Author Topic: Epigraphic Evidence of a Complete Pre-Uthmanic Quranic Manuscript  (Read 21366 times)

maxq

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DISCLAIMER

Although I have researched this topic and formulated a hypothesis that can be backed by evidence, this is analysis and opinion of a single individual...

I am only human and am prone to mistakes in judgement. It is better if the reader verifies the information I am presenting. I would be glad if someone corrects me if I have made a mistake.

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EPIGRAPHIC EVIDENCE OF A COMPLETE PRE-UTHMANIC QURANIC MANUSCRIPT

We have observed through previous discussions on this forum that Sabaic and Egyptian languages were written in two distinct forms: Monumental, and Papyric.

We saw that Ancient Egyptian writing was of two types:

Hieroglyph -> Monument
Hieratic -> Parchment/Papyrus

Same pattern is observed in Sabaic language:

Musnad -> Monument
Zabur -> Parchment/Papyrus

Now when it comes to Arabic, the general scientific and archaeological analysis concludes that Arabic originated from Nabataean regions. Several inscriptions have been found in Petra and other parts of the Jordanian desert that point to this. It is possible that North Arabian regions used Nabataean for both monuments and papyrus, *but the area of Hijaz exhibits the Sabaic and Egyptian trend*.

Kufic script is extremely similar to the Nabataean styled alphabet, which was used for monumental messages in Pre-Islamic Arabia (and after).

What is interesting is that NONE of the parchment Quranic manuscripts (or portions discovered thereof) are in this script until the Uthmanian Caliphate. In fact, Quranic manuscript fragments found that can be dated to the first half of the 1st century Hijri are Hijazi:

Hijazi - Parchment
******
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/yem1b.html (*begining* of 1st C-H)
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/yem1e.html (1st half of 1st C-H)

Kufic - Parchment
*****
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/samarqand.html (disagreement in date of origin - *Canbon dated to 2nd C-H*)
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/topkapi.html (1st C-H - likely later in the century, but this is deductive reasoning on my behalf, so I could be wrong)

Kufic - Monumental
*****
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/hamid1.html (4th year Hijri)
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/hamid2.html (4th year Hijri)
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/hamid3.html (Early 1st C-H)
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/kuficsaud.html (24th year Hijri)
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/hajri.html (31st year Hijri)

We see a distinct pattern: All Stone inscriptions discovered in the Hijaz area are in Kufic, HOWEVER, the oldest Quranic parchment pieces discovered show a different style which is Italic Hijazi. Several of these samples show diacritical dots as well.

We already know that Nabataens were renowned for their stone-carved monuments. Owing to the pattern we saw for south Semitic and Egyptian writing habits, it is likely that Hijaz followed a similar trend of using Hijazi font for parchment and daily affairs documents, and Kufic for stone engravings.

While Hijazi was popular for parchment, Kufic may have been introduced for writing parchment documents during Hazrat Uthman's time, and thereon heavily used for documents (while Hijazi lost its popularity).

Hence we can derive 2 conclusions:

(1)
In Pre-Islamic Arabia and for the early part of the 1st Century Hijri, the people of Hijaz were probably using two types of fonts:

Kufic -> Monumental
Hijazi -> Parchment/Papyrus

(2)
Most of the dating regarding kufic manuscripts is a matter of disagreement between scholars. Where there is no disagreement is that Kufic script is present in all Uthmanian copies surviving to date.

In addition, there is no disagreement with regards to the use of Kufic script on stones/monuments and Hijazi on papyrus in the beginning of the 1st Century Hijri.

Hence, in my opinion, presence of Quranic parchment/papyrus fragments in Hijazi script is historical and archaeological evidence that points to the existence of *COMPILED* Quranic manuscripts from before Harzat Uthman's time.

-----

Whether it points to the fact that Hijazi script did not actually did not originate from Hijaz, and that North Arabian regions were using Kufic for monument and Hijazi for parchment exclusively is something I have not found any clear evidence for.

What can be deduced is that traditional stories about the collection and compilation of the Quran during Hazrat Uthman's time are a bit far fetched. Parchment pages (that seem to be torn off a book) are found with Quranic verses which indicate that Quran was written in book format in Hijazi script in early 1st Century Hijri. Kufic seems to have been used for parchment quite after, likely during or after the 3rd Caliph's time.
בשס האלה השדי והרחס - האלה ור השמים והארץ

Haroon

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Re: Epigraphic Evidence of a Complete Pre-Uthmanic Quranic Manuscript
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2007, 05:44:43 AM »
this is interesting and i'm stunned that no one has posted a reply.



Haroon

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Re: Epigraphic Evidence of a Complete Pre-Uthmanic Quranic Manuscript
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2007, 04:09:11 AM »
this is intriguing.

i have often believed there must have been pre-uthmanic scripts of the Quran.

The Quran points to it too.

/*JM*/

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Re: Epigraphic Evidence of a Complete Pre-Uthmanic Quranic Manuscript
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2007, 09:19:51 AM »

Hence, in my opinion, presence of Quranic parchment/papyrus fragments in Hijazi script is historical and archaeological evidence that points to the existence of *COMPILED* Quranic manuscripts from before Harzat Uthman's time.


Hello,

Could you explain that sentence ?

Peace

hafeez kazi

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Re: Epigraphic Evidence of a Complete Pre-Uthmanic Quranic Manuscript
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2007, 01:16:46 PM »
sALAAM TO ALL


THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN

We Muslims believe that the Quran which was revealed in slow and gradual stages, was compiled in the book form with the sequence of the verses maintained, as revealed, before the death of the Prophet. However there was a conspiracy among the non-Muslims to propagate the belief that the Quran was not in the book form when Prophet departed but was compiled later, through the efforts of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, Hazrat Umar ibn Khattab, Usman bin Affan and Zaid bin Shabit. We also believe that the Torah and the Bible are the revelations of God but was corrupted and made impure by the interference of human beings and we can no longer believe in its authenticity and sacredness. Conviction is the foundation of system and upon which the structure of the system is built. If there is a slight tilt in the foundation, then the whole structure, which was standing straight, will crumble and collapse. Since the non-Muslims could not manipulate the Quran as it is well guarded by God, they applied a wicked scheme by fabricating and amalgamating hadith and attributing to Prophet. If the revealed Quran was not compiled in the book form by the Prophet, but was later compiled, gives rise to suspicion whether we have a pure Quran as was revealed to Prophet or an adulterated one. Now it must be seriously considered that if we have the slightest doubt about this book, then for that individual, Quran will not remain the source of Deen at all. It will have the same status as that of previous holy books of Torah and Bible.

For the sake of reference, one is invited to read Hafiz Abu Bakr Abdullah ibne abi Dawood
Sulaiman ibne Asha'ee Sajastani's famous work entitled 'KITAB UL MASAHIF?,' that carries much significance in this matter. In this book, all the traditions linked with Quran are classified in a separate chapter. The same traditions are found scattered in other Hadith books. Abu Bakr ibne Abdullah abi Dawood was born in hijra 230 and died in hijra 312. He was the son of one of the famous six Hadith narrators, Imam Abu Dawood Sulaiman ibn Asha'ee Sajastani and whose famous book is part of' Sahaa Sita.' Consequently the book 'KITAB UL MASAHIF,' is taken as one of the authentic books of Hadith. Imam Ibnul Jazre called him 'the most trustworthy.' In Baghdad he was known as 'Imam ul Iraq,' in the elite and in public he was looked upon with great honor and respect. The Sultan of those days had erected a throne for him in the mosque of Baghdad. He sat on this throne and narrated the ahadith. The sages of Iraq took from his ahadith, but no one was able to reach his status. Let us examine some ahadith from the famous 'KITAB UL MASAHIF.'

This particular conspiracy against the Quran by the non-Muslims is very unfortunate indeed but fortunately the Quran itself stands as a witness against it and is sufficient by itself to explode the myth of this conspiracy Still more unfortunate is the fact that our Mullas and Scholars are holding these traditions as a sacred trust. When it is said that such traditions cannot form part of the basis of our 'Deen' because they were not given to Muslims by the Prophet, in the form of a safely compiled book, the reply comes from Mullas and Scholars that the same is the case with the Quran, so that the Ahadis and the Quran are at par with each other as far as their safety and integrity is concerned. But, on the other hand, the verses of the Quran are so explicit, so logical and so dynamic that no argument by Mulla or anybody else can stand against it.

TO MOSES, GOD REVEALED THE TORAH, WHICH THEY WROTE ON SHEET OF PAPERS.

WA- MAA QADARO 'ALLAAH H.AQQ QADR -HI 'IDH QAALO MAA ANZALA 'ALLAAH cALAA BASHAR MIN SHAY' QUL MAN ANZALA AL- KITAAB 'ALLADHE JAA'A BI- -HI MOSAA NOR(AN) WA- HUDA(N) LI- AN- NAAS TAJcALON -HU QARAAT.ES TUBDON -HAA WA- TUKHFON KATHER(AN) WA- cULLIMTUM MAA LAM TAcLAMO 'ANTUM WA- LAA 'AABAA' -KUM QUL 'ALLAAH THUMMA DHAR -HUM FE KHAWD. -HIM YALcABON 6:91

And they measure not the power of GODits true measure when they say: GODhath naught revealed unto a human being. Say (unto the Jews who speak thus): Who revealed the Book which Moses brought, a light and guidance for mankind, which ye have put on SHEET OF PAPERS which ye show, but ye hide much (thereof), and by which ye were taught that which ye knew not yourselves nor (did) your fathers (know it)? Say: Allah. Then leave them to their play of cavilling. 6:91

QURAN WAS NOT REVEALED ON SHEET OF PAPERS.

WA- LAW NAZZALNAA cALAY -KA KITAAB(AN) FE QIRT.AAS FA- LAMASO -HU BI- AYDE -HIM LA- QAALA 'ALLADHENA KAFARO 'IN HAADHAA 'ILLAA SIH.R MUBEN 6:7

QIRTAAS    =     paper  sheet of paper

If We had sent unto thee a written (Message) on a SHEET OF PAPERS so that they could touch it with their hands the unbelievers would have been sure to say: "This is nothing but obvious magic!" 6:7

QURAN A BOOK WRITTEN / DRAFTED / COMPOSED BY GOD

WA- KITAAB MAST.OR 52:2

SATAR       to write (down)  to compose  draw up  draft  سَطَرَ  to rule  line  draw lines   to streak  stripe  bar

And by the BOOK WRITTEN /DRAFTED / COMPOSED. 52:2

QURAN WAS PUBLISHED IN PARCHMENT / ROLL.

FE RAQQ MANSHOR 52:3

MANSHUR   =   unrolled stretched out leaflet  pamphlet  circular prospectus, outspread published opened  emitted released catalogue  flier  publication    prism

RAQQ           =    parchment roll

In a PUBLISHED PARCHMENT / roll. 52:3

QURAN WAS INSCRIBED ON TABLET SIMILAR TO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

And when the anger of Musa (Moses) was appeased, he took up the TABLETS, and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord. 7:154

Nay this is a Glorious Qur'an  85:21
BAL HUWA QUR'AAN MAJED 85:21

(Inscribed) in a TABLET Preserved! 85:22
FE LAWH. MAH.FOZ. 85:22

QURAN (READING) IN A WELL PROTECTED BOOK.

'INNA -HU LA- QUR'AAN KAREM 56:77
FE KITAAB MAKNON 56:78

‏MAKNON    =   hidden concealed well-kept cherished  covered  harbored sheltered

harbored  =  protected

That this is indeed a Qur'an (reading) most honorable 56:77
In a BOOK protected 56:78

QURAN WAS WRITTEN ON PAGES / PARCHMENT  / BY SAHAABAAS DURING THE LIFETIME OF THE PROPHET.

KALLAA 'INNA -HAA TADHKIRAH. FA- MAN SHAA'A DHAKARA ?HU. FE S.UH.UF MUKARRAMAH. MARFOcAH MUT.AHHARAH. BI- AYDE SAFARAH. KIRAAM BARARAH. 80:11/12/13/14/15/16

SAFAHA   =      page  sheet  leaf surface  face

SAFARAH = Scribes

Nay, (do not do like this), indeed it (these Verses of this Qur'an) are an admonition, Therefore let who will keep it in remembrance. On honored PAGES. Exalted, purified, (Written) by the hands of scribes. Noble and righteous. 80: 11/12/13/14/15/16

GOD REVEALED THE VERSES WELL ARRANGED AND IN STAGES.

WA- QUR?AAN (AN) FARAQNAA -HU LI- TAQRA' -HU ?ALAA AN- NAAS ?ALAA MUKTH WA- NAZZALNAA -HU TANZEL (AN) 17:106

And (it is) a Qur?an, which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by STAGES. 17:106

'IN(NA) -NAA NAH.NU NAZZALNAA ?ALAY -KA AL- QUR'AAN TANZEL(AN) 76:23
It is We Who have sent down the Qur'an to thee by STAGES. 76:23

WA- QAALA 'ALLADHENA KAFARO LAW-LAA NUZZILA ?ALAY -HI AL- QUR'AAN JUMLAH WAAH.IDAH KA- DHAALIKA LI- NUTHABBIT BI- -HI FU'AAD -KA WA- RATTALNAA -HU TARTEL (AN) 25:32

TARTILAA   =    hymn  psalm  song  chant

RATTAL    =    to recite or intone (the Koran) slowly and distinctly,  to hymn,  sing,  chant ,  intone,  modulate, well ordered, neat, to be regular, neat, tidy, to phrase elegantly, motorized convoy.

Those who reject Faith say: "Why is not the Qur'an revealed to him all at once?" Thus (is it revealed) that We may strengthen thy heart thereby and We have rehearsed it to thee in slow WELL-ARRANGED HYMN. 25:32

THE COMPILATION AND EXPLANATION OF QURAN WAS UPON GOD

LAA TUH.ARRIK BI- -HI LISAAN -KA LI- TAcJAL BI- -HI 75:16
'INNA cALAY -NAA JAMc -HU WA- QUR'AAN ?HU 75:17
FA- 'IDHAA QARA'NAA -HU FA- ITTABIc QUR'AAN ?HU 75:18
THUMMA 'INNA cALAY -NAA BAYAAN ?HU 75:19

JAMAC  =   to gather  collect  to combine  to compile  group  to join  unite  to assemble  bring together  rally  جَمَعَ الأَعْدادَ  to add  add up  جَمَعَ الحُرُوفَ  to compose  set  typeset

Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur'an) to make haste therewith. It is upon Us to COMPILE / assemble it and to recite it: But when We have recited it to you, follow thou its recital: Then it is upon Us (Allah) to EXPLAIN it to you. 75: 16/17/18/19


Summary of the verses:
1. Torah revealed and written on sheet of papers.
2. Quran not revealed on written sheet of papers
3. Quran a Book drafted / composed by God
4. Quran published on a parchment / roll
5. Quran inscribed in Tablets like Torah
6. Quran in a well protected Book
7. Quran written on parchment / roll by Sahabas during the lifetime of Prophet
8. Quran verses were sent down in stages and well arranged.
9. Quran composition and explanation was done by God Himself.

Any one who believes in God and in Quran will believe this, and the one who does not believe in God and in Quran will believe in the fabricated and contradictory hadithes


THANKS

/*JM*/

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Re: Epigraphic Evidence of a Complete Pre-Uthmanic Quranic Manuscript
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2007, 02:17:46 AM »
Very good post, HK

However, can you explain what was paper at the time of Moses ?

TO MOSES, GOD REVEALED THE TORAH, WHICH THEY WROTE ON SHEET OF PAPERS.

Peace


L.H

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Re: Epigraphic Evidence of a Complete Pre-Uthmanic Quranic Manuscript
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2008, 01:44:44 AM »
Peace

For a great discussion of this subject and things related, one should read The Qu'ran's Self-Image by Daniel Madigan. This book has a very simple goal. To understand what the Quran is according to the Quran. What does the Quran think of itself. Does the Quran consider itself a record of God's dialoge with man, or does it think it is the dialoge of God with man. Does it beleave itself to be every thing God has to say, or simply a gaurenty that God speaks. Madigan thinks that these questons will be answred if the Quranic meaning of the word "Kitab" is decepered(kitab is thought usally to mean book). Why he says the need for this quest. Because since the begining the Quran has been oral(he lists other reasons in the intro, the book is hard to explain I simply recommend you read it). The book demonstrates Madigin's immense intellegence. I dont want to show his overall results. But I will give a result of his concerning the date the Quran was canonised. In his book he never really directly tackles this issue. His book as stated before is meant to show as the title suggests is to find out the Quran's veiw of itself. It does this by analyasing the word Kitab as yoused in the Quran and other ancient sources. But he does inderectly takle this issue in the intro. He is of the opinon that Prophet Muhammed never bothered to codify the Quran (he gives his evidence). To him the Quran was a scripture writen on the hearts of men. For example many classical texts say that during the prophets time muslims had a few meager legal verses writen on leafs,bones,leather and other such materails. So what you get from Danial Madigan's book is that the Quran is a oral scripture. If you disagree with this then atlest read the book for his arguments. I find the idea of a Pre-Uthmanic caninosed Quran somewhat historaical far fecteced. If you still disagree with this and belive in Pre-Uthmanic manuscripts this book's insightfull arguments will still help increace your understanding. In fact I became a Quran only Muslim because of this book. This book showed me that  Muslims belifs often contradict the Quran and that an idea is not nessecarily Quranic because muslims belive it to be.

Lareb

maxq

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Re: Epigraphic Evidence of a Complete Pre-Uthmanic Quranic Manuscript
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 07:59:53 PM »
Peace Hafeez, Lareb, all,

While Lareb, I do plan to read this book you mention, I would like to add that the premise is not justified. Quran inscribed on the hearts of men is plausible on one stance but it has nothing to do with codification.

Good explanations Hafeez, however, point me to a verse in the Quran that EXPLICITLY states that "Torah" was "Revealed" to Moses.
בשס האלה השדי והרחס - האלה ור השמים והארץ

L.H

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Re: Epigraphic Evidence of a Complete Pre-Uthmanic Quranic Manuscript
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2008, 11:30:42 PM »
Peace

It does. As the book shows early muslims considered the Quran a symbol. Early muslim law did not accept written evidence. Yet the Quran demands it in one verse. For Adultery stoning was used. Even though the Quran mandated flogging. Many laws and rules within the Quran were knowingly avoided. It was never considred the final word. It was merely a symbol of Gods affection for humans. In early Muslim belief its rules and laws were for Muhammed's time and community. It was a "jawab" or answer meant for Arabia. It was not meant for every time and place. In fact its position was debated. Meaning some early muslim considreded it a assurance that God speaks and cares about the world. That he will speak and has spoken. Yet some Muslims considered the Quran the final word. The second group was a minority. But eventully they became the majority. But they found the Quran mute on many important legal issues. This became a probelm. This issue concerning the Qurans ability to give satisfactory legal solutions went on. Also another probelm appered. If the Quran was for every age then it must have been recorded before time. This gave rise to the belief that the Um Kitab mentioned in the Quran was a source book for the Quran. This created many more probelms that are stated in the book. To solve these issues the sunna or Muhammed's example convenintly came along. The concept of inner and outward meanings was introduced. And many concepts found in the Quran were altered or taken out of focus. But the sunna created more confusion and generated more debate. What was the sunna? Was it to be found in hadiths or in the city of Madinah itself (Imam Malik held this view)?  Did the Quran supersede it? Or did the sunna supersede the Quran. You might say what does all of this have to do with Pre-Utmanic manuscripts of the Quran? Alot. I was very inaccurate in saying he does not talk about the codifacation issue. A whole chapter is dedicated to this issue. It is very detaled. If you read the book it chapter 2. Tell us what you find.

Lareb