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Casey Goranson

Could you translate the poems? I'm curious if the meanings are as pretty as the sounds.


Hey Casey,

You can click the links that are in the blogpost, those will take you to the right Surah's with the translations. As for the pre-islamic peoms, those can be found in the link to the 'Safaito-Hismaic Baal Cycle Poem'.

Casey Goranson


Umar Tahir

This was really enlightening to read. Thanks for sharing! I hope I can continue to learn more about Quranic Arabic Insha'Allah

Khashan M.Khashan

The text of Arabic poetry conforms to a strict engineering mathematical pattern as proved for the first time on

Does Quran has its own text? Both Dr. Ahmed Kishk and Ibrahim Anis answer positively. Arabic Numerical prosody is an excellent tool to investigate the subject.


It's a little bit off-topic, but I was wondering something I read somewhere from F.Déroche. That the BnF Arabe (Parisino Petro...) 328 followed mostly the qirāʾāt of Ibn Amir. I was thinking that qirāʾāt concerned vocalization and dots on the QCT and not a QCT supposed without them as BnF Arabe 328 (or other old manucripts). Can you enlighten this point ?


I definitely can! The relevant article that you would want to read is Yasin Dutton's "An Early Muṣḥaf According to the Reading of Ibn ʿĀmir." https://www.jstor.org/stable/25728018

The difference between the regional reading traditions come down to three main points
1. The vocalisation and dotting. The former you would indeed not see in such a document like the Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus (CPP); Dotting just extremely unlikely.

2. Verse marking. Different readers have different verse markings. The CPP has a clear 'Syrian' bent to its verse marking, although apparently closer to that of Ḥimṣ than that of Damascus.

3. Differences in the readings that have an effect on the rasm. There are some places where the consonantal skeleton of the regional codices is actually different, and in those cases the reading tradition agrees with the rasm. Especialyl the Syriac Muṣḥaf has about 16 unique spellings not attested in any of the other Muṣḥafs. One of the more well-known ones is Q10:22 where the Syrian Musḥaf has ينشركم yanšurukum where the others have يسيركم yusayyirukum.


I think Dutton (and by extension Déroche) get it wrong though. The CPP is not a document written in the reading of Ibn ʿĀmir (he hadn't even been born at the time of writing), but rather Ibn ʿĀmir is a reading based on a document very similar to the CPP.

The idea that the consonantal skeleton would be changed in order to account for a different reading is evidently wrong... Hope to have a publication out on that topic soon.


Thank you very much! At last I have understand!


Again sorry to be a little off topic but I don't understand something on Twitter about one point.

You said : "Even in the significantly later Kufic documents, we often find that they have vocalisation schemes which are really quite fare removed from what later become the canonical readings. What was the canon before Ibn Mujāhid? Was there one? Was it anarchy?"

"What was the canon before Ibn Mujāhid?"
Of what canon are you talking about? The rasm canon? the reading canon (may be multiples readings canon?)?
Because it is said in the tradition that there was a canon of the rasm : the Uthmanic one.

Someone responded to you :
"It can't have been anarchy. There *was* an oral tradition of learning by reciting to a living teacher, who recited to his teacher, and so on, back to the Companions. There was some, but not unlimited, freedom to select readings. Non-canonical readings were recorded in books.

You responded to him :
"Notice that the books that record non-canonical variants are hundreds of years later even than the canon. We find variants that have been lost to history. But what we see more often is variants that are canonical variants but combined in a way no canonical reader has it today."

How does it fit with his affirmation of an oral tradition of learning back to the producer of the text?
And not that the readings (qiraat)are the landscape of the works on what has always been the rasm : a text that different groups own and try to complete for themselves giving perforce difference readings as it is attested until today and in the documents you mention?
Meaning that the affirmation of an "oral tradition of learning" is a mean, a device which has more to see to authenticate the text to the story around, recounted as being at its origin so that the text is believed to be what it pretends?

I hope I'm clear.


No problem for the off-topic. I agree that this is a better platform to give in-depth answers than Twitter!

I'm talking about the reading canon. I agree that there was a canon of the rasm before the development of the readings. But it is starting to become more and more clear that the amount of variation that was allowed in the readings of the canonical rasm was much more diverse than how it gets canonized in the fourth century.


There is no doubt that there is some oral element to the readings. There are some parts of the Quran that all readers read equally strange, while if one would go by the rasm, a much more natural reading would be expected to have been selected.

That being said, there are also many variant readings which only make sense by going by the rasm. There are some places where two readers are unsure on where the word-boundary is supposed to be (spaces between words and within words used to be equally big, causing ambiguities). Such a variant is obviously based on the rasm and does not go back to a oral tradition before the canonization of the text.

So what to make of the "oral tradition of learning". I don't know. These things are obviously unprovable. The chains of transmission are not strong and convincing enough to convincingly go back to the companions of the prophet. But some traditions are weaker than others. Ibn ʿĀmir, for example, has only one transmitter, and the only way that that Transmitter could have received the reading from Ibn ʿĀmir is by assuming that Ibn ʿĀmir lived to be 110+. Not very convincing.

On the other hand Nāfiʿ (born 110 AH) has over 20 transmitters, and accurate and credibly messy information about his reading comes down to him that there is little doubt that many of those chains of transmission are Genuine and not made up, and that Nāfiʿ really was a person who was extremely prolific in spreading his reading of the Quran.

But whether his authority can plausibly be traced back to the companions of the prophet? Unprovable. Nāfiʿ is the last credible node, after that it becomes religious doctrine, not history.

I hope that answers your questions!

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