Abstract and Keywords
This chapter discusses how an oral revelation was transformed into a written document and how the form of that written document changed to meet the varying needs of the expanding Muslim community. It also considers the methodologies appropriate to study these diverse documents, the questions raised by them, and the ways that this information has been and can be used. It opens with some general considerations about scope, methodology, and the like. Given the vast nature of the material, the many changes to it over time, and the goal of placing these physical changes in their historical and social contexts, the chapter then adopts a chronological framework, dividing the past millennium and a half of production into four major blocks.
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