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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The history of the study of the corpus of qirāʾāt or Qur’anic readings is principally defined by the substantive contributions made by the work of Theodor Nöldeke, Gotthelf Bergsträsser, Otto Pretzl, and Arthur Jeffery. From the publication of critical editions of manuscripts and supplementary research covering classical scholarship on Qur’anic variants, to the establishment of a manuscript archive on the Qur’an, it is widely acknowledged that the cumulative efforts of these scholars effectively laid the foundations for much of the academic work carried out on the history of the textual transmission of the Qur’an. Offering a review of the principal debates and arguments germane to the study of Qur’anic readings, this chapter also assesses approaches to the treatment and synthesis within the Islamic tradition. It suggests that recent research boosted by the availability of a broader range of critical editions of manuscripts and related studies will contribute to a profounder understanding of the historical importance of this corpus.

Keywords: qirāʾāt, variae lectiones, early Qurʾanic manuscripts, ʿUthmānic Collection, muṣḥaf, textual transmission of the Qurʾan, shādhdh, Ibn Mujāhid, al-Shāṭibiyya

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