruck) and Umschau-Verlag (Frankfurt/Main), pp. 179-180 & p. 186; F. Déroche, "New Evidence About Umayyad Book Hands" in Essays In Honour Of Ṣalāḥ Al-Dīn Al-Munajjid, 2002, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation Publication: No. 70, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation: London (UK), p. 630; Memory Of The World: Ṣanʿāʾ Manuscripts, CD-ROM Presentation, UNESCO; K. Small & E. Puin, "UNESCO CD of Ṣanʿāʾ Mss. Part 3: Qur'ān Palimpsests, And Unique Qur'ān Illustrations", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2007, Volume 13, Number 2, p. 61, p. 65 & p. 70; C. Hillenbrand, "Muhammad And The Rise Of Islam", in P. Fouracre (Ed.), The New Cambridge Medieval History c. 500 – c. 700, 2005, Volume I, Cambridge University Press, p. 330; A. George, The Rise Of Islamic Calligraphy, 2010, op. cit., pp. 79-89.

[52] F. Déroche, La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden: The Netherlands. The table of contents given by Déroche for the whole manuscript contains several typos when compared against the transcription provided. They are (with corresponding corrections) 39:55 -> 39:15, 46:6 -> 46:8, 65:3 -> 65:2, 67:26 -> 67:27 [ibid., p. 23 and p. 172]; F. Déroche and S. N. Noseda (Eds.), Sources de la transmission manuscrite du texte coranique. I. Les manuscrits de style hijazi. Volume I. Le manuscrit arabe 328a (a) de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1998, Fondazione Ferni Noja Noseda, Leda, and Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris; 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, pp. 59-60; Y. Dutton, "An Early Muṣḥaf According To The Reading Of Ibn ʿĀmir", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 2001, Volume 3, No. 1, pp. 71-89.

[53] F. Déroche, La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit. & Plate 1.

[54] ibid.; F. Déroche, Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 60 & Plate V. There is a small typo in the table of contents when compared against the transcription provided by Déroche in Parisino-Petropolitanus. 70:2 should read 72:2.

[55] F. Déroche, La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit.; G. Levi Della Vida, Frammenti Coranici In Carattere Cufico: Nella Biblioteca Vaticana, 1947, Studi e testi no. 132, Citta Del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana: Vatican City, pp. 1-2 and Tavola 1.

[56] F. Déroche, La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit.; idem., The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, 1992, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art - Volume I, Oxford University Press, p. 30 & p. 32.

[57] F. Déroche and S. N. Noseda (Eds.), Sources de la transmission manuscrite du texte coranique. I. Les manuscrits de style hijazi. Volume 2. Tome I. Le manuscrit Or. 2165 (f. 1 à 61) de la British Library, 2001, Fondazione Ferni Noja Noseda, Leda, and British Library: London; Y. Dutton, "Some Notes On The British Library's ‘Oldest Qur'an Manuscript’ (Or. 2165)", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 2004, Volume 6, No. 1, pp. 43-71; I. A. Rabb, "A Non-Canonical Reading Of The Qur'ān: Recognition & Authenticity (The Ḥimṣi Reading)" Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 2006, Volume 8, No. 2, pp. 84-126.

[58] F. Déroche, Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 62; G. Bergsträsser & O. Pretzl, Die Geschichte Des Qorāntexts, 1936, Dritter Teil, op. cit., Tafel VII, Abbildung 8.

[59] M. Jenkins (Ed.), The Al-Sabah Collection: Islamic Art In The Kuwait National Museum, 1983, Sotheby's: London, p. 18.

[60] Rennes Encheres, Lundi 19 Septembe 2011 - 14H, Rennes Encheres: Rennes (France), p. 15 (Lot 151). The catalogue entry suggests this manuscript could be linked to DAM 01-27.1 (i.e., from Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I), due to the fact it is palimpsest and roughly the same width. Unknown to the authors of this entry, much of the text contained in this manuscript is already present in the al-Maktaba al-Sharqiyya section of Codex Ṣanʿāʾ I, meaning it is from a different manuscript.

[61] Beit al-Qur'an, 1996, Beit al-Qur'an: Manama (Bahrain), p. 63.

[62] A. Grohmann, "The Problem Of Dating Early Qur'ans", Der Islam, 1958, op. cit., pp. 222-231 & Plate I.

[63] N. Abbott, The Rise Of The North Arabic Script And Its Kur'ānic Development, With A Full Description Of The Kur'ān Manuscripts In The Oriental Institute, 1939, op. cit., p. 60 & Plate VIII-IX.

[64] ibid., p. 61 & Plate X.

[65] R. Sellheim, Arabische Handschriften: Materialien Zur Arabischen Literaturgeschichte, 1976, Teil 1, Verzeichnis Der Orientalischen Handschriften In Deutschland, Band 17A, F. Steiner: Wiesbaden, p. 1 (No. 1).

[66] B. Moritz (Ed.), Arabic Palaeography: A Collection Of Arabic Texts From The First Century Of The Hidjra Till The Year 1000, 1905, Publications of the Khedivial Library - No. 16, Cairo, Plate 44.

[67] A. Grohmann, "The Problem Of Dating Early Qur'ans", Der Islam, 1958, op. cit., Plate III. Grohmann does not mention the contents of the manuscript; this has been established by reading the text from the published image, i.e., Qur'an 25:41–51.

[68] S. Noja 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, op. cit., pp. 19-25. As far as we are aware, no fully descriptive catalogue of the Qur'anic manuscripts located at the Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi (Turkish and Islamic Art Museum), Istanbul, has been published. The contents of the various unlisted ḥijāzī style manuscripts kept here are given by Noseda by way of combination of dashes. One dash means fragmented text, two dashes means substantial text and three dashes means full text. The full listing is as follows: Sūrah 3–4 (substantial text), 8 (fragmented text), 9 (full text), 10 (substantial text), 12 (fragmented text), 13–16 (fragmented text), 18 (fragmented text), 19–23 (full text), 24 (substantial text), 27 (fragmented text), 28–29 (substantial text), 30–36 (full text), 37 (substantial text), 38–41 (full text), 42 (fragmented text), 45 (substantial text), 46 (full text), 47 (fragmented text), 66 (substantial text), 67–75 (full text), 76 (substantial text).

[69] F. Déroche, "New Evidence About Umayyad Book Hands" in Essays In Honour Of Ṣalāḥ Al-Dīn Al-Munajjid, 2002, op. cit., p. 633 & p. 640.

[70] N. S. Rajab (Ed.), Matḥaf Ṭāriq, 1994, Tareq Rajab Museum: Hawalli (Kuwait), pp. 16-17; T. S. Rajab, "The Tareq Rajab Museum – An Overview" in A. Fullerton & G. Fehérvári (Comp.), Kuwait Arts And Architecture: A Collection Of Essays, 1995, Oriental Press: United Arab Emirates, p. 108; N. F. Safwat (Intro.), G. Fehérvári & M. Zakariya (Cont.), The Harmony Of Letters - Islamic Calligraphy From The Tareq Rajab Museum, 1997, National Heritage Board: Singapore, pp. 26-27.

[71] G. Levi Della Vida, Arabic Papyri In The University Museum In Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), 1981, Memorie: Classe di Scienze Morali, Storiche e Filologiche, Series 8, Volume 25, Fasc. 1, Accademia Nazionale Dei Lincei: Roma, pp. 152-153.

[72] Maṣāḥif Ṣanʿāʾ, 1985, op. cit., pp. 60-61, Plate 3; S. Noja Noseda, "La Mia Vista A Sanaa E Il Corano Palinseto", Rendiconti: Classe Di Lettere E Scienze Morali E Storiche, 2003 (Published 2004), op. cit., p. 54; Memory Of The World: Ṣanʿāʾ Manuscripts, CD-ROM Presentation, UNESCO; K. Small & E. Puin, "UNESCO CD of Ṣanʿāʾ Mss. Part 3: Qur'ān Palimpsests, And Unique Qur'ān Illustrations", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2007, Volume 13, Number 2, p. 63 & pp. 68-69; H-C. G. von Bothmer, K-H. Ohlig & G-R. Puin, "Neue Wege Der Koranforschung", Magazin Forschung (Universität des Saarlandes), 1999, No. 1, p. 34; A. Fedeli, "I Manoscritti Di Sanaa: Fogli Sparsi Che Diventano Corani" in F. Aspesi, V. Brugnatelli, A. L. Callow & C. Rosenzweig (Eds.), Il Mio Cuore È A Oriente: Studi Di Linguistica Storica, Filologia E Cultura Ebraica Dedicati A Maria Luisa Mayer Modena, 2008, Cisalpino: Milano, pp. 30-31. The table of contents provided here contains a few typos. Fedeli has kindly provided the authors with an updated folio by folio breakdown based on her second examination of the manuscript.

[73] Maṣāḥif Ṣanʿāʾ, 1985, op. cit., p. 58, Plate 11; S. Noja Noseda, "La Mia Vista A Sanaa E Il Corano Palinseto", Rendiconti: Classe Di Lettere E Scienze Morali E Storiche, 2003 (Published 2004), op. cit., p. 53; Memory Of The World: Ṣanʿāʾ Manuscripts, CD-ROM Presentation, UNESCO; K. Small & E. Puin, "UNESCO CD of Ṣanʿāʾ Mss. Part 3: Qur'ān Palimpsests, And Unique Qur'ān Illustrations", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2007, op. cit., p. 63 & p. 69; H-C. G. von Bothmer, K-H. Ohlig & G-R. Puin, "Neue Wege Der Koranforschung", Magazin Forschung (Universität des Saarlandes), 1999, op. cit., p. 39. The contents of the manuscript were compiled by Dr. Alba Fedeli who has examined the manuscript first-hand. Full table of contents is available here.

After ascribing DAM 01-29.1 his script type BIa, Déroche goes on to explain the specific shape of certain letters typical of this group. He says of the kāf, “... the final or isolated kāf does not keep the asymmetrical hairpin shape typical of the previously described scripts [i.e., earliest ḥijāzī style]: the upper and lower strokes are parallel and their length is identical, or almost identical.” See F. Déroche, "New Evidence About Umayyad Book Hands" in Essays In Honour Of Ṣalāḥ Al-Dīn Al-Munajjid, 2002, op. cit., p. 622 & footnote 36. However, when one examines the plate referred to by Déroche, the kāf does not exhibit both of these characteristics. In actuality the kāf is very similar indeed to the one described in script type HI as are the rest of the letters. Without wishing to give the impression one is better acquainted with Déroche's typology than he is, it seems script type HI better describes the characteristics of the entirety of the script displayed in all of the published folios of DAM 01-29.1, including the single plate referred to by him. For further information regarding the shape of final or isolated kāf in the most ancient copies of the Qur'an, see F. Déroche, "Un Critère De Datation Des Écritures Coraniques Anciennes: Le Kāf Final Ou Isolé", Damaszener Mitteilungen, 1999, Band 11, pp. 87-94 & Tafel 15-16.

[74] F. Déroche, La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit., pp. 122-123 & Plates 26, 27 & 28. An illustrated descriptive catalogue of the early Qur'anic manuscripts held in the National Library of Russia is currently under preparation; A. Fedeli, "The Provenance Of The Manuscript Mingana Islamic Arabic 1572: Dispersed Folios From A Few Qur'ānic Quires", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2011, op. cit., pp. 45-56.

[75] H. L. Gottschalk (Ed.), Catalogue Of The Mingana Collection Of Manuscripts: Now In The Possession Of The Trustees Of The Woodbrooke Settlement, Selly Oak, Birmingham And Preserved At The Selly Oak Colleges Library, 1948, Volume IV - Islamic Arabic Manuscripts, The Selly Oaks Colleges Library: Birmingham, p. 2; L-A. Hunt, The Mingana And Related Collections: A Survey Of Illustrated Arabic, Greek, Eastern Christian, Persian And Turkish Manuscripts In The Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, 1997, The Mingana Collection, The Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust: Birmingham (UK), p. 11; A. Fedeli, "The Provenance Of The Manuscript Mingana Islamic Arabic 1572: Dispersed Folios From A Few Qur'ānic Quires", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2011, op. cit., pp. 45-56.

[76] A. Fedeli, "The Provenance Of The Manuscript Mingana Islamic Arabic 1572: Dispersed Folios From A Few Qur'ānic Quires", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2011, op. cit., pp. 45-56. Also see Gallery 2, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (Qatar). (Accessed 29th April 2009).

[77] Rennes Encheres, Lundi 19 Septembe 2011 - 14H, Rennes Encheres: Rennes (France), pp. 16-17 (Lot 152).

[78] F. Déroche, Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 59.

[79] idem., The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, 1992, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art - Volume I, op. cit., pp. 31-32.

[80] idem., Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., pp. 60-61; A. Fedeli, "The Provenance Of The Manuscript Mingana Islamic Arabic 1572: Dispersed Folios From A Few Qur'ānic Quires", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2011, op. cit., pp. 45-56.

[81] A. Fedeli, "The Provenance Of The Manuscript Mingana Islamic Arabic 1572: Dispersed Folios From A Few Qur'ānic Quires", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2011, op. cit., pp. 45-56.

[82] F. Déroche, La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit., p. 123 & Plate 15.

[83] idem., Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 61.

[84] idem., Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 61.

[85] E. G. Browne, A Hand-List Of The Muhammadan Manuscripts, Including All Those Written In The Arabic Character, Preserved In The Library Of The University Of Cambridge, 1900, At The University Press: Cambridge, p. 146 (No. 806); C. Ansorge et al.Faith & Fable: Islamic Manuscripts From Cambridge University Library, 2011, Cambridge University Library, UK, p. 11.

[86] Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Friday 22nd October 1993, Sotheby's: London, pp. 26-29 (Lot 34).

[87] Arts Of The Islamic World: Including Fine Carpets And Textiles, London 6th October 2010, 2010, Sotheby's: London, pp. 10-11 (Lot 3). The contents are not indicated in the catalogue and have been established by reading the text from the published image.

[88] Arts Of The Islamic World Evening Sale: Including The Harvey B. Plotnick Collection Of Islamic Ceramics Part One, London 4th October 2011, 2011, Sotheby's: London, Lot 1.

[89] Arts Of The Islamic And Indian Worlds: Including Works From The Simon Digby Collection, Thursday 7 April 2011, 2011, Christie's: London, pp. 16-17 (Lot 10).

[90] A. Fedeli, "Relevance Of The Oldest Qur'ānic Manuscripts For The Readings Mentioned By Commentaries. A Note On Sura ‘Ta-Ha’", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2009, Volume 15, Number. 1, pp. 3-10; idem., "The Kufic Collection Of The Prussian Consul Wetzstein: The 1100 Leaves Of The The Universitätsbibliothek In Tübingen And Their Importance For Palaeography And Qur'ānic Criticism", in R. M. Kerr & T. Milo (Eds.), Writings And Writing From Another World And Another Era: Investigations In Islamic Text And Script In Honour Of Dr Januarius Justus Witkam, 2010, Archetype: Cambridge, pp. 117-142; M. Weisweiler, Verzeichnis Der Arabischen Handschriften, 1930, Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen, Volume II, Verlag von Otto Harrassowitz: Leipzig, p. 125. (No. 161). Weisweiler gives the starting verse as 17:37. According to the verse numbering system adopted by the well-known modern printed editions, it is 17:35. The script is ḥijāzī though listed as kufic in the catalogue entry.

It is unclear if this manuscript was included in Noseda's table of ḥijāzī manuscripts from 1st century hijra. Giving information about a ḥijāzī manuscript kept at the Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen, he marks a single dash (i.e., ‘fragmented’ text) for sūrah 17 alone. As far as we are aware, there are no ḥijāzī manuscripts at the Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen that contain sūrah 17 only. Could this be a typographical error? Perhaps Noseda had only limited information concerning this manuscript at the time of writing and made note of the starting sūrah only. See 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, op. cit., p. 20.

[91] S. Şahin et al., The 1400th Anniversary Of The Qur'an, 2010, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art Collection, Antik A.S. Cultural Publications: Turkey, pp. 144-145; S. Al-Munajjid, Dirāsāt fī Tārīkh al-Khatt al-ʿArabī Mundhu Bidayatihi ilā Nihayat al-ʿAsr al-Umawi (French Title: Etudes De Paleographie Arabe), 1972, op. cit., p. 93 & Plate 48.

[92] Images of two folios have been uploaded to the public domain and were taken on the 22nd June 2012 by Professor Richard Mortel of King Saud University, Riyadh.

[93] Hamad Bin Khalifa Symposium On Islam Art | Islamic Art Symposium | Podcast | François Déroche, accessed 20th July 2012, time slice [53:08-54:24].

[94] F. B. Flood, ''The Qur'an'', in H. C. Evans & B. Ratliff (Eds.), Byzantium And Islam: Age Of Transition 7th - 9th Century, 2012, Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York, p. 269.

[95] ibid.; D. J. Roxburgh, Writing The Word Of God: Calligraphy And The Qur'an, 2007, op. cit., pp. 15-16.

[96] Hamad Bin Khalifa Symposium On Islam Art | Islamic Art Symposium | Podcast | François Déroche, accessed 20th July 2012, time slice [53:08-54:24]. This folio has been carbon-dated, though the results are presently unpublished.

[97] This manuscript, attributable to the 1st or early 2nd century hijra, contains on one folio surahs 111, 112, 113 and the beginning of 114. There are three folios extant, and as far as the authors are aware, this manuscript has never been published (Personal Communication – Dr. Elisabeth Puin, March 2010).

[98] S. Şahin et al., The 1400th Anniversary Of The Qur'an, 2010, op. cit., p. 146. Eight leaves comprising sūrahs 28:83-33:59.

[99] ibid., pp. 147-151. 62 leaves comprising the 22nd and 30th juz‘ of the Qur’an.

[100] S. Al-Munajjid, Dirāsāt fī Tārīkh al-Khatt al-ʿArabī Mundhu Bidayatihi ilā Nihayat al-ʿAsr al-Umawi (French Title: Etudes De Paleographie Arabe), 1972, op. cit., p. 94 & Plate 49 (Qur'an 36:71-37:10).

[101] ibid., p. 92 & Plate 47 (Qur'an 3:191-4:3).

[102] ibid., pp. 90-91 & Plate 46. This Qur'an is dated by al-Munajjid to late 1st century hijra and is almost complete containing sūrah 2:248 until sūrah 113.

[103] ibid., p. 95 & Plate 50 (Qur'an 48:26-49:7).

[104] S. Şahin et al., The 1400th Anniversary Of The Qur'an, 2010, op. cit., pp. 146-147. Ten leaves comprising sūrahs 5:71, 117-120, 6:1-113, 161.

[105] F. Déroche, "Colonnes, Vases Et Rinceaux Sur Quelques Enluminures D'Époque Omeyyade", Comptes Rendus Des Séances / Académie Des Inscriptions & Belles-Lettres, 2004 (published 2006), pp. 227-264; idem., Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., pp. 144-145; idem., Le Livre Manuscrit Arabe: Préludes À Une Histoire, 2004, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, p. 105; idem. (Trans. D. Dusinberre & D. Radzinowicz, Ed. M. I. Waley), Islamic Codicology: An Introduction To The Study Of Manuscripts In Arabic Script, 2006, op. cit., p. 114, footnote 77 & p. 122, gives two dates for this manuscript being the end of the 1st / 7th century and the beginning of the 2nd / 8th century. It is not clear which of these dates he prefers. Also see A. George, The Rise Of Islamic Calligraphy, 2010, op. cit., pp. 75-78; F. B. Flood, ''The Qur'an'', in H. C. Evans & B. Ratliff (Eds.), Byzantium And Islam: Age Of Transition 7th - 9th Century, 2012, op. cit., pp. 270-271.

This codex has 73 leaves and contains Qur'an 15:14-17:12, 17:36–23:12, 24:49–61, 25:16–27:89, 30:3–41:32. Its format is vertical with dimensions of 37 cm x 31 cm and the script is kufic. It is primarily located at the Russian National Library, St. Petersburg, with a small section at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. It was originally located at the Mosque of ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀs, in Fustāt, Cairo.

[106] 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.

[107] ibid.; F. Déroche, Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 67 & Plate IX.

[108] Y. Khan & S. Lewincamp, ''Characterisation And Analysis Of Early Qur'an Fragments At The Library Of Congress'', in Contributions To The Symposium On The Care And Conservation Of Middle Eastern Manuscripts, 2008, Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, University of Melbourne, pp. 55-65. Ms. AL-17 at the Library of Congress. The script of this manuscript has wrongly been categorised as HI per Deroche's typology. The script type is actually much closer to the group of manuscripts heralded by Marcel 13. For `Ayn 444 see A. D'Ottone, "Frammenti Coranici Antichi Nel Museo Nazionale Di Damasco", in G. Lancioni & O. Durand (Eds.), Dirasat Aryuliyya: Studi In Onore Di Angelo Arioli, 2007, Università degli Studi di roma La Sapienza -Facoltà di Studi Orientali: Roma, pp. 222-224 & Figure 1; P. Radiciotti & A. D'Ottone, "I Frammenti Della Qubbat Al-Hazna Di Damasco. A Proposito Di Una Scoperta Sottovalutata", Nea Rhōmē: Rivista Di Ricerche Bizantinistiche, 2008, Volume 5, pp. 65-68 & Figures 1 & 2.

[109] Ms. 1-85-154.101 at the Library of Congress. This script of this manuscript has wrongly been categorised as NS.I per Deroche's typology. The script type is actually much closer to BI.b and is thus several centuries earlier than stated.

[110] P. K. Hitti, N. A. Faris & B. ‘Abd-Al-Malik, Descriptive Catalogue Of The Garrett Collection Of Arabic Manuscripts In The Princeton University Library, 1938, Princeton University Press: Princeton (NJ), p. 357 (No. 1139).

[111] B. Moritz (Ed.), Arabic Palaeography: A Collection Of Arabic Texts From The First Century Of The Hidjra Till The Year 1000, 1905, op. cit., Plates 39-40; G. Levi Della Vida, Frammenti Coranici In Carattere Cufico: Nella Biblioteca Vaticana, 1947, op. cit., pp. 16-19 & Plate 9; F. Déroche, Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 65; idem., The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, 1992, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art - Volume I, op. cit., p. 49 & Plate 5.

[112] C. F. Baker, Qur'an Manuscripts: Calligraphy, Illumination, Design, 2007, The British Library: London, p. 19 & Plate 6. There are a few more early Qur'an manuscripts held in the British Library, see P. Stocks (Comp.) & C. F. Baker (Ed.), Subject Guide To The Arabic Manuscripts In The British Library, 2001, The British Library: London, p. 1.

[113] F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, 1992, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art - Volume I, op. cit., pp. 32-60 & Plates 3-13.

[114] It goes without saying La Bibliothèque Nationale De France contains the most impressive collection of early Qur’an manuscripts. See F. Déroche, Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., many manuscripts in styles (including sub-styles) A, B, C, some from D and unclassified.

[115] F. Déroche, Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 63 & Plate VI; A. Fedeli, "The Provenance Of The Manuscript Mingana Islamic Arabic 1572: Dispersed Folios From A Few Qur'ānic Quires", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2011, op. cit., pp. 45-56.

[116] idem., Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 151; idem., La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit., Plates 20 & 21.

[117] idem., Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., pp. 152-153; idem., La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit., Plates 22 & 23.

[118] idem., Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes: Deuxième Partie: Manuscrits Musulmans - Tome I, 1: Les Manuscrits Du Coran: Aux Origines De La Calligraphie Coranique, 1983, op. cit., p. 153; idem., La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit., Plates 24 & 25.

[119] A. J. Arberry, The Koran Illuminated: A Handlist Of The Korans In The Chester Beatty Library, 1967, op. cit., p. 4 (No. 3A); D. James, Qur'ans And Bindings From The Chester Beatty Library: A Facsimile Exhibition, 1980, op. cit., p. 23; B. Moritz (Ed.), Arabic Palaeography: A Collection Of Arabic Texts From The First Century Of The Hidjra Till The Year 1000, 1905, op. cit., Plates 19-30. This is another large format Qur'an containing a huge number of extant folios. The portion located in the Chester Beatty Library consists of 201 folios meaning some 402 pages of text.

[120] Fine Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures: Including Property From The Estate Of King Umberto II Of Italy, Monday 15th October 1984, Sotheby's: London, Lot 206. Dated to the 7th / 8th century CE, this single leaf measures 27.3 cm x 32.5 cm, has 17 lines per page and is written in ma’il script; the full contents are not given.

[121] Fine Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Thursday 22nd May 1986, Sotheby's: London, p. 130. Dated to the 8th century CE, this manuscript comprises 10 leaves, measures 11.6 cm x 17 cm, has 17 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the full contents are not given and no image is provided.

[122] Islamic And Indian Art, Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Thursday 30th April 1992, Sotheby's: London, pp. 144-145, Lot 318: Dated to the 9th century CE (likely 8th century of basis of script / illumination), this single leaf measures 20.7 cm x 29.5 cm, has 16 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the full contents are not given. Lot 319: Dated to the 9th century CE (likely 8th century of basis of script / illumination), it appears to be from the same manuscript as Lot 318, though this is not stated. This single leaf measures 21 cm x 29.4 cm, has 16 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the full contents are not given.

[123] Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Wednesday 28th April 1993, Sotheby's: London, p. 58, Lot 73. Dated to the 8th / 9th century CE, this single leaf measures 18.6 cm x 25.1 cm, has 17 lines per page and is written in kufic script though close to the earlier ma’il style; the full contents are not given and no image is provided.

[124] Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Friday 22nd October 1993, Sotheby's: London, pp. 9-17, Lot 11 & 15: Dated to the late 7th century CE, this manuscript comprises 2 leaves, measures 9.8 cm x 18.9 cm, has 15 lines per page and is written in ḥijāzī script; the contents are surah 25:31-60 & 27:88-28:16. Lot 28: Dated to the 8th century CE, this single leaf measures 20.5 cm x 29.0 cm, has 17 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the contents are surah 44:15-38. Lot 29: Dated to the late 8th early 9th century CE, this manuscript comprises 2 leaves, measures 17.2 cm x 24.0 cm, has 17 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the full contents are not given.

[125] Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Wednesday 19th October 1994, Sotheby's: London, p. 18, Lot 16. Dated to the 8th century CE, this single leaf measures 24.0 cm x 31.0 cm, has 16 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the contents are surah 18:57-77.

[126] Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Wednesday 24th April 1996, Sotheby's: London, p. 11, Lot 1. Dated to the 8th Century CE, measuring 18.7 cm x 27.9 cm and written in kufic script, this manuscript has been cannibalised and various parts sold numerous times at auction. The main section comprising 193 leaves was sold at Christies on the 18th October 1994 as Lot 37. It contains substantial parts of the Qur'an between 2:126-99:8 and there is a continuous text portion from surah 68:25-82:12 (personal communication).

[127] Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Wednesday 16th October 1996, Sotheby's: London, p. 10, Lot 1. Dated to 700 CE, manuscript A comprises two leaves, measures 15.5 cm x 19.2 cm, has 17-19 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the contents are surah 12:26-50, 13:35-14:9. Also dated to 700 CE century CE, manuscript B comprises two leaves, measures 13.7 cm x 17.3 cm, has 17-18 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the contents are surah 5:57-80 and 6:158-7:20; another leaf from manuscript B has been auctioned, see Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Wednesday 23rd April 1997, Sotheby's: London, Lot 45.

[128] Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Wednesday 15th October 1997, Sotheby's: London, pp. 20-21, Lot 12. Dated to 680-710 CE, this manuscript comprises 126 leaves, measures 17.0 cm x 21.5 cm, has 17 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the contents are surah 9:90-10:88, 17:20-23:116. This entire section has been auctioned previously, see Fine Oriental Manuscripts And Miniatures, Thursday 22nd May 1986, Sotheby's: London, pp. 128-129, Lot 268.

[129] Arts Of The Islamic World, Thursday 13th April 2000, Sotheby's: London, p. 8, Lot 1. Dated to 8th Century CE, different parts of this manuscript have been sold numerous times at auction. It measures 19.2 cm x 25.6 cm, has 16 lines per page and is written in kufic script.

[130] Arts Of The Islamic World: Including 20th Century Middle Eastern Painting, Thursday 3rd May 2001, Sotheby's: London, p. 14, Lot 8. Dated to 8th century CE, this single leaf measures 20.0 cm x 28.3 cm, has 15 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the contents are surah 21:97-22:3.

[131] Arts Of The Islamic World, 5th October 2011, Sotheby's: London, Lot 47. Dated from 720-750 CE, this manuscript comprises two leaves, measures 27.4 cm x 34.3 cm, has 16 lines per page and is written in kufic script; the contents are surah 57:10-58:7.

[132] Arts Of The Islamic World, 3rd October 2012, Sotheby's: London, Lot 11. Dated from the late 7th to early 8th century CE, this single leaf measures 38.0 cm x 28.5 cm, has 21 lines per page and is written in ḥijāzī script; the contents are surah 10:6-21. This leaf is from the same manuscript as Codex Ṣanʿāʾ DAM 00-32.1. See Maṣāḥif Ṣanʿāʾ, 1985, op. cit., p. 52, Plate 25.

[133] For an informative study of five of these manuscripts at the points of skeletal variation present in the original muṣḥaf distributed by ʿUthman, see M. M. al-A‘zami, The History Of The Qur'ānic Text From Revelation To Compilation: A Comparative Study With The Old And New Testaments, 2008 (2011 reprint), Second Edition, Azami Publishing House, Riyadh: Saudi Arabia, pp. 167-188. With regard to the authenticity of the literary account supplying us with said points of skeletal variation, see M. Cook, "The Stemma Of The Regional Codices Of The Koran", Graeco-Arabica, 2004, Volumes IX-X, pp. 89-104.

[134] After collaborating with some Egyptian scholars, Noseda published a brief study of the various Qur'ans of ʿUthmān paying particular attention to a copy located at the Hussein Mosque, Cairo. Helpfully in order to distinguish them, Noseda allocated a unique Greek letter to each codex as he highlighted various mentions of them throughout the literature. See S. N. Noseda, "Uno Dei Cosiddetti ‘Corani Di ʿUṭmān’: Quello Nella Moschea Ḥusayn Al Cairo", Studi Magrebini, 2006, New Series, Volume IV, pp. 259-270. This particular Qur'an has just been published as a facsimile edition in two volumes by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) in Turkey.

[135] W. Ahlwardt, Die Handschriften – Verzeichnisse Der Königlichen Bibliothek Zu Berlin, 1887, Volume VII – Verzeichniss Der Arabischen Handschriften, A. W. Schade's Buchdruckerei: Berlin, p. 105 (No. 305, We. 1913). This codex contains Qur'an 2:28-21:109, 22:18-24:33, 24:50-27:86, 34:46-74:1, 78:35-90:18. Its format is vertical with dimensions of 34 cm x 27 cm containing 23-25 lines per page. This is perhaps the earliest "complete" ḥijāzī codex, and, apparently, will be subject to radiocarbon dating in the future (personal communication).

[136] Written in January 1999 as a ‘clarification’ of Toby Lester’s article in Atlantic Monthly, Dr. Puin said, “A most spectacular (complete??) Hijazi Koran can be admired in the Islamic Museum of Cairo, only a few meters from the entrance, in a special vitrine to the right of the main route; this treasure is in Egypt since 1300 years or so, but I know of no investigation, of no publication on its peculiarities!” (accessed 27th December 2011).

[137] A. Ben Abdellah et al. (Trans. J. Saib), The Languages Of The Prophets And The Sources Of The Divine Messages: Moses And Aaron-Jesus-Mohammad (Peace And Blessings Be Upon Them), 2005, Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization: Rabat (Morocco), Chapter 4 ("Samples of Qur'anic Manuscripts Of The First Century Hegira"). The details given for the manuscript are as follows: Ms. 24645 (given as Ms. 26145 in the image caption), ancient Hijaz-Kufi script, 270 written pages on leather 70 cm x 50cm, 17 -18 lines per page. The authors say there is no microfilm available of the manuscript and they are aware of no studies on it. It was among the collection of Prince Omar Sultân before being transferred to Dar Al-Kutub, then finally to the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo.

[138] A. J. Arberry, The Koran Illuminated: A Handlist Of The Korans In The Chester Beatty Library, 1967, op. cit., p. xix & p. 15 (No. 40).

[139] S. S. Blair, Islamic Calligraphy, 2006, op. cit., p. 105. Securely dated Qur'anic manuscripts start to appear beginning from the 3rd century hijra / 9th century CE. For an example containing lists of such manuscripts see, F. Déroche, "Les Manuscrits Arabes Datés Du IIIe/IXe Siècle", Revue Des Études Islamiques, 1987-1989, Volume LV-LVII, pp. 343-379; idem., "Un Fragmento Coránico Datado En El Siglo III/IX" in J. Pedro, M. Sala & M. M. Aldón (Eds.), Códices, Manuscritos E Imágenes: Estudios Filológicos E Históricos, 2003, Servicio De Publicaciones De La Universidad De Córdoba: Spain, pp. 127–139.

[140] H. Pottier, I. Schulze & W. Schulze, "Pseudo-Byzantine Coinage In Syria Under Arab Rule (638-c. 670): Classification And Dating", Revue Belge De Numismatique Et De Sigillographie, 2008, Volume 154, pp. 87-155.

[141] C. Foss, Arab-Byzantine Coins: An Introduction, With A Catalogue Of The Dumbarton Oaks Collection, 2008, Harvard University Press.

[142] M. Marx, "»The Koran According To Agfa« Gotthelf-Bergsträßers Archiv Der Koranhandschriften", Trajekte - Zeitschrift Des Zentrums Für Literatur- Und Kulturforschung, 2009, Nr. 19, 10. Jahrg, pp. 25-29. Available online. For the popular media account see A. Higgins, "The Lost Archive", Wall Street Journal, 12th January 2008, p .1. Available online. Michael Marx, Director of Research at the Corpus Coranicum, has written an interesting response to this article. See M. Marx, "The Lost Archive, The Myth Of Philology, And The Study Of The Qur'an", 16th January 2008, pp. 1-8. Available online.

[143] C. Heger, "What's The Reality Behind The Fabulous 42,000 Korans In Munich", soc.religion.islam, 30th March 2001. Available online. For the earliest published reference see, G. Lüling, A Challenge To Islam For Reformation: The Rediscovery And Reliable Reconstruction Of A Comprehensive Pre-Islamic Christian Hymnal Hidden In The Koran Under Earliest Islamic Reinterpretations, 2003, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited: Delhi, p. xxi, footnote 8.

[144] C. Luxenberg, The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran - A Contribution To The Decoding Of The Language Of The Koran, 2007, Verlag Hans Schiler, Berlin: Germany, p. 74, footnote 94.

[145] A. Higgins, "The Lost Archive", Wall Street Journal, 12th January 2008, p. 1. Available online. Unlike the previously described endeavour, the Yemenis have microfilms of all the Ṣanʿāʾ manuscripts and own the copyright.

[146] A. George, "The Geometry Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 2007, Volume 9, Number 1, pp. 79-80. As part of his D. Phil. completed at Oxford, George collected and digitised as many kufic folios as could be found in modern publications. Of the 1,079 pages, just under half were sold at auction.

[147] J. Sourdel-Thomine & D. Sourdel, "Nouveaux Documents Sur L'histoire Religieuse Et Sociale De Damas Au Moyen Âge", Revue Des Études Islamiques, 1964, Volume 32, pp. 1-25; idem., "A Propos Des Documents De La Grande Mosquée De Damas: Résultats De La Seconde Enquête", Revue Des Études Islamiques, 1965, Volume 33, pp. 73-85.

[148] F. Déroche, "The Qur'ān Of Amāgūr", Manuscripts Of The Middle East, 1990-1991, Volume 5, p. 59.

[149] Qādī Ismāʿīl al-Akwá, "The Mosque Of Sanʿāʾ: The Most Prominent Landmark Of Islamic Culture In Yemen" in Maṣāḥif Ṣanʿāʾ, 1985, Dār al-Athar al-Islamiyyah: Kuwait, pp. 20-21 (Arabic Section).

[150] U. Dreibholz, "Treatment Of Early Islamic Manuscript Fragments On Parchment: A Case History: The Find At Sana‘a, Yemen", in Y. Ibish (Ed.), The Conservation And Preservation Of Islamic Manuscripts, Proceedings Of The Third Conference Of Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation 18-19 November 1995, 1996, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation Publication: No. 19: London (UK), p. 132; idem., "Preserving A Treasure: The Sana'a Manuscripts", Museum International, 1999, Volume LI, No. 3, p. 22.

[151] One is bound to recall the oft-repeated dictum of Vermès that the greatest Hebrew manuscript discovery was fast becoming ‘the academic scandal par excellence of the twentieth century’. See G. Vermès, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Qumran In Perspective, 1977, Collins: London, p. 24.

[152] No Author, "The Muṣḥaf al-Madina And The King Fahd Holy Qur'an Printing Complex", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 1999, Volume 1, No. 1, pp. 155-158.

[153] H-C. G. von Bothmer, "Masterworks Of Islamic Book Art: Koranic Calligraphy And Illumination In The Manuscripts Found In The Great Mosque In Sanaa", in W. Daum (Ed.), Yemen: 3000 Years Of Art And Civilization In Arabia Felix, 1987?, op. cit., p. 180.

[154] 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, op. cit., pp. 24-25.

[155] B. Sadeghi & M. Goudarzi, "Ṣanʿāʾ I And The Origins Of The Qur’ān", Der Islam, 2012, op. cit., p. 25.

[156] ibid., p. 24.

[157] B. Sadeghi & U. Bergmann, "The Codex Of A Companion Of The Prophet And The Qurʾān Of The Prophet", Arabica, 2010, op. cit., p. 360.

[158] For documentary examples of non-standard sūrah changeover see M. M. al-A‘zami, The History Of The Qur'ānic Text From Revelation To Compilation: A Comparative Study With The Old And New Testaments, 2003, op. cit., pp. 72-76. Manuscript DAM 01-32.1, as mentioned earlier, shows one non-standard sūrah changeover, i.e., from sūrah 26 to sūrah 37. This particular sequence accords with two contradictory sūrah lists allegedly originating with ʿAbdullāh Ibn Masʿūd. See G-R. Puin, "Observations On Early Qur'an Manuscripts In Ṣanʿāʾ", in S. Wild (Ed.), The Qur'an As Text, 1996, E. J. Brill: Leiden (The Netherlands), pp. 110-111; Also see A. Jeffery, Materials For The History Of The Text Of The Qur'ān: The Old Codices, 1937, E. J. Brill: Leiden, pp. 21-24.

[159] E. Kohlberg & M. A. Amir-Moezzi, Revelation And Falsification: The Kitāb Al-Qirā'āt Of Aḥmad B. Muḥammad Al-Sayyārī, 2009, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden: The Netherlands, p. 7, footnote 32.

[160] ibid., pp. 7-8, footnote 32; Repeated again in M. A. Amir-Moezzi, Le Coran Silencieux Et Le Coran Parlant: Sources Scripturaires De L'Islam Entre Histoire Et Ferveur, 2011, CNRS Éditions: Paris, p. 69, footnote 25.

[161] E. Kohlberg & M. A. Amir-Moezzi, Revelation And Falsification: The Kitāb Al-Qirā'āt Of Aḥmad B. Muḥammad Al-Sayyārī, 2009, op. cit., p. 8, footnote 32.

[162] H-C. G. von Bothmer, K-H. Ohlig & G-R. Puin, "Neue Wege Der Koranforschung", Magazin Forschung (Universität des Saarlandes), 1999, op. cit., p. 42. The actual text reads:

So ist die Feststellung überraschend, dass unter allen Fragmentgruppen in Sanaa fast 22 Prozent - genau: 208 unter 926 - wechselnde Zeilenzahlen aufweisen.

[163] Unfortunately this misstatement has spread to other scholars also. For example see, M. Cuypers & G. Gobillot, Le Coran, 2007, Le Cavalier Bleu: Paris, p. 18.

[164] K. E. Small, "Sergio Noja Noseda et François Déroche. Sources de la Transmission Manuscrite du Texte Coranique, ... [book review]", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2006, Volume 12, Number 1, p. 69. In this regard it is worthwhile adding that perhaps one of the most unrecognised Christian missionaries in relation to the study of the Qur'anic text is Canon Edward Sell (1839-1932), Anglican orientalist and Christian missionary in India. The origins of Arthur Jeffery's plan for a "critical text" of the Qur'an grew out of a suggestion made to him by Sell while they were both in Madras, India. Later on Jeffery met Bergsträsser in Munich in 1927 where they agreed to collaborate on a much bigger project of ‘elucidating’ the full history of the text of the Qur'an. The rest, as they say, is history, eventually leading nearly a century later to the project Corpus Coranicum. See A. Jeffery, "Progress In The Study Of The Qur'an Text", The Moslem World, 1935, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp. 4-16.

[165] F. Déroche, La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit., p. 124, footnote 46. This observation is given by Déroche who had the chance to personally examine the manuscript in 1998 at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris.

[166] They are as follows: Folio 4B, sūrah 11-8; Folio 5A, sūrah 8-9 (horizontal line only); Folio 22A, sūrah 9-19; Folio 32A, sūrah 12-18 (fragmented – not observable); Folio 19B, sūrah 15-25; Folio 30B+A, sūrah 20-21 (fragmented – not observable); Folio 34B, sūrah 34-13; Folio 26B, sūrah 39-40 (fragmented – not observable); Folio 10A, sūrah ??-24; Christies 2008v, sūrah 63-62; Christies 2008r, sūrah 62-89-90.

[167] R. Hoyland, "Epigraphy And The Linguistic Background Of The Qur'ān" in G. S. Reynolds (Ed.), The Qur'ān In Its Historical Context, 2008, Routledge Studies in the Qur'an, Routledge: London & New York, pp. 51-69; Also see idem., "New Documentary Texts And The Early Islamic State", Bulletin Of The School Of Oriental And African Studies, 2006, Volume 69, No. 3, pp. 395-416. Although a study not directly related to Luxenberg's hypothesis but with big implications, Alan Jones has convincingly shown using the Arabic papyrus PERF 558 from 22 AH that the Arabic script by this date was already “more advanced than what we might expect” and the text is written in a clean “cursive hand” with “fair sprinkling of dots”. See A. Jones, "The Word Made Visible: Arabic Script And The Committing Of The Qur'ān To Writing", in C. F. Robinson (Ed.), Texts, Documents And Artefacts - Islamic Studies In Honour Of D. S. Richards, 2003, Brill: Leiden & Boston, pp. 1-16, esp. p. 15. Also A. Jones, "The Dotting Of A Script And The Dating Of An Era: The Strange Neglect Of PERF 558", Islamic Culture, 1998, op. cit., pp. 95-103.

[168] C. Luxenberg, The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran - A Contribution To The Decoding Of The Language Of The Koran, 2007, op. cit., p. 30, footnote 20.

[169] ibid., p. 27 & p. 326, footnote 386.

[170] R. Fiederer, "The Radical", ITI Bulletin, 2008, November-December, p. 13. Describing himself as a “Semitist”, he says Arabic and Islamic scholars are unable to assess his hypothesis because of their “incompetence”. It is true that most reviewers tend to focus on the Arabic philological part of his method. However, when examined from the standpoint of Syriac philology, his method is found to be severely lacking and his hypothesis as a whole faulty. For a comprehensive, detailed and analytical review see, D. King, "A Christian Qur'ān? A Study In The Syriac Background To The Language Of The Qur'ān As Presented In The Work Of Christoph Luxenberg", Journal For Late Antique Religion And Culture, 2009, Volume 3, pp. 44-71.

[171] C. Luxenberg, The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran - A Contribution To The Decoding Of The Language Of The Koran, 2007, op. cit., p. 27, where we are pointed towards idem., "Relikte Syro-Aramäischer Buchstaben In Frühen Korankodizes Im Ḥigāzī- Und Kūfī- Duktus", in K-H. Ohlig (Ed.), Der Frühe Islam - Eine Historisch-Kritische Rekonstruction Anhand Zeitgenössischer Quellen, 2007, Verlag Hans Schiler, Berlin: Germany, pp. 377-414; idem., "Neudeutung Der Arabischen Inschrift Im Felsendom Zu Jerusalem", in K-H. Ohlig & G-R. Puin (Eds.), Die Dunklen Anfänge: Neue Forschungen Zur Entstehung Und Frühen Geschichte Des Islam, 2006, 2nd Auflage, Verlag Hans Schiler: Berlin: Germany, pp. 124-147. This particular article has now appeared in English translation. See idem., "A New Interpretation Of The Arabic Inscription In Jerusalem's Dome Of The Rock", in K-H. Ohlig & G-R Puin (Eds.), The Hidden Origins Of Islam: New Research Into Its Early History, 2010, Prometheus Books: New York, pp. 125-151. He says (p. 140), “... the language of the Qur'ān, whose original version was put together entirely in the Syriac script (a way of writing Arabic called “Garshuni” or “Karshuni”).”

[172] C. Luxenberg, The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran - A Contribution To The Decoding Of The Language Of The Koran, 2007, op. cit., p. 326, footnote 386.

[173] The following has been summarised from A. Mengozzi, "The History Of Garshuni As A Writing System: Evidence From The Rabbula Codex", in F. M. Fales & G. F. Grassi (Eds.), Camsemud 2007: Proceedings Of The 13th Italian Meeting Of Afro-Asiatic Linguistics, 2010, S.A.R.G.O.N. Editrice e Libreria: Padova, pp. 297-304.

[174] S. I. Sara, "Review Of The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran - A Contribution To The Decoding Of The Language Of The Koran", Theological Studies, 2008, Volume 69, No. 1, p. 205.

[175] A. Mingana, "Garshūni Or Karshūni?", Journal Of The Royal Asiatic Society, 1928, p. 891; J. Blau, "The State of Research in the Field of the Linguistic Study of Middle Arabic", Arabica, 1981, Tome 28, Fasc. 2/3, p. 195, footnote 62.

[176] J. Blau, The Emergence And Linguistic Background Of Judaeo-Arabic: A Study Of The Origins Of Middle Arabic, 1981, Second Edition, Ben-Zvi Institute: Jerusalem, p. 42, footnote 1. The same date for the colophon was also given by the editor, see W. Wright, Catalogue Of The Syriac Manuscripts In The British Museum, Acquired Since The Year 1838, 1872, Part III, British Museum: London, p. 1085; For a recent study on the colophon of this manuscript see F. B. Chatonnet, A. Desreumaux & A. Binggeli, "Un Cas Très Ancien De Garshouni? Quelques Réflexions Sur Le Manuscrit BL Add. 14644" in P. G. Borbone, A. Mengozzi & M. Tosco (Eds.) Loquentes Linguis: Studi Linguistici E Orientali In Onore Di Fabrizio A. Pennacchietti, 2006, Otto Harrassowitz GmbH & Co. KG, Wiesbaden: Germany, pp. 141-147.

[177] A. Mengozzi, "The History Of Garshuni As A Writing System: Evidence From The Rabbula Codex", in F. M. Fales & G. F. Grassi (Eds.), Camsemud 2007: Proceedings Of The 13th Italian Meeting Of Afro-Asiatic Linguistics, 2010, op. cit., p. 301 & p. 303.

[178] A. Harrak, "Arabisms In Part IV Of The Chronicle of Zuqnīn", in R. Lavenant (Ed.), Symposium Syriacum VII - Uppsala University, Department Of Asian And African Languages 11-14 August 1996, 1998, Orientalia Christiana Analecta - 256, Pontificio Istituto Orientale: Rome, pp. 469-498. For the translation of the Chronicle see A. Harrak (Ed. & Trans.), The Chronicle Of Zuqnīn: Parts III And IV A.D. 488-775, 1999, Mediaeval Sources In Translation 36, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies: Toronto.

[179] A. Mengozzi, "The History Of Garshuni As A Writing System: Evidence From The Rabbula Codex", in F. M. Fales & G. F. Grassi (Eds.), Camsemud 2007: Proceedings Of The 13th Italian Meeting Of Afro-Asiatic Linguistics, 2010, op. cit., p. 303.

[180] Not dealing directly with Luxenberg's hypothesis but with major ramifications, particularly for those advocates of the “Syriac thesis” on the origins of the Arabic script, see M. C. A. MacDonald, "ARNA Nab 17 And The Transition From The Nabataean To The Arabic Script", in W. Arnold, M. Jursa, W. W. Müller & S. Procházka (Eds.), Philologisches Und Historisches Zwischen Anatolien Und Sokotra: Analecta Semitica In Memoriam Alexander Sima, 2009, Otto Harrassowitz GmbH & Co. KG: Wiesbaden, pp. 207-240, esp. pp. 226-229. For the latest epigraphic evidence and discussion see M. C. A. MacDonald (Ed.), The Development Of Arabic As A Written Language: Papers From The Special Session Of The Seminar For Arabian Studies Held On 24th July 2009, 2010, Supplement To The Proceedings Of The Seminar For Arabian Studies Volume 40, Archaeopress: Oxford.

[181] C. Luxenberg, Die syro-aramäische Lesart des Koran: Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Koransprache, 2000, Das Arabische Book: Berlin, p. II; An image of this manuscript is produced by Déroche along with the dating of it to the second half of the 1st century of hijra. See F. Déroche, "Manuscripts Of The Qur'an", in J. D. McAuliffe (Ed.), Encyclopaedia Of The Qur'an, 2003, Volume III, Brill: Leiden, p. 265.

[182] A. von Denffer, ʿUlūm al-Qur’ān, 1994, The Islamic Foundation: Leicester (UK), pp. 31-56; M. M. al-A‘zami, The History Of The Qur'ānic Text From Revelation To Compilation: A Comparative Study With The Old And New Testaments, 2003, UK Islamic Academy: Leicester (UK), pp. 67-107; A. ʿA. Al-Imam, Variant Readings Of The Qur’an: A Critical Study Of Their Historical And Linguistic Origins, 2006 (New Edition), The International Institute of Islamic Thought: London & Washington, pp. 14-41.

Recently Déroche has stated quite a few times that the endeavour of the caliph ʿUthmān regarding the text of the Qur'an could not be fully realised as the early ḥijāzī codices did not have sufficient graphic precision. He says,

The various deficiencies noted in the ḥijāzī-style manuscripts mean that it was not, in fact, possible to adequately preserve the integrity of the Qur'ān through writing as the caliph ʿUthmān intended when, according to the tradition, he decided to document the revelation.

See F. Déroche, "Written Transmission" in A. Rippin (Ed.), The Blackwell Companion To The Qur'ān, 2006, Blackwell Publishing Limited, pp. 173-174. For similar statements see idem., "Studying Manuscripts Of The Qur'ān, Past And Future", Mélanges De L’Université Saint-Joseph, 2006, Volume LIX, p. 167; idem., La Transmission Écrite Du Coran Dans Les Débuts De L’Islam: Le Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, 2009, op. cit., p. 178 (English Summary). This is a misrepresentation of the Islamic sources bordering on caricature. Nowhere do the sources mention ʿUthmān intended the text to be preserved exclusively by written means. For example, once the written copy was scribed it was recited to ʿUthmān in the presence of the companions! Furthermore the sources quite clearly declare each ʿUthmānic copy was accompanied by a reciter to ensure accuracy. Combined oral and written transmission is one of the unique hallmarks of the Qur'anic text and is reported in the Islamic sources from the inception of revelation. Curiously, Déroche makes no mention of these important details though he must surely be aware of them.

[183] P. Crone & M. Cook, Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World, 1977, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

[184] J. Wansbrough, Qur’anic Studies: Sources & Methods Of Scriptural Interpretation, 1977, London Oriental Series - Volume 31, Oxford University Press; idem., The Sectarian Milieu: Content & Composition Of Islamic Salvation History, 1978, Oxford University Press.

[185] Y. D. Nevo, "Towards A Prehistory Of Islam", Jerusalem Studies In Arabic And Islam, 1994, Volume 17, pp. 108-141; J. Koren & Y. Nevo, "Methodological Approaches To Islamic Studies", 1991, Der Islam, Volume 68, pp. 87-107; Y. Nevo & J. Koren, Crossroads To Islam: The Origins Of The Arab Religion And The Arab State, 2003, Prometheus Books: New York.

[186] U. Rubin, The Eye Of The Beholder: The Life Of Muhammad As Viewed By The Early Muslims. A Textual Analysis, 1995, Studies In Late Antiquity And Early Islam - 5, The Darwin Press; Princeton (NJ).

[187] G. R. Hawting, The Idea Of Idolatry And The Emergence Of Islam: From Polemic To History, 2002, Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization Series, Cambridge University Press.

[188] German edition: C. Luxenberg, Die syro-aramäische Lesart des Koran: Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Koransprache, 2000, Das Arabische Book: Berlin; English edition: idem., The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran - A Contribution To The Decoding Of The Language Of The Koran, 2007, Verlag Hans Schiler, Berlin: Germany. This position should be understood within its wider context. Along with a small cadre of Germany-based scholars including Karl-Heinz Ohlig and Volker Popp, Luxenberg believes Prophet Muhammad probably never existed!

[189] F. Déroche, "The Qur'ān Of Amāgūr", Manuscripts Of The Middle East, 1990-1991, op. cit., p. 59.

[190] For example, see the publication of 2nd century Qur'anic manuscripts TIEM ŞE 12995 and TIEM ŞE 8365 in F. Déroche, "Inks And Page Settings In Early Qur'anic Manuscripts" in S. Brinkmann and B. Wiesmüller (Eds.), From Codicology To Technology - Islamic Manuscripts And Their Place In Scholarship, 2008, Frank & Timme GmbH, pp. 83-100.

[191] In the West, the principal group projects dealing with the organised publication of early Qur'an manuscripts are Corpus Coranicum headed by Angelika Neuwirth, Documenta Coranica led by a German-French cooperative, the Yemeni fragments headed by Gerd-R. Puin and Hans Casper Graf von Bothmer, and Fondazione Ferni Noja Noseda Di Studi Arabo-Islamici formerly headed by Alba Fedeli - with regard to this insitute, their Sources De La Transmission Manuscrite Du Texte Coranique has a further seven volumes projected under the new title, “Early Qur'ans. The Era Of The Prophet, The Rightly-Guided Caliphs And The Umayyades”. See E. Rezvan, "“From Russia With Love”: Prof. Sergio Noja Noseda (1931-2008)", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2008, Volume 14, Number 1, p. 72.

[192] P. Crone & M. Cook, Hagarism: The Making Of The Islamic World, 1977, op. cit., p. 3.

[193] ibid., p. 18.

[194] J. Wansbrough, Qur'anic Studies: Sources & Methods Of Scriptural Interpretation, 1977, op. cit., pp. 49-52.

[195] Some term this a ‘crisis’, see E. A. Rezvan, "The Qur'ān Of ʿUthmān" (St. Petersburg, Katta-Langar, Bukhara, Tashkent), 2004, Volume I, St. Petersburg Centre For Oriental Studies: St. Petersburg (Russia), p. 108. To think of an analogous situation in biblical studies, it would be similar to one reading a paper at a meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature on the transmission of the New Testament, without meaningfully interacting with a single Greek New Testament manuscript! In much revisionist Qur'anic studies, this is the modus operandi.

[196] For instance, Bellamy starts off: “In Sūra 3:96 we find a mistake so obvious that it is surprising that it remained in the text.” He concludes, “It is clear that the passage is wrong, and the necessary emendation is obvious. Read bi-Makkata. The mīm was badly written and mistaken for another '.” Needless to say not a single Qur'anic manuscript is mentioned, let alone a careful comparison of letter shapes in their various forms. Though Bellamy's self imposed problem/solution has the benefit of simplicity, its uninformed consideration of the extant manuscript evidence leaves one justifiably sceptical. See, J. A. Bellamy, "Seven Qur'anic Emendations" in J. E. Montgomery (Ed.), Arabic Theology, Arabic Philosophy, From The Many To The One: Essays In Celebration Of Richard M. Frank, 2006, Peeters Publishers & Department of Oriental Studies, Bondgenotenlaan: Leuven / Louvain (Belgium), pp. 30-31.

[197] P. Crone & M. Cook, Hagarism: The Making Of The Islamic World, 1977, op. cit., p. viii.

[198] S. N. Noseda, "Parerga To The Volumes Of «Sources De La Transmission Manuscrite Du Texte Coranique» Thus Far Published And In Course Of Publication" in M. S. Kropp (Ed.), Results Of Contemporary Research On The Qur'ān: The Question Of A Historio-Critical Text Of The Qur'ān, 2007, op. cit., p. 172. As an aside, the majority of Noseda's research is published in the Italian language in Italian publications. As such, Noseda's work is often poorly recognised in the literature. In many major Western contributions dealing with Qur'anic manuscripts and the transmission of the Qur'anic text, one will often fail to find even a single mention of him or his published works.

[199] As is the case with any proposed generalisation, there are exceptions. For a helpful discussion on terminological issues regarding certain labels attached to the modern printed text, see A. A. Brockett, Studies In Two Transmissions Of The Qur'ān, 1984, Ph. D. Thesis (unpublished), University of St. Andrews, pp. 12-14.

[200] F. Déroche and S. N. Noseda (Eds.), Sources de la transmission manuscrite du texte coranique. I. Les manuscrits de style hijazi. Volume 2. Tome I. Le manuscrit Or. 2165 (f. 1 à 61) de la British Library, 2001, op. cit., p. xxvi.

[201] ibid.

[202] It is without such fundamental knowledge that one begins to sacrifice historical accuracy for sake of comparison. For example, by truncating the history of the production of the textus receptus into one sentence, Rezvan's use of questionable generalisations allows him to liken the way in which the modern printed Qur'an was established, to the mode in which the Christians established the textus receptus. See E. A. Rezvan, "The Qur'ān: Between Textus Receptus And Critical Edition", in J. Hamesse (Ed.), Les Problèmes Posés Par L'Édition Critique Des Textes Anciens Et Médiévaux, 1992, Institut D'Etudes Médiévales De L'Université Catholique De Louvain, p. 295.

[203] H. J. De Jonge, Daniel Heinsius And The Textus Receptus Of The New Testament: A Study Of His Contributions To The Editions Of The Greek Testament Printed By The Elzeviers At Leiden In 1624 And 1633, 1971, E. J. Brill: Leiden. In addition to identifying the author of the preface, De Jonge has also identified the editor of the Greek text. See H. J. De Jonge, "Jeremias Hoelzlin: Editor Of The “Textus Receptus” Printed By The Elzeviers Leiden 1633", in T. Baarda, A. F. J. Klijn & W. C. Van Unnik (Eds.), Miscellanea Neotestamentica: Studia Ad Novum Testamentum Praesertim Pertinentia A Sociis Sodalicii Batavi C.N. Studiosorum Novi Testamenti Conventus Anno MCMLXXVI Quintum Lustrum Feliciter Complentis Suscepta, 1978, Volume 1, E. J. Brill: Leiden, pp. 105-128.

[204] H. J. De Jonge, Daniel Heinsius And The Textus Receptus Of The New Testament: A Study Of His Contributions To The Editions Of The Greek Testament Printed By The Elzeviers At Leiden In 1624 And 1633, 1971, op. cit., p. 32.

[205] ibid., p. 36.

[206] Elliott and Moir judged it as “meaningless advertising”. See K. Elliott & I. Moir, Manuscripts And The Text Of The New Testament: An Introduction For English Readers, 1995, T & T Clark, Edinburgh (Scotland), p. 29.

[207] H. J. De Jonge, "Erasmus And The Comma Johanneum", Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, 1980, Tome 56, Fasc. 4, pp. 381-389. De Jonge clears up a number of misconceptions regarding Erasmus use of this text, that are, unfortunately, still to be found in academic textbooks published today.

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