Sana'a manuscript

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Recto side of the Stanford '07 folio. The upper text covers Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).265-271.
The lower text of the above folio, recovered through X-Ray Fluorescence Imaging at Stanford University. The lower text covers Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).191-196.

The Sana'a palimpsest, dubbed Ṣanʿā’ 1, is one of the oldest Quranic manuscripts in existence.[1] Part of a sizable cache Quranic and non-Quranic fragments discovered in Yemen during a 1972 restoration of the Great Mosque of Sana'a, the manuscript was identified as a palimpsest Quran in 1981. It is written on parchment, and comprises two layers of text (see palimpsest). The upper text largely conforms to the standard 'Uthmanic Quran, whereas the lower text contains many variants to the standard text. A partial reconstruction of the lower text was published in 2012,[2] and a further reconstruction on different principles was published in 2016. A radiocarbon analysis has dated the parchment to before 671 AD with a 99% accuracy.[3]

History[edit]

The Sana'a palimpsest is one of the most important manuscripts of the collection in the world.

Discovery[edit]

In 1972, construction workers renovating a wall in the attic of the Great Mosque of Sana'a in Yemen came across large quantities of old manuscripts and parchments, many of which were deteriorated. Not realizing their significance, the workers gathered up the documents, packed them away into some twenty potato sacks, and left them on the staircase of one of the mosque's minarets.[4]

Qadhi Isma'il al-Akwa', then the president of the Yemeni Antiquities Authority, realized the potential importance of the find. Al-Akwa' sought international assistance in examining and preserving the fragments, and in 1979 managed to interest a visiting German scholar, who in turn persuaded the West German government to organize and fund a restoration project.[4] The preserved fragments comprise Quranic and non-Quranic material.[5]

Restoration project[edit]

Restoration of the fragments began in 1980 under the supervision of the Yemeni Department for Antiquities. It was funded by the Cultural Section of the German Foreign Ministry.[2] The find includes 12,000 Quranic parchment fragments. All of them, except 1500–2000 fragments, were assigned to 926 distinct Quranic manuscripts as of 1997. None is complete and many contain only a few folios apiece.[2] "Albrecht Noth (University of Hamburg) was the director of the project. Work on the ground began in 1981 and continued through the end of 1989, when the project terminated with the end of funding. Gerd R. Puin (University of Saarland) was the director beginning with 1981. His involvement came to an end in 1985, when Hans-Caspar Graf von Bothmer (University of Saarland) took over as the local director. Bothmer left Ṣan'ā' in the following year, but continued to run the project from Germany, traveling to the site almost every year.

Beginning in 1982, Ursula Dreibholz served as the conservator for this project, and worked full time in Ṣan'ā' until the end of 1989. She completed the restoration of the manuscripts. She also designed the permanent storage, collated many parchment fragments to identify distinct Quranic manuscripts, and directed the Yemeni staff in the same task. The manuscripts are located in the House of Manuscripts, the Dār al-Makhṭūṭāt (DAM), in Ṣan'ā', Yemen. After 1989, Bothmer would visit the collection periodically. In the winter of 1996–7, he microfilmed all of the parchment fragments that have been assigned to distinct Quranic manuscripts. Of the remaining 1500–2000 fragments, he microfilmed a group of 280. The microfilms are available in Ṣan'ā' in the House of Manuscripts.[2]

Contents of the manuscript[edit]

The manuscript is a palimpsest, meaning the parchment was written over once (the "lower" text), then its text was erased, and then it was written over a second time (the "upper" text). In the Sana'a palimpset, both the upper and the lower text are the Qur'an written in the Hijazi script. Both of them appeared to have been part of a complete manuscript of the Qur'an. The upper text is almost identical with the modern Quran in use and was written sometime during the end of the 7th or the beginning of 8th century AD.[6]

The lower text is contains some differences from the standard text.[a] It is believed to have been written sometime between 632-671 AD. The parchment upon which the lower codex is written has been radiocarbon dated with 99% accuracy to before 671 AD, and 75% probability from before 646 AD. However, it contains sura At-Tawba, which was was recited by Muhammad in 632 AD.[1]

Lower text[edit]

The lower text was erased and written over, but due to the presence of metals in the ink, the lower text has resurfaced, and now appears in a light brown color.[7] A number of reasons may have led to erasure of the lower text: some pages of the codex may have been destroyed or worn out, thereby requiring the production of a new codex, for which the already available parchment was used. (This was a common practice in ancient times. When enough of a manuscript's writing wore off—ink does not bond to parchment like it does to paper—all of the writing was washed off to make the expensive parchment usable for a new text. This was an ancient way of recycling.) Alternatively, the standardization of the Quranic text by 'Uthmān may have led to the non-standard lower text becoming obsolete, and thereby erased.[8]

The manuscript that was discovered, however, is not complete. About 80 folios are known to exist: 36 in Yemen’s Dār al-Makhṭūṭāt (House of Manuscripts),[2] 4 in private collections (after being auctioned abroad),[7] and 40 in the Eastern Library of the Grand Mosque in Sana’a.[9] Many of the folios in the House of Manuscripts are physically incomplete (perhaps due to damage),[10] whereas those in private possession[7] or held by the Eastern Library are all complete.[9] These 80 folios comprise roughly half of the Quran.

The lower text of the folios in the House of Manuscripts and those auctioned abroad were published in March 2012, in a long essay by Behnam Sadeghi (Professor of Islamic Studies at Stanford University) and Mohsen Goudarzi (PhD student at Harvard University).[2] Prior to that, in 2010, Behnam Sadeghi had published an extensive study of the four folios auctioned abroad, and analyzed their variants using textual critical methods.[7] The German scholar Elisabeth Puin (lecturer at Saarland University), whose husband was the local director of the restoration project until 1985, has also transcribed the lower text of several folios in five successive publications.[11][12][13][14] The lower text of the folios in the Eastern Library has not been published yet.

Within each sura the surviving lower text presents the same verses as the standard Qur'an and in the exact same order. For example, the Sana'a codex omits the basmala before sura 9.[15] The lower text has no vowel marks and rarely uses diacritical marks for distinguishing consonants. Some of the variants between the lower text and the standard Qur'an are provided by Sadeghi and Goudarzi below.[16]

Location Visible Traces Reconstruction Standard Text
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).191
Stanford folio, recto, l. 4, p. 44
ﺣ/ / ٮٯٮـ(ـلو) کم حَتّی يُقـٰتِلوکُم حَتَّىٰ يُقَـٰتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).191
Stanford folio, recto, l. 5, p. 44
د لک جز ا ا لکڡر ٮں ذَٰلِکَ جَزاءُ الکـٰفِرينَ كـذَٰلِكَ جَزَآءُ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).192
Stanford folio, recto, l. 5, p. 44
ا نتـ(ﻬ)ـﻮ إنتَهَو انتَهَوا
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).193
Stanford folio, recto, l. 6, p. 44
حتا حَتّا حَتّی
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).193
Stanford folio, recto, l. 7, p. 44
و ٮکو ں ا لد ٮں کله ﻟ[ﻠ]ﻪ و يَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّـهِ وَيَكُونَ ٱلدِّينُ لِلَّـهِ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).194
Stanford folio, recto, l. 10, p. 44
و من اعتدی وَ مَنِ اعتَدَی فَــمَنِ ٱعْتَدَى
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).194
Stanford folio, recto, l. 11, p. 44
ڡا ﻋٮـ/ / و فاعتدو فَٱعْتَدُوا
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).194
Stanford folio, recto, l. 11, p. 44
ما اعتد ی علٮكم ٮه مَا اعتَدَی عَلَيكُم بِه مَا ٱعْتَدَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).196
Stanford folio, recto, l. 17, p. 44
ڡـﻤ// تٮسر مں ا لهد ی فَما تَيَسَّر مِن الهَدی فما استَيسَرَ مِنَ ٱلْهَدْىِ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).196
Stanford folio, recto, l. 17, p. 44
و لا تحلٯو ا وَلَا تَحلِقُوا وَلَا تَحْلِقُوا رُءُوسَكُمْ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).196
Stanford folio, recto, l. 18, p. 44
ڡا ﮞ كا ﮞ ا حد ﻣٮكم فَإن كان أحَدٌ مِنكُم فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).196
Stanford folio, recto, l. 19, p. 45
ڡد ٮه فِديَةٌ فَـفِديَةٌ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).196
Stanford folio, recto, l. 20, p. 45
مں صٮم او نسک مِن صِيٰمٍ أَو نُسُكٍ مِن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).209
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 5, p. 46
مں [ٮـ]ﻌﺪ (ما ﺣ)ﺎ کم ا ﻟ(ﻬد) [ی]؛ مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَكُمُ ٱلْهُدَىٰ مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَتْكُمُ ٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتُ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).210
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 6, p. 46
هل ٮـ//ـﻄﺮ (و ﮞ) ا لا ا ﮞ (ٮـ)ﺎ ٮـ(ـٮـ)ﮑﻢ ا ﻟﻠﻪ هَلْ تَنظُرُونَ إِلَّا أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ ٱللَّـهُ هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَّا أَن يَأْتِيَهُمُ ٱللَّـهُ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).211
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 9, p. 46
ا لعڡٮ ٱلْعِقٰبِ ٱلْعِقَابِ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).213
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 12, p. 46
ڡﺎ // (ﺳ)ـﻞ ا لـلـه فَــأَرسَلَ اللهُ فَـــبَعَثَ ٱللَّـهُ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).213
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 13, p. 46
ﻟ(ـٮـحکمو ا ٮـ)ـٮں ا لٮا س لِــيَحْكُمُوا بَيْنَ ٱلنَّاسِ لِــيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ ٱلنَّاسِ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).213
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 15, p. 46
ا ﻟٮـ(ـٮـٮـ)ـٮت ٱلْبَيِّنَٮٰتُ ٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).214
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 17, p. 46
ا (ﺣﺴ)ـٮٮم أَ حَسِبْتُمْ أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).214
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 17, p. 46
ا ﻟ[ـﺪ ٮں] (ﻣ)ـﮟ [ٯٮـ]ـلکم ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُم ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوْا۟ مِن قَبْلِكُم
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).214
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 18, p. 47
ا لٮسا ٱلْبَٔسَاءُ ٱلْبَأْسَاءُ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).215
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 20, p. 47
ٮـ(ـسا) لو ٮک يَسْأَلُونَكَ يَسْـَٔلُونَكَ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).217
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 25, p. 47
عں ا ﻟ(ﺴ)ﻬﺮ ا لحر (م) [و] ﻋ(ـں) ٯٮل ڡـ[ـٮـ]ﻪ عَنِ ٱلشَّهْرِ ٱلْحَرٰمِ وَعَنْ قِتٰلٍ فِيهِ عَنِ ٱلشَّهْرِ ٱلْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ
Quran 2 (al-Baqarah).217
David 86/2003 folio, recto, l. 26, p. 47
؛/--/ [و] (ﺻ)[ﺪ] عں /------/؛ وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ[17] وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّـهِ وَكُفْرٌۢ بِهِ
Quran 11 (Hūd).105
Folio 4, recto, l. 1, p. 51
ا (لا) مں ا {------}؛ إلّا مَن أَذِنَ لَه إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ
Quran 11 (Hūd).122
Folio 4, verso, l. 4, p. 52
ا / / (ﻣﻌ)[ﮑ]/ / {--------}؛ إِنَّا مَعَكُم مُنتَظِرُونَ إِنَّا مُنتَظِرُونَ
Quran 8 (al-Anfāl).2
Folio 4, verso, l. 12, p. 52
ڡـ(ﺮ) ٯـٮ ْفَرِقَت ْوَجِلَت
Quran 8 (al-Anfāl).2
Folio 4, verso, l. 13, p. 52
ا ٮـ(ـٮٮـ)ﺎ ءَايَـٰتُنا ءَايَـٰتُهُ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).122
Folio 22, recto, l. 3, p. 62
ما [كـ]ﺎ ﮞ مَا كَانَ وَمَا كَانَ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).122
Folio 22, recto, l. 4, p. 62
مں كل ا ﻣﻪ مِن كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ مِن كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).124
Folio 22, recto, l. 9, p. 62
و ا د ا ا ٮر لٮ وَإِذَا أُنزِلَتْ وَإِذَا مَا أُنزِلَتْ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).125
Folio 22, recto, l. 12, p. 62
ڡی ٯلو ٮهم ر حس فِى قُلُوبِهِم رِجْسٌ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَرَضٌ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).125
Folio 22, recto, l. 13, p. 62
ر حر ا ا لی ر ﺣﺴ[ﻬ]ـﻢ رِجزاً إِلَىٰ رِجْسِهِمْ رِجساً إِلَىٰ رِجْسِهِمْ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).125
Folio 22, recto, l. 13, p. 62
و ما ٮو ا و هم ڡـ(ـﺴٯـ)[ـﻮ] ﮞ وَمَاتُوا۟ وَهُمْ فَـٰسِقُونَ وَمَاتُوا۟ وَهُمْ كَـٰفِرُونَ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).126
Folio 22, recto, l. 13, p. 62
ا [و] / / ٮر و أَوَلَا يَرَوْ أَوَلَا يَرَوْنَ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).126
Folio 22, recto, l. 15, p. 62
و لا ٮـ(ـٮـ)ـﺪ كر و ﮞ وَلَا يَتَذَكَّرُونَ وَلَا هُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).127
Folio 22, recto, l. 15, p. 62
و ا د ا ا [ٮـ]ـﺮ (ﻟ)ـٮ وَإِذَا أُنزِلَتْ وَإِذَا مَا أُنزِلَتْ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).127
Folio 22, recto, l. 16, p. 62
هل ٮر ٮٮا هَلْ يَرَىٰنَا هَلْ يَرَىٰكُم
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).127
Folio 22, recto, l. 17, p. 62
ڡا ٮـ[ـﺼ](ـﺮ) ڡـ(ـﻮ) ا فَـﭑنصَرَفُوا ثُمَّ انصَرَفُوا
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).127
Folio 22, recto, l. 17, p. 62
ڡصر ڡ ا ﻟـﻠـﻪ فَــصَرَفَ اللهُ صَرَفَ ٱللَّـهُ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).127
Folio 22, recto, l. 17, p. 62
د لک ٮـ(ﺎ ٮـ)//[ـﻢ] (ٯـ)ـﻮ م لا ٮڡٯهو ﮞ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).128
Folio 22, recto, l. 18, p. 62
و لٯد حا کم وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).128
Folio 22, recto, l. 18, p. 62
ر سو ل ﻣٮـ(ﮑ)ـﻢ رَسولٌ مِنْكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِکُمْ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).128
Folio 22, recto, l. 19, p. 63
عر ٮر (ﻋ)ﻠ[ـٮـ](ﻪ) ما عٮٮکم عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنَّتَكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).129
Folio 22, recto, l. 20, p. 63
ڡا / / (ٮـ)ـﻮ لو ا [ﻋ](ـٮـ)ـﮏ فَإن تَوَلَّوْا عَنْكَ فَإن تَوَلَّوْا
Quran 9 (al-Tawbah).129
Folio 22, recto, l. 21, p. 63
ا لد ی لا ا ﻟ[ﻪ] ا لا ﻫﻮ الَّذي لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ
Quran 19 (Maryam).2
Folio 22, recto, l. 24, p. 63
ر ﺣ[ـﻤ]ﻪ رَحْمَةِ رَحْمَتِ
Quran 19 (Maryam).3
Folio 22, recto, l. 25, p. 63
ا د ٮا د ی ر ٮک ر ﻛ[ـر] ٮا إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّــكَ زَكَرِيَّا إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّــهُ
Quran 19 (Maryam).4
Folio 22, recto, l. 25, p. 63
و ٯل ر ٮی وَقٰلَ رَبِّــي قالَ رَبِّ
Quran 19 (Maryam).4
Folio 22, recto, l. 26, p. 63
و ٯل ر ٮی ا سٮعل ا لر ا س سٮٮا وَقٰلَ رَبِّي ٱشْتَعَلَ ٱلرَّأْسُ شَيْباً قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَهَنَ ٱلْعَظْمُ مِنِّي وَٱشْتَعَلَ ٱلرَّأْسُ شَيْبًا
Quran 19 (Maryam).4
Folio 22, recto, l. 26, p. 63
و لم ا کں ر ٮ ٮـ(ـد) عا ک وَلَمْ أَکُنْ رَبِّ بِدُعَاءِكَ وَلَمْ أَكُن بِدُعَائِكَ رَبِّ
Quran 19 (Maryam).5
Folio 22, recto, l. 27, p. 63
و ﺣ(ڡـ)ـٮ ا لمو ل مں و [ر] ا ی وَ خِفْتُ ٱلْمَوَٰل مِن وَرٰاءِى وَإِنِّى خِفْتُ ٱلْمَوَٰلِىَ مِن وَرٰاءِى
Quran 19 (Maryam).7
Folio 22, verso, l. 2-3, p. 63
؛{-----------------} (ٯد) و هٮٮا لک علما ر کٮا ۝ و ٮسر ٮه {----------------}(ﻪ) مں ٯـٮـ(ـﻞ) ﺳ//ـﻤٮـﺎ ؛{يَـٰزَكَرِيَّا إِنَّا} قَد وَهَبْنَا لَكَ غُلٰماً زَكِيَّاً ۝ وَبَشَّرْنٰهُ {بِيَحْيیٰ لَمْ نَجْعَل ﻟَّ}ﻪُ مِن قَبْلُ سَمِيًّا[18] يَـٰزَكَرِيَّا إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلَـٰمٍ ٱسْمُهُ يَحْيَىٰ لَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ سَمِيًّا
Quran 19 (Maryam).8
Folio 22, verso, l. 3-4, p. 63
ا //ﻰ ٮـ(ﮑ)ـﻮ ﮞ لی (ﻋ)ـلم {---------------} ﻟ[ﮑ]ـٮر عٮٮا أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِى غُلَـٰمٌ {وَقَدْ بَلَغْتُ مِنَ ٱ} لْكِبَرِ عِتِيًّا أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِى غُلَـٰمٌ وَكَانَتِ ٱمْرَأَتِى عَاقِرًا وَقَدْ بَلَغْتُ مِنَ ٱلْكِبَرِ عِتِيًّا
Quran 19 (Maryam).9
Folio 22, verso, l. 5, p. 63
و لم ٮک سا ی وَلَمْ تَكُ شَاي وَلَمْ تَكُ شَيْئًا
Quran 19 (Maryam).11
Folio 22, verso, l. 7, p. 64
؛{-}ـم حرح ؛{ثُـ}ـمَّ خَرَجَ فَــخَرَجَ
Quran 19 (Maryam).11
Folio 22, verso, l. 7, p. 64
ا (و) ﺣ(ﻰ) ا ﻟ(ـٮـ)ﻬﻢ أَوْحَىٰ إِلَيْهِمْ فَــأَوْحَىٰ إِلَيْهِمْ
Quran 19 (Maryam).12
Folio 22, verso, l. 8, p. 64
و علمٮه ا ﻟ(ـﺤ)ﮑﻢ وَعَلَّمْنٰهُ الْحُكْمَ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا
Quran 19 (Maryam).13
Folio 22, verso, l. 9, p. 64
حننا حَنٰناً وَحَنَاناً
Quran 19 (Maryam).14
Folio 22, verso, l. 10, p. 64
و لم ٮک وَلَمْ يَكُ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ
Quran 19 (Maryam).15
Folio 22, verso, l. 10, p. 64
و علٮه ا لسلم وَعَلَيْهِ السَّلٰمُ وَسَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيْهِ
Quran 19 (Maryam).19
Folio 22, verso, l. 15, p. 64
لنهب لِنَهَبَ لِأَهَبَ
Quran 19 (Maryam).21
Folio 22, verso, l. 17, p. 64
و هو ﻋﻠ//(ﻪ) ﻫ(ـٮـ)ـﮟ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِ هَيِّنٌ ۝ هُوَ عَلَىَّ هَيِّنٌ
Quran 19 (Maryam).21
Folio 22, verso, l. 18, p. 64
و [ا] مر ا مٯصٮا وَأَمْرًا مَّقْضِيًّا وَكَانَ أَمْرًا مَّقْضِيًّا
Quran 19 (Maryam).22
Folio 22, verso, l. 18, p. 64
ڡحملٮ فَحَمَلَتْ فَحَمَلَتْــهُ
Quran 19 (Maryam).23
Folio 22, verso, l. 19, p. 64
ڡـﻠﻤ// ا حا ها ا لمحص فَــلَمَّا أَجَاءَهَا ٱلْمَخٰضُ فَأَجَاءَهَا ٱلْمَخَاضُ
Quran 19 (Maryam).23
Folio 22, verso, l. 20, p. 65
ٯٮل هد ا ا ﻟ(ـٮـ)[ـو] م قَبْلَ هَـٰذَا الْيَوْمِ قَبْلَ هَـٰذَا
Quran 19 (Maryam).24
Folio 22, verso, l. 20-21, p. 65
ڡٮـ[ـد] ٮها مں ٮـﺤٮـﻬ/----------/ ا لا ٮحر ٮی فَنٰدٮٰهَا مِن تَحْتِهَـ/ـا مَلَكٌ/ أَلَّا تَحْزَنِى [19] فَنَادَىٰهَا مِن تَحْتِهَا أَلَّا تَحْزَنِى
Quran 19 (Maryam).26
Folio 22, verso, l. 23, p. 65
و ٯـ// [ی] ﻋ(ـٮٮـ)ﺎ ۝ وَقَرِّى عَيْنًا ۝ وَقَرِّى عَيْنًا
Quran 19 (Maryam).26
Folio 22, verso, l. 24, p. 65
ﺻ[ـﻮ] (ما) [و ﺻﻤ]ـٮا صَوْماً وَصُمْتاً صَوْماً
Quran 19 (Maryam).26
Folio 22, verso, l. 24, p. 65
ﻟﮟ ا کلم لَنْ أُکَلِّمَ فَــلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ
Quran 19 (Maryam).27
Folio 22, verso, l. 25, p. 65
؛//ﺎ [ٮـ](ـت ٯو) [ﻣﻬ] ﺎ فَأَتَتْ قَوْمَهَا فَأَتَتْ بِهِ قَوْمَهَا
Quran 19 (Maryam).27
Folio 22, verso, l. 25, p. 65
لٯد ا ﺗٮت لَقَدْ أَتَيْتِ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ
Quran 19 (Maryam).28
Folio 22, verso, l. 26, p. 65
ما کا (ﮞ) ا ٮو [ک] (ا ٮا) //[ﻮ] ا مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ أَباً سُوءاً مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ ٱمْرَأَ سَوْءٍ
Quran 12 (Yūsuf).19
Folio 31, recto, l. 4-5, p. 71
ْو {------} (ﻋﻠٮـ)// ٮـﻌ[ﺺ] (ا) ﻟ[ﺴ]/ /؛ و {جَاءَت} عَلَيْهِ بَعْضُ السَّيَّارَةِ وَجَاءَتْ سَيَّارَةٌ
Quran 12 (Yūsuf).19
Folio 31, recto, l. 6, p. 71
و ٯل وَقٰلَ قَالَ
Quran 12 (Yūsuf).19
Folio 31, recto, l. 7, p. 71
و (ا) ﻟ[ﻠﻪ] ﻋﻠ//ـﻢ ٮـﻤ(ﺎ) ٮڡعلو{}ﮞ وَٱللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ وَٱللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ
Quran 12 (Yūsuf).28
Folio 31, verso, l. 4, p. 72
ٯل ا //[ﻪ] (ﻛ)[ـٮد] ﻛﮟ قٰلَ إِنَّهُ كَيْدَكُنَّ قَالَ إِنَّهُ مِن كَيْدِكُنَّ
Quran 12 (Yūsuf).30
Folio 31, verso, l. 5, p. 72
ٮسو (ه) مں ا (هل) ا لمد [ٮـ]ـٮه نِسْوَةٌ مِن أَهْلِ ٱلْمَدِينَةِ نِسْوَةٌ فِي ٱلْمَدِينَةِ
Quran 12 (Yūsuf).30
Folio 31, verso, l. 5-6, p. 72
؛{---------------}/ / ٯـ(ـﺪ ﺳ)ﻌ(ڡـ)[ﻬﺎ] (ﺣ)[ـٮ] ڡٮـ//(ﻬ)ﺎ ؛{ٱمْرَأَتُ ٱلْعَزِيزِ} قَدْ شَغَفَهَا حُبُّ فَتَٮٰهَا[20] ٱمْرَأَتُ ٱلْعَزِيزِ تُرَٰوِدُ فَتَٮٰهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ قَدْ شَغَفَهَا حُبًّا
Quran 12 (Yūsuf).31
Folio 31, verso, l. 7, p. 72
ڡلما ﺳﻤ[ﻌ]/ / مکر[ﻫ]ـﮟ فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتْ مَكْرَهُنَّ فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتْ بِــمَكْرِهِنَّ
Quran 12 (Yūsuf).31
Folio 31, verso, l. 8, p. 72
و{ } ﺣ(ﻌ)ﻠ/ / ﻟ(ﻬ)/ / (ﻣٮـﮑ)//؛ وَجَعَلَتْ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَـًٔا وَأَعْتَدَتْ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَـًٔا
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).15
Folio 28, recto, l. 1, p. 102
و ٯلو ا هد ا {------}//ٮٮں وَقٰلوا هذا سِحرٌ مُبينٌ وَقالوا إن هـٰذا إِلّا سِحرٌ مُبينٌ
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).19
Folio 28, recto, l. 4, p. 102
/ /ڡا د ا ﻫ[ـﻢ] ﻣﺤ(ـﺼ)ـﺮ فَإذا هُم مُحضَرون فَإِذا هُم يَنظُرونَ
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).22
Folio 28, recto, l. 6, p. 102
ا ٮـ(ﻌٮـ)ﻮ ا إبعَثوا احشُرُوا
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).22
Folio 28, recto, l. 6, p. 102
ﻃـ//[ـﻤ]ـﻮ ا { } الَّذينَ ظَلَموا الَّذينَ ظَلَموا وَأَزوٰجَهُم
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).23
Folio 28, recto, l. 8, p. 102
صر ٮط ا (ﻟﺤ)ﺤٮم صِر ٮطِ الجَحيم صِرٰطِ الجَحيمِ
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).25
Folio 28, recto, l. 9, p. 103
/ / لا ٮٮٮصرو لا تَنٮٰصَرون or لا تَتَنٰصَرون لا تَناصَرون
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).27
Folio 28, recto, l. 10, p. 103
ڡـ(ﺎ ٯـ)ـٮل فَـﺄ قبَلَ وَأَقبَلَ
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).48
Folio 28, verso, l. 3, p. 103
ﻋ(ـٮـ)[ـد] هم عِندَهُم وَعِندَهُم
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).50
Folio 28, verso, l. 4, p. 103
علا عَلا عَلی
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).54
Folio 28, verso, l. 7, p. 103
ٯهل فَــﻬَﻞ هَل
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).56
Folio 28, verso, l. 8, p. 103
ﻟ(ـٮـﻌ)ـو ٮں لَتُغوِينِ ِلَتُرْدِين
Quran 37 (al-Ṣāffāt).58
Folio 28, verso, l. 9, p. 103
و ما ٮحں وَما نَحنُ أَفَما نَحْنُ

The page numbers refer to the edition by Sadeghi and Goudarzi.[2] In their edition, a reliably read but partially visible letter is put in parentheses, while a less reliably read letter is put inside brackets. A pair of forward slashes mark an illegible area on the folio, while braces indicate a missing part of the folio. The list here does not include all the spelling variants. (Note: In the above table, parentheses or brackets are left out if they appear at the very beginning or end of a phrase, to avoid text alignment issues. Braces or forward slashes are preserved in all instances, but with the insertion of extra semicolons that help preserve text alignment.)

Islamic tradition has described that other than the standard Uthmanic Qur'an there existed two more codices: that of Ibn Mas'ud and Ubayy b. Ka'b. Before the Sana'a manuscript, no codex other than Uthmanic had ever been found. And while certain traditions describe these two alternative codices, they don't report on the exact text. Sadeghi and Goudarzi say that the Sana'a codex contains both similarities to the codex of Ibn Mas'ud as well as differences. There is an overlap between the variants of Ibn Mas'ud and the Sana'a manuscript, but there are variants in Ibn Mas'ud not found in Sana'a and vice versa.[21] Additionally, the Sana'a manuscript puts sura Tawba after sura Anfal, whereas Ibn Mas'ud's codex did the opposite.[15]

Media coverage[edit]

A fragment showing part of Surat Ta-Ha

Puin, and his colleague Graf von Bothmer, have published only short essays on the Ṣana'a find. In a 1999 interview with Toby Lester, the executive editor of The Atlantic Monthly website, Puin described the preserved fragments by the following:

Some of the parchment pages in the Yemeni hoard seemed to date back to the seventh and eighth centuries A.D., or Islam's first two centuries—they were fragments, in other words, of perhaps the oldest Korans in existence. What's more, some of these fragments revealed small but intriguing aberrations from the standard Koranic text. Such aberrations, though not surprising to textual historians, are troublingly at odds with the orthodox Muslim belief that the Koran as it has reached us today is quite simply the perfect, timeless, and unchanging Word of God.[citation needed]

In another interview, Puin said:

So many Muslims have this belief that everything between the two covers of the Quran is Allah's unaltered word. They like to quote the textual work that shows that the Bible has a history and did not fall straight out of the sky, but until now the Quran has been out of this discussion. The only way to break through this wall is to prove that the Quran has a history too. The Sana'a fragments will help us accomplish this.[4]

Puin claimed that the Yemeni authorities want to keep work on the Ṣana'a manuscripts "low-profile".[4]

In 2000, The Guardian interviewed a number of academics for their responses to Puin's remarks, including Dr Tarif Khalidi, and Professor Allen Jones, a lecturer in Koranic Studies at Oxford University. In regard to Puin's claim that certain words and pronunciations in the Koran were not standardized until the ninth century, The Guardian reported:

Jones admits there have been 'trifling' changes made to the Uthmanic recension. Khalidi says the traditional Muslim account of the Koran's development is still more or less true. 'I haven't yet seen anything to radically alter my view,' he says. [Jones] believes that the San'a Koran could just be a bad copy that was being used by people to whom the Uthmanic text had not reached yet. 'It's not inconceivable that after the promulgation of the Uthmanic text, it took a long time to filter down.'[22]

The article noted some positive Muslim reaction to Puin's research. Salim Abdullah, director of the German Islamic Archives, affiliated to the Muslim World League, commented when he was warned of the controversy Puin's work might generate, "I am longing for this kind of discussion on this topic."[22]

Based on interviews with several scholars, Sadeghi and Goudarzi question Puin's claims regarding Yemeni suppression of research on the manuscripts and Puin's statement that the Yemenis did not want others to know that work was being done on them. For instance, they note that in 2007 Sergio Noja Noseda (an Italian scholar) and Christian Robin (a French archaeologist) were allowed to take pictures of the Sana'a palimpsest. They write that according to Robin, his colleagues were "granted greater access than would have been possible in some European libraries."[23] They report a similar view from Ursula Dreibholz, the conservator for the restoration project, who describes the Yemenis as supportive.[23] They quote Dreibholz as saying that the Yemenis "brought school children, university students, foreign delegations, religious dignitaries, and heads of state, like Franҫois Mitterrand, Gerhard Schröder, and Prince Claus of the Netherlands, to see the collection."[23]

Sadeghi and Goudarzi conclude:

Although the Yemeni authorities' openness proved a boon to scholarship, they were to be punished for it. The American media amplified the erroneous words of G. Puin, purveying a narrative that belittled Yemen and misrepresented the work done there. The Arab press in turn exaggerated the American story. The outcome was a media discourse in Yemen borne of three stages of misrepresentation. This embarrassed the Yemeni authorities responsible for the House of Manuscripts, and the Head of the Antiquities Department had to defend before Parliament the decision to bring in the foreigners.[23]

See also[edit]

Appendix[edit]

  1. ^ For example, in sura 2, verse 87, the lower text has wa-qaffaynā 'alā āthārihi whereas the standard text has wa-qaffaynā min ba'dihi

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 8.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012.
  3. ^ Sadeghi & Bergmann 2010, p. 353.
  4. ^ a b c d Lester 1999.
  5. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 9.
  6. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 7.
  7. ^ a b c d Sadeghi & Bergmann 2010.
  8. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 27.
  9. ^ a b Hamdoun 2004.
  10. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 37.
  11. ^ Puin 2008.
  12. ^ Puin 2009.
  13. ^ Puin 2010.
  14. ^ Puin 2011.
  15. ^ a b Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 26.
  16. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, pp. 41-129.
  17. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 47. According to Sadeghi & Goudarzi's fn. 118, "The traces [after ʿan] match sabīlihi." According to next footnote, "The phrase wa-kufrun bihi is not present immediately [after sabīlihi]. Either it is missing or it (or a smaller phrase such as wa-kufrun) is written at the beginning of the line, before wa-ṣaddun."
  18. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 63. The hypothetical interpolation of texts for the missing parts in this and the next row are based on Sadeghi & Goudarzi's fn. 216 and 218.
  19. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 65. The hypothetical interpolation of text for the illegible part is based on Sadeghi & Goudarzi's fn. 229.
  20. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 72. The reconstructed text here is based on suggestions in Sadeghi & Goudarzi's fn. 279 and 281.
  21. ^ Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 19-20.
  22. ^ a b Taher 2000.
  23. ^ a b c d Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 36.

References[edit]

External links[edit]