The Qira'at Identified In The Qur'anic Manuscripts
Written by mquran.org   
Sunday, 12 November 2006

The Qira'a in the Qur'anic manuscripts is identified by studying the use of various coloured dots and the consonantal structure. The coloured dots are also used to identify the shadhdh variants along with the Seven, Ten or Fourteen readings. This clearly suggests that the shadhdh variants were considered seriously along with the main ones. In some manuscripts, one can find various Qira'a and shadhdh variants marked and hence it is hard to identify in which Qira'at the manuscript was written in. Below is a partial list of the Qur'anic manuscripts where the Qira'at has been clearly identified. This, by no means, is an exhaustive list. More manuscripts will be added in the due course of time, insha'allah.

The frequency of occurence of the reading of Abu `Amr in the below list of manuscripts is interesting. Until recently, this was the most commonly used reading in large parts of Somalia, Sudan and other parts of Central Africa. But in the medieval times it was much more widespread , to the extent that Ibn al-Jazari (d. 833 / 1429) informs that it was the main reading used in his day in Egypt and Africa. Before him, this reading was also a preferred reading of the famous 3rd century Shafi`i jurist Ibn Surayj (d. 306 / 918), as it was also of Ibn Mujahid (d. 324 / 936), the author of the Kitab al-Sab`a. Adrian Brockett observes that there is no shortage of manuscripts from earlier centuries especially from Egypt, in the transmission of Abu `Amr. This reading had been steadily displaced from early 19th century by the printing-press, and has never itself been printed.

Finding the Qira'at in the Qur'anic manuscripts from the firt century of hijra gives accuracy of the early textual tradition a great credibility, as also the literary tradition associated with the Science of the Qira'at.

1st Century Of Hijra

"Arabe 328a" at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, in the reading of Ibn `Amir.[1]

"MS Or. 2165" at the British Library, London, United Kingdom, in the reading of Ibn `Amir.[2]

2nd Century Of Hijra

"KFQ93" at the Nasser David Khalili Collection Of Islamic Art, London, United Kingdom, in the reading of Abu `Amr.[3]

3rd Century Of Hijra

"KFQ28" at the Nasser David Khalili Collection Of Islamic Art, London, United Kingdom, in the reading of Abu `Amr.[4]

"KFQ19" at the Nasser David Khalili Collection Of Islamic Art, London, United Kingdom, in the reading of Abu `Amr.[5]

3rd / 4th Century Of Hijra

"KFQ16" at the Nasser David Khalili Collection Of Islamic Art, London, United Kingdom, in the reading of Hamza.[6]

4th Century Of Hijra

"QUR261, QUR368" at the Nasser David Khalili Collection Of Islamic Art, London, United Kingdom, in the reading of Warsh from Nafi`. This is the well-known "Palermo" Qur'an.[7]

"MS 1431" at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, in the reading of Abu `Amr. This is the famous Ibn al-Bawwab manuscript.[8]

"MS 1434" at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Yellow dots are for the Qira'at of Ibn Kathir and blue dots are for the Qira'at of Abu `Amr.[9]

"MS OC L. 21" at British Library, London, in the reading of Abu `Amr.[10]

8th Century Of Hijra

"MS Or. 1401" at British Library, London, in the reading of Abu `Amr.[11]

"MS 385" at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, in the reading of Warsh from Nafi`.[12]

9th Century Of Hijra

"A 12068" at the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago, Chicago, in the reading of Abu `Amr.[13]

10th Century Of Hijra

"MS Or. 1405" at British Library, London, in the reading of Qalun from Nafi`.[14]

11th Century Of Hijra

"MS 1340" at San Lorenzo del Escorial Library, in the reading of Qalun from Nafi`.[15]

12th Century Of Hijra

"MS 35" at Egyptian National Library, Cairo, in the reading of Warsh from Nafi`.[16]

13th Century Of Hijra

"Leeds University Ms. 619" at Leeds University, Leeds, United Kingdom, in the reading of al-Duri from Abu `Amr.[17]

"Leeds Arabic Ms. 301" at Leeds University, Leeds, United Kingdom, in the reading of Warsh from Nafi`.[18]

Undated Manuscripts

"KFQ70" at the Nasser David Khalili Collection Of Islamic Art, London, United Kingdom, in the reading of Warsh.[19]

And Allah knows best!


References

[1] Y. Dutton, "An Early Mushaf According To The Reading Of Ibn `Amir", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 2001, Volume III (no. I), pp. 71-89.

[2] Y. Dutton, "Some Notes On The British Library's 'Oldest Qur'an Manuscript' (Or. 2165)", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 2004, Volume VI (no. 1), pp. 43-71.

[3] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, 2000, Volume II (no. I), p. 16; F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art Vol. I, 1992, Oxford University Press, p. 58.

[4] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 16; F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, Op. Cit., p. 54.

[5] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 16; F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, Op. Cit., p. 62.

[6] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 16; F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, Op. Cit., p. 116.

[7] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 16; F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, Op. Cit., p. 146.

[8] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 23, see footnote 69; M. Lings, The Quranic Art Of Calligraphy And Illumination, 1976, World Of Islam Festival Trust, Plate 22 and p. 55.

[9] E. Whelan, "Writing The Word Of God: Some Early Qur'an Manuscripts & Their Milieux, Part I", 1989, Ars Orientalis, 10, p. 134, see footnote 86; Also see Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 14 and p. 20 (footnote 70). The manuscript is published by A. J. Arberry, The Koran Illuminated: A Handlist Of The Korans In The Chester Beatty Library, 1967, Hodges, Figgis & Co. Ltd.: Dublin, p. 13 and Plate 23.

[10] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 23, see footnote 70.

[11] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., pp. 23-24, see footnote 71; M. Lings, The Quranic Art Of Calligraphy And Illumination, Op. Cit., Plate 45 and p. 102.

[12] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 22, see footnote 41; M. Lings, The Quranic Art Of Calligraphy And Illumination, Op. Cit., Plate 104 and p. 205.

[13] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 24, see footnote 72; N. Abbott, The Rise Of The North Arabic Script And Its Kur'anic Development, With A Full Description Of The Kur'an Manuscripts In The Oriental Institute, 1939, University of Chicago Press, Plate 31 (= No. 30. A 12068).

[14] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 22, see footnote 41; M. Lings, The Quranic Art Of Calligraphy And Illumination, Op. Cit., Plates 108 & 110 and p. 205.

[15] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 22, see footnote 41; M. Lings, The Quranic Art Of Calligraphy And Illumination, Op. Cit., Plates 106 & 107 and p. 205.

[16] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 22, see footnote 41; M. Lings, The Quranic Art Of Calligraphy And Illumination, Op. Cit., Plates 112 & 113 and p. 205.

[17] A. Brockett, "Aspects Of The Physical Transmission Of The Qur'an In 19th Century Sudan: Script, Decoration, Binding And Paper", Manuscripts Of The Middle East, 1987, Volume 2, p. 45.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Y. Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots & Blue: Some Reflections On The Vocalisation Of Early Qur'anic Manuscripts - Part II", Journal Of Qur'anic Studies, Op. Cit., p. 16; F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, Op. Cit., p. 123.

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