OIP 50.

The Rise of the North Arabic Script and Its Kur'anic Development, with a Full Description of the Kur'an Manuscripts in the Oriental Institute

Nabia Abbott.

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The Oriental Institute acquired in 1929 the valuable Moritz collection, consisting largely of Arabic papyri, parchments, and paper manuscripts, with some Arabic stone inscriptions. The plan of the present volume grew out of an attempt to catalogue the Kur'an manuscripts in the Oriental Institute, all but two of which (Nos. 31 and 32) were acquired as part of the Moritz collection. Since these manuscripts cover a wide period of time and present a variety of scripts, it soon became apparent that this undertaking could not be satisfactorily accomplished without the aid of special scientific equipment - a knowledge of both the historical development of the North Arabic script and the progress of Kur'anic writing, especially in the early centuries of Islam. Investigation, however, soon revealed the fact that such knowledge is not available in any complete and up-to-date form. It had therefore to be gathered from many sources. The material gathered grew to be the first half of the present volume. This volume consists of four main sections. The first section deals with the development of the North Arabic script, starting with Nabataean origins and early North Arabic inscriptions, and continues with North Arabic script before Islam and earliest Muslim inscriptions. In the second section, Abbott details the development of specific scripts including early Kur'anic and other eastern scripts, and Maghribi scripts. In the third section, the author analyzes the Kur'an as a written material. She details the specific features in Kur'anic writing and looks at the editions of the Kur'an in Muhammad's and Utman's eras. In the final section, the Kur'an manuscripts in the Oriental Institute archives are examined.

  • Oriental Institute Publications 50
  • Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1939
  • Pp. xxii + 103; 33 plates, 1 text figure, 1 map
  • Hardbound 9.00 x 11.75 in
  • Out of print