The recent publication of the facsimile edition of MS Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Arabe 328a has allowed general access to what is probably one of the oldest, and most important, Qur'an fragments in Europe. The text is unvocalised, but the large number of folios (fifty-six) means that there are enough consonantal variants present to enable a positive identification of the reading represented, which turns out to be that of the Syrian Ibn c Āmir (d. 118/736). This, in combination with the early “Ḥijāzī” script, suggests (a) that this muṣḥaf was copied in Syria, and (b) that this was done some time during the first or early second century AH. In other words, what we have here is almost definitely a muṣḥaf according to the Syrian reading, copied in Syria, at the time when the caliphate had its seat in Syria, i.e. during the Umayyad period. Thus the identification of this particular reading helps in ascertaining the date and provenance of this particular manuscript, as it also fleshes out with documentary evidence the information given in the qirāↄāt literature about this reading.
Journal of Qur'anic Studies – Edinburgh University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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