How Did Early Muslims Read Quran?
How did early Muslims read Quran?
A consideration of the Sanaa Palimpest Fragments
Dr. Asma Hilali, Research Associate
The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Straub Hall 145
The “Sanaa Palimpsest” is one of the oldest Qur’an manuscripts yet discovered; it contains two superimposed Qur’anic
texts on thirty-eight leaves of parchment, now in the Dar al-Makhtutat, Sanaa, Yemen. In this talk, I offer a new hypothesis
concerning the transmission of the Qur’an based on this ancient material, which appears to represent work in progress.
In its lower layer, the manuscript offers the oldest witness of a reading instruction in Qur’an text and perhaps even in any
Arabic text. Such peculiarities offer rare evidence as to how the Qur’an was transmitted, taught and written down in the first
centuries of Islam.