Renaissance Monthly Journal
Renaissance | July - 2014
A monthly journal promoting research and original thinking in the light of the original sources of Islam.
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This special issue is dedicated to an important aspect of the history of the Qur’ān: early developments in Qur’ānic orthography related to vocalization and diacritics.
A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments
in Qur’ānic Orthography related to
Vocalization and Diacritics
Muslim sources are quite unanimous in stating the fact that the text of the earliest masāhif was in bare consonantal form– devoid of diacritics (i‘jām) to distin
Here are the full chains of narration for each.
i. Abū ‘Ubaydah Ma‘mar ibn Muthannā (d. 209 AH)
This has no chain of narration and probably the foremost person to cite it is Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrafī (d. 368 AH) in his Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn.
ii. Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī
Even this primacy ascribed to Yahyā by Hārūn ibn Mūsā (d. before 200 AH) is weakened due to the fact that many books which mention biographical notes on Yahyā are devoid of ascribing this accomplishment to him. They include:
i. Al-Tabaqāt al-kubrāby Ibn Sa‘d (d. 230 AH)
Ibn Sa‘d records that Yahyā was a
The following works however cite that al-Khalīl was responsible for this endeavour:
i. Al-Muhkam by al-Dānī (d. 444 AH). He records that Abū al-Hasan ibn Kaysān reported this from Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad (d. 285 AH)
ii.Alif bā’ by al-Balawī (d. 604 AH)
iii. Al-Wasīlah ilā Kashf al-‘aqīla