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Touching and ingesting: early debates over the material Quran.


Ibn Abi Dawud al-Sijistani (d. 316/929) opens the Kitab al-Masahif, a study of the textus receptus of the Quran, with the famed narrative of how the third caliph, Uthman b. Affan (r. 23-35/644-656), was reading from the Quran when assassinated. Uthman's blood, the account goes, spilled over the codex and finally beaded up on the following verse, "... God will be sufficient for you against them, He is the all-hearing, the all-knowing" (Q 2:137). (1) This particular anecdote occurs with some frequency in the third/ninth-century historiographical sources, with chains of transmission (asanid) that stretch back to at least the Umayyad period. (2) The literary form of the account, foretelling future schisms within Islam, with such a clear intersection between scripture and salvation history, suggests a discourse associated with the professional qussas, early preachers who often served as mouthpieces for Umayyad propaganda. (3)

It is not entirely apodictic to observe that this particular narrative of Uthman's assassination presupposes a physical copy of the revelation to Muhammad. The portentous power of this particular codex (mushaf), (4) as it relates to Uthman's place in the larger arc of history, can only fully be understood when set against the central role that Uthman plays in the codification of the Quran. Not only is Uthman remembered for establishing the textus receptus, but also for attempting to burn or erase all variant Quranic copies then in circulation. (5) Nonetheless, the various accounts of the collection of the Quran into its final recension, as recorded in the maghazi, sira, and hadith literature, and inflecting the broader traditions of ulum al-Quran, are embroiled in contradictions and discrepancies. (6) Based on isnad analysis of the accounts detailing Uthman's recension, much of the material converges on the religious scholar Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (d. ca. 124/742), who closely aligned himself to the Umayyad regime. (7) As to what extent these accounts can be traced even further back, and whether they reflect the actual process of codification, is open to debate. (8)

Origins are notoriously messy for historians; this is especially so for historians of religion. The codification of the Quran is a case in point--the impact of scholarship from the last century on the formative periods of Islam is still strongly felt, such that today it is much more difficult to accept at face value early Muslim accounts of their own history. As with any quest for origins, the question of how and when the revelation to Muhammad became a written scripture remains extremely contentious. This article, however, does not attempt to answer either how or when the Quran was first gathered into a mushaf in its canonical form, (9) as quests of this order are clouded by the Heilsgeschichte running throughout the primary sources and mired in the very epistemological positivism necessary for such endeavors. Rather, the present study examines early debates surrounding the physical codex in order to better understand the symbolic and ritual significance of the Quran as a material object in the nascent periods of Islamic history.

At the symbolic level, Uthman's blood-stained codex prefigures the first Muslim civil war (fitna), which centered on the conflicts ensuing from the accession to the caliphate of A1i b. Abi Talib (d. 40/661). In the Battle of the Camel (35/656) and again at Siffin (37/657), masahif appear prominently. In the course of these separate battles, the raising up of Quranic codices (rafal-masahif) is used to signify a move for arbitration. In the case of Muawiya (r. 41-60/661-680) at Siffin, several traditions detail how his forces lifted the masahif on the tips of their spears to demonstrate their desire for a resolution to the conflict through arbitration based on the book of God (kitab Allah). (10)

The historiographical accounts of these two incidents date back well into the second/eighth century, and while the sources themselves reflect a range of sectarian biases, the symbolic centrality of the Quran in its material form is consistent throughout. Yet even if we were to accept the historicity of the accounts themselves, the extent to which these codices reflect in any way the canonical form of the Quran remains to be seen. As Martin Hinds has suggested, the masahif impaled on spears actually may have been small sheets of parchment containing Quranic verses worn for their talismanic power as amulets around the necks of the soldiers. (11) Irrespective of what such sheets or codices may have contained, the prominent role of the mushaf in the course of the fitna, with its axiomatic function as a material representation of divine writ, suggests, according to Gerald Hawting, a conflict not only over the legitimization of temporal rule, but also over the very authority of scripture itself. (12)


Aside from such symbolically charged moments surrounding the nascent history of Islam, the significance of the Quran as a material object emerges as a site of sustained debate in the early traditions of Islamic jurisprudence. Of particular importance is the question of how the mushaf fits into the broader constellation of ritual purity, a subject debated throughout the course of the second/eighth century, with arguments that hearken back to an even earlier period. One of the central issues, in this regard, is whether Muslims may recite the Quran or touch the mushaf in a state of ritual impurity.

The material from the maghazi and sira literature suggests that the ritual sanctity of the Quran as physical object is already established in the earliest stages of the Prophet's mission as part of the larger system of ritual purity (tahara). Thus we learn in the Kitab al-Maghazi wa-l-mubtada of Ibn Ishaq (d. ca. 150/767) (13) how the second caliph Umar b. al-Khattab (r. 13-23/634-644), preceding his conversion to Islam, was instructed by his sister Fatima, who had already become a Muslim, to purify himself before touching the kitab which she had in her possession, presumably because he was an infidel (mushrik/kafir) and thus ritually impure. As justification for this injunction, Umar's sister cites the Quranic text, "in a hidden book, which only the purified touch" (fi kitabin maknun la yamassuhu illa l-mutahharun) [Q 56:78-79]. (14) Umar takes the kitab in his sister's possession--which he goes on to read--only after having performed ablution (ghusl), thus cleansing himself of major impurity (janaba). (15) According to this account, it is upon reciting from the beginning of sura Taha that Umar finally converts.

Such an anecdote not only sets out to locate a codified tradition regarding the ritual sanctity of the Quran within the lifetime of the Prophet, based on the textual authority of the Quran itself and supported by the praxis of the Companions (sahaba), but it also alludes to both the central significance of scripture in the process of conversion and the question of the impurity of infidels. The dubious historicity of such an account, which establishes the basis of a particular ritual practice at the very origin of Islam, itself archetypical of broader literary topoi of conversion narratives, need not detain us here. It is of note, however, that not all early exegetes interpreted Q 56:78-79 as bearing upon the ritual system of purity. (16) Based on the legal debates of the second/eighth century over the sanctity of the Quran and the mushaf, it is hard to maintain that the ritual status of scripture both in its written and oral forms was fully determined before Umar's conversion.

Yet much of the anecdotal evidence would lead us to believe that it indeed was. This is clearly the case with the amusing story related in the Sunan of al-Daraqutni (d. 385/995) on the authority of Ikrima (d. ca. 105/723-24), mawla of Ibn 'Abbas (d. 68/686-88), about a midnight tryst that the warrior-poet 'Abd Allah b. Rawaha (d. 8/629) had with a slave-girl (jariya). Upon discovering him in flagrante delicto, Ibn Rawaha's wife runs to get a knife and confronts him as he tries to sneak back home. In an attempt to exculpate himself, Ibn Rawaha explains to his knife-wielding wife that he had not been with the slave-girl and he could prove this by reciting from the Quran, for the Prophet himself had forbidden reciting the Quran in a state of major impurity (junub)--a state induced, for instance, by sexual intercourse. Ibn Rawaha goes on to recite a poem, which his wife, not knowing better, accepts as the Quran and as a testament to his fidelity. As the story goes, the next morning Ibn Rawaha informed the Prophet of the entire affair, who in turn laughed so hard his molars could be seen. (17) This anecdote speaks of a further effort to delineate an established tradition of ritual praxis surrounding the Quran as part of the earliest stages of Islam. The form of the narrative is itself, nonetheless, clearly filtered through the literary conventions of preachers (qussas), who aim to both edify and delight. (18)

We have further evidence of such literary fashioning with the account of a pseudo-epigraphic dispatch said to have been sent in the year 10/631-32 by the Prophet to 'Amr b. Hazm (d. ca. 50/670), his appointed governor of Najran, Yemen. (19) According to the Sira of Ibn Hisham (d. ca. 213/828), in addition to stipulating the collection of taxes (sadaqat), the letter (kitab) commands Amr to instruct the population of the region in religion (din) and in the practice (sunna) of Islam. This is to be accomplished through such general acts as enjoining right and urging the people to follow truth, as well as teaching and explaining to them the Quran; this is qualified with the command that "no one touches the Quran unless he is in a state of purity (tahir)." (20)

Discussions surrounding ritual impurity and the written form of the Quran emerge at the earliest stages of Islamic jurisprudence, concomitant with the broader formation of a system of ritual purity that occurs during the Marwanid period (64-132/684-750) of the Umayyad dynasty. (21) The accounts of Umar's conversion, Ibn Rawaha's deception, and the letter to the people of Najran all represent decidedly literary attempts at locating ritual praxis vis-a-vis scripture as firmly established by the Quran, the Prophet, and the early community. The generic form of these accounts is of significance, for, as opposed to the material transmitting the sayings of the Prophet (hadith), these examples all have much more narrative flesh, detailing normative practice but not framed solely as explicit injunctions. And while the movement from narratio to exemplum, as advanced by John Wansbrough, (22) does not fully account for the shifts in the historiographical discourses on the life of the Prophet and the early community, (23) at least in regard to this particular issue there is in the juridical traditions of the second/eighth century a noticeable atomization of the topic.

This is clearly the case with how the Medinan jurist Malik b. Anas (d. 179/796) cites the Prophet's letter to Najran as a juridical justification for defining the mushaf within a larger system of purity. (24) Malik relates a truncated version of the letter, focusing just on the command that only the pure are to touch the Quran. He does so in order to justify his argument that no one can carry the codex (mushaf) by a strap (ilaqa), in a cover (khabia), or on a cushion (sada), unless such a person is ritually pure (tahir). (25) Malik explicitly argues that the rationale for this juridical opinion is based on a desire to honor (ikram) and respect (tazim) the Quran, and not on account of there being something on the hands of the person that could in any way pollute (yudannisu) the codex. Concluding his analysis, Malik turns to the authority of the Quran itself, quoting, "No one but the purified (mutahharun) touch it" (Q 56:79), and "... in honored sheets (suhuf), exalted, purified (mutahhara) in the hands of scribes ..." (Q 80:13-15). (26)

Despite the fact that the Quran itself, as Malik suggests, seems to prefigure the intersection between scripture and ritual purity, early Muslim scholars did not necessarily interpret either of the above verses to explicitly determine the material codex of the Quran as bound to what was at this point an evolving system of purity. (27) By arguing that one should not touch the mushaf save while ritually pure, out of respect (ikram) for the Quran, Malik collapses together the oral and textual forms of scripture as one and the same. Yet the persistent view, which Malik himself seems to have shared, that one may recite the Quran while in a state of minor impurity, but may only touch the Quran while ritually pure, suggests a clear dichotomy between the oral and textual lines of transmission, insofar as ritual purity is concerned. Malik's justification for not touching the mushaf reflects a later elaboration of a sustained inquiry over the nature of divine scripture in relationship to material existence. As will be shown, the earlier concerns with pollution and the mushaf emerge out of a social context in which the written form of the Quran is itself in contention.


Many of the primary sources at our disposal to document the early debates on the nature of the Quran form part of a larger corpus of material, which during the course of the early third/ninth century transforms into a genre known primarily as the fadail/manaqib or the excellent qualities/merits of the Quran. (28) A good deal of the information that enters into this genre has its roots in the juridical and exegetical discourses of the early second/eighth century. (29) We can trace an evolution in the documentation and further classification of this material, which in its primary form does not seem to be predetermined per se by the emergent fadail discourse. Thus, for example, the respective musannaf collections of the juridical traditions of the Companions, the Successors (tdbiun), and early scholars by Abd al-Razzaq (d. 211/827) and Ibn Abi Shayba (d. 235/849) both have sections dedicated to fadail al-Quran. (30) This material details the necessity of memorizing, teaching, and reciting the Quran primarily for the benefits of intercession that it will offer on the Day of Judgment. (31) However, in general, these sections do not contain juridical information concerning the ritual and legal status of the Quran, most of which is to be found in other parts of their collections.

Thus, while Abd al-Razzaq and Ibn Abi Shayba give great attention to legal questions surrounding the mushaf they do so primarily under the juridical headings of ritual purity (tahara), ritual prayer (salat), and commercial transactions (buyu). Here we can trace explorations into how the Companions and the Successors regarded such topics as the ritual status of both the Quran and the mushaf; the written transmission of the Quran with the various markers and embellishments added to the text; the sale of Qur'anic codices; perfuming (tatyib) codices; the use of codices in the mosque; and the writing of the Quranic verses on coins. Many of these topics became standard to the discourse on fadail al-Quran, as it developed over time, represented, for example, by Abu Ubayd b. Sallam (d. 224/838), Ibn Durays (d. 294/906), al-Mustaghfiri (d. 432/1040), al-Razi (d. 454/1062), and al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277). (32)

A similar pattern can be found in the major hadith collections of al-Darimi (d. 255/869), al-Bukhari (d. 256/870), Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 261/875), al-Tirmidhi (d. 279/892), and to a lesser extent in al-Nasais's(d. 303/915) treatment of the subject in al-Sunan al-kubra, all of which deal in some manner with the topic of fadail al-Quran. (33) Yet these works do not use this classification to adumbrate early legal debates concerning the status of scripture itself. While this pattern is echoed by 'Abd al-Razzaq and Ibn Abi Shayba, they in contrast collate elsewhere in their respective collections a body of juridical material which details how the Successors, often drawing on the authority of the early Companions and the Prophet, constructed a legal discourse surrounding the corporeality of scripture. However, writing on fada'il al-Qur'an, as evinced already in the treatise by Abu 'Ubayd, expands into the juridical realm as a literary form, which comes to draw together disparate material--found in earlier collections and originally located in distinct discursive fields--under one unifying rubric. This arguably represents a further expansion of the genre beginning in the third/ninth century.

The juridical debates recorded in these sources detail a wide heterogeneity of opinion concerning the status and significance of the mushaf. How far back we can actually trace these opinions is, of course, open to debate. (34) However, before delving into the question of authenticity, which plagues much of this material, we should first explore the actual range of issues at hand. Let us recall that Malik details in the Muwatta' that a person should not touch the mushaf, let alone carry it by a strap, cover, or a cushion save while ritually pure (tahir). Within the broader system of purity, tahir generally signifies ritually free of both major (al-hadath al-akbar) and minor (al-hadath al-asghar) impurities. (35) In the recension of the Muwatta by the Cordoban faqih Yahya b. Yahya l-Laythi (d. 234/848), Malik goes on to suggest that a person, evidently outside of the contexts of ritual observance (ibadat), (36) may recite the Quran in a state of minor impurity. (37) The justification for this is based upon an account related by the Basran traditionist Muhammad b. Sirin (d. 110/728) (38) that Umar b. al-Khattab quite consciously began to recite the Quran after having relieved himself but without having performed the minor ablution (ala ghayr wudu), and thus doing so in a state of minor impurity. (39)

In his recension of the Muwatta, the Kufan and proto-Hanafi jurist Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Shaybani (d. ca. 187/803) explicitly states, when commenting on Malik's view that only the ritually pure should touch the Quran, that this is the position of Abu Hanifa save in one respect (khasla wahida), namely, there is no harm in reciting the Qur'an when not in a state of purity (ala ghayr tahir), except if it is a state of major impurity (janab). (40) According to the multiple other recensions of the Muwatta, this seems to also have been Malik's position. (41) We need not detain ourselves with the issues surrounding the redaction of the Muwatta' (42) other than to observe that such a divergence over the ritual status of touching the codex and reciting the Quran, as will be shown below, had become a point of contention among various legal scholars at least a generation previous to any possible dispute between Malik and Abu Hanifa over this issue. We should pause to note that both Malik and Abu Hanifa hold that the material codex has a unique ritual status such that only the pure should even approach it. This physical demarcation for Abu Hanifa, and also apparently for Malik, is more restrictive than limitations on reciting the Quran, suggesting a distinct ritual status for the Quran in its physical form.

The material preserved in the respective musannaf collections of Abd al-Razzaq and Ibn Abi Shayba, in addition to such other works as the respective fadail al-Quran collections of Abu Ubayd and al-Mustaghfiri and the Kitab al-Masahif of Ibn Abi Dawud, suggests that inquiry over the ritual status of the Quran goes as far back as the Companions of the Prophet and continued on through the following generation of Successors. If indeed this were the case, then the literary accounts in Umar's conversion, Ibn Rawaha's deception, and the Prophet's letter would seem all the more to be later attempts at firmly establishing the practice with the first community of Muslims. Nonetheless, the extent to which such Companions as Salman al-Farisi (d. ca. 36/656), Ibn Abbas, and Umar b. al-Khattab actually participated in these debates remains to be seen. (43) As for the generation of Successors, the opinions ascribed to them may indeed reflect an archaic stratum in the formation of Islamic juridical discourse.

Based on the separate accounts of the Basran traditionists Ashath b. Abd al-Malik (d. ca. 146/764) and Hisham al-Qurdusi (d. ca. 147/765), the famous jurist al-Hasan al-Basri (d. 110/728) saw no harm (la ba'sa) in picking up the mushaf while not having performed the minor ablution ('ala ghayr wudu). (44) According to Hisham, the prominent Basran Muhammad b. Sirin also supported this position. (45) Likewise, in Kufa Abu Razin (d. ca. 90/708) is said to have held a similar view on the matter. (46) In contrast, both Ibn Abi Shayba and Abd al-Razzaq relate, through a similar isnad, that Abd al-Rahman b. al-Aswad (d. 99/717-18) and al-Qasim b. Muhammad (d. ca. 106/725), both of Medina, and Tawus b. Kaysan (d. ca. 101/720) of Yemen discouraged directly touching the codex in any state of impurity, (47) a position further associated with Ibn Umar b. al-Khattab. (48)

As Malik's comments in the Muwatta suggest, the controversy over touching the mushaf in a state of impurity extended to any kind of indirect contact, either with its strap, cover, or cushion. The problem of this kind of oblique contact appears to already have been a central part of the debate in the beginning of the second/seventh century. According to 'Abd al-Razzaq, the Meccan traditionist Ibn Jurayj (d. 150/768) questioned his teacher, the most important legal scholar of Mecca at the time, Ata b. Abi Rabah (d. ca. 114/732), (49) as to whether a person in a state of major impurity (junub) or a menstruant (ha'id)--who in the ritual system would also be in a state of janaba--may handle the codex while it is in a covering (khiba). Ata responds in the negative, to which Ibn Jurayj further inquires whether it would be permissible if, in addition to the khiba protecting the codex, their hands themselves were covered by another cloth (thawb). Ata again responds in the negative, explaining that since the khiba is no more impenetrable than cloth (akaff min al-thawb), adding that more layers would not change the matter. As for those in a state of minor impurity (ghayr al-mutawaddi'), 'Ata' acknowledges that they do not cause the codex any harm (yadurruhu) by touching it. He nonetheless states that only someone who has performed wudu' can touch the codex directly without a barrier (mufadiyan ilayhi). (50)

As to the historical authenticity of such an exchange, Harald Motzki has gone to great lengths to argue that the isnad pattern Abd al-Razzaq-Ibn Jurayj-Ata reliably opens up for us a window onto scenes of juridical inquiry in its earliest stages. (51) While such a position is subject to debate, (52) I would advance that regardless of the historicity of this specific exchange, its unique form, representing the juridical genre of responsum/dictum (jawab/masala), helps us to better understand some of the more truncated pieces of information associated with the period. This is the case with several accounts in which such wide-ranging figures as the traditionist Said b. Jubayr (d. ca. 95/713) and jurist Sufyan al-Thawri (d. 161/778), both of Kufa, (53) are said to have only allowed people in a state of major impurity--infidels (in this case a Zoroastrian) and menstruants, respectively--to carry the mushaf by a strap (ilaqa). (54) Such statements can only be understood against a backdrop where the very ritual demarcation of the mushaf is debated.

Yet the problem as to what extent this material reflects actual historical controversies from the first two centuries of Islam cannot be so easily disregarded. Take, for example, the account of how an unidentified man asks Ibn Abbas whether he can place the mushaf on the bed where he makes love, has wet dreams, and sweats. Ibn Abbas responds in the affirmative. (55) It is of note that the isnad of this particular exchange, itself also molded upon the form of the responsum/dictum, is related to Abd al-Razzaq from Ibn Jurayj on the authority of 'Ata'. It is not entirely clear what advantage any of these men might have had in forging such a narrative, which seems to go against the general spirit of Ata's opinion concerning the ritual sanctity of the codex. However, it is, of course, within the realm of possibility that a good deal of this material is entirely spurious and thus need not be internally consistent. (56)

I would argue that the wide heterogeneity of the various positions presented, covering juridical expressions across Basra, Kufa, Medina, and Mecca throughout the course of the second/eighth century, reflects the broad contours of an ongoing debate concerning the ritual boundaries of scripture in its written form. Furthermore, there are certain elements within these debates that speak directly to independent historical phenomena of the late first/seventh and early second/eighth centuries.


On the question of the spatial/geographic demarcation of scripture, a saying of the Prophet, repeated throughout the major hadith collections, forbids traveling with the Quran into the land of the enemy (ard al-aduww). (57) We should note that nowhere in the canonical six books of hadith literature or the Musnad of Ahmad b. Hanbal (d. 241/855) does the Prophet speak directly of a mushaf, (58) nor does the term appear in the Quran itself. (59) While there are many words to describe divine scripture (suhuf, zubur, kitab, quran), the word mushaf is part of an altogether different lexical sphere, one that specifically reflects a historical process of collecting and codifying the Quran into an established textual medium. Observable throughout much of the early juridical discourse is the privileged place of the recited Quran as symbolically and ritually distinct from the mushaf. In contrast, the deployment of such prophetic commands as only the pure may touch the Quran, or no one should travel with the Quran into hostile lands, seems to reflect a desire to collapse together written and oral articulations as equivalent expressions of scripture. (60)

The above-mentioned injunction against taking the Quran into the ard al-aduw highlights a repeated concern regarding the extent to which non-Muslims should be allowed to interact with Muslim scripture. The filth of infidels (najasat al-mushrikin), (61) itself a theme fully expressed within the Quran (e.g., Q 9:27), suggests a delineation between religious communities. On this topic Abu Ubayd rhetorically inquires how it is permissible for infidels (ahl al-shirk) to touch the mushaf when Muslims are loath for their own (ahl al-Islam) to touch it while in a state of major impurity (junub). (62)

The very notion of janaba, which Kevin Reinhart translates as "preclusion," (63) predicates a symbolic and ritual demarcation of physical reality. Scripture both in its oral and written forms is itself a relational concept, often functioning as the defining agent within a dialectic between self and other. (64) The concern about the extent to which non-Muslims may come in contact with scripture forms a key part in these early juridical discussions. The distinction, in ritual and legal terms, between the People of the Book (ahl al-kitab) and infidels (mushrikun) is also of significance for the debate. Thus, the implicit suggestion in the account mentioned earlier of the Kufan Said b. Jubayr having his Zoroastrian slave carry the codex by a strap, is that Zoroastrians should only have oblique contact with the codex. In this early period, Zoroastrians were generally considered to be infidels not in possession of revelation. (65) Such a point is significant for it ties into the broader question of the debated purity status of infidels. (66) Thus we should contrast the restricted contact of the Zoroastrian slave with the mushaf with how the early Companion Alqama b. Qays (d. ca. 62/682) and fellow Kufan jurist Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Layla (d. 148/765) are said to have had Christians--that is, People of the Book who are ritually distinct from Zoroastrians--make copies of the Quran for them. (67)

The written expression of scripture raises a series of ritual concerns distinct from a purely oral medium of articulation. This is due primarily to the fact that in the form of a physical object, the Quran enters into the realm of material existence, itself bound to and defined by a larger system of purity. Such is suggested by the distinct ritual classifications, given by Malik and others, for touching the mushaf versus reciting the Quran. The issue of touching the mushaf in various states of ritual impurity forms part of a larger concern over the written dissemination of scripture. Unlike an oral line of communication, which passes through bodies but does not occupy a physical form, the written expression of the Quran is much harder to regulate in terms of its movement within the broader configurations of purity/impurity.

Michael Cook has suggested that defunct legal controversies are precisely the location for mapping out debates that shaped the early development of Islamic law. (68) The juridical discourses on the ritual implications of the Quran as a text offer rich material for such an exercise. One such entry point is the numismatic use of Quranic material. According to Ibn Jurayj, although 'Ata' preferred not to touch either dirhams or dinars without having done the minor ablution, and discouraged menstruants and those in a state of major impurity from doing so, he also recognized the necessity of people to use coins, as they were made to be circulated. (69) In a similar vein, Ibn Abi Shayba reports how several authorities, such as Mujahid (d. ca. 100/718) of Mecca and al-Qasim b. Muhammad of Medina, (70) loathed bringing dirhams into the privy (khala'). (71) The Kufan jurist Ibrahim al-Nakha'i (d. ca. 96/ 714), (72) well known for his objection to touching dirhams in a state of ritual impurity, (73) argued that Muslims had a legal obligation to safeguard the dirhams of someone who has gone into the privy. (74)

The issue that concerns these jurists is the appearance of Quranic material on coins. The circulation of currency both within and beyond the community of Muslims directly intersects with the larger symbolic universe of purity. While the printing of the basmala is recorded on some of the earliest Umayyad coinage, (75) the introduction of Quranic formulae does not occur until the sweeping currency reforms of the caliph 'Abd al-Malik b. Marwan (r. 65-86/685-705). (76) As for political propaganda and the potential religious symbolism of currency, al-Baladhuri (d. ca. 278/892) credits al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf (d. 95/714), governor of the eastern provinces of the Umayyad empire, with minting dirhams printed with the sura al-Ikhlas. According to al-Baladhuri, the fuqaha' detested these coins, calling them "loathed" (makruha). (77) Indeed, the post-reform dirhams and dinars minted in all parts of the Umayyad empire save North Africa and al-Andalus, bear the inscription of sural al-Ikhlas. (78) Al-Mawardi (d. 450/1058), for his part, explains that the fuqaha objected to these coins stamped with Quranic verses because the ritually impure could carry them about. He suggests, however, that the coins bore the nickname makruha as the Persians loathed them for their reduced weight, itself a central part of Abd al-Malik's monetary reform. (79)

Whatever the case may be, the juridical discourse documents a vociferous objection by many legal scholars of the period to the introduction of Quranic material onto coins. Such is the case with the Basran jurist Muhammad b. Sirin, who is not only known to have detested (kariha) buying or selling coins marked with the Book of God (kitab Allah) and their exchange with infidels, (80) but is also said to have explicitly objected to the dirhams of al-Hajjaj, as they were printed with the sura al-Ikhlas. (81) Yet as with most of the controversies in this early period, we have documented dissenting voices, e.g., the Basran jurists Qatada (d. ca. 117/735) and al-Hasan al-Basri, who saw no problem in using such coins. (82)

While vestiges of this controversy can be found in later juridical works attending primarily to questions of ritual praxis, (83) the outrage over the actual appearance of Quranic material on coins appears to have dissipated. This is even more pronounced for the debates surrounding the permissibility of buying and selling codices, as well as decorating such codices in silver and gold, (84) all of which are points of contention in the early period. Yet by the time of both the Muwatta of Malik and Kitab al-Umm of al-Shafii (d. 204/820), these activities are taken as common practice. (85) By and large, such issues cease to be relevant in the following generations precisely because imprinting coins with Quranic phrases, as with the purchase of codices, no longer represent innovations, but rather form part of what has become the established use of scripture in the public sphere. (86)

Unifying these issues is the status of the Quran as a written object. Several modern scholars have positioned the early juridical aversion to writing prophetic hadith as strikingly similar to the dichotomy between the "Written Torah" and the "Oral Torah" in Rabbinic Judaism, where the preference for the oral dissemination of prophetic hadith by many early Muslim jurists parallels the non-scriptural tradition of rabbis. (87) Such a parallel, in large part, posits the Quran to be privileged as a written text. This is complicated by the fact that within the early juridical material there are also certain misgivings about the Quran in its written form. And while not as vocally expressed as the injunctions against writing hadith, there is a strong current in this juridical discourse that gives preference to the oral transmission of the Quran. (88)

A common counsel surrounding these second-century debates directs never to learn hadith from a sahifi, whose knowledge is based solely on notes, nor to study the Quran with a mushafi, who knows divine writ only through codices. (89) To be sure, many injunctions against the written documentation of hadith often claim to be based on a desire to disambiguate the sayings of the Prophet from the Quran as a sacred text. (90) We should note that the very controversy over writing hadith takes place in a social context in which the Quran is already viewed as occupying the space of written scripture. However, the distrust of writing as a vehicle for disseminating sayings of the Prophet appears to build on an even older anxiety toward fixing scripture as a written form.

Such prominent jurists as Ibrahim al-Nakhai of Kufa and Qatada of Basra, along with Mujahid of Mecca and Said b. al-Musayyab (d. ca. 94/712) of Medina, express their distaste for an imam leading the prayer services or the night recitations of Ramadan by reading from the mushaf. (91) Many of these figures explicitly formulate their aversion to using the written text as based on a desire not to imitate the liturgical practices of Jews and Christians (ahl al-kitah). (92) The authority of the caliph 'Umar b. al-Khattab is invoked in support of this claim, as he is said to have forbidden the use of the codex in leading prayer. (93) The practice of reading from the mushaf evidently incited a fair amount of contention, as is evident in one account in which an imam leading a prayer service received a kick because he was reading from a codex instead of reciting from memory. (94) Given the equal number of those who advocated the practice of reading from the text, such as al-Hasan al-Basri, Ata, Muhammad b. Sirin, and even aisha, it is evident that a deeper series of values is at play. (95)

The internal logic of these early inquiries into the status and place of scripture is predicated on the existence of a textual form of the Quran. Without the presupposition of a physical articulation of scripture, none of these controversies could be meaningful. In other words, in order to understand the broader significance of these debates, we must posit a society in which the mushaf is itself already an object in use, whatever the text therein might have contained. Thus the strongly expressed aversion by the likes of Mujahid and Ibrahim al-Nakhai to placing a mushaf in the qibla of a mosque, (96) only makes sense in a world where such codices already have potential symbolic meaning.

While the discursive universe of this early juridical material presupposes the existence of scripture in a written form, such controversies over the ritual and symbolic implications of the Quran as text suggest a society in which the value and function of scripture is far from established. The most evident example of this is the tension surrounding the actual writing of the mushaf. Before delving any deeper, we should recall that according to tradition the 'Uthmanic textus receptus only established the rasm of the Quran, that is, the bare consonantal form of the letters, and did not actually vocalize the text itself. (97) A range of qiraat or readings based upon the Uthmanic text emerged, as, for example, the famous seven readings that Ibn Mujahid (d. 324/936) "canonized," all of which developed in the course of the second/eighth century. (98) Yet, other readings, such as those of Ibn Masud (d. 32/652-53) and Ubayy b. Kab (d. ca. 35/656), not based upon the consonantal form or order of the Uth-manic redaction, also appear in the Muslim tradition of the dissemination of the Quran. (99)

It is against the backdrop of a non-vocalized text where the question of distinguishing consonants or vowels orthographically by adding diacritical marks (nuqat) and vocalizations (tashkil) appears as an issue of juridical concern. As with other restrictions on the textual character of the Qur'an, this issue is framed as not limited to one particular region. Muhammad b. Sirin and Qatada, both of Basra, along with Ibrahim al-Nakhai of Kufa, express their displeasure of adding vocalizations and diacritical marks to the Quran. (100) Even more numerous are the scholars who object to incorporating any additional elements within the Quran that could in any way facilitate reading, such as sura headings, divisions between suras (tafsil), and medallions marking the divisions of ten verses (tashir). Thus we hear that such scholars as Ata and Mujahid, both of Mecca, and Abu Razin of Kufa were averse to adding further textual elements into the Quran. (101)

Repeated throughout these discussions is the command to remove from the Quran all extraneous textual additions. The notion of stripping away (tajrid) such elements as vocalizing markers and diacritical points is itself semantically linked with the verb tajarrada li-, which comes to signify, by the time of Ibn Mujahid, the act of specializing in a particular recitation of the Quran. (102) This is of particular significance, for without vocalization and diacriticals the mushaf would function merely as a memory aid. (103) Gregor Schoeler has argued that these early codices function as draft copies ([??]) meant to be accompanied by an oral transmission or "reading" that would fix the meaning of the consonantal form. (104) Evidently at stake in these early debates are the status and function of the Quran reciter (qari, pl. qurra) in preserving and transmitting scripture. (105)

According to Muslim accounts, the earliest manuscripts of the Quran were written with little in the way of vowel points or diacritical signs, containing primarily the consonantal ductus (rasm) of the text. (106) We know this to be the case with the early "Hijazi" codices that have survived the vicissitudes of time. (107) Also according to autochthonous Muslim sources, the practice of adding diacritics and vocalization developed throughout the course of the second/eighth and third/ninth centuries. (108) The various accounts detailing when the practice of vocalizing manuscripts began often center on Basra, during the reign of Abd al-Malik. (109) We need not, however, detain ourselves with the very contentious issue of dating early Quranic manuscripts. (110) Rather, there is sufficient evidence for such an outline with the example of the dated Quranic inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock, executed in the year 72/691-92 during the reign of the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik. (111) Though in the form of monumental calligraphy, as with the earliest Quranic manuscripts, diacritical marks are almost entirely lacking from these inscriptions. (112)

Yet a diacritical system for the Arabic script is not unknown in the first/seventh century. Two papyrus fragments, both dated 22/643, provide evidence for the early use of diacritics to disambiguate graphemes. (113) The fact that early Quran manuscripts seem to be intentionally not pointed speaks to the pivotal part played by Quran reciters in the oral transmission and dissemination of scripture, where the mushaf stands in as an incomplete simulacrum of the recitation. This is an issue that Ibn Masud, famed qari of Medina and Kufa, is said to have stressed with his remark that the best decoration (zayn) for the mushaf is its correct recitation (tilawatuhu bi-l-haqq). (114)

It has been argued that a scriptio plena would have threatened the very centrality and influence of the Quran reciters. (115) Assuming, as John Wansbrough suggests, that the function of the warrior-qurra in society reflected a liturgical and cultic use of scripture, (116) it stands to reason that the textual codification of the Quran could have limited their political/charismatic control of scripture and that the stories of the Uthmanic recension, and the concomitant opposition to it, have broader social and political implications concerning the controlled dissemination of the Quran. (117) Whatever the case may have been, the result of a textus receptus is to bind scripture into a canonical form, effectively closing the polysemous expanse of individual recitations and arrangements.

In order to understand these early debates, we must envision a social milieu where the mushaf is an established part of reality, but its existence is still relatively novel and its ritual boundaries and symbolic significance are yet to be fully defined. Let us recall the individual case of Ibrahim al-Nakhai, the famed jurist of Kufa, who was renowned for his transmission of material from the Quran reciter Ibn Masud, who in turn is remembered as a staunch opponent of the Uthmanic redaction. (118) Of the diverse legal opinions that surround Ibrahim concerning the significance of scripture in a written form, the following details appear: he loathed touching the mushaf or dirhams written with Quranic verses in a state of minor impurity, (119) while in contrast he argued that there was no problem reciting from the Quran in such a state; (120) furthermore, he was a staunch opponent of adding diacritical marks and vocalizations to the mushaf, reciting from it while leading prayer, or placing it in the qibla. He is also remembered not only to have been in opposition to writing hadith, but to writing in general. (121)

From these opinions, which span a wide range of juridical issues, a coherent pattern emerges that suggests his preference for the oral dissemination of the Quran. It is in this light that his transmission of Ibn Masud's comments on the fluidity of recitation is all the more revealing:
 The mistake is not reciting one section of the Quran in another
 section, nor finishing the verse "forgiving, compassionate" (ghafur
 rahim) with "knowing, wise" (alim hakim) or with "powerful, wise"
 (aziz hakim); rather the mistake is reciting that which is not in
 the Quran or finishing a verse of compassion (rahma) with a verse of
 punishment (adhab). (122)

This comment about mixing and matching as long as one stays within the parameters of the Quranic intent is, however, often set alongside the case of the early companion and Quran reciter Bilad (d. ca. 20/641), who is thought to have enjoyed reciting parts of various suras together. (123) This kind of rearranging suggests a notion of reciting scripture that resists a standard codification in written form. Ibn Masud's statement can be coupled with similar sentiments that privilege the oral transmission of the Quran based on meaning (riwaya bi-l-mana) rather than verbatim dictation (riwaya bi-l-lafz). (124) And while such a statement presupposes an established corpus and meaning of Quranic material, it also suggests a powerful role accorded to the individual process of recitation. Such a fluid interaction with scripture stands to favor the flexibility of oral transmission over the rigidity of a definitive canonical text, which would necessarily fix both the arrangement and the form.

Although rearranging the order and words of the Quran gave rise to juridical controversy, such practices themselves speak to a radically different way of approaching scripture in the earliest recordable periods of Islamic history. This flexibility may help us to better contextualize the codicological evidence, which reveals two major forms of divergence from the textus receptus present in several early Quranic manuscripts, namely, variant readings not attested to by Muslim tradition and sura arrangements that do not correspond to established sequences. (125)

While these accounts do not lend further evidence to the traditional Muslim narratives of the codification, they also do not detract from them. For that matter, it is not impossible to suppose, from the deeply rooted oral and cultic components suggested by these sources, that an even more archaic and polysemous core layer of liturgical material circulated both orally and textually. Nonetheless, already in the beginning of the second/eighth century jurists were wrestling with the reality of scripture in a written form and trying to work out how such writing impacted the broader ritual and symbolic network that they were in the process of constructing. While we may be led to question the authenticity underlying any of the aforementioned juridical opinions, taken in the aggregate the range of positions--many of which are abandoned in the preceding generations--reflects an early anxiety over the place and function of scripture as a textual object bound to the material realm. The codicological, numismatic, and archaeological evidence lends further credence to our claim that this information recorded in the third/ninth century silhouettes an actual series of evolving debate surrounding the textual and oral roles of scripture, dating back to the end of the first/seventh century and continuing on into the next.


The concern over the written expression of scripture in the formative stages of Islam forms part of an even more archaic anxiety. In Rabbinic Judaism scriptures themselves are considered polluting, as explicitly expressed, for example, in the Mishna (Yad. 3:4-5, 4:5-6) and the Tosefta (Yad. 2:11-13; 2:19). (126) The impurity of writing has an ancient pedigree--as attested by Vedic traditions (127)--which is distinct from purely an emphasis on orality, as with Zoroastrian attitudes concerning the oral preservation of the Avesta. (128) To be sure, the injunction against touching the Quran identifies the human body as the agent of pollution and not the scripture itself, an inversion of, say, the respective Halakhic and Vedic models. However, already in the beginning of the second/eighth century we can identify a strong movement toward the veneration of the physical Quran. It is only in a social context in which such a process of sanctification is taking place that injunctions against perfuming the mushaf and beautifying it with adornments are meaningful. (129)

One of the central concerns surrounding early Muslim narratives on the collection of the Quran is the question to what extent the written form of the text reflects the original divine revelation to Muhammad. (130) According to Muslim accounts, a bifurcation between oral and written lines of transmission, concomitant with the variant readings--themselves expressed both orally and textually (131)--characterizes the early dissemination of the Quran. The dichotomous relationship between the oral and the textual is further accentuated in a leitmotif that runs throughout the Quran concerning a divine Urschrift, referred to as the original scripture (umm al-kitab, Q 43:4), or a hidden scripture (kitab maknun, Q 56:78), preserved upon a heavenly tablet (al-lawh al-mahfuz, Q 85:22). (132) This heavenly archetype of scripture, which is very much akin to the pre-existent Torah of Judaism (133) and other similar traditions that stretch across the ancient religious landscapes of Mesopotamia, (134) stands in contrast to the explicit oral character of the revelation to Muhammad as presented in the Quran (cf. Q 4:153, 6:7). (135)

Orality forms a dominant theme in the revelation to Muhammad. As has often been noted by modern Western scholars, the word quran itself signifies in a primary sense "reading" or "recitation," etymologically related to the Syriac qeryana "chant" or "invocation." (136) The "recitation" is not a book in any immediate sense, as, according to early Muslim accounts, the textual Quran came into existence as a mushaf only when it was organized and codified after the Prophet's death. (137) The various qiraat themselves affirm the continued importance of orality. The early stress on the melodic and artful forms of recitation (tazyin al-sawt), (138) which develop into the elaborate and sophisticated traditions of formal Quranic recitation (tajwid, tartil), speaks to the lasting importance of the oral dimensions of scripture. The practice of weeping (buka) while reciting, a tradition supported throughout the hadith literature by the sunna of the Prophet, (139) highlights the devotional engagement with scripture through the emotive power of the spoken word.

The recitation of the Quran as divine speech (kalam/logos) passing through the believer suggests a primacy to oral articulation. Yet despite any early aversion toward writing scripture, the oral transmission of the Quran never came to displace the textual form. Thus, for example, while Abu 'Ubayd lists a wide range of benefits obtained by reciting the Quran from memory, he also describes how it is meritorious to do so by reading directly from the mushaf. (140) With the surrounding ritual accoutrements already in play during the second/eighth century, such as the cover (khabia) and the cushion (sada) for the mushaf, it is not surprising that later sources detail a complete sanctification of the codex--venerated by reading with a pointer (ud) rather than touching it directly (141)--as the written form comes to represent the material trace of the divine, to be kissed, perfumed, and disposed of by only special means, such as burning, burying, or erasing with water. (142)

One of the most prominent sites to trace the lasting importance of the Quran as text is in the realm of divinatory and theurgical practices, where both oral and textual articulations are to be observed. The use of Quranic incantations (ruqya, pl. ruqan) based on specific suras, particularly al-Fatiha, al-Ikhlas, and the last two suras (i.e., al-muawwadhatan), is a practice ascribed to the Prophet throughout the hadith literature. (143) Many of the works treating fadail al-Quran address in some way the use of oral incantations, (144) which are also standard in the exposition of prophetic medicine (al-tibb al-nabawi). (145) However, such deployments of the Quran are not limited to speech-acts alone. Given the unique importance of scripture, it is not surprising to see the use of writing from an early period in a wide array of practices, as with the making of amulets (tamaim/taawidh), talismans (tilsam, pl. talasim < [tau][epsilon][lambda][epsilon][zeta][mu][alpha]), magic squares (wafq), and traditions of bibliomancy (fal al-Quran). (146) Such practices of veneration of the textual form of the Quran have an ancient pedigree, building upon widespread traditions of sympathetic magic throughout ancient Egypt, Greece, and Mesopotamia.

The Hanbali scholar Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d. 751/1350) in his exposition on prophetic medicine draws authority for amulets written with Quranic verses from the precedents of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/1328) and Ahmad b. Hanbal, who are both said to have employed them. (147) He further argues that the act of writing verses of the Quran in ink, immersing the paper in water, and then drinking the water, was also a tradition accepted by many in the early community (salaf). (148) Similarly, in his treatment of fadail al-Quran, the Shafii jurist al-Nawawi details the practice of writing the Qur'an on a vessel (ina) which is then filled with water to be digested by a person in ill health (marid). (149) Al-Nawawi draws support for this practice from the likes of such early figures as Mujahid and al-Awzai (d. 157/774). Furthermore, he details how the Shafi'i scholars al-Qadi Husayn al-Marwazi (d. 462/1069) and al-Baghawi (d. ca. 516/1122) saw no problem in writing the Quran on foods, such as sweets (halwa), to be ingested. (150)

Expectedly, such practices are ubiquitous in the material treating the charismatic and medicinal qualities (khawass) of the Quran. (151) Ibn al-Khashshab (d. ca. 650/1252), for example, opens his treatise on the subject with a recipe, supposedly dictated by the Prophet himself, which details the process of writing on a bowl (tasht) a specified series of Quranic verses in saffron, which are to be dissolved in water, preferably from the Zamzam spring in Mecca, and then imbibed. (152) These engagements with scripture invest supernatural power in the written form of the Quran and suggest a literal rendering of such prophetic sayings as "the Quran is the best medicine" (153) and "a man without any bit of the Quran in his belly (jawf) is like a broken-down house." (154)

While there is ample evidence to document the accepted use of these talismanic practices, (155) the issue of ingesting Quranic verses, as al-Zarkashi outlines, raises a series of juridical concerns, foremost regarding the implications of polluting the Quran as it passes through the digestive system (al-najasa al-batina). (156) Such debates themselves have their origin in the early stages of Islamic juridical thought. Given the antiquity of such theurgical traditions, many of which predate Islam, (157) it is not surprising to find early inquiries into the charismatic relationship of scripture and the body. The tradition of bowls marked with magic formulae, for example, has roots in the ancient religious practices of Mesopotamia. The archeological evidence reveals the widespread use of magic bowls with Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac, and Mandaic inscriptions, preceding and continuing past the advent of Islam. (158) The adaptation of Quranic material onto drinking vessels itself hearkens back to deeply ingrained attitudes toward the cosmic power of writing. (159)

In his treatment of the topic of medicine (tibb), Ibn Abi Shayba details in his Musannaf a broad range of early juridical debates concerning the talismanic use of the Quran--thus the case of how Mughira b. al-Miqsam al-Dabbi of Kufa (d. ca. 136/753) attached to his forearm a charm containing the following verse, "O fire, be coolness and peace for Ibrahim" (Q 21:69) when suffering from a fever. (160) We learn that such practices of attaching (taliq) amulets and charms written with Quranic verses to the body found favor with the likes of Mujahid of Mecca, Muhammad b. Sirin of Basra, and the Shii Imam Zayn al-Abidin (d. ca. 95/713). (161) This is a position further supported by Ata of Mecca, who is said to have never heard of any objection to the practice until asked about the issue by the people of Basra and Kufa (ahl al-'Iraq). (162)

In contrast, Ibn Masud and Ibrahim al-Nakhai, both associated with Kufa, are said to have stood in opposition to such uses of scripture, a sentiment furthered by al-Hasan al-Basri, who argued that these practices risked reducing the Quran into a mere series of incantations (a-jaaltum kitaba llahi ruqan?). (163) The activity of dissolving written pieces of the Qur'an in water and digesting them is also discussed. While the authority of such figures as aisha and Ibn Abbas is drawn on for support, Muhammad b. Sirin, al-Hasan al-Basri, and Ibrahim al-Nakhai all come out against the practice. (164) In contrast, Abu Ubayd, when detailing this issue in Fadail al-Quran, objects to those who oppose using the Quran in oral and written incantations, arguing that great benefits can be gained by seeking the intercession (istishfa) of the Quran and grasping onto its charismatic power (al-iltimas bi-barakatihi). (165) Indeed, the position expressed by Abu Ubayd, al-Nawawi, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, and others by and large wins the day, as traditions of drawing on the textual forms of the Quran for its prophylactic, apotropaic, or medicinal power have played a central part in the devotional uses of scripture for centuries. (166)

It is of little coincidence that throughout this juridical controversy the early Kufan jurist Ibrahim al-Nakhai, who consistently views the textual form of the Quran with apprehension, also expresses a deep aversion to the use of written charms, a feeling that he is said to have based on a desire not to pollute the Quran. (167) This is also the case with the dialogue recorded by Abd al-Razzaq between Ibn Jurayj and Ata concerning the permissibility of a woman wearing a charm bearing Quranic material while menstruating, or while in a state of major ritual impurity (janaba): Ata answered that if such written material were placed within the hollow of a reed or tube (qasaba), i.e., an amulet case, then there would be no problem, but if it were only on a sheet (ruqa), e.g., of parchment, and not in a protective container, then she should not wear it. Ibn Jurayj inquired into the difference between the two; 'Ata' explained that a reed is more impermeable than a sheet (akaff min al-ruqa), (168) suggesting that the problem at hand is the potential of polluting sacred writing.

Such lines of argumentation fit into an early pattern of trying to delineate and define the place of scripture. The very act of ingesting the trace of the written word dissolved in water represents a desire to draw the sacred power of the divine into the body. These early juridical controversies all suggest attempts at regulating the interaction between the corruptible human body and divine logos, setting the stage for later theological inquiries into the nature of scripture as a physical form. (169) Writing in its very temporality, as bound to material existence, intersects immediately with an emergent symbolic matrix of ritual purity. The proposition that in the beginning of the second/eighth century jurists concerned themselves with the charisma of the Quran as a text, speaks to the already present, formidable power of the written word.

Detectable through this early period, however, are tensions regarding the textual articulation of the Quran, along with questions concerning its symbolic and ritual functions. While early written recensions of the Quran appear as informal copies to aid the memory in a privileged oral articulation of scripture, the otherworldly charismatic power associated with the written Quran also suggests an emergent sanctification of the physical codex. As such, the early voiced attempts at regulating the physical dissemination of scripture hearken back to a time before the Quran became codified as divine logos within the temporal and corruptible medium of writing, which inevitably would be touched, and even ingested.

Earlier versions of this article were presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and at the symposium "History and Material Culture," University of Pennsylvania.

(1.) Ibn Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Masahif, ed. Muhibb al-Din 'Abd al-Sabhan Wa'iz (Beirut: Dar al-Basha'ir al-Islamiyya. 2002), 141. On the kitab al-masahif genre, see Arthur Jeffery. Materials for the History of the Text of the Qur'an (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1937), 10-17. In his edition of Ibn Abi Dawud's Kitab al-Masahif, Jeffery did not use the Chester Beattey ms, which begins with this opening anecdote; see Wa'iz's edition, 91-93, 135.

(2.) See the takhrij offered by Wa'iz, 141-42; also Ibn Sa'd (d. 230/845), al-Tabaqat al-kubra, ed. Muhammad 'Abd al-Qadir 'Ata (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya. 1990-1991), 3: 54-55: Ahmad b. Hanbal, Fada'il al-sahaba, ed. Wasi Allah b. Muhammad 'Abbas (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-Risala, 1983), 1: 470-73; Ibn Abi Shayba, al-Musannaf (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2005), 7: 520-21; al-Tabari, Ta'rikh al-rusul wa-l-muluk, ed. de Goeje et al. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1871-1901), ser. 1: 3007.

(3.) For an overview of the qussas as vehicles for Umayyad propaganda, sec Khalil 'Athamina, "Al-Qasas: Its Emergence, Religious Origin and Its Socio-Political Impact on Early Muslim Society," Studia Islamica 76 (1992): 53-74.

(4.) On the transformation of this particular mushaf into a relic, see my article, "From Drops of Blood: Charisma and Political Legitimacy in the translatio of the 'Uthmanic Codex of al-Andalus." Journal of Arabic Literature 39.3 (2008): 321-46.

(5.) Ibn Wahb (d. 197/812-13), al-Jami', ed. Miklos Muranyi (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, 2003), 3: 27, 31; al-Bukhari, Sahih (kitab fada'il al-Qur'an), in Mawsu'at al-hadith al-sharif (Vaduz: Jam'iyyat al-Maknaz al-Islami, 2000-2001), 66.3, [section]5038, 3: 1048; al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (kitab al-tafsir), in Mawsu'at al-hadith al-sharif, 43.10, [section]3387, 2: 787-88; T. Noldeke et al., Geschichte des Qorans = GdQ (Leipzig: T. Dieter, 1909-38), 2: 47-62.

(6.) Cf. John Burton, The Collection of the Qur'an (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1977), 115-37: idem, EQ, s.v. The Collection of the Qur'an; [EI.sup.2], s.v. Kur'an; Daniel Madigan, The Qur'an's Self-image (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2001), 24-28.

(7.) Cf. Michael Lecker, "Biographical Notes on Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri." Journal of Semitic Studies 41 (1996): 21-63.

(8.) Cf. Harald Motzki, "The Collection of the Qur'an: A Reconsideration of the Western Views in Light of Recent Methodological Developments." Der Islam 78 (2001): 1-34; Fred Donner, "The Qur'an in Recent Scholarship: Challenges and Desiderata," in The Qur'an in its Historical Context, ed. Gabriel Said Reynolds (London: Routledge, 2008), 29-50.

(9.) According to the classical dictionaries, the word may be vocalized as mushaf, mashaf, and even mishaf, cf. Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, s.v. s-h-f. While there are attestations in pre-Islamic poetry, al-Suyuti records Ibn Mas'ud and others ascribing an Ethiopian origin for the term as explicitly differentiated from the sifr (sefer), i.e., the nomenclature for scripture used by Jews: al-Itqan fi 'ulum al-Qur'an, ed. Muhammad Abu l-Fadl Ibrahim (Cairo: Maktabat al-Mashad al-Husayni, 1967), 1: 149, apud Arthur Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur'an (Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1938), 193-94.

(10.) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh al-rusul, ser. 1: 3329ff.; Nasr b. Muzahim al-Minqari (d. 212/827) describes some five hundred Qur'anic codices raised on spears: Waq'at Siffin, 2nd ed., ed. Muhammad Harun (Cairo: Dar Ihya' al-Kutub al-'Arabiyya. 1962), 478-82, 490-92.

(11.) Martin Hinds, "The Siffin Arbitration Agreement," Journal of Semitic Studies 17.1 (1972): 95-96. Some of the oldest masahif are in the form of scrolls; see Solange Ory, "Un nouveau type de mushaf,'' Revue des etudes islamiques 33 (1965): 87-149.

(12.) G. R. Hawting, "The Significance of the Slogan la [hukm.sup.a] illa lillah and the References to the Hudud in the Traditions about the Fitna and the Murder of 'Uthman," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 41 (1978): 453-63.

(13.) On Ibn Ishaq's date of death and the title of his work, see Martin Hinds, "Maghazi and Sira in Early Islamic Scholarship," in La Vie du Prophete Mahomet, ed. Toufic Fahd (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1983), 59-60.

(14.) Cf. Ibn Hisham, al-Sira al-nabawiyya, ed. Mustafa l-Saqa et al. (Beirut: Dar al-Ma'rifa, 2006), 1: 319-21; Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 3: 202-3; cf. al-Daraqutni, Sunan, ed. Majdi b. Mansur b. Sayyid al-Shura (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2003), (kitab al-tahara) 1.45, [section]435, 1: 129; cf. Marion Katz, Body of Text: The Emergence of the Sunni Law of Ritual Purity (Albany: State Univ. of New York Press, 2002), 159ff.

(15.) Instead of a kitab, Ibn Hisham references a sahifa: al-Sira, 1: 320.

(16.) See Ibn 'Abbas on Q 56:78-79, "in a hidden book which only the purified touch," referring explicitly to angels: al-Farra' (d. 207/822), Ma'ani l-Our'an, ed. Ibrahim Shams al-Din (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2002), 3: 36; Muqatil b. Sulayman (d. 150/767), Tafsir, ed. Ahmad Farid (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2003), 3: 318: Ibn al-Ja'd (d. 240/844-45), al-Musnad, ed. 'Amir Ahmad Haydar (Beirut: Mu'assasat Nadir, 1990), [section]2366, 344; cf. 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Musannqf (kitab al-hayd), ed. Ayman Nasr al-Din al-Azhari (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2000), 1: 263; cf. Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 645; Ja'far b. Muhammad al-Mustaghfiri, Fada'il al-Qur'an, ed. Ahmad b. Faris al-Sallum (Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2006), 1: 217. For further references, see also M. J. Kister, "La yamassuhu illa l-mutahharun ... Notes on the Interpretations of a Qur'anic Phrase." JSAI 34 (2008): 309-23. I would like to thank Yohann Friedmann for sharing with me a copy of this article prior to its publication.

(17.) al-Daraqutni, Sunan (kitab al-tahara), 1.44. [section]426, 1: 127; on Ibn Rawaha, see Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 3: 398-401, 406.

(18.) According to al-Haytham b. Abi Sinan, he heard the narration of Abu Hurayra (wa-huwa yaqsusu fi qasasihi) relating the same verses of Ibn Rawaha, referred to as someone who does not speak obscenities (la yaqulu l-rafatha), suggesting how a back story could have been elaborated for this account; see al-Bukhari, Sahih (kitab al-tahajjud), 19.21, [section]1164, 1: 217; (kitab al-adab), 78.91, [section]6221, 3: 1254-55; and Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, ed. Shu'ayb al-Arna'ut et al. (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-Risala, 1993-2008), [section]15736, 25: 11-14, who transmits an entirely different account of Ibn Rawaha's night escapade and its moral.

(19.) Cf. al-Tabari, Ta'rikh al-rusul, ser. 1: 1727; on the tradition of delegations and letters sent to various regions, cf. Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 1: 198-221, and in reference to 'Amr b. Hazm, 1: 204.

(20.) Ibn Hisham, al-Sira, 4: 502; al-Tabari, Ta'rikh al-rusul, loc. cit.; the letter also appears in al-Baladhuri, although no mention is made of this particular injunction: Futuh al-buldan (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2000), 49-50. See also 'Abd al-Razzaq on Q 56:79, Tafsir al-Quran, ed. Mustafa Muslim Muhammad (Riyadh: Maktabat al-Rushd. 1989), 3: 273, cf. 2: 272; idem, al-Musannaf (kitab al-hayd), 1: 263.

(21.) Katz, Body of Text, 207-9.

(22.) John Wansbrough, The Sectarian Milieu (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1978), 87.

(23.) See Muhammad Qasim Zaman, "Maghazi and the Muhaddithun: Reconsidering the Treatment of 'Historical' Materials in Early Collections of Hadith," International Journal of Middle East Studies 28.1 (1996): 1-18.

(24.) Malik b. Anas, al-Muwatta', in Mawsu'at al-hadith al-sharif (kitab al-Quran), 15.1, [section]373, 67; cf. Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 5: 335-36; 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Musannaf, 1: 263. Al-Daraqutni notes that the account is mursal, though the transmitters are thiqat: Sunan, [section]429, 1: 128; likewise Abu Dawud, al-Marasil, ed. Shu'ayb al-Arna'ut (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-Risala, 1988), [section][section]92-94, 121-22. Abu Bakr b. Muhammad is known not only as a qadi of Medina but also for his role in collecting the Prophet's letters in his family's possession related to ordinances of taxation (sadaqat) and other legal matters for the Umayyad caliph 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz (r. 99-101/717-720); see Muwatta' al-lmam Malik, riwayat Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Shaybani, 3rd ed., ed. 'Abd Allah al-Wahhab 'Abd al-Latif (Mecca: al-Maktaba al-'Ilmiyya. 1989), 130; al-Darimi, Sunan (kitab al-muqaddima), ed. Sayyid Ibrahim (Cairo: Dar al-Hadith, 2000), [section][section]487-88. 1: 120-21; Ibn Zanjawayh, Kitab al-Amwal, ed. Shakir Dhib Fayyad (Riyadh: Markaz al-Malik Faysal, 1986), 2: 800; Michael Lecker, "'Amr ibn Hazm al-Ansari and Quran 2,256: 'No Compulsion is There in Religion." Oriens 35 (1996): 60. Cf. Ibn 'Abd al-Barr al-Namari (d. 463/1070), al-Istidhkar, ed. Muhammad 'Ali et al. (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2000), 2: 471-73; and for a Zahiri position, see Ibn Hazm, al-Muhalla, ed. 'Abd al-Ghaffar (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1988), [section]116, 1: 94-99.

(25.) Malik b. Anas, al-Muwatta' (kitab al-Quran), 15.1, [section]373, 67; Abu 'Ubayd relates the same through Ibn Bukayr (d. 231/845), stating that while the position of Malik is what is practiced (al-ma'mul bihi), some scholars have permitted otherwise: Fada'il al-Quran, ed. Sulayman Ghawiji (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1991), 245.

(26.) Malik b. Anas, al-Muwatta', loc. cit.

(27.) See above.

(28.) For the classification of this genre according to medieval authorities, see Ibn al-Nadim (d. ca. 388/998), al-Fihrist (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2002), 57-58; al-Suyuti, 4: 102; Hajji Khalifa, Kashf al-zunun 'an asami kutub wa-l-funun, ed. Muhammad Sharaf al-Din Yaltaqaya and Rif'at Bilka al-Kilisi (Istanbul: Wikalat al-Ma'arif, 1941), 2: 1277.

(29.) On the exegetical side, see Ibn Wahb, al-Jami', 3: 15ff.

(30.) 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Musannaf (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 3: 199-236; Ibn Abi Shayba, al-Musannaf (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 6: 117-56.

(31.) Asma Afsaruddin, "The Excellences of the Quran: Textual Sacrality and the Organization of Early Islamic Society," JAOS 122 (2002): 4.

(32.) Abu 'Ubayd, Fada'il al-Quran, loc. cit.; Ibn Durays, Fada'il al-Quran, ed. Ghazwa Budayr (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 1987); al-Mustaghfiri, Fada'il al-Quran, loc. cit.; 'Abd al-Rahman b. Ahmad al-Razi, Kitab Fada'il al-Quran wa-tilawatihi, ed. 'Amr Hasan Sabri (Beirut: Dar al-Basha'ir al-Islamiyya, 1994); al-Nawawi, al-Tibyan fi adab hamalat al-Quran (Beirut: Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-'Arabi, 2002).

(33.) al-Darimi, Sunan (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 1: 302-48; al-Bukhari, Sahih (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 3: 1046-61; Muslim, Sahih (bab fada'il al-Quran), in Mawsu'at al-hadith al-sharif, 1: 312-24; al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (kitab fada'il al-Quran), in Mawsu'at al-hadith al-sharif, 2: 724-37; al-Nasa'i, Fada'il al-Quran, ed. Faruq Hammada (Beirut: Dar Ihya' al-'Ulum, 1980); cf. the topic index prepared by Shu'ayb al-Arna'ut et al. of Ahmad b. Hanbal's Musnad, 52: 495ff.; al-Nasa'i, al-Sunan al-kubra, ed. Shu'ayb al-Arna'ut (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-Risala, 2001), 7: 241-92; cf. idem, Fada'il al-Quran.

(34.) See Motzki, "The Collection of the Quran," loc. cit.

(35.) This nomenclature is not found in the earliest fiqh works; see Ze'ev Maghen, "Close Encounters: Some Preliminary Observations on the Transmission of Impurity in Early Sunni Jurisprudence," Islamic Law and Society 6.3 (1999): 354; Kevin Reinhart, "Impurity/No Danger," History of Religions 30.1 (1990): 1-24.

(36.) As for ritual purification before the performance of 'ibadat, as stipulated in Q 5:8 and to a lesser degree in Q 4:43, see Reinhart, "Impurity/No Danger," 5ff.

(37.) Malik, al-Muwatta' (kitab al-Quran), 15.2, [section]484, 67.

(38.) Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 7: 143-54; Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, ed. 'Ali Muhammad Ma'awwad et al. (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2004), 7: 626-28; Ibn Sirin appears as the transmitter of this statement in accounts related by 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 262, al-Mustaghfiri, 1: 212, and Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-taharat), 1: 99, where an additional line of a transmission is given through Qatada, who is also a Basran traditionalist; see Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 7: 171-73.

(39.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 262; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-taharat), 1: 98; al-Mustaghfiri, 1:212.

(40.) al-Shaybani, Muwatta' al-Imam Malik, [section][section]297-98, 106-7.

(41.) See al-Muwatta' bi-riwayatihi, ed. al-Hilali (United Arab Emirates: Majmu'al al-Furqan al-Tijariyya, 2003), with the recensions of Yahya, al-Zuhri, al-Qa'nabi, and Ibn Bukayr, which all detail this issue, [section]513, 2: 513-14; see the takhrij of al-Shaybani's transmission of Malik, which stands against such a practice, offered by the editor, [section]512, 2: 512.

(42.) See Harald Motzki, "The Prophet and the Cat: On Dating Malik's Muwatta' and Legal Traditions," JSAI 20 (1998): 18-83; Wael B. Hallaq, "Dating Malik's Muwatta'," UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law 1.1 (2001-2): 47-65.

(43.) On Salman al-Farisi, see 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 262-63; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-taharat), 1: 98: and on Ibn 'Abbas, see 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 261; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-taharat), 1: 99; for 'Umar b. al-Khattab, see above.

(44.) Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 7: 114-32. Cf. Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 142; Abu 'Ubayd, 245; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 632; cf. 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 264, al-Mustaghfiri, 1: 221; on Ash'ath, Hisham, al-Qurdusi, and al-Hasan al-Basri, see Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 7: 204, 200-201, 114-32, respectively; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 1: 335-36, 6: 635-38, 2: 24-29, respectively.

(45.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 142, a point perhaps substantiated by Ibn Sirin's possible role in the relating of 'Umar b. al-Khattab's practice of reciting the Quran while in a state of minor impurity.

(46.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 142; Ibn Abi Dawud, 1: 639-40.

(47.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 265; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 142; al-Mustaghfiri, 1: 218. For biographical information on these Successors, see Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 5: 4, 142-48, 6: 66-70; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 4: 10, 5: 309-10, 3: 287-88, respectively.

(48.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 142; Abu 'Ubayd, 244-45.

(49.) On Ibn Jurayj, see Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 6: 37-38; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 4: 248-50; on 'Ata', see Ibn Sa'd, 6: 20-22; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 4: 488-90; [EI.sup.2], s.v. 'Ata' b. Abi Rabah.

(50.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 264; al-Mustaghfiri, 2: 218.

(51.) Harald Motzki, The Origins of Islamic Jurisprudence: Meccan Fiqh Before the Classical Schools, tr. Marion Katz (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 77ff.

(52.) Cf. G. H. A. Juynboll, "New Perspectives in the Study of Early Islamic Jurisprudence," Bibliotheca Orientalis 49 (199): 358-61.

(53.) Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 6: 267-77, 350-52; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 2: 625-26, 715-18.

(54.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab ahl al-kitab), 6: 87, var. cover (ghilaf); Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 142; Abu 'Ubayd, 102, 245-46; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 631-32, where also Sa'id b. al-Musayyab is mentioned in place of Sa'id b. al-Jubayr; see al-Bukhari, Sahih (kitab al-hayd), 6.4, 1: 63.

(55.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 264; Abu 'Ubayd, 246; al-Mustaghfiri, 1: 221.

(56.) Take, for instance, how 'Ata', on the authority of Wakl' via Ayman b. Nabil, is said to have permitted a menstruant to carry the codex by a strap, a point that appears to go against his opinion as detailed by Ibn Jurayj: Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 142; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 633.

(57.) Malik b. Anas, Muwatta' (kitab al-jihad), 21.2, [section]968, 157; 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-jihad), 5: 145; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-radd 'ala Abi Hanifa), 7: 277; al-Bukhari. Sahih (kitab al-jihad), 15.129, [section]3026, 2: 579-80; Muslim, Sahib (kitab al-imara), 23.24, [section][section]4946-48, 2: 822; Abu Dawud, Sunan (kitab al-jihad), in Mawsu'at al-hadith al-sharif, 15.88, [section]2612, 2: 445: Ibn Maja, Sunan (kitab al-jihad), in Mawsu'at al-hadith al-sharif 25.45, [section][section]2989-90, 421; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, [section][section]4507, 4525, 4576, 5170, 5293, 5465, 6124, 8:99, 121, 183, 9: 157, 218, 335, 10: 274-75). Also see Abu 'Ubayd, 57; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 621-31. See al-Sarakhsi's (d. ca. 490/1096) interpretation of this command as restricted to the time of the Prophet: al-Mabsut, ed. Abu 'Abd Allah al-Shafi'i (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya. 2001), 10: 34, cf. 13: 156.

(58.) See A. J. Wensinck, Concordance et indices de la tradition musulman (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1962), s.v. mushaf.

(59.) Cf. [EI.sup.2], s.v. Mushaf; EQ, s.v. Mushaf.

(60.) Thus, of note is the variant recorded by Ahmad b. Hanbal substituting the mushaf for the Quran (yanha an yusafara bi-l-mushaf ...), related as indirect speech: Musnad, [section]5465, 9: 335; similarly Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 623, 631.

(61.) See Maghen, "Close Encounters," 364ff.

(62.) Abu 'Ubayd, 102-3.

(63.) Reinhart. "Impurity/No Danger," 14ff.

(64.) Cf. William Graham, Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987), 5-6.

(65.) See Michael Cook, "Magian Cheese: An Archaic Problem in Islamic Law," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 47.3 (1984): 451.

(66.) See Katz, Body of Text, 157-64.

(67.) Abu 'Ubayd, 102, 245; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-buyu'), 4: 294. On Ibn Abi Layla, see Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 6: 146-52, 166-68; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 4: 558-59, 121-23. For further references to Christian copyists, see Kister, "La yamassuhu," 330-31.

(68.) Cook, "Magian Cheese," passim, apud Katz, Body of Text, 101-2.

(69.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 264, al-Mustaghfiri, 1:218.

(70.) G. H. A. Juynboll, Muslim Tradition: Studies in Chronology, Provenance, and Authorship of Early Hadith (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1983), 42; [EI.sup.2], s.v. Mudjahid b. Djabr.

(71.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-taharat), 1: 106-7; both 'Abd al-Razzaq and Ibn Abi Shayba discuss the permissibility of bringing signet rings, inscribed, evidently for talismanic purposes, with Quranic material, into the privy: (kitab al-hayd), 1: 266-68, and (kitab al-taharat), 1: 106, respectively. Cf. al-Shaybani, Athar, ed. al-Wafa' al-Afghani, repr. (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1992), 1: 54-46.

(72.) Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 6: 279-91; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 1: 168-69; [EI.sup.2], s.v. al-Nakha'i.

(73.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 264-65; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 640-42.

(74.) A position held by others: Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-taharat), 1: 107.

(75.) J. Walker, A Catalogue of the Muhammadan Coins in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1941), 1: 25-26.

(76.) Philip Grierson. "The Monetary Reforms of 'Abd al-Malik: Their Metrological Basis and Their Financial Repercussions," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 3.3 (1960): 241-64.

(77.) al-Baladhuri, Futuh al-buldan, 287; al-Tabari. Ta'rikh al-rusul, ser. 2: 939-40; Ahmad b. 'Ali al-Maqrizi (d. 845/1442), Shudhur al-'uqud fi dhikr al-nuqud, ed. Muhammad al-Sayyid 'Ali, 5th ed. (Najaf: al-Maktaba al-Haydariyya, 1967), 11-16; also see Michael G. Morony, Iraq After the Muslim Conquest (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1984), 47-48.

(78.) Walker, A Catalogue of the Muhammadan Coins, 2: lvii, and the following tables, for specimens. The inscriptions lack the command qul of the original verse.

(79.) al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam al-sultaniyya, ed. Khalid 'Abd al-Latif (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-'Arabi, 1990), 274; Grierson, "The Monetary Reforms of 'Abd al-Malik," loc. cit.

(80.) Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 642-43; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-taharat), 1: 107; 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 264: al-Maqrizi, Shudhur al-'uqud. 15.

(81.) Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 643.

(82.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 264; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-taharat), 1: 106-7; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 642. On Qatada b. Di'ama al-Sadusi, see Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 7: 171-73; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 5: 326-31.

(83.) See, for example, the discussion of this issue by al-Namari, al-Istidhkar, 5: 21-23; al-Kasani (d. 587/1189), Bada'i' al-sana'i' fi tartib al-shara'i', ed. Ahmad Mukhtar 'Uthman (Cairo: Zakariya 'Ali Yusuf, n.d.), 1: 152; al-Nawawi, al-Majmu' sharh al-Muhadhdhab, ed. Muhammad Najib al-Muti'i (Riyadh: Dar 'Alam, 2006), 2: 58-59; al-Tusi (d. 460/1066-67), al-Istibsar fima ikhtalafa min al-akhbar, 3rd ed., ed. Hasan al-Musawi al-Kharsan (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, 1390/1970-71), 1: 113. According to al-Maqrizi, Malik b. Anas is said to have seen no problem with the use of coins imprinted with Quranic material, explicitly positioning the issue as an archaic matter: Shudhur al-'uqud, 15.

(84.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-buyu'), 8: 88-90; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-buyu'), 4: 292-94 (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 6: 149; cf. Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 547-49, 601-17; al-Mustaghfiri, 1: 226-34; al-Nawawi, 117; al-Suyuti, 4: 163-64.

(85.) Malik, al-Muwatta' (kitab al-buyu'), 31.16. [section]1329, 235-36 (kitab al-musaqa), 33.1, [section]1392, 269-70; al-Shafi'i, Kitab al-Umm (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1980), 2: 45ff., 4: 225, 305. On Hanafi and Shafi'i opinions concerning the theft of Quranic codices and its punishment as it relates to property law, see al-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, 10: 180-81.

(86.) Note the divergence of Hanbali positions on the matter of selling the mushaf. Although purchasing a Quranic codex does not seem to have been contentious generally, there are contradictory opinions about its sale; see Ishaq b. Mansur al-Kawsaj (d. 251/865-66), Masa'il Imam Ahmad, ed. Salih b. Muhammad al-Mazid (Cairo: Matba'at al-Madani, 1994), [section]42, 204, and editorial note, 421; compare with Salih b. Ahmad (266/879-80), Masa'il Imam Ahmad, ed. Fadl al-Rahman Din Muhammad (Delhi: al-Dar al-'Ilmiyya, 1988), [section]1081, 2: 402, and editorial note; 'Abd Allah b. Ahmad (d. 290/903), Masa'il Imam Ahmad, ed. Zuhayr al-Shawish (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1981), 284; and Abu Dawud al-Sijistani, Masa'il Imam Ahmad, ed. Muhammad Rashid Rida, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Muhammad Amin Ramj, n.d., reprint of Cairo ed., 1353/1934-35), 191. Also see Ibn Qudama (d. 620/1223), al-Mughni, ed. 'Abd al-Salam Muhammad 'Ali Shahin, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 2004), 4: 187-88. For further contextualization, see Christopher Melchert, "Ahmad b. Hanbal and the Quran," Journal of Quranic Studies, 6.2 (2004): 23-24; Ibn Abi Dawud relates an account that situates the origin of the sale of Quranic codices during the reign of Mu'awiya, a statement that, given the context, seems aimed at casting a negative light on the practice: 2: 607-8.

(87.) Michael Cook, "The Opponents of the Writing of Tradition in Early Islam," Arabica 44.4 (1997): 498ff.; cf. Gregor Schoeler, "Mundliche Thora und Hadit: Uberlieferung, Schreibverbot, Redaktion," Der Islam 66 (1989): 214-51.

(88.) Afsaruddin, "The Excellences of the Quran," 20ff.

(89.) Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi, Kitab al-Jarh wa-l-ta'dil (Beirut: Dar Ihya' l-Turath al-'Arabi, 1952-53), 1:31; al-Ramhurmuzi, al-Muhaddith al-fadil, 3rd ed., ed. Muhammad 'Ajjaj al-Khatib (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1984), [section]101, 211; al-Raghib al-Isbahani, Muhadarat al-udaba' (Beirut: Dar Maktabat al-Hayat, 1961), 1: 106; al-Safadi, Tashih al-tashif wa-tahrir al-tahrif, ed. al-Sayyid al-Sharqawi (Cairo: Maktabat al-Khanji, 1987). 9; GdQ, 3: 145-46; M. J. Kister, "... La taqra'u l-qurana 'ala l-mushafiyyin wa-la tahmilu l-'ilma 'ani l-sahafiyyin ... Some Notes on the Transmission of" Hadith," JSAI 22 (1998): 133. See Gregor Schoeler, "Schreiben und Veroffentlichen. Zu Verwendung und Funktion der Schrift in den ersten islamischen Jahrhumnderten," Der Islam 69 (1992): 30, cf. 37; an outline of his thesis in regard to the oral and textual transmissions of the Quran is made in idem, "Writing and Publishing on the Use and Function of Writing in the First Centuries of Islam," Arabica 44 (1997): 423-35; and idem, Ecrire et transmettre dans les debuts de I'islam (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2002), 31-41.

(90.) See al-Khatib al-Baghdadi. Taqyid al-'ilm, ed. Yusuf 'Ishsh (Damascus: Institut Francais de Damas, 1949), 27ff., 47, 57. On not using quires (kararis) for writing hadith, which are similar to the arguments used for Quranic codices, see Ahmad b. Hanbal, Kitab 'Ilal wa-ma'rifat al-rijal, ed. Wasi Allah 'Abbas (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1988), [section]256, 1: 217; Ibn Abi Dawud, 504-5; Kister, "La taqra'u l-qurana," loc. cit.; Cook, "The Opponents of the Writing of Tradition," 491-92; cf. the early aversion to writing the Quran on kararis, as related by Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 504.

(91.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-salat), 2: 278; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 125; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 652ff. On Sa'id b. al-Musayyab, see Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 5: 89-109; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 2: 689-92; cf Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Athar, ed. Abu l-Wafa (Hyderabad: Lajnat Ihya' al-Ma'arif al-Nu'maniyya, 1355/1936-37), 34.

(92.) 'Abd al-Razzaq reports on the authority of Qatada, followed by Nawf al-Bikali, son of the wife of Ka'b al-Ahbar, how the Jews would refuse to recite the Torah by heart, which stands in contradistinction to the oral recitation by Muslims: Tafsir al-Quran, 2: 236-38, apud Kister, "La taqra'u l-qurana," 152. See Abu Hanifa's opinion against reciting directly from the mushaf for the performance of ritual prayer, along with how both Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani distance themselves from this position: al-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, 1: 360-61.

(93.) Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 651.

(94.) Ibid., 2: 655: Ibn Abi Shayba, 2: 125.

(95.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-salat), 2: 278-79; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 124, cf. 2: 241-42; idem (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 6: 143-44; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 656-61. On later opinions concerning the value of reciting directly from the mushaf, sec al-Razi, 144-46; al-Nawawi, 59-60; al-Zarkashi, Burhan fi 'ulum al-Quran, ed. Muhammad Abu 1-Fadl Ibrahim (Beirut: al-Maktaba al-'Asriyya), 1: 313-15; al-Suyuti, 1: 304-5.

(96.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 1: 398; cf. Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 618-21.

(97.) Abu 'Amr al-Dani (d. 444/1053), al-Muhkam fi nuqat al-masahif, 2nd ed., ed. 'Izzat Hasan (Beirut; Dar al-Fikr, 1997), 3ff.; Ibn 'Atiyya, Muqaddimat al-jami' al-muharrar, in Two Muqaddimas to the Quranic Sciences, ed. Arthur Jeffery (Misr: Maktabat al-Khanji, 1954), 276, apud Schoeler, "Schreiben und Veroffentlichen," 31.

(98.) See Christopher Melchert, "Ibn Mujahid and the Establishment of Seven Quranic Readings," Studia Islamica 91 (2000): 5-22.

(99.) Ibn Abi Dawud, 1: 283ff.; Ibn al-Nadim, al-Fihrist, 41-43; al-Ya'qubi (d. ca. 292/905), al-Ta'rikh, ed. 'Abd al-Amir Muhanna (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-A'lami li-l-Matbu'at, 1993), 1: 352-54, 362-63; al-Suyuti, 1: 181-83; cf. GdQ, 2: 30-47.

(100.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-siyam), 3: 249; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 6: 150; Abu 'Ubayd, 239-40; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 524-25; al-Mustaghfiri, 1: 235; al-Dani, 10-11. Ibn Durays records Ibn Sirin in favor of a vocalized codex, with Ibrahim strongly opposed, 41-42; for more voices in favor, see Ibn Wahb, Jami', 3: 41.

(101.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-siyam), 4: 249; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 240-41; idem (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 6: 149-50; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 514-28; al-Mustaghfiri, 1: 236-38. On the use and evolution of divisions between suras and markers of verses, see Adolf Grohmann, "The Problem of Dating Early Qurans," Der Islam 33.3 (1958): 228ff.

(102.) Melchert, "Ibn Mujahid," 13-14. When relating the accounts of how Ibn Mas'ud and Ibrahim al-Nakha'i say jarridu l-Quran, Abu 'Ubayd puzzles over how this could mean strip the Quran of all additional markers, suggesting that they mean that one should only read from the Quran and not from the books of the ahl al-kitab: Gharib al-hadith (Hyderabad: Matba'at Majlis Da'irat al-Ma'arif al-'Uthmaniyya, 1964-67), 4: 46-49; cf. al-Zarkashi, 1: 324-25; al-Suyuti, 4: 162.

(103.) Alan Jones, "The Word Made Visible, Arabic Script and the Committing of the Quran to Writing," in Texts, Documents, and Artefacts: Islamic Studies in Honour of D. S. Richards, ed. C. F. Robinson (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 4; Fred Leemhuis, "From Palm Leaves to the Internet," in The Cambridge Companion to the Quran, ed. Jane McAuliffe (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006): 146; Donner, "The Quran in Recent Scholarship," 41.

(104.) Schoeler, "Schreiben und Veroffentlichen," 30.

(105.) Cf. E. Beck, "Arabiyya, Sunna und 'Amma in der Koranlesung des zweiten Jahrhunderts," Orientalia 15 (1946): 208, apud Schoeler, "Schreiben und Veroffentlichen," 26.

(106.) Cf. al-Dani, al-Muhkam, 2ff.; al-Safadi, Tashih al-tashif, 13-14.

(107.) See Gerd Puin, "Methods of Research on Quranic Manuscripts: A Few Ideas," Masahif San'a' (Kuwait: Kuwait National Museum. 1985), 14-15, and accompanying figures, particularly IN:00-25, IN:00-27, IN:00-29; see the plates in GdQ. 3: t. 1-8; Yasin Dutton. "An Early Mushaf According to the Reading of Ibn 'Amir," Journal of Quranic Studies 3.1 (2001): 71-89.

(108.) al-Dani, op. cit.; GdQ, 3: 257-69. Dots were added to Quranic codices to highlight variant readings (qira'at), see Yasin Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots, Yellow Dots and Blue: Some Reflections on the Vocalisation of Early Quranic Manuscripts," Journal of Quranic Studies 1.1 (1999): 115-40:2.1 (2000): 1-24.

(109.) Al-Dani describes how "ahl al-Madina" took the process of vocalization from "ahl al-Basra," 6-8. He gives various accounts of those who first pointed Quranic codices, focusing on Abu 1-Aswad al-Du'ali (d. 69/688-89), Nasr b. 'Asm al-Laythi (d. 89/707), and Yahya b. Ya'mur (d. 129/746), all associated with Basra, 3-7; cf. Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 521; Ibn 'Atiyya, Muqaddimat, 276. According to Ibn Faris (d. 395/1004), Abu 1-Aswad al-Du'ali merely revitalized an older tradition of vocalizing the Arabic script, al-Sahibi fi fiqh al-lugha al-'arabiyya, ed. Ahmad Saqr (Cairo: Matba'at 'Isa l-Babi l-Halabi, 1977), 13; cf. al-Zarkashi, 1: 178; al-Suyuti, 4: 160-61. See GdQ, 3: 261-64; Regis Blachere, Introduction au coran, 2nd ed. (Paris: Besson, 1959), 78ff.

(110.) See Grohmann, "The Problem of Dating Early Qurans," loc. cit.; Puin, "Methods of Research on Quranic Manuscripts," loc. cit.

(111.) See Estelle Whelan, "Forgotten Witness: Evidence for the Early Codification of the Quran," JAOS 118.1 (1998): 1-14.

(112.) Oleg Grabar, The Dome of the Rock (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 2006), 90ff., figs. 27-30, 33, 39.

(113.) See Yusuf Ragib, "L'ecriture des papyrus arabes aux premiers siecles de I'Islam," Les premieres ecritures islamiques--Revue du monde musulman et de la mediterranee 58 (1991): 14-29, apud Efim Rezvan, "The Quran and Its World. VI. Emergence of the Canon, the Struggle for Uniformity," Manuscripta orientalia 4 (1998): 16. As to whether such early diacritical marks are contemporaneous to the fragments themselves, see Grohmann, "The Problem of Dating Early Qurans," 226-27; also, idem, From the World of Arabic Papyri (Cairo: al-Maaref Press, 1952), 82-87, plate XIa; Alan Jones, "The Dotting of a Script and the Dating of an Era: The Strange Neglect of PERF 558," Islamic Culture 72.4 (1998): 95-103.

(114.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-siyam), 4: 250; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 6: 149; Abu 'Ubayd, 242; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 545; Ibn Durays, 43; al-Mustaghfiri, 1: 239; al-Suyuti, 4: .159. This statement is meant to echo Q 2:121 (yatlunahu haqqa tilawatihi).

(115.) Blachere describes the qurra' as posing the greatest obstacle to the unification of the vulgate: Introduction, 106; see also Rezvan, "The Quran and Its World," 16. For an overview of the debates concerning the identity of the qurra', see Mustafa Shah, "The Quest for the Origins of the Qurra' in the Classical Islamic Tradition," Journal of Quranic Studies 7.2 (2005): 1-35. See also Martin Hinds, "Kufan Political Alignments and Their Background in the Mid-Seventh Century AD," International Journal of Middle East Studies 2.4 (1971): 346-67.

(116.) Wansbrough, The Sectarian Milieu, 69. A parallel can be made between the cultic function of the qurra' and the role played by the pre-Islamic kuhhan in the context of the battlefield, see Toufic Fahd, La divination arabe (Paris: Sindbad, 1987), 119-20. Regis Blachere suggests that by the reign of 'Ali b. Abi Talib the term qari' had taken on an ascetic connotation, signifying a vir religiosus (zahid): Introduction au coran, 103ff. For the political role played by the qurra' in Basra and Kufa, supporting the insurrection against the Umayyad general al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf, see Redwan Sayed, Die Revolte des Ibn al-As'at und die Koranleser (Freiburg: Schwarz, 1977), 277ff., 348ff.

(117.) See al-Tabari, Ta'rikh al-rusul, ser. 1: 2952, apud Schoeler, "Schreiben und Veroffentlichen," 25. For further contextualization, see Hawting, "The Significance of the Slogan," 463; and Jeffery, Materials for the History, 8.

(118.) Ibn Abi Dawud, 1: 179-92, with further references given by the editor: a)-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, 2: 66-67.

(119.) On his opinion of touching the mushaf, see Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-salat), 2: 142.

(120.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 262.

(121.) Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 6: 279-80: on Ibrahim's "retraction" of this position, see Cook, "The Opponents of Writing," 455-58.

(122.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (fada'il al-Qur'an), 3: 222; Abu 'Ubayd, 213-14. On the issue of order, Abu 'Ubayd also recounts a statement made by Ibn Mas'ud permitting opening a recitation of one sura and then moving on to another without finishing the first, 96-97, quoted in al-Suyuti. 1: 308-9. 'Abd al-Razzaq relates a parallel exchange between the famed qari' Ubayy b. Ka'b and the Prophet concerning the use of variant readings. Here the Prophet uses similar language as Ibn Mas'ud, permitting such substitutions as long as not substituting a verse of compassion (rahma) for a verse of punishment ('adhab). Thus it is possible to recite "knowing, hearing" (sami' 'alim) instead of "powerful, wise" ('aziz hakim). Since, as the Prophet concludes. God is indeed "knowing, hearing," there is no distortion in the meaning: (kitab al-jami'), 10: 216. The movement from a Companion to the Prophet in this saying suggests an attempt at legitimizing variant readings; cf. Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab fada'il al-Qur'an), 6: 138; Abu Dawud, Sunan (kitab al-witr), 8.22, [section]1479, 1: 252; al-Tabari, Jami' al-bayan 'an ta'wil ay al-Quran, ed. al-'Attar (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1995), 1: 34, 38. See also Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, [section][section]8390, 9678, 14: 120, 15: 424 and the accompanying editorial notes, 14: 120-21, cf. [section]9678. Al-Tahawi comments on this hadith and others similar to it: Sharh Mushkil al-athar (bab ... anzala 1-qur'ana 'ala sab'ati ahurfin), ed. Muhammad 'Abd al-Salam Shahin (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub aJ-'Jlmiyya, 1995), [section][section]3374, 3386, 3391, 4: 127, 131-32; al-Zarkashi situates this prophetic hadith in a debate between Ubayy and Ibn Mas'ud over proper recitation: 1: 158; also al-Suyuti, 1: 134: cf. Burton, The Collection of the Qur'an, 148-52.

(123.) He likened it to mixing "the good with the good" (al-tayyib bi-l-tayyib), a practice the Prophet is said to have discouraged: 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-salat), 2: 326-27; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab fada'il al-Qur'an), 6: 150-51; Abu 'Ubayd, 95-96; al-Zarkashi, 1: 318; al-Suyuti, 1: 308-9. For the topic of reading in reverse order (mankus), see Abu 'Ubayd, Gharib al-hadith, 4: 103-5; idem, Fada'il al-Quran, 56; 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-siyam), 4: 250; al-Mustaghfiri, 1: 208.

(124.) 'Abd al-Razzaq follows Ibn Mas'ud's statement with an account also related through Ibrahim of a man who was chided by Abu l-Darda' (d. ca. 32/652) for substituting "... the food of the sinful" (ta'am al-athim) (Q 44:44) with "the food of the orphan" (ta'am al-yatim), suggesting an example of the kind of switching that would not be appropriate: (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 3: 222. Ibn Wahb ascribes this account to Ibn Mas'ud, not Abu l-Darda': Jami', 3: 54-55; likewise, Abu 'Ubayd, 183; quoted in al-Zarkashi, 1: 158-59, and in al-Suyuti, 1: 135. Al-Raghib al-Isbahani ascribes this account to Ibn 'Abbas, stating that he permitted reciting the meaning of the Quran in lieu of the actual words: Muhadarat, 4: 434. On riwaya bi-l-ma'na and riwaya bi-l-lafz in relation to the oral transmission of the Qur'an, see Schoeler, "Schreiben und Veroffentlichen," 25-26; cf. Melchert, "Ibn Mujahid," 17-18.

(125.) Gerd Puin, "Observations on Early Quran Manuscripts in San'a'," in The Quran as Text, ed. Stefan Wild (Leiden: Brill, 1995): 107-11, apud Rezvan, "The Quran and Its World," 23.

(126.) See Jacob Neusner, The Halakhah: An Encyclopaedia of the Law of Judaism (Leiden: Brill. 2000), 5: 426-27.

(127.) See Thomas Coburn, "'Scripture' in India: Towards a Typology of the Word in Hindu Life," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 52 (1984): 435-59; C. Mackenzie Brown, "Purana as Scripture: From Sound to Image of the Holy Word in Hindu Tradition," History of Religions 26.1 (1986): 68-86: Graham, Beyond the Written Word, 70-74.

(128.) See Geo Widengren, "Der avestische Kanon," in idem, Die Religionen Irans (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1965), 245-59; H. W. Bailey, Zoroastrian Problems in the Ninth-Century Books (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1943), 149-76; M. Stausberg, "The Invention of a Canon: The Case of Zoroastrianism," in Canonization and Decanonization, ed. A. van der Kooij et al. (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 257-77; EIr, s.v. Avesta.

(129.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-adab), 5: 308; Abu 'Ubayd, 241; Ibn Durays, 41; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 549.

(130.) See Hossein Modarressi, "Early Debates on the Integrity of the Quran," Studia Islamica 77 (1993): 5-39; Burton, The Collection of the Quran, 117ff.

(131.) See Dutton, "Red Dots, Green Dots," passim.

(132.) al-Zarkashi, 1: 194-97; al-Suyuti, 1: 143-48. For the larger cosmographical significance of the divine tablet in salvation history, see Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa-l-nihaya, ed. Ahmad 'Abd al-Wahhab Futayh (Cairo: Dar al-Hadith, 1992), 1: 13-14.

(133.) See Arthur Jeffery, The Quran as Scripture (New York: R. F. Moore Co., 1952). 14-17; Francis Peters, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1990), 2: 72-80; Josef van Ess, Theologie und Gesellschaft im 2. und 3. Jahrhundert Hidschra (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1991-97), 4: 626.

(134.) Graham, Beyond the Written Word, 50-51.

(135.) See Madigan, The Qur'an's Self-image, 53-77.

(136.) GdQ, 1: 33-34; Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary, 233-34; Schoeler, "Schreiben und Veroffentlichen," 20; William Graham, "The Earliest Meaning of 'Quran,'" Die Welt des Islams 23 (1984): 361-77. For quran as "recitation" in traditional Muslim etymologies, along with other explanations, see al-Zarkashi, 1: 194-95; al-Suyuti, 1: 146-47.

(137.) al-Zarkashi, 1: 167ff.; al-Suyuti, 1: 164ff.; al-Nawawi, 111.

(138.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-salat), 2: 319-23; Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 6: 119-20; Abu 'Ubayd, 75-81; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, [section][section]18494, 18516, 18616, 18704, 18709, 30: 451, and accompanying notes, 479, 580, 633, 636; al-Nasa'i, 109-13; al-Razi, 64-65; al-Nawawi, 62-67; al-Darimi, Sunan (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 23.34, 344-47; al-Bukhari, Sahih (kitab fada'il al-Quran), 66.31, 3: 1059; al-Suyuti, 1: 302-3.

(139.) Abu 'Ubayd, 63-66; al-Nasa'i, 128; al-Nawawi, 52-53; al-Bukhari, Sahih (kitab fada'il al-Qur'an), 66.35, 3: 1060; Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Athar, 46; al-Suyuti, 1: 301-2; cf. Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, [section]16312, 26: 238-39.

(140.) Abu 'Ubayd, 46-47; al-Nawawi, 59-60; al-Zarkashi, 1: 313-15; al-Suyuti, 1: 304-5.

(141.) al-Ajjuri (d. 360/970-71), Akhlaq hamalat al-Quran, ed. Fawwaz Ahmad Zarmali (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-'Arabi, 1987), 75; al-Nawawi, 114.

(142.) Abu 'Ubayd, 241; Ibn Abi Dawud, 2: 665-66. Al-Zarkashi describes the opinions of various legal scholars concerning the proper disposal of the mushaf, 1: 323; on kissing, 1: 324; similarly, al-Suyuti on kissing, perfuming, and proper disposal, 4: 164-65; for a later juridical view on the issue of how to dispose of an old mushaf, see J. Sadan, "Genizah and Genizah-Like Practices in Islamic and Jewish Traditions: Customs Concerning the Disposal of Worn-Out Sacred Books in the Middle Ages, According to an Ottoman Source," Bibliotheca Orientalis 43 (1986): 36-58.

(143.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-tibb), 5: 41-49; al-Mustaghfiri, 1:31 1-13; al-Bukhari, Sahih (kitab al-tibb), 72.32-42, 3: 1187-90; Muslim, Sahih (kitab al-salam), 40.16, 19-23, 2: 948-53; Abu Dawud, Sunan (kitab al-tibb), 29.18-19; 2: 654-57; Ibn Maja, Sunan (kitab al-tibb), 32.33-35, 509-10.

(144.) Abu 'Ubayd, 229-33; al-Mustaghfiri, 1:311-13; al-Nawawi, 103-4.

(145.) Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, al-Tibb al-nabawi, ed. 'Adil Azharl et al. (Beirut: Dar al-Fath, 1957), 136-47.

(146.) Fahd, La divination, 180ff.; EQ, s.v. Amulets; [EI.sup.2], s.v. Wakf.

(147.) Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, al-Tibb al-nabawi, 277-78.

(148.) Ibid.

(149.) al-Nawawi, 103.

(150.) al-Nawawi, 103, 112; idem, al-Majmu' 2: 60, 138; cf. al-Subki, Tabaqat al-shafi'iyya al-kubra, ed. Mustafa 'Abd al-Qadir (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1999), 3: 30-36, 4: 46-50.

(151.) Fahd, La divination, 241-43; al-Suyuti, 4: 137-44.

(152.) Ibn al-Khashshab, al-Durr al-nazim fi fada'il al-Quran al-'azim, Mawlana Azad Library, Aligarh, India, Habib Ganj, MS 12/214, fols. 4a-b. See Hajji Khalifa, 1: 736; GAS, 1: 414; C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey (London: Luzac and Co., 1927), 1.1: 53. See the abridgement of this work ascribed to 'Abd Allah b. As'ad al-Yafi'i (d. 768/1367), al-Durr al-nazim fi khawass al-Qur'an al-'azim, ed. Muhsin 'Aqil (Beirut: Dar al-Rasul al-Akram, 1999), 11; cf. al-Suyuti, 4: 137; GAS, 2: 226-28. Similar recipes are found throughout al-Buni (d. 622/1225), Shams al-ma'arif al-kubra (Beirut: al-Maktaba al-Thaqafiyya, n.d.), 218, and passim.

(153.) Ibn Maja, Sunan (kitab al-tibb), 32.28, [section]3230, 408. On the Qur'an as medicine, see Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, al-Tibb al-nabawi, 272-73.

(154.) al-Darimi, Sunan (kitab fada'il al-Qur'an), 23.1, [section]3302. 1: 302; al-Tirmidhi, Sunan (kitab fada'il al-Qur'an), 41.18, [section]3161, 2: 734; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, [section]1947, 3: 417.

(155.) See EQ, s.v. Popular and Talismanic Uses of the Quran.

(156.) al-Zarkashi, 1: 322-23; al-Suyuti, 1: 144.

(157.) On Islamic uses of amulets and their relationship to other traditions, see E. A. Wallis Budge, Amulets and Superstitions (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1930), 33-81; on block print amulets of Quranic material, see Karl Schaefer, Enigmatic Charms: Medieval Arabic Block Printed Amulets in American and European Libraries and Museums (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 7-20; also Mark Muehlhaeusler, "Eight Arabic Block Prints from the Collection of Aziz S. Atiya," Arabica 55 (2008): 528-82.

(158.) Edwin M. Yamauchi, "Aramaic Magic Bowls," JAOS 85 (1965): 511-23; Joseph Naveh and Shaul Shaked, Amulets and Magic Bowls: Aramaic Incantations of Late Antiquity (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1987), 13-38.

(159.) H. Henry Spoer, "Arabic Magic Medicinal Bowls," JAOS 55 (1935): 237-56; idem, "Arabic Magic Bowls II," JAOS 58 (1938): 366-83.

(160.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-tibb), 5: 35; Abu 'Ubayd, 231; for a similar use of this verse, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, al-Tibb al-nabawi, 276; cf. Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabaqat, 6: 328; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 6: 386-87; Ibn Wahb, Jami' 3: 38.

(161.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-tibb), 5: 42-43; cf. Ibn 'Abd Rabbihi, al-'Iqd al-farid, ed. Barakat Yusuf Habbur (Beirut: Dar al-Aqram, 1999), 6: 265-66. Al-Mustaghfiri records a prophetic hadith of dubious origin that explicitly permits the deployment of Qur'anic amulets (ta'widh), 1: 255.

(162.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-tibb), 5: 39; Abu 'Ubayd, 233; cf. al-Raghib al-Isbahani, Muhadarat, 4: 437.

(163.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-tibb), 5: 34-35; Abu 'Ubayd, 231; cf. al-Raghib al-Isbahani, Muhadarat, loc. cit.

(164.) Ibn Abi Shayba (kitab al-tibb), 5: 39.

(165.) Abu 'Ubayd, 231.

(166.) The state governing agency for issuing legal opinions (fatawa) in Saudi Arabia (al-Lajna al-Da'ima li-l-Buhuth al-'Ilmiyya wa-l-Ifta') has ruled on a variety of issues concerning the permissibility of incantations (ruqan) and various talismanic uses of the Quran, including writing verses on paper and dissolving them in water to be ingested, an activity it has determined to be licit and valid: al-Fatawa l-dhahabiyya fi l-ruqa l-shar'iyya, ed. Khalid al-Juraysi (Riyadh: Mu'assasat al-Juraysi, 1996), 65-66. On West African traditions of Quranic amulets and dissolving Quranic verses for ingestion, see A. Osman El-Tom, "Drinking the Koran: The Meaning of Koranic Verses in Berti Erasure Africa," Journal of the International African Institute 55 (1985): 414-31; for examples of such amulets, idem, "Berti Quranic Amulets," Journal of Religion in Africa 17 (1987): 224-44.

(167.) Ibrahim disliked the idea of children using such amulets, as they might enter into the privy with them: Ibn Abi Shayba, 5: 35; Abu 'Ubayd. 234.

(168.) 'Abd al-Razzaq (kitab al-hayd), 1: 266; cf. al-Mustaghfari, 1: 224. Cf. the discussion between Ibn Jurayj and 'Ata' referenced above, 451, at n. 50.

(169.) On the theological issues surrounding the materiality of the Quran as they develop in the following centuries, see my article, "Fire Cannot Harm It: Mediation, Temptation, and the Charismatic Power of the Quran," Journal of Qur'anic Studies 10 (2008): 50-72.


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Author:Zadeh, Travis
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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