A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography related to Vocalization and Diacritics - Dr Shehzad Saleem

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography related to Vocalization and Diacritics

 

I. Introduction

Muslim sources are quite unanimous in stating the fact that the text of the earliest masāhif was in bare consonantal form1 – devoid of diacritics (i‘jām) to distinguish homographs and bereft of vowels markings (tashkīl or i‘rāb) to discern declensions. The script which needed a total of twenty eight constants from the available fifteen graphemes, and which was thus without matres lectionis2 posed difficulty for non-Arabs. In order to avoid misreading of these masāhif, vocalization and diacritics3 were gradually introduced in the script. This process began about three decades after the demise of Muhammad (sws) and was completed in about the next one hundred years.

In this article, an attempt will first be made in the light of primary source books to trace these major phases of the development of Qur’ānic orthography specifically related to vocalization and diacritics. Later this account will be critically evaluated. The discussion will end on a conclusion.

 

II. The Traditional Accounts

In the light of the early sources, the phases of development of Qur’ānic orthography specifically related to vocalization and diacritics can be chronologically divided into the following three:

 

A. The First Vocalization Phase

B. The Diacritics Phase

C. The Second Vocalization Phase

 

Details follow.

 

A. The First Vocalization Phase

Almost all Muslim authorities are of the opinion that the first person to introduce vocalization on the masāhif was a Basran poet and literary figure called Abū al-Aswad Zālim ibn ‘Umar al-Dū’alī (d. 69 AH). He embraced faith when the Prophet (sws) was alive but was never able to see him.4 He was a close companion of ‘Alī (rta) from whom he has reported to have learnt the basic rules of Arabic grammar and then formally documented them.5 Majority of the sources mention that it was at the behest of Ziyād ibn Abīh (d. 53 AH), the Basran governor of the Umayyad caliph Mu‘āwiyah ibn Abū Sufyān (d. 60 AH) that Abū al-Aswad undertook this task,6 while a very minority opinion is that he did it at the behest of the Umayyad caliph ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān (d. 86 AH).7

Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaydullāh ibn ‘Amr al-‘Utbī (d. 228 AH) has recorded in detail this event of first vocalization:

 

حدثني أَبي قال : حدثنا أَبو عكرمة قال : قال الْعُتْبي : كتب مُعاوية إلى زياد يَطلبُ عبيد الله ابنه ، فلما قدِم عليه كلّمه فوجَده يلحَن فرده إلي زياد ، وكتب إليه كتاباً بلومه فيه ، ويقول : "أمثلُ عُبَيْد الله يُضَيع".فبَعث زياد إِلى أَبي الأسود فقال له : يا أَبا الأَسود ، إِن هذا الحمراء قد كثُرتْ وأفسدَت من أَلسُن الْعرب فلو وضعتَ شيئاً يَصلِح به الناس كلا مهم ويُعربون به كتاب الله. فأَبى ذلك أَبو الأَسود وكره إجابة زياد إلي ماسأَل. فوجه زياد رجلاً وقال له : اقعُد في طريق أَبي الأَسود فإِذا ربك فاقرأ شيئاً من القرآن وتعمد اللحن فيه ففعل ذلك ، فلما ربه أبو الأسود رفع الرجل صوته يقرا : (أَن اللهَ بَرِي مِّن المشركين و رَسوله) فاستعظم 10 / أ ذلك أَبو الأَسود وقال : عزَّ وجه الله أَن يَبرا من رسولِه ، ثم رجع من فوره إلى زياد فقال له : يا هذا قد أَجبْتُك إلي ما سأَلتَ ، ورأَيت أَن أَبدأَ باعراب الْقرآن فابعَثْ إِليّ بثلاثين رجلاً. فأَحضَرَهم زياد فاختار منهم أَبو الأَسود عشرة ثم لم يزل يختارُهم حتى اختار منهم رجلا من عبد القَيْس فقال : خُذ الْمُصحف وصِبْغاً يخالفُ لون المِداد ، فإِذا فتحتُ شفتيّ فانقُط واحدة فوق الحرف ، وإذا ضممتُها فاجعل النُّقطة إِلى جانب الحرف ، وإذا كسرتُها فاجعل النُقطة في أَسفله ، فإِن أَتبعْتُ شيئاً من هذه الحركات غنَّة فانقط نقطتين . فابتدأَ بالمصحف حتى أَتي على آخره ثم وضع المختصر المنسوب إليه بعد ذلك.

‘Utbī stated: “[Once] Mu‘āwiyah (rta) wrote a letter to his [Basran governor] Ziyād [ibn Abīh] to call over his son ‘Ubaydullāh ibn Ziyād to him. When the latter came over to him, he spoke to him and detected many mistakes in his language; Mu‘āwiyah (rta) sent him back to his father. He then wrote a letter to Ziyād censuring him in it and said: ‘[Those] like ‘Ubaydullāh should be done away with.’ Ziyād then wrote to Abū al-Aswad and said to him: ‘These non-Arabs have increased a lot and have spoiled the language of the Arabs; I wish you could do something through which people correct their language and correctly read the Book of God.’ However, Abū al-Aswad refused to do so and showed his dislike in responding to Ziyād’s request. So Ziyād went to a person and asked him: ‘Sit beside Abū al-Aswad’s way and read something from the Qur’ān and intentionally make a mistake in reading it.’ When Abū al-Aswad passed by that way, the person loudly read the following Qur’ānic verse: أَنَّ اللّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولِهِ.8 When Abū al-Aswad heard this, he got very alarmed and said: ‘God’s countenance is more powerful than to show acquittal to His Messenger.’ He then immediately came to Ziyād and said: ‘I will do what you asked for and I will vocalize the Qur’ān (put i‘rāb on it); so send over thirty people.’ Ziyād duly provided him with these. From these thirty, Abū al-Aswad selected ten and continued [to test them] until from these ten, he selected a single individual from the tribe of ‘Abd al-Qays.9He asked this person: ‘Take a mushaf and some ink which should be of a different colour than the colour of the script. When I open my lips, write a dot on top of the letter; when I close both lips, write a dot adjacent to that letter; when I lower my lips write a dot below that letter; If I follow up these signs with [the sound of] nunation (ghunnah), write two dots [accordingly].’ So Abū al-Aswad began with this task with a mushaf until he came to the end. Then he wrote a concise book ascribed to him [on this subject].”10

 

Mūsā Shāhīn Lāshīn attributes this whole incident to around 48 AH while referring to an unspecified source.11 Some other secondary sources mention that whenever this scribe would complete one page, Abū al-Aswad would check it.12 Jurjī Zaydān has mentioned seeing a Kufic mushaf dotted according to this scheme of Abū al-Aswad written on thin parchment at the Dār al-kutub al-misriyyah which was actually found at a mosque in Cairo.13

It is also surmised by some scholars from the description of the endeavour undertaken by Abū al-Aswad that he only vocalized the last letter of words.14 In the opinion of Lāshīn,15 it was ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān who asked his Iraqī governor al-Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf (d. 95 AH) to stop tashīf which was still creeping in and people were making mistakes in reading. Lāshīn says that around 80 AH al-Hajjāj summoned Nasr ibn ‘Asim al-Laythī (d. 89 AH) who then vocalized every letter of a word so as to minimize reading errors.16

Hifnī Nāsif (d. 1337 AH) is of the opinion that the nuqat (dots) of Abū al-Aswad were generally adopted in the masāhif; as far as other books were concerned, they were rarely adopted.17 He goes on to point out some of the innovations made by the followers of Abū al-Aswad in adopting his methodology of nuqat. Some of them adopted a square shape for representing the nuqat and others adopted a hollow circular shape and some others a non-hollow circular shape. More orthographic signs were added by his followers to represent sukūn and alif al-wasl.18

In this regard, we also find scholars engaged in a discussion about the origination of these nuqat. Some of them are of the opinion that Abū al-Aswad was not the originator of the nuqat. He only applied this methodology which he learnt from the Syrians who used them in their own language: Syriac.19 Some scholars are of the view that he was the originator of this methodology.20 Some other scholars are of the view that he only revived this methodology which he learnt from the Arabs and which was in vogue in Arabia earlier.21

 

B. The Diacritics Phase

Perhaps the earliest source which mentions anything about the insertion of diacritics to distinguish similar characters in the mushaf is Kitāb al-tanbīh ‘alā hudūth al-tashīf of Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī (d. 360 AH).22 It records the reason for insertion of diacritics: more than forty years passed after the five ‘Uthmānic Qur’āns were written and sent to various parts of the empire till the era of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān arrived. During this time, a lot of tashīf (misreading of script) came into being because the script of many letters (eg. الباء ، التاء ، الثاء) resembled each other and they were not distinguishable from one another. This worried al-Hajjāj and he asked his scribes to make signs which could distinguish similar letters from one another. These scribes inserted one, two or three diacritics above or below the similar letters to make them distinct from one another. Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī (d. 382 AH) while referring to the same details as referred to by Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī adds that as per one opinion, al-Hajjāj summoned Nasr ibn ‘Āsim al-Laythī (d. 89 AH) for this purpose. He writes:

 

وقد رُوی أنّ السبب فی نَقْط المصاحف أن الناس غَبَرُوا يقرءون فی مصاحف عثمانَ رحمةُ الله عليه ، نيِّفا وأربعين سنة ، إلى أيام عبد الملك بن مروان. ثم كثر التصحيف و انتشر بالعراق ، ففزِع الحجَّاجُ إلى كُتاَّبه ، وسألهم أن يضعوا لهذه لحروف المشْتَبِهةِ علامات. فيقال: إنّ نصَر بن عاصم قام بذلك ، فوضع لنَّقط أفرادا وأزواجا. وخالف بين أما كنها بتوقيع بعضها فوق الحروف ، وبعضها نحت الحروف

It has been reporteed that the reason for putting dots on the masāhif was that more than forty years had passed since the people were reading the masāhif of ‘Uthmān (rta) till the time of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān arrived. Misreading [of the masāhif] increased and spread to Irāq. At this al-Hajjāj, worriedly turned to his scribes and asked them to put signs on similar letters. It is said that Nasr ibn ‘Āsim undertook this task. He instituted one and two dots and placed them variously by putting some at the top of the letters and some at the bottom.23

 

Al-Dānī has described the details of these distinguishing marks recorded on letters which resembled one another.24

Scholars are of the opinion that Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar (d. 89 AH) and Muhammad ibn Sīrīn (d. 110 AH) were also summoned by al-Hajjāj for this objective.25 They base their view on the following data:

 

وأما شكل المصحف ونقطه فروي أن عبد الملك بن مروان أمر به وعمله فتجرد لذلك الحجاج بواسط وجد فيه وزاد تحزيبه وأمر وهو والي العراق الحسن ويحيى بن يعمر بذلك

As far as the shakl and nuqat of the masāhif are concerned, it is reported that ‘Abd al-Malik ordered for it and had it done. He specifically deputed al-Hajjāj for this task in [the city of] Wāsit. Al-Hajjāj expended his effort in this task and also added divisions to the mushaf. It was while he was the governor of Iraq that he ordered al-Hasan al-Basrī and Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar to do this.26

 

C. The Second Vocalization Phase

It is surmised by Muslim scholars of Qur’ānic orthography that the nuqat of masāhif (both tashkīl and i‘jām) continued in the way they were formulated till the time of al-Khalīl ibn Ahmad al-Farāhīdī (d. 170 AH). He was a grammarian and a philologist known to have authored the first dictionary of the Arabic language (Kitāb al-‘ayn). He was also the originator of the discipline of prosody.

He introduced a major change in the nuqat of tashkīl. The reasons for this change as pointed out by Sharshāl27 was that before his times, writing down of the masāhifneeded inks of two colours – one for tashkīl and the other for i‘jām. Also this would fill up a page with dots distinguishable with colours only. This caused difficulty both for the readers and the scribes. The situation could only be resolved by changing one of the two types of nuqat; the nuqat of i‘jām had become part of the letters and were also of the same ink as the letters and hence it was not appropriate to change them. So al-Khalīl is said to have changed the nuqat of tashkīl into shapes from which evolved the signs of dammah, kasrah and fathah we know today. Al-Dānī records:

 

وقال أبو الحسن بن كيسان قال محمد بن يزيد الشكل الذي في الكتب من عمل الخليل وهو مأخوذ من صور الحروف فالضمة واو صغيرة الصورة في أعلى الحرف لئلا تلتبس بالواو المكتوبة والكسرة ياء تحت الحرف والفتحة ألف مبطوحة فوق الحرف

Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad records: the shakl found in books is the work of al-Khalīl and is adapted from the depiction of the letters. So the dammah is represented in the form of a small waw above a letter so that it does not get mixed up with [the actual] waw written; and the kasrah is in the form of a yā written below a letter and the fathah is written in the form of alif placed horizontally above a letter.28

 

Al-Dānī further adds that al-Khalīl also originated al-hamz, al-tashdīd, al-rawm and al-ishmām.29

Scholars like Ghānim Qadūrī and Sharshāl30 are of the view that Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī has referred to this endeavour of al-Khalīl as well. After describing the nuqat of al-‘ijām carried out by Nasr ibn ‘Āsim at the behest of al-Hajjāj, al-‘Askarī writes:

 

فَغَبَر الناس بذلك زمانا لا يكتبون إلا منقوطا. فكان مع استعمال النقط أيضا يقع التصحيف ، فأحدثوا الإعْجام ، فكانوا يُتْبِعون النَّقط بالإعجام. فإذا أُغْفِل الاستقصاءُ على الكلمة فلم تُوَفَّ حقوقَها اعترى هذا التصحيفُ ، فالتمسوا حيلةً ، فلم يقْدِروا فيها إلا على الأخذ من أفواهِ الرجال.

People stuck [to this method of Nasr] for many years and would not write [masāhif] without nuqat. But even after using nuqat, misreading [of the masāhif] continued. So they invented i‘jām and used i‘jām withnuqat as well. A slight carelessness in putting in all i‘jām with nuqat on words again resulted in misreading [of the masāhif]. People looked for a further method [to secure the correct reading] but were not able to find one except for acquiring [the Qur’ān] from the mouths of people.31

 

In their opinion, the word i‘jām refers to shakl because linguistically shakl means i‘jām32 and hence the reference to i‘jām here alludes to the endeavour of al-Khalīl. 

In this regard, scholars have grappled with a question since sources cite conflicting reports about the person who originated the nuqat on the mushaf. Thus there are some sources which say that the first one to put nuqat on the mushaf was Abū al-Aswad (69 AH); some say that it was Nasr ibn ‘Āsim al-Laythī (89 AH) and some say that it was Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar al-‘Udwānī (89 AH).

Those which record this fact about Abū al-Aswad include al-Zubaydī (d. 379 AH),33 Abū Hilāl al-‘Askarī (395 AH),34 Ibn al-Jawzī (597 AH),35 Yāqūt al-Hamawī (626 AH),36 al-Safadī (764 AH),37 al-Qurtubī (d. 791 AH),38 al-Qalqashandī (821 AH),39 Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH),40 al-Suyūtī (d. 911 AH),41 and Sayyid al-Mar‘ashī (1425 AH).42

Those which record this fact about Nasr ibn ‘Āsim include al-Dānī (d. 444 AH),43 Ibn Atiyyah (d. 543 AH AH),44 al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH),45 Muhammad ibn Yaqub al-Fayrūzābādī (d. 816 AH),46 Ibn al-Jazarī (d. 833 AH),47 and al-Yaghmūrī (d. 845 AH),48 and Tāshkubrāzādah (d. 962 AH).49

Those which record this fact about Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar include Ibn Abī Dā’ūd (d. 316 AH),50 al-Dānī (d. 444 AH),51 Ibn Atiyyah (d. 543 AH),52 al-Mizzī (d. 743 AH),53 Ibn Kathīr (d. 772 AH),54 al-Dhahabī (d. 774 AH),55 Ibn al-Jazarī (d. 833 AH),56 Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH),57 al-Yaghmūrī (d. 845 AH),58 and Jamāl al-Dīn (d. 874 AH),59 al-Suyūtī (d. 911 AH),60 and Tāshkubrāzādah (d. 962 AH).61

Another name which is also cited in this regard is that of ‘Abdullāh ibn Abī Ishāq al-Hadramī (d. 117 AH).62

Most scholars while trying to resolve these conflicting reports say that the nature of nuqat put by Abū al-Aswad and the ones put by Nasr and Yahyā was different and all three of them were pioneers in this regard; thus Abū al-Aswad was the first to put the nuqat related to i‘rāb (vocalization) while Nasr and Yahyā were the first to put thenuqat related to i‘jām (diacritics).63

 

III. Critical Evaluation of the Accounts

The following questions and objections arise on each of the three phases in the aforementioned accounts of the early development of Qur’ānic orthography related to vocalization and diacritics.

 

A. The First Vocalization Phase

1. If Abū al-Aswad (d. 69 AH) was the first person to put vowel marks on the masāhif in the form of nuqat, then the question arises that why did not anyone of his students or even the students of his students report this endeavour from him. Following are the students of Abū al-Aswad recorded by al-Mizzī:64 Sa‘īd ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Ruqaysh (d. ?), ‘Abdullāh ibn Buraydah (d. 115 AH), ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdullāh, mawlā Ghufrah (d. 145 AH) Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar (d. 89 AH), Abū al-Harb ibn Abī al-Aswad (d. 109 AH). To this list, the following more students can be added on the authority of Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrāfī:65 ‘Anbasah ibn Ma‘dān (100 AH), Maymūn al-Aqran (d. ?)  and as per an opinion Nasr ibn ‘Āsim (d. 89 AH).

On the contrary, some of these students do report another feat: he was the originator of the science of nahw (Arabic grammar).

Thus, one of Abū al-Aswad’s students, Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar (d. 89 AH), reports that Abū al-Aswad, at the behest of ‘Alī (rta), was the originator of the science of nahw(Arabic syntax) when he saw his daughter reading the expression ما أشد الحر66 in an erroneous manner.67

Similarly, another of Abū al-Aswad’s students, Abū al-Harb ibn Abī al-Aswad (d. 109 AH), says that when his father Abū al-Aswad was asked the source from which he obtained the science of nahw, he replied that he derived its definitions from ‘Alī (rta).68 At another instance Abū al-Harb says that the first chapter which his father formulated on nahw was the chapter on [words of] amazement (ta‘ajjub).69

In other words, had he been the originator of nuqat on the masāhif, his students would have reported this feat of his as well just as they have reported his feat of originating Arabic grammar. It may also be noted that there are many authorities who have recorded this feat of his (origination of nahw). They have not even referred to the fact that he was responsible for putting nuqat on the masāhif.70 This casts doubt on the fact that he was actually responsible for such an endeavour.71

2. It is more than a hundred years after Abū al-Aswad’s endeavour (reported to have taken place around 40 AH) that anyone ascribes the introduction of vocalization to Abū al-Aswad. The first person to do so is Abū ‘Ubaydah Ma‘mar ibn Muthannā (d. 209 AH).72 Following are the other three who report this achievement from him and are even later:

i. Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Madā’inī (d. 225 AH)73

ii. Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaydullāh ibn ‘Amr al-‘Utbī (d. 228 AH)74

iii. Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad (d. 286 AH)75

It is known that Abū al-Aswad died in 69 AH.76 So, none of the above narrators is contemporaneous to him and thus could not have heard directly from him or seen him.

3. Not only are the above referred to reports munqata‘, they have other problems in their chains as well. Let us now examine all the isnād of the incidents ascribed to Abū al-Aswad in chronological order:

i. Abū ‘Ubaydah Ma‘mar ibn Muthannā (d. 209 AH)

ii. Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Madā’inī (d. 225 AH)

iii. Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaydullāh ibn ‘Amr al-‘Utbī (d. 228 AH)

iv. Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad (d. 286 AH)

 

Here are the full chains of narration for each.

 

i. Abū ‘Ubaydah Ma‘mar ibn Muthannā (d. 209 AH)

This has no chain of narration and probably the foremost person to cite it is Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrafī (d. 368 AH) in his Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn.77

 

ii. Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Madā’inī (d. 225 AH)

 

 

Tb1.jpg (457×393)

 

Following is the jarh on some of its narrators:

 

a. ‘Īsā ibn al-Hasan al-Warrāq

No tawthīq is available on him in rijāl books. Hence, he is majhūl al-hāl.

 

b. Hammad ibn Ishāq ibn Ibrāhīm al-Mūsilī

No tawthīq is available on him in rijāl books. Hence, he is majhūl al-hāl.

 

c. Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Madā’inī

Ibn Adī says that he is laysa bi al-qawī fī al-hadīth.78

 

iii. Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaydullāh ibn ‘Amr al-‘Utbī79 (d. 228 AH)

 

 

Tb2.jpg (578×548)

 

Following is the jarh on some of its narrators:

 

a. Abū ‘Ikramah ‘Amir ibn ‘Imrān ibn Ziyād al-Dabbī

No tawthīq is available on him in rijāl books. Hence, he is majhūl al-hāl.

 

b. Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaydullāh ibn ‘Amr al-‘Utbī

Ibn Qutaybah, al-Safadī and Ibn Khallikān record the following jarh on him: kāna mushtahiran bi al-sharāb.80 On a similar note, al-Dhahabī records: kāna yashribu.81

 

iv. Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad (d. 286 AH)

This has no chain of narration. Al-Dānī cites him in his Al-Muhkam.82

 

As far as the reports are concerned which say that the first person to put nuqat on the masāhif was Abū al-Aswad, the first person to narrate such a report is al-Zubaydi (d. 379 AH) in his Tabaqāt with reference to al-Mubarrad (d. 286 AH). The inqitā‘ here is obvious too!

4. The accounts of Al-Mada’ini (d. 225 AH) and ‘Utbī (228 AH) cited earlier mention that Abū al-Aswad was induced to put nuqat on the masāhif when he heard someone wrongly reading a verse of Sūrah Tawbah. On the other hand, it is reported by ‘Abbād ibn ‘Abbād ibn Habīb al-Mahallab83 (d. 181 AH) that when Abū al-Aswad heard someone wrongly reading the masāhif, he resolved to institute grammar (not nuqat). Furthermore, there is yet another report by Ibn Abī Malaykah (d. 117 AH) (see point 9 ahead) which says that it was this very verse of Sūrah Tawbah which was wrongly taught to and read by a Beduoin. When ‘Umar heard of this, he asked Abū al-Aswad to institute the rules of grammar (again no mention of nuqat).

So it is strange that the same verse of Sūrah Tawbah occurs:

i. at times to induce Abū al-Aswad to institute grammar and at times to institute the nuqat.

ii. at times in an incident in the time of ‘Umar (rta) and at times in the times of Mu‘āwiyah (rta) to induce its listener to two different acts.

‘Abbād’s report may be illustrated thus:

 

Tb3.jpg (555×557)

 

a. ‘Abbād ibn ‘Abbād ibn Habīb ibn al-Mahallab

Al-Mizzī84 records that in the opinion of Abū Hātim, he is lā yuhtajju bi hadīthihī. Though at one place Ibn Sa‘d states: thiqah wa rubbama ghalita,85 at another place, his words about him are: lam yakun bi al-qawī fī al-hadīth.86

Ibn Hajar87 says about him: thiqah rubbamā wahima.

 

b. Muhammad ibn ‘Abbād al-Muhallabī

Al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī records:88 lam yakun basīran bi al-hadīth (he is not intelligent in matters of hadīth) and according to al-Harbī is guilty of misspelling words (tashīf); he altered بقرة to بهرة and ابن جابر to ابن جدير.

It is perhaps because of this that Abū Hātim’s opinion about him is:89 lam aktub ‘anhū shay’ (I have not written anything from him).

It may thus be observed that the report of ‘Abbād (d. 181 AH) has problems in its chain of narration. However, since the reports of Ibn Abī Malaykah90 (d. 117 AH), al-Madā’īnī (d. 225 AH) and al-‘Utbī (d. 228 AH) themselves suffer from flaws in their chains of narration hence it was deemed appropriate to compare the four with one another.

5. An interesting point to note in Mubarrad’s account (as opposed to the rest of the three) is that Abū al-Aswad set about instituting the rules of grammar by puttingnuqat on the masāhif: apparently the two have no connection. This act obviously could only safeguard correctly reading the masāhif and not in helping people learn Arabic grammar.

6. The first book in which Abū al-Aswad’s nuqat accounts are recorded is Al-Waqf wa al-Ibtidā’ by Ibn al-Anbārī (d. 328 AH). However, at least five major works prior to Al-Waqf wa al-Ibtidā’ which record biographical entries on Abū al-Aswad are devoid of any nuqat mention. The question arises: Why?

Here are the details:

 

 

i. Al-Tabaqāt by Ibn Sa‘d (d. 230 AH)

Ibn Sa‘d gives a short biographical entry on Abū al-Aswad in which says that he was a poet and became the governor of Basrah. Similarly, it also contains a note on Ziyād ibn Abīh; but these entries are devoid of any mention of Abū al-Aswad inserting nuqat.91

 

ii. Tabaqāt fuhūl al-shu‘arā’ by Muhammad ibn Salām al-Jumahī (d. 232 AH)

Al-Jumahī gives a short biographical entry on Abū al-Aswad which says that he was the first to institute the rules of Arabic but does not mention anything about his role innuqat.92

 

iii. Ma‘rifah al-Thiqāt by al-‘Ijlī (d. 261 AH)

He records that Abū al-Aswad is from among the prominent tābi‘ūn, a companion of ‘Alī (rta) and a person who was the first to talk about about nahw. However, he records nothing on his contribution to nuqat.93

 

iv. Al-Ma‘ārif by Ibn Qutaybah (276 AH)

Ibn Qutaybah gives a short biographical entry on Abū al-Aswad which says that he was a poet, was the first to formulate the rules of Arabic and became the governor of Basrah but does not mention that he had any role in introducing nuqat on the masāhif.94

 

v. Al-jarh wa al-ta‘dīl by Ibn Abī Hātim (d. 327 AH)

Ibn Abī Hātim gives a short biographical entry on Abū al-Aswad in which he records his real name (Zālim ibn ‘Amr), states that he is a reliable narrator and is also the first who formulated nahw. The entry is devoid of any mention of his feat of inserting nuqat on the masāhif.95

It is from the first quarter of the fourth century onwards that we find books recording accounts which attribute introduction of nuqat on the masāhif by Abū al-Aswad. These works include: Marātib al-nahwiyyīn96 by Abū al-Tayyib (d. 351 AH), Kitāb al-Aghānī97 by Abū al-Faraj (d. 356 AH), Akhbār Al-nahwiyyīn98 by al-Sayrāfī (d. 368 AH),Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn99 by al-Zubaydī (d. 379 AH), Fihrist100 by Ibn Nadīm (d. 385 AH), Al-Muhkam101 by al-Dānī (d. 444 AH), Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq102 by Ibn ‘Asākir (d. 571 AH), Nuzhat al-alibbā’103 by Ibn al-Anbārī (d. 577 AH), Inbā’ al-ruwāt104 by al-Qiftī (d. 624 AH).

In this regard, perhaps the first historian to say that Abū al-Aswad was the first person nuqat on the masāhif is Ibn al-Jawzī105 (d. 597 AH) and he  does not mention various accounts which record Abū al-Aswad’s endeavour. He merely records that Abū al-Aswad was the first to put nuqat on the masāhif. Similar statements are recorded by Yāqūt al-Hamawī106 (626 AH), al-Safadī (764 AH)107 and al-Dhahabī108 (d. 748 AH).

However, there are works even after the first quarter of the fourth century right up to the ninth century which mention biographical information about Abū al-Aswad but do not state that he had any role in recording nuqat on the masāhif. These include:

 

i. Al-Thiqāt by Ibn Hibbān (d. 354 AH)

Ibn Hibbān does record that Abū al-Aswad took part in the battle of Siffīn, was deputed as a governor of Basrah and was the first to institute nahw.109

 

ii. Al-Ta‘dīl wa al-tajrīh by al-Bājī (d. 464 AH)

Al-Bājī records various opinions about his name, that he was the first to institute nahw, was a reliable a narrator and died in the plague of 69 AH.110

 

iii. Usud al-Ghābah by Ibn Athīr (d. 630 AH)

Ibn Athīr does record that Abū al-Aswad was not able to acquire the companionship of the Prophet (sws), was a famous tābi‘ī, was companion of ‘Alī (rta) who made him the governor of Basah and was the first to institute nahw, was a poet and a profound literary figure.111

 

iv. Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah by Ibn Kathīr (d. 772 AH)

Ibn Kathīr gives a short biographical entry on Abū al-Aswad which among other details says that he was the first to formulate the rules of Arabic.112

 

v. Tārīkh of Ibn Khaldūn (d. 808 AH)

Ibn Khaldūn mentions the fact that Abū al-Aswad was the first person to formulate Arabic grammar.113

All this data cast serious doubts on this alleged role ascribed to Abū al-Aswad.

7. In this regard, it may be noted that the strangest omission of Abū al-Aswad’s endeavour is in the Kitāb al-masāhif114 of Ibn Abī Dā’ūd (d. 316 AH).115 The whole book has copious information about directives and issues related to the masāhif. It has a section on nuqat al-maāhif which is rich in information on the subject. It has a narrative which says that the first person to put nuqat on the masāhif was Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar;116 it mentions narratives which record the names of early authorities who disliked putting nuqat on the mushaf and others who did not see any harm in it;117 it mentions a narrative which records the opinion of al-Hasan al-Basrī that charging money for putting nuqat on masāhif was not a problem;118 it records a detailed narrative on the authority of Abū Hatim Sijistanī on the methodology of putting nuqat on masāhif.119The initial part of the narrative even describes the same scheme as that of Abū al-Aswad but without taking his name. It is quite strange that in the wake of all these details, there is no mention of Abū al-Aswad and his endeavour.

8. The accounts of Al-Madā’inī (d. 225 AH) and ‘Utbī (228 AH) cited earlier in detail mention that it was at the behest of Ziyād ibn Abīh (d. 53 AH), the governor of Basrah that Abū al-Aswad undertook this job.120 Accounts of Ziyād (who is also called Ziyād ibn Abī Sufyān, Ziyād ibn Sumayyah, Ziyād ibn Amah and Ziyād ibn ‘Ubayd)121 are mentioned in various books of Muslim history. None of the following books which contain biographical accounts of Ziyād even alludes to the fact that he had any role in this task:

i. Al-Tabaqāt122 by Ibn Sa‘d (d. 230 AH)

ii. Al-Ma‘ārif123 by Ibn Qutaybah (d. 276 AH)

iii. Al-Akhbār al-tiwāl124 by al-Dīnwarī (d. 282 AH)

iv. Al-Istī‘āb125 by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (d. 463 AH)

v. Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq126 by Ibn ‘Asākir (d. 571 AH)

vi. Al-Muntazim127 Ibn al-Jawzī (597 AH)

vii. Al-Kāmil fī al-tārīkh128 by Ibn Athīr (d. 630 AH)

viii. Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā129 by al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH)

ix. Fawāt al-Wafayāt130 by Muhammad ibn Shākir al-Kutbī (d. 764 AH)

x. Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt131 by al-Safadī (764 AH)

xi. Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah132 by Ibn Kathīr (d. 772 AH)

xii. Al-Isābah133 by Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH)

xiii. Lisān al-mīzān134 by Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH)

xiv. Majma‘ al-bahrayn135 by Shaykh al-Tarīhī (d. 1085 AH)

xv. A‘yān al-shī‘ah136 by Sayyid Muhsin al-Amīn (d. 1371 AH)

xvi. Al-A‘lām137 by al-Zarkalī (d. 1396 AH)

9. All of the chains of narration of the accounts cited under points 2 and 3 hinge on a final Basran narrator. Is this a mere co-incidence or does this smell of Basran bias over their rival Kufans? There is not a single Kufan grammarian or personality who reports that Abū al-Aswad was responsible of putting nuqat on the masāhif. Why is this so?

In contrast to what is attributed to Abū al-Aswad al-Dū’alī’s endeavour in putting i‘rāb on the Qur’ān, it may be noted that sources also record on the authority of ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Ubaydullāh ibn Abī Malaykah (d. 117 AH) with reference to this same incident that it was at the behest of ‘Umar (rta) that Abū al-Aswad had constituted the rules of Arabic grammar. As per this report138 a Bedouin came over to Madīnah in the reign of ‘Umar (rta) and asked for someone who could teach him what was revealed to Muhammad (sws). It is reported that a person taught him Sūrah Tawbah and he read the following verse by altering the vocalization of the last word: أَنَّ اللّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولُهُ. He read the last word as: رَسُولِهِ. At this the Bedouin said: “Is God acquitted of His Messenger; if he is acquitted of His Messenger, then I am more acquitted of the Messenger of God.” These words of the Bedouin reached ‘Umar (rta), who called him over and said: “Are you acquitted of the Messenger of God.” The Bedouin replied that he came over to Madīnah and did not have any knowledge of the Qur’ān and had asked for someone to teach him the Qur’ān; the Bedouin continued that a person taught him Sūrah Tawbah and read: رَسُولِهِ أَنَّ اللّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَ; at this, he had said whether is God acquitted of His Messenger; if he is acquitted of His Messenger, then he [the Bedouin] is more acquitted of the Messenger of God. At this, ‘Umar told the Bedouin that this is not so; the Bedouin then promptly asked for an explanation. ‘Umar then read the verse as:أَنَّ اللّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولُهُ. The Bedouin swore by God and said that he is acquitted of those of whom God and His Messenger are acquitted. ‘Umar then ordered that no one except a person who has knowledge of Arabic should teach the Qur’ān and directed Abū al-Aswad to formulate nahw which he did so.

If the above report is true, then it can be surmised that it had nothing to do with putting nuqat on the mushaf; it only impelled ‘Umar (rta) to ask Abū al-Aswad to formulate the rules of Arabic Grammar.

It may be noted that most narrators of this report are non-Basran. Details follow:

i. Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Qāsim ibn Muhammad ibn Bashshār al-Anbārī (d. 328 AH) (born in Anbār and died in Baghdād).139

ii. Muhammad ibn Yahyā ibn Abī Hazm Mihrān (d. 253 AH) (belonged to Basrah)140

iii. Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn ‘Īsā ibn Yazīd (d. 277 AH) (belonged to Balkh).141

iv. Abū Tawbah al-Rabī‘ ibn Nāfi‘ (d. 241 AH) (belonged to Tarsūs).142

v. ‘Īsā ibn Yūnus ibn ‘Amr al-Sabī‘ī (d. 287 AH) (belonged to Kufah).143

vi. ‘Abū al-Walīd Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn Jurayj (d. 150 AH) (belonged to Makkah).144

vii. Abū Bakr ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Ubaydullāh ibn Abī Malaykah (d. 117 AH) (belonged to Makkah).145

It may however be argued that there are weaknesses in this report:

i. Ibn al-Anbārī has not specified his teacher. His words are: “one of our companions said …(قال بعض أصحابنا).

ii. ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn Jurayj is a mudallis.146

iii. Muhammad ibn ‘Īsā ibn Yazīd is also suspect. Ibn Hibbān says that he errs a lot (yukhtī kathīr).147 Ibn ‘Adī says that he steals hadīth (yasriqu al-hadīth).148

10. Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī (d. 360 AH)149 and Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī (d. 380 AH)150 who are the first to record the diacrtics phase on the masāhif clearly negate that Abū al-Aswad put nuqat on the Qur’ān. This is shown by the silence of these texts about any endeavour by Abū al-Aswad whereas the way they mention themasāhif after the period of ‘Uthmān (rta) entails that had Abū al-Aswad done anything to the effect, it should have found its mention here. Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī’s text reads:

 

وقد رُوى أنّ السبب في نَقْط المصاحف أن الناس غَبَرُوا يقرءون فى مصاحف عثمان رحمة الله عليه ، نيِّفا وأربعين سنة ، إلى أيام عبد الملك بن مروان. ثم كثر التصحيف وانتشر بالعراق ، ففزِع الحجاَّجُ إلي كُتَّابه ، وسألهم أن يضعوا لهذه لحروف المشْتَبِهةِ علامات. فيقال : إنّ نصرِ بن عاصم قام بذلك ، فوضع لنَّقط أفرادا و أزواجا. وخالف بين أما كنها بتوقيع بعضها فوق الحروف ، وبعضها نحت الحروف فَغَبَر الناس بذلك زمانا لا يكتبون إلا منقوطا. فكان مع استعمال النقط أيضا يقع التصحيف ، فأحدثوا الإعْجام ، فكانوا يُتْبِعون النَّقط بالإعجام. فإذا أُغْفِل الاستقصاءُ على الكلمة فلم تُوَفَّ حقوقَها اعترى هذا التصحيفُ ، فالتمسوا حيلةً ، فلم يقْدِروا فيها إلا على الأخذ من أفواهِ الرجال.

It is narrated that the reason to put nuqat on the masāhif was that people continued to read the masāhif of ‘Uthmān (rta) for almost forty years until [the era of] ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān arrived. Then misreading (tashīf) of the script [of the Qur’ān] became rampant and spread in ‘Irāq. So al-Hajjāj anxiously turned to his scribes and asked him to devise signs for these similar letters. It is said that Nasr ibn ‘Āsim took this responsibility and he devised dots ones and twos and placed them differently on them by putting some on the top and some on the bottom of these hurūf. People stuck [to this method of Nasr] for many years and would not write [masāhif] without nuqat. But even after using nuqat, misreading [of the masāhif] continued. So they invented i‘jām and used i‘jām with nuqat as well. A slight carelessness in putting in all i‘jām with nuqaton words again resulted in tashīf. People looked for a further method [to secure the correct reading] but were not able to find one except for acquiring [the Qur’ān] from the mouths of people.151

 

B. The Diacritics Phase

The following questions arise on the traditional account viz a viz this phase.

1. The ascription of the insertion of diacritics to Nasr ibn ‘Āsim is suspect. The text152 of Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī (d. 360 AH), which is the first text to explicitly say that a lack of diacritics caused tashīf after which these diacritics were inserted does not even mention Nasr’s name as the one deputed to this task. The text153of Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī (d. 382 AH) which is chronologically the second text that explicitly says that a lack of diacritics caused tashīf also weakly mentions Nasr’s name (the word used is: yuqāl).

Thus none of Nasr’s students narrate this feat from him. Al-Mizzī154 has recorded the following names of his students: Bishr ibn ‘Ubayd (d. ?), Abū Sha‘thā’ Jābir ibn Zayd (d. 93 AH), Humayd ibn Hilāl, ‘Imrān ibn Hudayr (d. 147 AH), Qatādah ibn Di‘āmah (d. 118 AH), Mālik ibn Dīnār (d. 123 AH), Abū Sa‘d Sa‘īd ibn al-Mirzabān al-Baqqāl (d. 140 AH approx), Abū Salamah (d. ?).

The first person to say that Nasr ibn ‘Āsim was the first to put nuqat is Abū Hātim al-Sijistānī (d. 250 AH) as recorded by al-Dānī.155 So it is after almost two centuries that this primacy is ascribed to him. None of Nasr’s students, as pointed out earlier, or any one from his immediate generations has ever reported to have said this. It can also be said with reasonable certainty that in the first six centuries, al-Dānī is the only person to ascribe nuqāt to Nasr. Even this primacy of nuqat ascribed to Nasr by al-Dānī is rendered weak because many books which mention biographical notes on Nasr are devoid of ascribing this accomplishment to him. They include:

 

i. Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn by al-Sayrāfī (d. 368 AH)

Al-Sayrāfī records on the authority of Khālid al-Hadhdhā’ (d. 141 AH) that ‘Āsim was the first to formulate [the principles of] Arabic.156

 

ii. Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn wa lughwiyyīn by al-Zubaydī (d. 379 AH)

Al-Zubaydī too records on the authority of Khālid al-Hadhdhā’ (d. 141 AH) that Nasr ibn ‘Āsim was the first to formulate [the principles of] Arabic.157

 

iii. Nuzhah al-alibbā’ by Abū al-Barkāt ibn al-Anbārī (d. 577 AH)

Abū al-Barkāt records that Nasr ibn ‘Āsim is a jurist, a scholar of Arabic and teacher of grammar and qirā’ah.158

 

iv. Inbā’ al-ruwāt by al-Qiftī (d. 624 AH)

Al-Qiftī mentions that Nasr is among the earlierst scholars of Arabic grammar and a jurist. He also records the report from Khālid al-Hadhdhā’ (d. 141 AH) that Nasr ibn ‘Āsim was the first to formulate Arabic.159

 

v. Mu‘jam al-udabā’ by Yāqūt al-Hamawī (626 AH)

Among other minor details, Yāqūt records that Nasr was a jurist, a scholar of Arabic and acquired the Qur’ān and nahw from Abū al-Aswad; he initially had the same views as the Kharijites but later abandoned them; he died in 89 AH.160

 

vi. Tahdhīb al-kamāl by al-Mizzī (d. 742 AH)

Al-Mizzī cites the opinion of Khalīfah ibn al-Khayyāt that Nasr belonged to the second tabqah of the reciters of Basrah and that as per an opinion he was the first to institute nahw.161

 

vii. Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt by al-Safadī (764 AH)

Al-Safadī records almost the same information as Yāqūt above and adds that in the opinion of Abū Dā’ūd al-Sijistānī he was the first to formulate nahw.162

 

viii. Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb by Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH)

Ibn Hajar cites the opinion of Khalīfah ibn al-Khayyāt that Nasr belonged to the second tabqah of the reciters of Basrah.163

 

ix. Bughyah al-wu‘āt by al-Suyūtī (d. 911 AH)

Al-Suyūtī merely records the opinion of Yāqūt al-Hamawī cited above.164

As mentioned earlier, the above referred to books165 not only do not accord any primacy of nuqat to him, they do not even mention that Nasr had any role in this matter. This is indeed quite strange that these biographical works on his personality have nothing to record about him about this alleged endeavour.

2. The first explicit ascription of Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar to the insertion of diacritical dots to distinguish similar letters is also suspect. The first person to mention his name is Ibn Atiyah (d. 543 AH):

 

وأما شكل المصحف ونقطه فروي أن عبد الملك بن مروان أمر به وعمله فتجرد لذلك الحجاج بواسط وجد فيه وزاد تحزيبه وأمر وهو والي العراق الحسن ويحيى بن يعمر بذلك

As far as the shakl and nuqat of the masāhif are concerned, it is reported that ‘Abd al-Malik ordered for it and had it done. He specifically deputed al-Hajjāj for this task in [the city of] Wāsit. Al-Hajjāj expended his effort in this task and also added divisions to the mushaf. It was while he was the governor of Iraq that he ordered al-Hasan al-Basrī and Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar to do this. 166

 

In other words, it is almost five centuries after the death of Yahyā that someone has explicitly taken his name and ascribed this endeavour to him. Moreover this report in itself suffers from the flaw that it contradicts other reports which say that nuqat and shakl were carried out by different personalities. It is linguistically not possible to ascribe the same meaning to both these words and to interpret both to mean diacritical dots.

As far as the report that Yahyā was the first to put nuqat on the mushaf is concerned, its earliest ascription is to Hārūn ibn Mūsā (d. before 200 AH).167 However, none of Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar’s students report this endeavour from him. His students recorded by al-Mizzī are:168 al-Azraq ibn Qays (d. after 120 AH), Ishāq ibn Suwayd (d. 131 AH), Abū Sa‘īd Thābit (d. ?), Habīb ibn ‘Atā’ (d. ?), al-Rukayn ibn Rabī‘ (d. 131 AH), Sulaymān ibn Buraydah (d. 105 AH), Sulaymān al-Taymī (d. 143 AH), ‘Abdullāh ibn Buraydah (d. 115 AH), ‘Abdullāh ibn Qutbah (d. ?), ‘Abdullāh ibn Kulayb (d. ?), Abū al-Munīb ‘Ubaydullāh ibn ‘Abdullāh (?), ‘Atā al-Khurasānī (d. 135 AH), ‘Ikramah mawlā Ibn ‘Abbās (d. 107 AH), ‘Umar ibn ‘Atā’ ibn Abī al-Khawwār (d. ?), Qatādah ibn Di‘āmah (d 117 AH) and Yahyā ibn Abī Ishāq al-Hadramī (d. 136 AH).

Even this primacy ascribed to Yahyā by Hārūn ibn Mūsā (d. before 200 AH) is weakened due to the fact that many books which mention biographical notes on Yahyā are devoid of ascribing this accomplishment to him. They include:

 

i. Al-Tabaqāt al-kubrā by Ibn Sa‘d (d. 230 AH)

Ibn Sa‘d records that Yahyā was a grammarian and scholar of Arabic and the Qur’ān.169

 

ii. Marātib al-nahwiyyīn  by Abū al-Tayyib ‘Abd al-Wāhid (d. 351 AH)

Abū al-Tayyib records the statement of Qatādah that the first person to formulate the rules of Arabic grammar after Abū al-Aswad was Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar.170

 

iii. Mashāhīr ‘ulamā al-amsār by Ibn Hibbān (d. 354 AH)

Ibn Hibbān says that Yahyā was a qādī of Marw and from among the most eloquent people of his times, a very profound scholar of Arabic and a pious person.171

 

iv. Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn by al-Sayrāfī (d. 368 AH)

Al-Sayrāfī records that Yahyā added chapters to the book of arabic grammar forumulated by Abū al-Aswad. He also records a dialogue of his with al-Hajjāj involving lahn.172

 

iv. Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn wa lughwiyyīn by al-Zubaydī (d. 379 AH)

Al-Zubaydī records that Yahyā learnt Arabic grammar from Abū al-Aswad. He also records on the authority of Khālid al-Hadhdhā’ that Ibn Sīrīn had a manqūt mushaf on which nuqat were put by Yahyā.173

 

v. Nuzhah al-alibbā’ by Abū al-Barkāt ibn al-Anbārī (d. 577 AH)

Abū al-Barkāt records that Yahyā was a scholar of Arabic and Hadīth, and would use a lot of gharīb words in his works. He also records his dialogue with al-Hajjāj involving lahn.174

 

vi. Al-Muntazim by Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 AH)

Ibn al-Jawzī records that Yahyā was a scholar of Arabic and the Qur’ān.175

 

vii. Inbā’ al-ruwāt by al-Qiftī (d. 624 AH)

Al-Qiftī records many of the details already alluded to by his predecessors. He mentions that he was one of the qurrā’ of Basrah. He was a qādī of Marw and was a scholar of the Qur’ān, Arabic grammar and the dialects of the Arabs. He had an argument with al-Hajjāj regarding an issue relating to lahn.176

 

viii. Mu‘jam al-udabā’ by Yāqūt al-Hamawī (d. 626 AH)

Yāqūt mentions that Yahyā was a scholar of qirā’ah, Hadīth, Fiqh, Arabic and dialects of Arabia.177

 

ix. Wafayāt al-a‘yān by Ibn Khallikān (d. 681 AH)

Ibn Khallikān mentions that Yahyā was a scholar of the Qur’ān, Arabic grammar and the dialects of Arabia, and that he had learnt Arabic grammar from Abū al-Aswad. He also records a dialogue of his with al-Hajjāj involving lahn.178

 

x. Bughyah al-wu‘āt by al-Suyūtī (d. 911 AH)

Al-Suyūtī records that Yahya learnt Arabic grammar from Abū al-Aswad and was appointed the qādī of Khurasan by Qutaybah ibn Muslim.179

The above referred to books not only do not accord any primacy of nuqat to him, they do not even mention that Yahyā had any role in inseting nuqat on the masāhif or that Yahyā was summoned by al-Hajjāj for this purpose even though as referred to earlier some of them record a dialogue between Yahyā and al-Hajjāj about lahn.180 This is indeed quite strange that such early biographical works on his personality have nothing to record about him about this alleged endeavour.

3. Ibn Atiyah (d. 543 AH),181 al-Qurtubī (d. 671 AH),182182 Ibn al-Jazzī Kalbī (d. 757 AH)183 and Ibn Kathīr (d. 774 AH)184 mention that al-Hajjāj had deputed al-Hasan al-Basrī (d. 110 AH) as well for putting nuqat on the masāhif together with Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar.

The following books contain biographical accounts of al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan al-Basrī but do not mention that he had any role in putting nuqat on the masāhif.

i. Al-Tabaqāt185 by Ibn Sa‘d (d. 230 AH)

ii. Al-Tārīkh al-Kabīr186 by al-Bukhārī d. (256 AH)

iii. Tārīkh Wāsit187 by Aslam ibn Sahl al-Wāsitī (d. 264 AH)

iv. Al-Ma‘ārif188 by Ibn Qutaybah (d. 276 AH)

v. Al-Ma‘rifah wa al-tārīkh189 by al-Fasawī (d. 277 AH)

vi. Akhbār al-qudāt190 by Muhammad ibn Khalaf ibn Hayyān (d. 306 AH)

vii. Al-Muntazim191 by Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 AH)

viii. Wafayāt al-a‘yan192 by Ibn Khallikān (d. 681 AH)

ix. Tahdhīb al-kamāl193 by al-Mizzī (d. 743 AH)

x. Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā194 by al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH)

xi. Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt195 by al-Safadī (764 AH)

It may be of further interest to note contradictory reports ascribed to al-Hasan: some say that al-Hasan approved of putting nuqat on the masāhif, while others report the opposite.196

4. Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī (d. 360 AH)197 and Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī (d. 380 AH)198 who are the earliest to record the diacritics phase mention that it was al-Hajjāj who was primarily responsible for carrying out the remedial measures for stopping tashīf. Similarly, Ibn Atiyah (d. 543 AH),199 al-Qurtubī (d. 671 AH),200 Ibn al-Jazzī Kalbī (d. 757 AH)201 and Ibn Kathīr (d. 774 AH)202 also mention al-Hajjāj was deputed for this task and further mention that ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān, the then caliph of the Muslims deputed him for this purpose. They say that he had asked al-Hajjāj to put nuqat and shakl on the masāhif.

Now it is known that both al-Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf and ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān are two celebrated personalities of the Umayyad caliphate. Their achievements and feats have been recorded in detail by all historians. It is quite strange that a vast majority of historians do not record any such achievement by either of them.

Following is a brief survey of both these personalities in early and medieval history works:

 

I ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān

i. Al-Tabaqāt203 by Ibn Sa‘d (d. 230 AH)

ii. Al-Tārīkh al-Kabīr204 by al-Bukhārī d. (256 AH)

iii. Tārīkh Wāsit205 by Aslam ibn Sahl al-Wāsitī (d. 264 AH)

iv. Al-Ma‘ārif.206 by Ibn Qutaybah (276 AH)

v. Tārīkh207 by al-Ya‘qūbī (d. 292 AH)

vi. Al-‘Iqd al-farīd208 by Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih (d. 328 AH)

vii. Kitāb al-wuzarā wa al-kuttāb209 by Al-Jahshiyarī (d. 331AH)

viii. Al-Bad’ wa al-tārīkh210 by al-Maqdisī (d. 355 AH)

ix. Tārīkh Baghdād211 by al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī (d. 463 AH)

x. Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq212 by Ibn ‘Asākir (d. 571 AH)

xi. Al-Muntazim213 by Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 AH)

xii. Tahdhīb al-kamāl214 by al-Mizzī (d. 742 AH)

xiii. Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā215 by al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH)

xiv. Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt216 by al-Safadī (764 AH)

xv. Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah217 by Ibn Kathīr (d. 772 AH)

xvi. Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb218 by Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH)

 

 

II Al-Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf al-Thaqafī

i. Tārīkh Wāsit219 by Aslam ibn Sahl al-Wāsitī (d. 264 AH)

ii. Al-Ma‘ārif220 by Ibn Qutaybah (276 AH)

iii. Kitāb al-wuzarā wa al-kuttāb221  by Al-Jahshiyarī (d. 331AH)

iv. Al-Bad’ wa al-tārīkh222 by by al-Maqdisī (d. 355 AH)

v. Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq223 by Ibn ‘Asākir (d. 571 AH)

vi. Al-Muntazim224 by Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 AH)

vii. Al-Kāmil fī al-tārīkh225 by Ibn Athīr (d. 630 AH)

viii. Tahdhīb al-kamāl.226 by al-Mizzī (d. 742 AH)

 

It may be noted that perhaps the first historian to say that al-Hajjāj was responsible for this endavour is Ibn Khallikān (d. 681 AH).227 However, his source is the text of Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī already referred to above. Similarly, al-Safadī (764 AH)228 also refers to this on the basis of Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī. Ibn Kathīr (d. 772 AH)229 does say that during the days of al-Hajjāj, the nuqat were put on the masāhif and does not mention any source of this statement.

5. The texts of Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī (d. 360 AH)230 and Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī (d. 380 AH)231 say that Nasr ibn ‘Āsim was the originator of diacritics on similar letters. This contradicts the following information.

 

Ibn ‘Abbās is reported to have said:

 

أول من كتب بالعربية ثلاثة رجال من بولان وهي قبيلة سكنوا الأنبار وأنهم اجتمعوا فوضعوا حروفا مقطعة وموصولة وهم مرار بن مرة وأسلم بن سدرة وعامر بن جدرة ويقال مروة وجدلة فأما مرامر فوضع الصور وأما أسلم ففصل ووصل وأما عامر فوضع الإعجام

The first ones to write Arabic were three men from Būlān which is a tribe that lived at al-Anbār; they got together and coined the letters – both in their connected and disconnected forms. These three were: Marāmir ibn Murrah, Aslām ibn Sidrah and ‘Āmir ibn Jadrah (also: Marwah / Jadalah). As for Marāmir, he  conceived the forms (suwar)) of the letters, Aslam their separations and linkages (fasl and wasl) while ‘Āmir invented the diacritics (i‘jām).232

 

Al-Qalqashandī233 says that the diacritics were invented at the time of the letters because it is very unlikely that letters which resemble one another should be devoid of them. Al-Kurdī,234 Jumu‘ah235 and Hifnī236 also say that they were invented at the time of the letters themselves. Salāh al-Dīn Munajjid237 and ‘Abd al-Sabūr Shahīn238surmise that it was not that Nasr and Yahyā originated them because their existence is found in earlier writings.

Thus the earliest dated Arabic document (recently re-deciphered by Healy and Smith) corresponding to 267 AD shows dots on dhāl, rā and shīn.239

‘Alī ibn Ibrāhīm Ghabbān in an article (translated from Arabic by Robert Hoyland) has given tracings of the following writings which depict the use of diacritical dots on various letters in the first century.240 Among them, the following are clearly well before the time dots were allegedly invented by Nasr.

i. Papyrus of Ahnus housed in Vienna National Library (22 AH). Diacritical dots appear on the letters: sha, za, dha, kha, ja and na.

ii. Zuhayr inscription in Saudi Arabia (24 AH). Diacritical dots appear on the letters: nūn (on three occasions), za (on two occasions), dha, ta, fa and sha.

iii. Al-Khanaq dam inscription near Madīnah (40-60 AH). A diacritical dot appears on the letter ta.

iv. Wadi Sabil inscription near Najran (46 AH). A diacritical dot appears on the letter ba.

v. Mu‘āwiyah dam inscription near Tā’if (58 AH). Diacritical dots appear on the letters: ba (on four occasions), na (on four occasions), ya (on four occasions), tha (on two occasions), ta (on two occasions)

Mirza,241 in a recent PhD dissertation has shown the existence of a diacritical dot on the letter na (occurring twice) in the Prophet’s letter (6 / 8 AH) to al-Mundhir ibn al-Sāwā, governor of Bahrayn. As such, this is perhaps the earliest occurrence of a diacritical dot on documents discovered so far.

Gruendler has also pointed out many early texts which have diacritical dots. The following are clearly before the period of the alleged invention of diacritics by Nasr:

i. Entagion (P. Colt no 60). This consists of thirteen papyri and most of them are entagia (announcements of taxes owed by a local community). As specified by her, it is written by Abū Sa‘īd and dates 54 AH/ 674 CE and several diacritics appear on ba, ta, za and qāf.242

ii. Tax Receipt (57 AH) confirming payment of an amount of 108 dīnār and 19 qīrāt for land tax. Diacritics appear on ba, na and some other letters.243

iii. Receipt for delivery of wheat dated to the second half of the first Islamic century (643-670 CE). Diacritical dots are visible on za, qāf and na.244

iv. Letter from ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn Marwān (governor of Egypt 65-85 AH) to the inhabitants of Ihnās (Herakleopolis). Diacritics appear on za, ba, dha, na.245

Thus while referring to this established information that diacritics were invented with the letters, here is some further corroboratory evidence:

It is recorded by al-Farrā’ (d. 206 AH):

 

حدثنا محمد بن الجهم ، قال حدثنا الفراء ، قال حدثنى سفيان بن عُيَيْنة رفعه إلى زيد ابن ثابت قال : كُتِب فى حَجَر سرها ولم نس وانظر إلي زيد بن ثابت فنقط على الشين والزاى أربعا وكتب (يتسنه) بالهاء

Sufyān ibn ‘Uyaynah reports while connecting the chain of narration to Zayd ibn Thābit: Zayd wrote on stone the following words: سرها and ولم نس and وانظر إلي. He put four dots on shīn and zā and wrote the word  يتسنwith a hā [ie.] يتسنه.246

 

Al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī (d. 463 AH) records:

 

انا محمد بن علي بن الفتح الحربي نا عمر بن احمد الواعظ نا محمد ابن مخلد بن حفص العطار نا رجاء بن سهل الصاغاني نا ابو مسهر عن سعيد ابن عبد العزيز التنوخي عن قيس بن عباد عن محمد بن عبيد بن اوس الغساني كاتب معاوية قال حدثني ابي قال كتبت بين يدي معاوية كتابا فقال لي يا عبيد ارقش كتابك فإني كتبت بين يدي رسول الله  كتابا رقشته قال قلت وما رقشة يا امير المؤمنين قال اعط كل حرف ما ينوبه من النقط

‘Ubayd ibn Aws al-Ghassānī said: “I wrote a letter in the presence of Mu‘āwiyah. He said to me: ‘O ‘Ubayd adorn your letter because I wrote a letter in the presence of the Messenger of God (sws) which I had adorned [raqashtuhū.’] I asked: ‘What does raqshatun mean O leader of the believers!’ He replied: ‘Give to each letter the dots it deserves.’”247

 

C. The Second Vocalization Phase

The following questions arise on the traditional account viz a viz this phase.

1. In the second vocalization phase, to al-Khalīl ibn Ahmad al-Farāhīdī (d. 170 AH) is attributed vocalization marks which were the forerunners to the vocalization dashes we find today.

None of his students narrate this feat from him. According to al-Mizzī,248 his students are: Ayyūb ibn al-Mutawakkil al-Basrī (d. 200 AH), Badal ibn al-Muhabbar, Hammād ibn Zayd (d. 179 AH), Dā’ūd ibn al-Muhabbar (d. 207 AH), Sībawayh (‘Amr ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Qanbar) (d. 194 AH), ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Qarīb al-Asma‘ī (d. 216 AH), ‘Alī ibn Nasr al-Jahdamī (d. 250 AH), ‘Awn ibn ‘Umārah (d. 212 AH), al-Mu’arrij ibn ‘Amr al-Sadūsī (d. 195 AH), Mūsā ibn Ayyūb, al-Nadr ibn Shumayl (d. 203 AH), Hārūn ibn Mūsā al-A‘war (before 200 AH), Wahb ibn Jarīr ibn Hāzim (206 AH) and Yazīd ibn Murrah (d.

This poses a question mark on the ascription of this feat to al-Khalīl.

2. The following biographical accounts in Muslim history books are devoid of any such feat by al-Khalīl ibn Ahmad al-Farāhīdī (d. 170 AH) in spite of the fact that many of them record him as the inventor of the discipline of ‘urūd (Arabic prosody) and the first person to compile a dictionary of Arabic (Kitāb al-‘ayn):

i. Tabaqāt fuhūl al-shu‘arā249 by Muhammad ibn Sallām al-Jumahī (d. 230 AH)

ii. Al-Tārīkh al-Kabīr250 by al-Bukhārī d. (256 AH)

iii. Al-Ma‘ārif251 by Ibn Qutaybah (276 AH)

iv. Al-‘Iqd al-farīd252 by Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih (d. 328 AH)

v. Marātib al-nahwiyyīn253 by Abū al-Tayyib ‘Abd al-Wāhid (d. 351 AH)

vi. Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn254 by Sa‘īd al-Sayrafī (d. 368 AH)

vii. Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn255 by al-Zubaydī (d. 379 AH)

viii. Al-Fihrist256 by Ibn Nadīm (d. 380 AH)

ix. Nuzhah al-alibbā257  by Abū al-Barkāt ibn al-Anbārī (d. 577 AH)

x. Al-Muntazim258 by Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 AH)

xi. Inbā’ al-ruwāt259 by Jamāl al-Dīn al-Qiftī (d. 624 AH)

xii. Mu‘jam al-udabā’260 by Yāqūt al-Hamawī (626 AH)

xiii. Tahdhīb al-asmā’ wa al-lughāt261 by al-Nawawī (d. 676 AH)

xiv. Wafayāt al-a‘yan262 by Ibn Khallikān (d. 681 AH)

xv. Tahdhīb al-kamāl263 by al-Mizzī (d. 742 AH)

xvi. Tārīkh al-Islām264 by al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH)

xvii. Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā’265 by al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH)

xviii. Al-‘Ibar fī khabar-i man ghabar266  by al-Dhahabī

xix. Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt267 by al-Safadī (764 AH)

xx. Mir’āt al-jinān268 by Abū Muhammad al-Yafi‘ī (d. 768 AH)

xxi. Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah269 by Ibn Kathīr (d. 772 AH)

xxii. Subh al-a‘shā 270 by al-Qalqashandī (d. 791 AH)

xxiii. Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldūn271 (d. 808 AH)

xxiv. Bulghah272 by al-Fayrūzābādī (d. 810 AH)

xxv. Ghāyah al-nihāyah273 by Ibn al-Jazarī (d. 833 AH)

xxvi. Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb274 by Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH)

xxvii. Bughyah al-wu‘āt275 by al-Suyūtī (d. 911 AH)

xxviii. Shadharat al-dhahab276 by ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Hanbalī (d. 1089 AH)

xxix. Tanqīh al-maqāl277 by al-Maqāmānī (d. 1351 AH)

xxx. Al-A‘lām278 by al-Zarkalī (d. 1396 AH)

 

The following works however cite that al-Khalīl was responsible for this endeavour:

i. Al-Muhkam279 by al-Dānī (d. 444 AH). He records that Abū al-Hasan ibn Kaysān reported this from Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad (d. 285 AH)

ii. Alif bā’280 by al-Balawī (d. 604 AH)

iii. Al-Wasīlah ilā Kashf al-‘aqīlah281 by al-Sakhāwī (d. 643 AH)

iv. Al-Itqān282 by al-Suyutī (d. 911 AH)

Following are some of the contemporary works that refer to this endeavour of al-Khalīl:

i. Al-Sabīl ilā dabt kalimāt al-tanzīl283 by Ahmad Muhammad Abū Zaytahār (d. 1413 AH)

ii. Hayāt al-lughah al-‘arabiyyah284 by Hifnī Bik Nāsif (d. 1337 AH)

iii. Qissah al-kitābah al-‘arabiyyah285 by Ibrāhīm Jumu‘ah

Given the paucity of mention in overwhelmingly large number of sources, the ascription of this endeavour to al-Khalīl seems to stand on slippery grounds.

 

D. Manuscript Evidence

A little deliberation on the traditional accounts of the development of vocalization and diacritics in Qur’ānic orthography shows that the vocalization of the mushaf was completed first. Once this was done, only then came the phase of putting diacritics to distinguish similar graphemes.286 Thus these accounts entail that there should be some early Qur’ānic masāhif even in partial which are fully vocalized with red dots but have no black dots as diacritic marks to distinguish letters because the diacritical phase came almost three decades after the vocalization phase. Similarly there should be no masāhif which only have black dots to mark diacritics and no red dots to mark vocalization because the latter preceded the former.

On the contrary, empirical evidence shows the reverse: the earliest Qur’anic manuscripts (hijāzī manuscripts) and some of the early Kufic ones also287 do have black dots to mark diacritics even though sparingly; they do not have red dots for vocalization. No Hijāzī manuscript has thus far been discovered which has only red dots to mark vocalization.

Here are some examples:

i. Sūrah Ibrāhīm, verses 19-44. Location: not known. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. No vocalization but diacritics present sparingly in the form of dots and angled dashes.288

288_a_Ren.jpg (522×653)

288_b_Ren.jpg (498×653)

 

 

 

ii. Codex Ṣan‘ā DAM 01-27.1. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: al-Maktabah al-Sharqiyyah and Dār al-Makhṭūtāt, Ṣanʿāʾ, Yemen. Also at the David Collection, Copenhagen, and other private collections. Miscellaneous verses. These palimpsests have a few diacritical marks with no vocalization and sūrah titles.289 In a recent study of this codex, Sadeghi has concluded that its scriptio inferior belongs to the period of the companions of Muhammad (sws), whilst its scriptio superior belongs to the ʿUthmānic tradition.290

289_a_Ren.jpg (482×650) 289_b_Ren.jpg (488×648)
289_c_Ren.jpg (472×644)

289_d_Ren.jpg (449×628)

289_e_Ren.jpg (454×617) 289_f_Ren.jpg (436×602)
289_g_Ren.jpg (478×695) 289_h_Ren.jpg (473×680)
289_i_Ren.jpg (457×650) 289_j_Ren.jpg (460×646)

289_k_Ren.jpg (421×591)

289_l_Ren.jpg (432×594)

289_m_Ren.jpg (511×618)

 

289_n_Ren.jpg (563×572)

 

iii. No number. Sūrah An‘ām, verses 5-20. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: Maktabah al-Jāmi‘ al-Kābir, San‘ā (Yemen). Diacritics present.291

iv. Side A: Sūrah Muddaththir, verses 1-27; Side B: Sūrah Muddaththir, verses 34-56. The Sotheby’s 2004 fragment contains Sūrah Hūd, verses 73-95. 1st century hijrah. Location: A private collection in London. Script is Kufic. Consonants are sparsely differentiated.292

292_a_Ren.jpg (609×437)

292_b_Ren.jpg (365×491)

292_c_Ren.jpg (556×406)

292_d_Ren.jpg (367×485)

292_e_Ren.jpg (960×633)

 

v. Arabe 328a. Miscellaneous verses. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City; Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London. Occasional diacritical strokes. There is no vocalization. Reading of Ibn ‘Āmir.293

293_a_Ren.jpg (443×674)

293_b_Ren.jpg (409×668)

293_c_Ren.jpg (479×657)

 

vi. MS. Or. 2165. Miscellaneous verses. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Studied by Instisar Rabb and reassigned the reading of Hims. Location: British Library, London UK. The consonants are frequently differentiated by dashes.294

294_a_Ren.jpg (438×693)

294_b_Ren.jpg (439×686)

 

vii. LNS 19 CAab. Surah Mā’idah, verse 89 to Sūrah An‘ām, verse 12. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: Dār al-Athar al-Islāmiyyah, Kuwait. This manuscript bears a striking resemblance to the British Museum Ms. Or. 2165. The consonants are frequently differentiated by dashes.295

295_Ren.jpg (740×547)

 

viii. 1611-mkh235. Sūrah Mā’idah, verses 7-12. 1st century hijrah. Script is early kufic. Location: Bayt al-Qur’ān, Manama, Bahrain. Diacritics present.296 

296_Ren.jpg (498×278)

 

ix. Ms. Qāf 47. Miscellaneous Verses. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī.  Location: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Germany, and Dār al-Kutub al-Misriyyah, Cairo. The consonants are differentiated by dashes.297

297_a_Ren.jpg (454×617)

297_b_Ren.jpg (462×617)

297_c_Ren.jpg (450×616)

297_d_Ren.jpg (453×624)

 

x. QUR-1-TSR. Sūrah Mā’idah, verses 18-29. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: Tareq Rajab Museum, Kuwait. The consonants are frequently differentiated by dashes.298

298_Ren.jpg (499×684)

xi. Codex Ṣan‘ā DAM 01-25.1. Miscellaneous verses. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: Dār al-Makhtūtāt, Ṣan‘ā, Yemen. There are few diacritical marks.299

299_a_Ren.jpg (370×476)

299_b_Ren.jpg (367×471)

299_c_Ren.jpg (478×693)

 

xii. DAM 01-29.1 Miscellaneous verses. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: Dār al-Makhtutāt, Ṣanā, Yemen. There are few diacritical marks.300

300_a_Ren.jpg (372×559)

300_b_Ren.jpg (361×552)

300_c_Ren.jpg (364×548)

300_d_Ren.jpg (364×548)

300_e_Ren.jpg (363×536)

300_f_Ren.jpg (364×508)

 

xiii. M. 1572. Miscellaneous verses. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. The consonants are differentiated by dashes. The muṣḥaf is partly vocalized with red dots by a later (?) hand.301

301_a_Ren.jpg (458×631)

301_b_Ren.jpg (457×635)

301_c_Ren.jpg (462×632)

301_d_Ren.jpg (449×634)

 

xiv. No number. 1st century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: Not known. Diacritical marks, where present, consists of oval dots or angled dashes.302

302_a_Ren.jpg (365×556)

302_b_Ren.jpg (315×555)

 

xv. DAM 01-28.1. Miscellaneous verses. 1st – 2nd century hijrah. The script is Hijāzi. Location: Dār al-Makhtūtāt, Ṣan‘ā, Yemen. Diacritical marks are frequent.303

303_a_Ren.jpg (394×573)

303_b_Ren.jpg (402×585)

 

xvi. Codex Ṣan‘ā DAM 01-18.3. Sūrah Anfāl, verses 2-11 and 41-46. 1st – 2nd century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: Dār al-Makhtūtāt, Ṣan‘ā, Yemen. Few diacritical marks.304

304_Ren.jpg (541×612)

xvii. Codex Ṣan‘ā DAM 01-30.1 Miscellaneous verses. 2nd century hijrah. The script is Hijāzī. Location: Dār al-Maktūtāt, Ṣan‘ā, Yemen. Few diacritical marks.305

305_a_Ren.jpg (367×527)

305_b_Ren.jpg (367×526)

305_c_Ren.jpg (363×525)

305_d_Ren.jpg (367×521)

xviii. Codex Ṣan‘ā DAM 01-29.2. Miscellaneous verses. 2nd century hijrah. The script is kufic. Location: Dār al-Makhtūtāt, Ṣanā, Yemen. Diacritical marks are sparsely distributed.306

306_a_Ren.jpg (380×434)

306_b_Ren.jpg (377×434)

306_c_Ren.jpg (415×392)

306_d_Ren.jpg (419×401)

It may be of further interest to note that Giorgio Levi Della Vida (d. 1967) has published one of the earliest partial Qur’ān masāhif on parchment. It belongs to the first century and is found in the Vatican Library. It begins with the fourth verse of Sūrah Hūd. Diacritical dots are apparent.307

 

IV. Conclusion

In the light of this analysis, it can be gathered that the way traditional Muslim sources ascribe the introduction of vocalization and diacritics to certain personalities in the first century of Islam is not sound. The roles alleged to have been played by Abū al-Aswad al-Du’alī, Nasr ibn ‘Āsim and Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar cannot be established historically through reliable means. Empirical evidence also negates the traditional Muslim account. Even the alleged development made by al-Khalīl ibn Ahmad al-Farāhīdī in vocalization symbols stands on slippery ground.

However, as far as the scheme of vocalization and diacritics (both initially represented by dots) is concerned, it does clearly appear in the early manuscripts discovered. So the question arises on the origin of this scheme. Who was responsible for it?

As far as the dotting of similar letters is concerned, it can be said with reasonable certainty that these dots were invented with the invention of the alphabet. They were however sparingly used in writing the Qur’ān since the reliance was primarily on oral transmission. It seems that as written Qur’āns became more pervasive to cater for the need of converts and for the teaching of children etc the sparingly used dots gradually gave way to dots being used everywhere on the letters that needed it. The scheme of dotting similar letter thus would not require that its originator be researched into and it be ascribed to particular individuals.

As far as vocalization is concerned, it seems quite plausible that this is something which perhaps the Arabs borrowed from the Syriac tradition to which they were exposed. Versteegh (b. 1947)308 has pointed out the striking correlation between the Arabic signs fatha, kasrah and dammah and the Syriac signs pētāhā (opening), hēbāsā (pushing) and ēsāsā (contraction). In all probability, the Syriac signs were also represented by sublinear and supralinear dots.309 When exactly was this dot notation introduced in Qur’ānic manuscripts cannot be said with certainty. Manuscript studies may help us ascertain this fact.

It would thus be better to give up the long-standing view of ascribing to certain personalities the origination of nuqat meant both for vocalization and diacritics. Similarly, if it is correct to conclude that al-Khalīl ibn Ahmad al-Farāhīdī had no role in the second vocalization phase in which the dot notation was changed to the dash/stroke notation, then the question may be posed: Who was responsible for this? To the best of my knowledge, the available material on this subject does not give a clue to the answer of this question. However, this development may have been the handiwork of an innovative scribe who deemed black dotted notation for diacritics and the red dotted notation of vocalization were becoming cumbersome for the scribes and confusing for the readers. His idea obviously was then picked up by many others. However, this is merely a conjecture and at the moment lacks historical corroboration.

 

 

1. Some authorities believe that these masāhif were purposefully left devoid of vocalization and diacritics to accommodate some variants which were authentically ascribed to the Prophet (sws) but not read in the al-ardah al-akhīrah. See: Abū al-Khayr Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Jazarī, Al-Nashr fī al-qirā’āt al-‘ahsr, vol. 1 (Egypt: Maktabah al-Tujjāriyyah, n.d.), 33. Al-Dānī expresses a somewhat similar view. See: Abū ‘Amr ‘Uthmān ibn Sa‘īd, Al-Muhkam fī naqt al-masāhif, 1st ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 2004), 11. Others believe that the purpose was to accommodate the seven ahruf. See, for example: Abū al-‘Abbās Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Halīm ibn Taymiyah, Majmū‘ah fatāwā, 2nd vol. 13 (n.p: Maktabah Ibn Taymiyah, n.d.), 402.

2. Notation of vowel markings.

3. In classical sources, the term used for both tashkīl and i‘jām is nuqat (dotting), as the dot noation was used used for both of them.

4. Abū al-Khayr Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Jazarī, Ghāyah al-nihāyah fī tabaqāt al-qurrā’, vol. 1 (Cairo: Maktabah al-khanji, 1932), 346.

5. See for example: Abū al-Faraj ‘Alī ibn al-Husayn al-Abahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12 (Lebanon: Dār al-fikr li al-tabā‘ah wa al-nashr, n.d.), 347; Abū al-Barkāt Kamāl al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muhammad ibn al-Anbārī, Nuzhah al-alibbā’ fī tabaqāt al-alibbā’, 3rd ed. (Al-Zarqā’: Maktabah al-manār, 1985), 18-19; Jamāl al-Dīn Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī ibn Yūsuf al-Qiftī, Inbā’ al-ruwāt ‘alā anbā’ al-nuhāt, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Cairo: Dār al-Fikr al-‘arabī, 1986), 40.

6. Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Qāsim ibn Muhammad ibn Bashshār ibn al-Hasan al-Anbārī, Īdāh al-waqf wa al-ibtidā’ fī kitābillāh, 1st ed. (Cairo: Dār al-hadīth, 2007), 35-36; Abū al-Faraj al-Abahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12, 347; Abū Sa‘īd al-Hasan ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-Basriyyīn, 1st ed. (Cairo: Shirkah maktabah wa matba‘ah Mustafā al-Bābī, 1995), 12; Abū al-Mahāsīn Yūsuf ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Yaghmūrī, Nūr al-qabis al-mukhtasar min al-muqtabis fī akhbār al-nuhāt wa al-udabā’ wa al-shu‘arā’ wa al-‘ulamā’ (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1964), 4-5; Abū al-Faraj Muhammad ibn Ishāq ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 2002), 63; Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 11-12; Abū al-Qāsim ‘Alī ibn al-Husayn ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 25 (Beirut: Dār al-fikr, 1995), 189; Ibid., vol, 25, 192-193; Al-Qiftī, Inbā’ al-ruwāt, vol. 1, 40; Abū ‘Abdullāh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Qāyamaz ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-Islām, 1st ed., vol. 5 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘arabī, 1407), 278-279; Abū ‘Abdullāh Badr al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Bahādur ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Zarkashī, Al-Burhān fī ‘ulūm al-Qur’ān, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-fikr, 1980), 317.

7. See, for example: Jalāl al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Kamāl al-Dīn Abī Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sābiq al-Dīn al-Suyūtī, Al-Itqān fī ‘ulūm al-Qur’ān, 1st ed., vol. 4 (Baydār: Manshūrāt al-radī, 1349 AH), 184; Muhammad Ghawth ibn Nāsir al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Nizām al-Dīn Ahmad al-Nā’itī, Nathr al-marjān fī rasm-i nazm al-qur’ān (Hyderabad: Matba‘ah ‘Uthmān, 1331 AH), 12.

8. Read thus, the verse would mean: “That God has acquitted Himself from the Idolaters and His Messenger.” The correct reading (أَنَّ اللّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولُهُ) would mean: “That God and His Messenger have acquitted themselves from the Idolaters.”

9. According to the account recorded by Abū Tayyib ‘Abd al-Wāhid (d. 351 AH), it is mentioned on the other hand that Abū al-Aswad had only asked for one scribe in the first place; this was provided from the ‘Abd al-Qays tribe but Abū al-Aswad was not satisfied with him after which he was provided with one from the Quraysh whom he accepted. See: Abū al-Tayyib ‘Abd al-Wāhid, Marātib al-nahwiyyīn (Cairo: Maktabah nahdah, n.d.), 10.

10. Abū Bakr Ibn al-Anbārī, Īdāh, 35-36. See also: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 11-12. Besides, ‘Utbī, this account is also reported similarly by Abū ‘Ubaydah Ma‘mar ibn Muthannā (d. 209 AH), by Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad (d. 286 AH) and with scanty details by Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Madā’inī (d. 225 AH).

Those who record Abū ‘Ubaydah’s account include: Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 11-12; Ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 63; Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 25, 189; Al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-islām, vol. 5, 278-279. The account says that Ziyād asked Abū al-Aswad to do something that will be a guide to people in reading the Book of God; at first he refused; however later when, he heard someone wrongly reading the Sūrah Tawbah verse (cited by ‘Utbī) he came over to Ziyād and asked him to make available a scribe for this purpose. A scribe from the tribe of ‘Abd al-Qays was brought, but Abū al-Aswad was not pleased with him. However, when another scribe was brought, he set out to put nuqat on the masāhif by employing the methodology of intonation described above by ‘Utbī.

Those who record al-Mubarrad’s account include: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13. The words are: When Abū al-Aswad resolved to institute Arabic grammar, he called a scribe from the tribe of ‘Abd al-Qays and through him he set out to put nuqat on the masāhif by employing the methodology of intonation described above by ‘Utbī. put nuqat. It may be noted that there is no mention of mushaf in this account.

Those who record al-Madā’inī’s account include Abū Faraj al-Asbahānī. See: Abū Faraj al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12, 347. This account while omitting other details says that Ziyād ordered Abū al-Aswad to put nuqat on the masāhif, which he did and also asked him to institute the rules of grammar.

11. See: Mūsā Shāhīn Lāshīn, Al-La’ālī al-hassān fī ‘ulūm al-qur’ān, 1st ed. (Cairo: Dār al-shurūq, 2002), 67.

12. See for example: Ibrāhīm al-Jumu‘ah, Qissah al-kitābah al-‘arabiyyah (Cairo: Dār al-ma ‘ārif, 1947), 52; Abū ‘Abdullāh al-Zanjanī, Tārīkh al-Qur’an, 3rd ed. (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-a‘lamī li al-matbū‘āt, 1969), 88; Hifnī Nāsif, Hayāt al-lughah al-‘arabiyyah (n.p.: Matba‘ah al-jarīdah, 1910), 58.

13. Jurjī Zaydān, Tārīkh al-tamaddum al-islāmī, vol. 3 (Beirut: Manshūrāt dār maktabah al-hayāt, n.d.), 62.

14. This is the conclusion drawn by Dr al-Farmāwī and Dr Ghānim Qadūrī. See: Dr ‘Abd al-Hayy Husayn al-Farmawī, Rasm al-mushaf wanuqatuhū, 1st ed. (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-rayyān, 2004), 293; Dr ‘Abd al-Hayy Husayn al-Farmawī, Qissah al- nuqat wa al-shakl (Cairo: Dār al-nahdah al-‘arabiyyah, n.d.), 65; Dr Ghānim Qadūrī al-Hamd, Rasm al-mushaf, dirāsātun lughwiyyatun tārikhiyyatun, 2nd ed. (Aman: Dār ‘ammār li al-nashr wa al-tawzī‘, 2009), 425.

15. Mūsā Shāhīn Lāshīn, Al-La’ālī al-hassān, 68. Dr al-Farmāwī also supports Lāshīn’s inference. See: Dr ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Farmāwī, Rasm al-mushaf, 298.

16. However, I am not able to find in the earlier sources a corroboration of this effort undertaken by Nasr.

17. Hifnī Nāsif, Hayāt al-lughah al-‘arabiyyah, 87.

18. Ibid., 86-87.

19. See, for example: Dr Hasan ‘Awn, Al-Lughah wa al-nahw dirāsātūn tārīkhiyyatun wa tahlīliyyatun wa muqāranatun, 1st ed. (n.p.: Matba‘ah rūyāl, 1952), 248.

20. See, for example: Dr ‘Abd al-Fattāh al-Shalbī, Abū ‘Alī al-Fārisī wa athruhū fī al-qirā’āt wa al-nahw, (Cairo: Maktabah al-nahdah, 1377 AH), 440; ‘Alī al-Najdī Nāsif, Abū al-Aswad al-Du’alī ‘asruhū hayātuhū āthāruhū al-‘ilmiyyah wa al-adabiyyah (Cairo: Al-Majlis al-a‘lā li al-shu’ūn al-islāmiyyah, 1968). 170.

21. See: Dr al-Farmāwī, Rasm al-mushaf, 296-297.

22. Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-tanbīh ‘alā hudūth al-tashīf, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dār Sādir, 1992), 27-28.

23. Abū Ahmad al-Hasan ibn ‘Abdullāh al-‘Askarī, Sharh mā yaqa‘u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 1st ed. (Cairo: Shirkah maktabah wa matba‘ah Mustafā al-Bābī, 1963), 13. Ibn Khallikān has cited him in his Wafayāt. See: Abū al-‘Abbās Shams al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abī Bakr ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a‘yan wa anbā’ abnā’ al-zamān, vol. 2 (Lebanon: Dār al-thaqāfah, n.d.), 32.

24. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 27-29.

25. See, for example: Mūsā Shāhīn Lāshīn, Al-La’ālī al-hassān, 68; Dr al-Farmāwī, Rasm al-mushaf, 301.

26. Ibn Atiyah, (ed.) Arthur Jeffery, Muqaddimah Tafsīr (Cairo: Maktabah khanjī, 1954), 276. See also: Abū ‘Abdullāh Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abū Bakr al-Qurtubī, Al-Jāmi‘ li ahkām al-Qur’ān, vol. 1 (Cairo: Dār al-shu‘ab, n.d.), 63; Abū al-Fadā’ Ismā‘īl ibn ‘Umar ibn Kathīr, Fadā’il al-Qur’ān (Cairo: Dār al-hadīth, n.d.), 90; Abū al-Qāsim ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Jazzī al-Kalbī, Al-Tashīl li ‘ulūm al-tanzīl, vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1995), 6.

It may be be added here that if Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar had a share in putting these diacritics with Nasr, then in the above expression … وأما شكل المصحف ونقطه, the word shakl and nuqat must be interpreted as synonyms to mean diacritics. The fact that they can occur as synonyms is linguistically possible (for example, Ibn Manzūr records:أشكله: أعجمه. See: Ibn Manzūr, Lisān al-‘arab, vol. 11, 358); however, does the context and occasion allow this synonymous use? The answer to this question will be given in the “Critical Evaluation” Section.

27. Abū ‘Abdullāh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Tanasī, ed. Ahmad ibn Ahmad Sharshāl, Al-Tirāz fī sharh dabt al-Kharrāz (Madīnah: Majma‘ al-Malik Fahad li al-tabā‘ah al-mushaf al-sharīf, 1420 AH), 51.

28. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 14. See also: Abū al-Hajjāj Yūsuf ibn Muhammad al-Balawī, Alif bā’, vol. 1 (Cairo: Jamī‘ah al-ma‘ārif, 1287 AH), 176.

29. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13.

30. Dr Ghānim Qadūrī al-Hamd, Rasm al-mushaf, 456; Al-Tanasī, ed. Ahmad ibn Ahmad Sharshāl, Al-Tirāz, 46-47.

31. Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī, Sharh ma yaqa‘u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 13. 

32. See, for example, Ibn Manzūr records: أشكله: أعجمه. See: Ibn Manzūr, Lisān al-‘arab, vol. 11, 358. Some other scholars who do not accord this meaning to i‘jām think that there is some discrepancy in the words cited because they think that the i‘jām mentioned refer to diacritics and these had already been inserted. See, for example: Jurjī Zaydān, Tārīkh al-tamaddum al-islāmī, vol. 3, 62; ‘Adnān al-Khatīb, Al-Mu‘jam al-‘arabī bayn al-mādī wa al-hādir 2nd ed. (Beirut: Maktabah Labnān nāshirūn, 1992), 25.

33. Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Zubaydī, Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn wa lughwiyyīn, 2nd ed. (Cairo: Dār al-ma‘ārif, n.d.), 21. He attributes this view to Mubarrad (d. 285 AH).

34. Abū Hilāl al-Hasan ibn ‘Abdullāh ibn Sahal ibn Sa‘īd ibn Yahyā al-‘Askarī, Al-Awā’il, 1st ed. (Cairo: Dār al-bashīr li al-thaqāfah wa ‘ulūm al-islāmiyyah, 1987), 372.

35. Abū al-Faraj ‘Abd al-Rahmān ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jawzī, Al-Muntazam fī tārīkh al-mulūk wa al-umam, 1st ed., vol. 6 (Beirut: Dār sādir, 1358 AH), 97.

36. Abū ‘Abdullāh Yaqūt ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Hamawī, Mu‘jam al-udabā’, 1st ed., vol. 3 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1411 AH), 436.

37. Abū al-Safā’ Salāh al-Dīn Khalīl ibn Aybak ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 16 (Beirut: Dār ihyā al-turāth, 2000), 305.

38. Al-Qurtubī, Jāmi‘ Ahkām al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, 63.

39. Ahmad ibn ‘Alī al-Qalqashandī, Subh al a‘shā fī sina‘ah al-inshā, vol. 1 (Damascus: Wizārah al-thaqāfah, 1981), 478; Ibid., vol. 3, 149.

40. Abū al-Fadl Ahmad ibn ‘Alī ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī, Al-Isābah fī tamyīz al-sahābah, 1st ed., vol. 3 (Beirut: Dār al-jīl, 1992), 562.

41. Jalāl al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Kamāl al-Dīn Abī Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sābiq al-Dīn al-Suyūtī, Bughyah al-wu‘āt fī tabaqāt al-lughwiyyīn wa al-nuhāt, vol. 2 (Lebanon: Al-Maktabah al-‘asriyyah, n.d.), 22

42. Sayyid al-Mar‘ashī, Sharh ihqāq al-haqq, vol. 8 (Qum: Manshūrāt maktabah āyatullāh al-‘uzmah al-Mar‘ashī, 1411 AH), 4.

43. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 12-13. He ascribes this opinion to Abū Hātim Sahal ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Uthmān (d. 255 AH).

44. Abū Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haq ibn Ghālib ibn ‘Atiyyah, Al-Muharrar al-wajīz fī tafsīr al-kitāb al-‘azīz, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1993), 50. He says that this is what is recorded in the Kitāb al-amsār of al-Jāhiz (d. 255 AH).

45. Al-Dhahabī, Ma‘rifah al-qurrah al-kibār, vol. 1, 170.

46. Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb al-Fayrūzābādī, Al-Bulghah fī tarājim ā’immah al-nahaw wa al-lughah, 1st ed. (Kuwait: Jamī‘ah ihyā’ al-turāth al-islāmī, 1407 AH), 232.

47. In al-Jazarī, Ghāyah al-nihāyah fī tabaqāt al-qurrā’, vol. 2, 293.

48. Al-Yaghmūrī, Nūr al-qabis, 23.

49. Ahmad ibn Mustafā Tāshkubrāzādah, Mawsū‘ah mustalahāt miftāh al-sa‘ādah wa misbāh al-siyādah bi mawdū‘āt al-‘ulūm, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1985), 21.

50. Abū Bakr ‘Abdullāh ibn Abī Dā’ūd Sulaymān ibn al-Ash‘ath, Kitāb al-masāhif, 1st ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1985), 158.

51. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 12.

52. Ibn ‘Atiyyah, Al-Muharrar al-wajīz, vol. 3, 294.

53. Abū al-Hajjāj Yūsuf ibn al-Zakī al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl fī asmā’ al-rijāl, 1st ed., vol. 32 (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-risālah, 1980), 54.He attributes this view to Hārūn ibn Mūsā (d. 248 AH).

54. Abū al-Fadā’ Ismā‘īl ibn ‘Umar ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, vol. 9 (Beirut: Maktabah al-ma‘ārif, n.d.), 73.

55. Abū ‘Abdullāh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Qāyamaz ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Dhahabī, Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā’, 9th ed., vol. 4 (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-risālah, 1413 AH), 442.

56. Ibn al-Jazarī, Ghāyah al-nihāyah, vol. 2, 381. He attributes this view to Hārūn ibn Mūsā.

57. Abū al-Fadl Ahmad ibn ‘Alī ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, 1st ed., vol. 11 (Beirut: Dār al-fikr, 1984), 266. He also attributes this view to Hārūn ibn Mūsā.

58. Al-Yaghmūrī, Nūr al-qabis, 21.

59. Jamāl al-Dīn Abū al-Mahāsin Yūsuf ibn Taghrī Bardī, Al-Nujūm al-zāhirah fī mulūk misr wa al-qāhirah, vol. 1 (Cairo: Wazārah al-thaqāfah wa al-irshād al-qawmī, n.d.), 217.

60. Jalāl al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Kamāl al-Dīn Abī Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sābiq al-Dīn al-Suyūtī, Tabaqāt al-huffāz, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah), 38.

61. Tāshkubrāzādah, Mawsū‘ah mustalahāt miftāh al-sa‘ādah, vol. 2, 21. He ascribes this view to the Tārīkh of Imām al-Bukhārī.

62. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 14. He ascribes this opinion to Abū Hātim Sahal ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Uthmān (d. 255 AH).

63. For this reconciliation, see: Ahmad Mālik Hammād, Miftāh al-amān fī rasm al-Qur’ān (n.p.: Dā al-Sanghāliyyah, n.d.), 129-130; ‘Abd al-Fattāh al-Qādī, Tārīkh al-mushaf al-sharīf, 5th ed. (Cairo: Maktabah al-qāhirah, 2010), 57-58; ‘Abd al-Sabūr Shāhīn, Tāīkh al-Qur’ān, 2nd ed. (Cairo: Markaz al-tawzī‘ al-ra’īs, 2006), 112; Dr Ghānim Qadūrī, Rasm al-mushaf, 458; Dr al-Farmāwī, Rasm al-mushaf, 338-339. For some other reconciliations, see: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13; Muhammad ‘Abd al-‘Azīm, Manāhil al-‘irfān fī ‘ulūm al-Qur’ān, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār ihyā’ al-turāth al-‘arabī, 1998), 285-286.

64. Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 33, 37.

65. Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 17.

66. It is said that she declined the word أشد in the nomintive by pronoucing a dammah instead of the correct accusative pronounced by a fath.

67. Abū al-Faraj al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12, 347. It may be noted that after recording this narrative, Abū al-Faraj al-Asbahānī says that this is what he memorized from Abū Ja‘far ibn Rustam al-Tabarī when he was very young (hadīth al-sinn) and though words could have been more or less, he has narrated the meaning he understood.

68. Ibid., vol. 12, 348.

69. Ibid., vol. 12, 349.

70. In chronological order, they are:

i. Abū ‘Ubaydah Ma‘mar ibn al-Muthannā (d. 209 AH): His words are: awwalu man wudi‘a al-nahw abū al-aswad. See: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13.

ii. Muhammad ibn Salām al-Jumahī (d. 232 AH). His words are: kāna awwalu man assasa al-‘arabiyyah. These words are recorded in al-Jumahī’s own extant book, and perhaps is the earliest occurrence to date of this fact in a written compilation that has reached us. See: Muhammad ibn Sallām al-Jumahī, Tabaqāt fuhūl al-shu‘arā’, vol. 1 (n.p.: Dār al-Madanī, n.d.), 12.

iii. Yahyā ibn Ma‘īn (d. 233 AH). His words are: huwa awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. These words are cited by Ibn Abī Hātim and were reported to have been said in response to a question posed by Abū Bakr ibn Abī Khaythamah about Abū al-Aswad to Yahyā ibn Ma‘īn. See: ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Abī Hātim, Al-jarh wa al-ta‘dīl. 1st ed., vol., 4 (Beirut: Dār al-ihyā’ al-turāth al-‘arabī, 1952), 4, 503.

iv. Ahmad ibn ‘Abdullāh ibn Sālih al-‘Ijlī (d. 261 AH). His words are: yuqālu innahū awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. See: Ahmad ibn ‘Abdullāh ibn Sālih al-‘Ijlī, Ma‘rifah al-thiqāt, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Madīnah: Maktabah al-dār, 1985), 484.

v. Abū Muhammad ‘Abdullāh ibn Muslim ibn Qutaybah (d. 276 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā‘a al-‘arabiyyah. See: Abū Muhammad ‘Abdullāh ibn Muslim ibn Qutaybah, Al-Ma‘ārif, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 2003), 247.

vi. Abū Hātim Muhammad ibn Hibbān al-Bustī, (d. 354 AH). His words are: huwa awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. See: Abū Hātim Muhammad al-Bustī ibn Hibbān, Al-Thiqāt, 1st ed., vol. 4 (Np.: Dār al-fikr, 1975), 400; vol. 5, 178.

vii. Abū Bakr Ahmad ibn ‘Alī ibn Munjawayh al-Asbahānī (d. 428 AH). The words recorded by him are huwa awwalu man takallama ‘an al-nahw. See: Abū Bakr Ahmad ibn ‘Alī ibn Munjawayh al-Asbahānī, rijāl sahīh Muslim, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-ma‘rifah, 1407 AH), 333.

viii. Abū al-Walīd Sulaymān ibn Khalf ibn Sa‘d al-Bājī (d. 474 AH). He cites the opinion of Yahyā ibn Ma‘īn already quoted above. See: Abū al-Walīd Sulaymān ibn Khalf ibn Sa‘d al-Bājī, Al-Ta‘dīl wa al-tajrīh, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Riyād: Dār al-liwā li al-nashr wa al-tawzī‘, 1986),609.

ix. Abū al-Hasan ‘Izz al-Dīn al-Jazarī ibn Athīr (d. 630 AH). The words he records are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā‘a al-nahw. See: Abū al-Hasan ‘Izz al-Dīn Ibn al-Athīr al-Jazarī, Usud al-ghābah, 1st ed., vol. 3 (Beirut: Dār ihyā’ al-turāth al-‘arabī, 1996), 101.

x. Kamāl al-Dīn ‘Umar ibn Ahmad ibn Abī Jarādah (d. 660 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā‘a ‘ilm al-nahw. See: Kamāl al-Dīn ‘Umar ibn Ahmad ibn Abī Jarādah, Bughyah al-talab fī tārīkh Halab, vol. 10 (n.p.: Dār al-fikr, n.d.), 4325.

xi. Muhī al-Din Abū Zakariyyā Yahyā ibn Sharaf ibn Marrī ibn Hasan ibn Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Jumu‘ah ibn Hizām al-Nawawī (d. 676 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. See: Muhī al-Din Abū Zakariyyā Yahyā ibn Sharaf ibn Marrī ibn Hasan ibn Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Jumu‘ah ibn Hizām al-Nawawī, Tahdhīb al-asmā’ wa al-lughāt, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-fikr, 1996), 468.

xii. Abū al-‘Abbās Shams al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abī Bakr ibn Khallikān (d. 681 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā‘a al-nahw. See: Ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a‘yān, vol. 2, 535.

xiii. Abū ‘Abdullāh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Qāyamaz ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Dhahabī (d. 746 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wada‘a masā’il fī al-‘arabiyyah bi ishārah ‘Alī (rta). See: Abū ‘Abdullāh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Qāyamaz ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Dhahabī, Ma‘rifah al-qurrā’ al-kibār, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Istanbul: Manshūrāt markaz al-buhūth al-islāmiyyah, 1995), 154.

xiv. Abū al-Fadā Ismā‘īl ibn ‘Umar ibn Kathīr (d. 774 AH). The words recorded by him are: huwa awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. See: Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, vol. 8, 312.

xv. Abū Zayd ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muhammad ibn Khaldūn (d. 808 AH). His words are: Abū al-aswad wād‘i al-nahw. See: ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muhammad ibn Khaldūn, Tārīkh, 5th ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-qalam, 1984), 383.

xvi. Jamāl al-Dīn Abī al-Mahāsin Yūsuf ibn Taghrī Bardī (d. 874 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā‘a ‘ilm al-nahw. See: Ibn Taghrī Bardī, Al-Nujūm al-zāhirah, vol. 1, 184.

xvii. ‘Abd al-Hayy ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-‘Ikrī (d. 1089 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā‘a al-‘arabiyyah. See: ‘Abd al-Hayy ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-‘Ikrī, Shadhrāt al-dhahab fī akhbār man dhahab, vol. 1 (Damascus: Dār Ibn Kathīr, 1406 AH), 114.

xviii. ‘Abd al-Qādir ibn ‘Umar al-Baghdādī (d. 1093 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa wādi‘ ‘ilm al-‘arabiyyah bi ta‘līm ‘Alī (rta). See: ‘Abd al-Qādir ibn ‘Umar al-Baghdādī, Khazānah al-adab wa lubb lubāb lisān al-‘arab, 1st ed, vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1998), 277.

xix. Shaykh ‘Abbās al-Qummī (d. 1359 AH). The words used by him are: huwa alladhī ibtakara al-nahw bi ishārah amīr al-mu’minīn. See: Shaykh ‘Abbās al-Qummī, Al-Kunā wa al-alqāb (Tehran: Maktabah al-sadar, n.d.), 9-12.

xx. Sayyid Sharf al-Dīn (d. 1377 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa alladhī wada‘a ‘ilm al-nahw ‘alā qawā‘id akhadhahū ‘an amīr al-mu’minīn. See: Sayyid Sharf al-Dīn, Al-Murāji‘āt, 2nd ed. (n.p: n.p, 1982), 140-141.

71. It may be of interest to note that in recent times the issue of the first Arabic grammarian has been discussed with renewed interest. For example, Talmon employing the Schatian framework argues in favour of ‘Abdullāh ibn Ishāq al-Hadramī (d. 117 AH). See: Rafeal Talmon, ‘Who was the First Grammarian: A New Approach to an Old Problem,’ Zeitschrift fur arabische Linguistik 15 (1985), 143; Rafeal Talmon, ‘Schacht’s Theory in the Light of Recent Discoveries concerning the Origins of Arabic Grammar,’ Studia Islamica 65 (1987), 31-50. In another article, he argues about the existence of an early grammatical school in Madīnah with reference to ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Hurmuz (d. 117 AH). See: Rafeal Talmon, ‘An Eighth-Century Grammatical School in Madina: The Collection and Evaluation of the Available Material,’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 48 (1985), 224-236. For a critical evaluation of Talmon’s view, see: Mustafa Shah, ‘Exploring the Genesis of Early Arabic Linguistic Thought: Qur’ānic Readers and Grammarians of the Basran Tradition (Part II),’ Journal of Qur’anic Studies 5 (2003), 9.

72. Those who record Abū ‘Ubaydah’s account include: Abū Sa‘īd al-Hasan ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 1st ed. (Cairo: Shirkah maktabah wa matba‘ah Mustafā al-Bābī, 1995), 11-12; Ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 63; Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 25, 189; Al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-islām, vol. 5, 278-279.

73. Those who record al-Madā’inī’s account include Abū Faraj al-Asbahānī. See: Abū Faraj al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12, 347.

74. Those who record ‘Utbī’s account include Abū Bakr Ibn al-Anbārī. See: Abū Bakr Ibn al-Anbārī, Īdāh, 35-36. See also: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 11-12

75. Those who record al-Mubarrad’s account include al-Dānī. See: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13.

76. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 12, 12.

77. Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 12. For others who have cited Abū ‘Ubaydah without any chain of narration, see: Ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 63; Ibn ‘Asākir, Tarīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 25, 189; Al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-islām, vol. 5, 278-279.

78. Abū Muhammad ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Adī, Al-Kāmil fī al-du‘afā’, 3rd ed. vol. 5 (Beirut: Dār al-fikr, 1998), 213.

79. He should not be confused with the historian Abū Nasr Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbār al-‘Utbī (d. 427 AH).

80. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Ma‘ārif, 299; Al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 4, 6; Ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a‘yān, vol. 4, 398.

81. Al-Dhahabī, Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā’, 11, 96.

82. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13.

83. Those who record al-Mahallab’s account include: Ibn al-Anbārī, Īdāh, 35-36; Abū al-Tayyib, Marātib al-nahwiyyīn, 8; Abū Hilāl al- al-‘Askarī, Al-Awā’il, 371; Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī, Sharh mā yaqa‘u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 14.

84. Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 14, 130.

85. Abū ‘Abdullāh Muhammad al-Zuhrī Ibn Sa‘d, Al-Tabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 7 (Beirut: Dār sādir, n.d.), 327.

86. Ibid., vol. 7, 290.

87. Abū ‘Abdullāh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Qāyamaz ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Dhahabī, Mīzān al-i‘tidāl fī naqd al-rijāl,1st ed., vol. 6 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1995), 196.

88. Ahmad ibn ‘Alī ibn Thābit al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī, Tārīkh Baghdād, vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, n.d), 371. See also: Al-Dhahabī, Mīzān al-i‘tidāl, vol. 6, 196.

89. Ibn Abī Hātim, Al-jarh wa al-ta‘dīl, vol. 8, 14.

90. For a critique on its chain of narration, see point 9 ahead.  

91. Ibn Sa‘d, Al-Tabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 7. 99.

92. Al-Jumahī, Tabaqāt fuhūl al-shu‘arā’, vol. 1, 12.

93. Al-‘Ijli, Ma‘rifah al-Thiqāt, vol. 1, 484.

93. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Ma‘ārif, 247.

95. Ibn Abī Hātim, Al-jarh wa al-ta‘dīl, vol. 4, 503.

96. Abū al-Tayyib ‘Abd al-Wāhid, Marātib al-nahwiyyīn, 6-12.

97. Abū al-Faraj al-Abahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12, 347.

98. Al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-Basriyyīn, 10-12.

99. Al-Zubaydī, Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn, 21.

100. Ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 63.

101. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 12-13.

102. Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, 25, 189-193.

103. Ibn al-Anbārī, Nuzhat al-alibbā’, 20.

104.Al-Qiftī, Inbā’ al-ruwāt, 40.

105. Ibn al-Jawzī, Al-Muntazam, vol. 6, 97.

106. Yaqūt al-Hamawī, Mu‘jam al-udabā’, vol. 3, 436.

107. Al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 16, 305.

108. Al-Dhahabī, Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā’, vol. 4, 83; al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-islām, vol. 5, 278-279.

109. Ibn Hibbān, Al-Thiqāt, vol. 4, 400.

110. Al-Bājī, Al-Ta‘dīl wa al-tajrīh, vol. 2, 609.

111. Ibn Athīr, Usud al-ghābah, vol. 3, 101.

112. Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, vol. 8, 312.

113. Ibn Khaldūn, Tārīkh, vol. 2, 383.

114. Ibn Abī Dā’ūd, Kitāb al-masāhif, 158-165.

115. Others who have authored books by the same name are Ibn al-Anbārī (d. 328 AH) and Ibn Ashtah (d. 360 AH); however, both these books are not extant.

116. Ibn Abī Dā’ūd, Kitāb al-masāhif, 158.

117. Ibid., 158-161.

118. Ibid., 161.

119. Ibid., 162-165.

120. The reports of Abū ‘Ubaydah and al-Madā’inī also mention Ziyād directing Abū al-Aswad to undertake this task.

121. Yūsuf ibn ‘Abdullāh ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Al-Istī‘āb fī ma‘rifah al-ashāb, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-jīl, 1412 AH), 523.It is worth noting here that authorities mention that Ziyād himself remained a scribe of al-Mughīrah ibn Shu‘bah, ‘Abdullāh ibn Kurayz, ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Abbās and Abū Mūsa Ash‘arī. See for example: Abū al-Faraj al-Asbahānī, Al-‘Iqd al-farīd, vol. 4, 154.

122. Ibn Sa‘d, Al-Tabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 7, 99.

123. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Ma‘ārif, 195-196.

124. Abū Hanīfah Ahmad ibn Dā’ūd al-Dīnwarī, Al-Akhbār al-tiwāl, 1st ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 2001), 323-325; Ibid., 331-332.

125. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Al-Istī‘āb, vol. 2, 523-530.

126. Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 19, 162-209.

127. Ibn al-Jawzī, Al-Muntazam, vol. 5, 261-264.

128. Abū al-Hasan ‘Izz al-Dīn ibn al-Athīr al-Jazarī, Al-Kāmil fī al-tārīkh, 2nd ed., vol. 3 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1415 AH),304-308. In these pages, Ibn al-Athīr actually describes the events of his rule in Basrah.

129. Al-Dhahabī, Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā’, vol. 3, 494-495.

130. Muhammad ibn Shākir ibn Ahmad al-Kutbī, Fawāt al-wafayāt, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 2000), 418-420.

131. Al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 15, 6-8. However, in the biographical note on Abū al-Aswad, al-Safadī does mention this incident. See: vol. 16, 307.

132. Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah al-nihāyah, vol. 8, 283-284.

133. Ibn Hajar, Al-Isābah, vol. 2, 639-640.

134. Ibn Hajar, Lisān al-mīzān, vol. 2, 493.

135. Shaykh Fakhr al-Dīn al-Tarīhī, Majma‘ al-bahrayn, 2nd ed., vol. 2 (n.p.: Maktabah al-nashr al-thaqāfah al-islāmiyyah, 1367-1408 AH), 307.

136. Sayyid Muhsin al-Amīn, A‘yān al-shī‘ah, vol 7 (Beirut: Dār al-ta‘ārruf li al-matbū‘āt, 1983), 77.

137. Khayr al-Dīn al-Zarkalī, Al-A‘lām, 10th ed., vol. 3 (Beirut: Dār al ‘ilm li al-malāyīn, 1992), 53.

138. See, for example: Ibn al-Anbārī, Īdāh, 35; Abū al-Barkāt ibn al-Anbārī, Nuzhah al-alibbā’, 19-20; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 25, 191-192; Al-Qurtubī, Jāmi‘ al-ahkām, vol. 1, 24; Jalāl al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Kamāl al-Dīn Abī Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sābiq al-Dīn al-Suyūtī, Sabab wad‘ ‘ilm al-‘arabiyyah, 1st ed. (Beirut: Dār al-hijrah li tabā‘ah wa al-nashr wa al-tawdī‘, 1988), 27-31.

139. See, for example: Ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a‘yan, vol. 4, 341-343; al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī, Tārīkh Baghdād, vol, 3, 180-186.

140. See, for example: Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 9, 449.

141. See, for example: Al-Dhahabī, Siyar, vol. 13, 164-165.

142. See, for example: Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 3, 218.

143. See, for example, al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī, Tārīkh Baghdād, vol, 11, 152-155.

144. See, for example, al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī, Tārīkh Baghdād, vol, 10, 400-406.

145. See, for example: Al-Dhahabī, Siyar, vol. 5, 88-90.

146. Ibn Hajar, Tabaqāt al-mudallisīn, 41. Ibn Hajar also records that according to al-Dāraqutanī, Ibn Jurayj’s tadlīs is the worst of tadlīs because he only does so from impugned narrators (la yudallisu illa fīmā sami‘ahū min majrūh)

147. Ibn Hibbān, Al-Thiqāt, vol. 9, 151-152.

148. Al-Suyūtī, Tabaqāt al-huffāz, vol. 1, 272.

149. Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-tanbīh ‘alā hudūth al-tashīf, 27-28.

150. Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī, Sharh mā yaqa‘u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 13.

151. Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī, Sharh mā yaqa‘u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 13.

152. Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-tanbīh ‘alā hudūth al-tashīf, 27-28.

153. Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī, Sharh mā yaqa‘u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 13.

154. Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 29, 347-348.

155. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13.

156. Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 15-16.

157. Al-Zubaydī, Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn wa lughwiyyīn, 27.

158. Abū al-Barkāt ibn al-Anbārī, Nuzhah al-alibbā’, 23-24.

159. Al-Qiftī, Inbā’ al-ruwāt, vol. 3, 343-344.

160. Yāqūt al-Hamawī, Mu‘jam al-udabā’, vol. 5. 553.

161. Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 29, 347-349. He records that as per an unspecified opinion, Nasr was the first one to speak about Arabic grammar.

162. Al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 27, 44. It may be interesting to note here that al-Safadī in his biographical note on al-Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf refers to Abū Ahmad al-‘Askari’s text as per which according to one opinion Nasr was called upon by al-Hajjāj to put nuqat on themasāhif. See: al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 11, 239. But there is no mention of this in his note on Nasr himself.

163. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 10, 381.

164. Al-Suyūtī, Bughyah al-wu‘āt, vol. 2, 313-314.

165. It may be of interest to note that while the Tārīkh al-islām al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH) is totally devoid of any mention of nuqat with reference to Nasr, his Ma‘rifah al-qurrā’a al-kibār mentions in an uncertain manner (yuqāl) that he was the first to insert nuqat on themasāhif while in his al-Kāshif he does state that he inserted nuqat on the masāhif. See: al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-islām, vol. 6, 210-212; al-Dhahabī, Ma‘rifah al-qurrā’a al-kibār, vol. 1, 170; al-Dhahabī, al-Kāshif, vol. 2, 318.

166. Ibn Atiyah, (ed.) Arthur Jeffery, Muqaddimah tafsīr, 276.

167. Abū al-Khayr Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammd ibn Muhammd ibn ‘Alī ibn al-Jazarī, Ghāyah al-nihāyah, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 2006), 303. Al-Dānī records another narrative as well in which Muhammad ibn Bishr while reporting from Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar says that the latter was the first to put nuqat on the masāhif; however, no authority regards Muhammad ibn Bishr to be a student of Yahyā and hence, in all probability, this narrative too is broken. For the text of the narrative, see: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 12. It may be noted that al-Mizzī and Ibn Hajar refer to this opinion of Hārūn ibn Mūsā. See: Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 32, 53-55; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 11, 266. It may also be noted that Ibn Kathīr (d. 774 AH) and Ibn Taghrī Bardī (d. 874 AH) do record that Yahyā was the first to insert nuqat on the masāhif. In all probability, this too is just a citation of the Hārūn ibn Mūsā’s view – but without referring to him. See: Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, vol. 9, 73; Ibn Ibn Taghrī Bardī, Al-Nujūm al-zāhirah, vol. 1, 217. Al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH) too has stated this. However, barring his Ma‘rifah al-qurrā’ al-kibār, in three of his other works, this statement is given in an unsure manner (qīla). See: Al-Dhahabī. Tārīkh al-islām, vol. 6, 503; Al-Dhahabī, Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā’, vol. 4, 442; Al-Dhahabī, Tadhkirah al-huffāz, vol. 1, 75. Al-Dhahabī, Ma‘rifah al-qurrā’ al-kibār, vol. 1, 162-163.

168. Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 32, 54.

169. Ibn Sa‘d, Al-Tabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 7, 368.

170. Abū al-Tayyib ‘Abd al-Wāhid ibn ‘Alī, Marātib al-nahwiyyīn, 13.

171. Abū Hātim Muhammad ibn Hibbān al-Bustī, Mashāhīr ‘ulamā al-amsār (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1959), 126.

172. Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 17-18.

173. Al-Zubaydī, Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn wa lughwiyyīn, 27-29.

174. Abū al-Barkāt ibn al-Anbārī, Nuzhah al-alibbā’, 24-26.

175. Ibn al-Jawzī, Al-Muntazam, vol. 6, 292-293.

176. Al-Qiftī, Inbā’ al-ruwāt, vol. 4, 24-27.

177. Yaqūt al-Hamawī, Mu‘jam al-udabā’, vol. 5, 638-639.

178. Ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a‘yan, vol. 6, 173-176.

179. Al-Suyūtī, Bughyah al-wu‘āt, vol. 2, 345.

180. See, for eample: Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 17-18; Abū al-Barkāt ibn al-Anbārī, Nuzhah al-alibbā’, 25-26; al-Qiftī, Inbā’ al-ruwāt, vol. 4, 26.

181. Ibn Atiyah, (ed.) Arthur Jeffery, Muqaddimah tafsīr, 276.

182. Al-Qurtubī, Jāmi‘ al-ahkām al-qur’ān, vol. 1, 63.

183. Ibn Jazzī al-Kalbī, Al-Tashīl li ‘ulūm al-tanzīl, vol. 1, 6.

184. Ibn Kathīr, Fadā’il al-Qur’ān, 90.

185. Ibn Sa‘d, Al-Tabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 7, 166-177.

186. Abū ‘Abdullāh Muhammad ibn Ismā‘īl al-Bukhārī, Al-Tārīkh al-kabīr, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 2001), 272-274.

187. Aslam ibn Sahl al-Wāsitī, Tarīkh Wāsit, 1st ed., Beirut: ‘Ālam al-kitāb, 1406 AH. This is in spite of the glaring fact that it was in this city of Wāsit that ‘Abd al-Malik is alleged to have deputed al-Hajjāj for this task and al-Hajjāj had called upon Yahyā ibn Ya‘mar and al-Hasan al-Basrī to carry out this task. See: Ibn Atiyah, (ed.) Arthur Jeffery, Muqaddimah Tafsīr, 276. See also: Al-Qurtubī, Jāmi‘ al-ahkām al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, 63; Ibn Kathīr, Fadā’il al-Qur’ān, 90; Muhammad ibn Jazzī al-Kalbī, Al-Tashīl li ‘ulūm al-tanzīl, vol. 1, 6.

188. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Ma‘ārif, 250-251.

189. Abū Yūsuf Ya‘qūb ibn Sufyān al-Fasawī, Al-Ma‘rifah wa al-tārīkh, vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār-al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1999), 20-34.

190. Muhammad ibn Khalf ibn Hayyān, Akhbār al-qudāt, vol. 2 (Beirut: ‘Ālim al-kitāb, n.d.), 3-5.

191. Ibn al-Jawzī, Al-Muntazam, vol. 7, 136-138.

192. Ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a‘yan, vol. 2, 68-73.

193. Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 32, 54. He attributes this view to Hārūn ibn Mūsā (d. 248 AH).

194. Al-Dhahabī, Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā’, vol. 4, 563-588.

195. Al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 12, 190-191.

196. See, for example: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 16-17.

197. Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-tanbīh ‘alā hudūth al-tashīf, 27-28.

198. Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī, Sharh mā yaqa‘u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 13.

199. Ibn Atiyah, (ed.) Arthur Jeffery, Muqaddimah tafsīr, 276.

200. Al-Qurtubī, Jāmi‘ al-ahkām al-Qur’ān, vol. 1, 63.

201. Ibn Jazzī al-Kalbī, Al-Tashīl li ‘ulūm al-tanzīl, vol. 1, 6.

202. Ibn Kathīr, Fadā’il al-Qur’ān, 90.

203. Ibn Sa‘d elaborately covers all the details and important events of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān’s rule but does not mention him summoning al-Hajjāj for the purpose of insertion of nuqat. See: Ibn Sa‘d, Al-Tabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 5, 223-235.

204. Al-Bukhārī gives a short biographical account of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān but does not mention anything on his role under discussion. See: Al-Bukhārī, Al-Tārīkh al-kabīr, vol. 5, 271.

205. It is known that it was in this city of Wāsit that ‘Abd al-Malik is alleged (See, for example: Ibn Kathīr, Fadā’il al-Qur’ān, 90) to have deputed al-Hajjāj for this task. Yet, it does not mention any such thing. See: Aslam ibn Sahl al-Wāsitī, Tarīkh Wāsit, 1st ed., Beirut: ‘Ālam al-kitāb, 1406 AH.

206. Ibn Qutaybah gives a short biographical entry on ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān. The entry does not contain any mention of his role innuqat. See: Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Ma‘ārif, 200-203.

207. Al-Ya‘qūbī gives a detailed treatment of the rule of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān but has nothing on nuqat. See: Ahmad ibn Abī Ya‘qūb ibn Ja‘far ibn Wahb ibn Wādih al-Ya‘qūbī, Tārīkh, 2nd ed. vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 2003), 188-197.

208. Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih gives quite a detailed account of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān. Nothing is found regarding his role in nuqat. See: Ibn‘Abdi Rabbih, Al-‘Iqd al-farīd, vol, 4, 372-392.

209. Al-Jahshiyarī gives a detailed treatment of the scribes who wrote for ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān. If he had any role in inserting nuqat, it should have found mention here. See: Al-Jahshiyārī, Kitāb al-wuzarā’ wa al-kuttāb, 34-46.

210. Al-Maqdisī gives a detailed treatment of the rule of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān. It does not refer to his role on insertion of nuqat. See: Muttahhir ibn Tāhir al-Maqdisī, Al-Bad’ wa al-tārīkh, vol. 6, 26-50.

211. Al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī gives a reasonably detailed treatment of the rule of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān. It does not allude to his role on insertion of nuqat. See: Al-Khatīb al-Baghdādī, Tārīkh Baghdād, vol. 10, 388.

212. Ibn ‘Asākir gives a very detailed account of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān and his rule with many details – but with no mention of his deputing al-Hajjāj to this task. See: Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 37, 110-167.

213. Ibn al-Jawzī perhaps gives the most extensive acount of the rule of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān. Nothing is found on his role in this whole exercize. It does not refer to his role on insertion of nuqat. See: Ibn al-Jawzī, Al-Muntazam, vol. 6, 39-267.

214. Al-Mizzī biographical note on ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān is also devoid of any mention of nuqat. It does not refer to his role on insertion of nuqat. See: Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 18, 408-414.

215. Al-Dhahabī gives a reasonably detailed treatment of the person of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān. It does not refer to his role on insertion of nuqat. See: Al-Dhahabī, Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā’, vol. 4, 246-249.

216. Al-Safadī gives a note on the person of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān. There is no mention of nuqat. See: Al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 19, 140-141.

217. Ibn Kathīr gives a reasonably detailed treatment of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān. There is no mention of nuqat. See: Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, vol. 9, 61-69.

218. Ibn Hajar gives a biographical note on ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān which does not refer to his role in the insertion of nuqat. See: Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 6, 373-374.

219. It may be noted that it was in this city of Wāsit that ‘Abd al-Malik is alleged to have deputed al-Hajjāj for this task. The book mentions a detailed history of the city of Wāsit but has nothing about his endeavour on nuqat. See: Aslam ibn Sahl al-Wāsitī, Tarīkh Wāsit,1st ed., Beirut: ‘Ālam al-kitāb, 1406 AH.

220. Ibn Qutaybah gives a short biographical entry on al-Hajjāj. There is nothing in it on nuqat. See: Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Ma‘ārif, 222-224.

221. This is in spite of the fact that Al-Jahshiyarī gives a detailed acount of how al-Hajjāj converted the official records of Kufa, Basrah and Syria from Persian and Roman into Arabic. If al-Hajjāj had done something with regard to the masāhif, this was the most appropriate place for its mention. See: Al-Jahshiyārī, Kitāb al-wuzarā’ wa al-kuttāb, 38-43.

222. Al-Maqdisī gives a reasonably detailed treatment of the rule of al-Hajjāj in Iraq. However, there is no mention of nuqat. See: Al-Maqdisī, Al-Bad’ wa al-tārīkh, vol. 6, 29-36.

223. Ibn ‘Asākir gives perhaps the most detailed account of al-Hajjāj but with no mention of al-Hajjāj undertaking this task. See: Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 12, 113-202.

224. Ibn al-Jawzī gives a reasonably detailed treatment of the rule of al-Hajjāj and mentions such details as that he would read a fourth of the Qur’ān each night. The account is devoid of his role in nuqat. See: Ibn al-Jawzī, Al-Muntazam, vol. 6, 336-343; Ibid., vol. 7, 3-5.

225. Ibn Athīr gives a reasonably detailed account of al-Hajjāj’s rule in Irāq but does not mention anything about nuqat. See: Ibn al-Athīr, Al-Kāmil fī al-tārīkh, vol. 4 138-149.

226. Al-Mizzī gives a detailed biographical note on al-Hajjāj but does not mention anything on his role on nuqat. See: Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 5, 466-468.

227. Ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a‘yān, vol. 2, 32.

228. Al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 11, 239.

229. Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, vol. 9, 118.

230. Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-tanbīh ‘alā hudūth al-tashīf, 27-28.

231. Abū Ahmad al-‘Askarī, Sharh mā yaqa‘u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 13.

232. Ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 12.

233. Al-Qalqashandī, Subh al-a‘shā, vol. 3, 149.

234. Muhammad Tāhir ibn ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Kurdī, Tārīkh al-khat al-‘arabī wa adābuhū, 1st ed. (n.p.: Al-Matba‘ah al-tujāriyyah al-hadīthah, 1939), 83.

235. Ibrāhīm Jumu‘ah, Qissah al-kitābah al-‘arabiyyah (Cairo, Dār al-ma‘ārif, 1947), 50.

236. Hifnī Nāsif, Hayāt al-lughah al-‘arabiyyah, 88.

237. Salāh al-Dīn Munajjid, Tārīkh al-khatt al-‘arabī, 126.

238. ‘Abd al-Sabūr Shāhīn. Tārīkh al-Qur’ān, 112-114.

239. See: JF Healy and GR Smith, Jausen Savignac 17 – The Earliest Dated Arabic Document (AD 276), al-Atlāl (The Journal of South Arabia Archeology), vol. xii, 1989, 77.

240. ‘Alī ibn Ibrāhīm Ghabbān, The inscription of Zuhayr, the oldest Islamic inscription (24AH /AD 644-645), the rise of the Arabic script and the nature of the early Islamic state, tr. Robert Hoyland, Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, Volume 19, Number 2, November 2008, 212-226.

241. Sarah Zubair Mirza, Oral Tradition and Scribal Conventions in the Documents attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, PhD thesis, University of Michigan, 2010, page 196. Image of this letter can be accessed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/75782188N00/1957697061/

242. Beatrice Gruendler, The Development of the Arabic Scripts from the Nabatean Era to the First Islamic Century according to Dated Texts (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993), 22-23; Ibid., 157.

243. Ibid., 23, 157.

244. Ibid., 23.

245. Ibid., 23, 157.

246. Abū Zakariyyā Yahyā ibn Ziyād ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Farrā’, Ma‘āni al-Qur’ān, 3rd, vol. 1 (Beirut: ‘Ālim al-kitāb, 1983), 172-173.

247. Abū Bakr Ahmad ibn ‘Alī ibn Thābit a-Khatīb al-Baghdādī, Al-Jāmi‘ li akhlāq al-rāwī wa ādāb al-sāmi‘, vol. 1 (Riyad: Maktabah al-ma‘ārif, 1403 AH), 269, (no. 560). See also: Abū Sa‘d ‘Abd al-Karīm ibn Muhammad ibn Mansūr al-Sam‘ānī, Ādāb al-imlā wa istimlā’, 1st ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1981), 171; Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 38, 169; Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Sakhāwī, Fath al-mugīth, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1403 AH.), 165; Jalāl al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Kamāl al-Dīn Abī Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sābiq al-Dīn al-Suyūtī, Tadrīb al-rāwī, vol. 2 (Riyād: Maktabah al-riyād al-hadīthah, n.d.), 71.

248. Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 8, 326-327.

249. Muhammad ibn Sallām al-Jumahī, Tabaqāt fuhūl al-shu‘arā’, vol. 1, 22; Ibid., vol. 1, 70.

250. Al-Bukhārī, Al-Tārīkh al-kabīr, vol. 3, 176-177.

251. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Ma‘ārif, 301.

252. Scattered througout this six volume treatise by Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih are various reports and anecdotes about al-Khalīl – but there is no mention of his endavour regarding his innovation in vocalizating the Qur’ān. See: Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdi Rabbih, Al-‘Iqd al-farīd, 3rd ed., 6 vols., Beirut: Dār ihyā’ al-turāth al-arabī, 1999.

253. Abū al-Tayyib ‘Abd al-Wāhid, Marātib al-nahwiyyīn, 27-41.

254. Abū Sa‘īd al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 30-31.

255. Al-Zubaydī, Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn wa lughwiyyīn, 47-51.

256. Ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 67-68.

257. Abū al-Barkāt ibn al-Anbārī, Nuzhah al-alibbā’, 45-47.

258. Ibn al-Jawzī, Al-Muntazam, vol. 7, 279-281.

259. Al-Qiftī, Inbā’ al-ruwāt, vol. 1, 376-382.

260. Yaqūt al-Hamawī, Mu‘jam al-udabā’, vol. 3, 300-303.

261. Al-Nawawī, Tahdhīb al-asmā’ wa al-lughāt, vol. 1, 178-179.

262. Ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a‘yan, vol. 2, 244-248.

263. Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 8, 326-333.

264. Al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-Islām, vol. 10, 169-174.

265. Al-Dhahabī, Siyar a‘lām al-nubalā’, vol. 7, 429-431.

266. Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthmān al-Dhahabī, Al-‘Ibar fī khabar-i man ghabar, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Kuwait: Matba‘ah hukūmat-i kuwait, 1984), 268.

267. Al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 13, 240-244. In fact, he records that earlier authorities accord three distinctions to al-Khalīl which have no parallel. They are:

i. His solid guidance given to his pupil Sibawayah in writing his book on grammar.

ii. His invention of the Arabic prosody (‘urūd).

iii. His magnum opus: Kitāb al-‘Ayn.

Strangely, there is no mention of his alleged contribution to this development in orthography which surely was an unparalleled feat.

268. Abū Muhammad ‘Abullāh ibn As‘ad ibn ‘Alī ibn Sulaymān al-Yāfi‘ī, Mir’āt al-jinān wa ‘ibrah al-yaqzān, vol. 1 (Cairo: Dār al-kitāb al-islāmī, 1413 AH), 362-367.

269. Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, vol. 10, 161-162.

270. ‘Al-Qalqashandī, Subh al-a‘shā, vol, 2, 345; Ibid., vol. 3, 155; Ibid., vol. 3, 163. He even mentions that al-Khalīl was the originator of hamz, tashdīd, rawm and ishmām. See: Al-Qalqashandī, Subh al-a‘shā, vol. 3, 155.

271. Ibn Khaldūn, Muqaddimah, 547-548.

272. Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb al-Fayrūzābādī, Al-Bulghah fī tarājim a’immah al-nahw wa al-lughah, 1st ed. (Kuwait: Jamī‘ah ihyā al-turāth al-islāmī, 1407 AH), 99.

273. Ibn al-Jazarī, Ghāyah al-nihāyah, vol. 1, 275.

274. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 3, 141.

275. Al-Suyūtī, Bughyah al-wu‘āt, vol. 1, 557-560.

276. ‘Abd al-Hayy ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-‘Ikrī, Shadharat al-dhahab fī akhbār man dhahab, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Damascus: Dār Ibn Kathīr, 1406 AH), 275-277.

277. Shaykh ‘Abdullāh al-Maqāmānī, Tanqīh al-maqāl fī ‘ilm al-rijāl, vol. 1 (n.p: n.d,), 402-403.

278. Al-Zarkalī, Al-A‘lām, vol. 2, 14.

279. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 314.

280. Abū al-Hajjāj al-Balawī, Alif bā’, vol. 1, 176.

281. Abū al-Hasan ‘Alam al-din ‘Alī ibn Muhammad al-Sakhāwī, Al-Wasīlah ilā Kashf al-‘aqīlah, 2nd ed. (Riyad: Maktabah al-rushd li aal-nashr wa al-tawzī‘, 1424), 71; Ibid. 73.

282. Al-Suyūtī, Al-Itqān, vol 4, 186.

283. Ahmad Muhammad Abū Zaytahār, Al-Sabīl ilā dabt kalimāt al-tanzīl, 1st ed. (Kuwait: Mashrū‘ ri‘āyah al-qur’ān al-karīm fī al-masājid, 1430 AH), 21.

284. Hifnī Nāsif, Hayāt al-lughah al-‘arabiyyah, 96.

285. Ibrāhīm al-Jumu‘ah, Qissah al-kitābah al-‘arabiyyah, 53.

286. Thus Dr al-Farmāwī also has pointed towards this sequence. See: Dr al-Farmāwī, Rasm al-mushaf, 458.

287. It is known from manuscript studies that the hijāzī Qur’āns generally pre-date the Kufic ones.

288. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/soth3.html

289. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/soth.html

290. B. Sadeghi & U. Bergmann, “The Codex Of A Companion Of The Prophet And The Qur’ān Of The Prophet”, Arabica, 2010, Volume 57, Number 4, pp. 348-354.

291. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/yem1c.html

292. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/umayyad.html

293. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/arabe328a.html

294. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/ms2165.html

295. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/kuwait.html

296. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/bayt1a.html

297. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/OrFol4313.html

298. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/trajeb.html

299. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/yem1a.html

300. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/yem1b.html

301. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/M1572.html

302. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/soth2.html

303. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/yem1i.html

304. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/yem1k.html

305. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/yem1j.html

306. Image(s) last accessed on 22 May 2014 from: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/yem2a.html

307. For its image, see: Salāh al-Dīn al-Munajjid, Tārīkh al-khatt al-‘arabī, 25.

308. Kees Versteegh, Arabic Grammar and Qur’ānic Exegesis in Early Islam (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1993), 30.

309. This is evident from the representation of two other closely related terms zēqāfā (raising of the tongue) and rēbāsā (lowering of the tongue) represented by a supralinear dot (ā) and a sublinear dot (ē) respectively. See: Versteegh, Arabic Grammar and Qur’ānic Exegesis in Early Islam, 30.

 

 

With thanks to Monthly Renaissance Written/Published: July 2014
Author : Dr Shehzad Saleem
Uploaded on : Aug 18, 2016
1450 View