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The assumption that there's a single dialect in which the Qur'anic text was first pronounced is itself somewhat at odds with Muslim tradition, which commonly presents the text as having been read in multiple dialects from the very start. For instance, this hadith:



This is true of course. The QCT does not particularly give the impression it is trying to approximate any of the traditional readings though (if anything, Warsh seems closest to me). It also does not seem to be a 'compound' of different readings. Most spelling conventions are surprisingly consistent across the whole document. And whenever the spelling convention is inconsistent (as with writing construct feminines with tāʔ) those inconsistencies happen rather randomly even within a single Sura, and sometimes even in aya's basically next to each other. So there a 'multiple source' explanation seems to not work particularly well.

That point, of course, speaks quite strongly for the traditional narrative of the Uthmanic Canon (and the Sanaa Palimpsest then probably represent a pre-Uthamnic written tradition?).


I do not get what you say : "Why was the dialect in which the QCT was written down so different from the real dialect of the Quran" Can you explain more clearly ?


It is difficult to say this more clearly.

In the language in which the Quran was written down, the word ṯamūd is clearly of a different conjugational class than it is in the reading tradition.

Therefore, there is a palpable disconnect between the reading tradition and the Quranic text.

There are two possible solutions to this:

1. The recitation traditions represent the original prophetic dialect. The Quran was written down in a different dialect from the prophetic dialect.

2. The Quranic text represents the original prophetic dialect. The reading traditions have become more classicized over time.

Considering how strong the focus becomes on Classical Arabic around the start of the 9th century, I find the second option more likely, but a scholar of Islam is sure to be able to develop a more nuanced view on this than me.


Manfred Kropp says that the philologues have introduced patterns of poetry in the QCT which have considerably complicated the understanding of the text. Do this might correspond to the point #2 ?
About your point #1 what could be the evidence for that, what kind of study ?



I don't quite know what it means to "introduce patterns of poetry" into a text. So it's hard to say whether that would correspond to point #2.

Which paper did Manfred Kropp write this in? Do you have a reference? I'll have a look.

#1 Good question. It's difficult to conceive of evidence for that. Some options: really early evidence of comments on that the Quran should be read as classical Arabic / a highly unusual early Quran manuscript whose transcription requires such a reading would be reasonable proofs to make that case.


The lecture of Manfred Kropp is here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G1dHK7fbqk&index=1&list=PLSfJxnkX2PtFc3-A_TyBarwXIHoh-yZp1

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