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The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān (324/936): Ibn Mujāhid and the Founding of the Seven Readings (December 2019)

The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān (324/936): Ibn Mujāhid and the (…)

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Shady H. Nasser, Ph.D. (2011), Harvard University, is assistant professor of classical Arabic at that university. He has published several articles in Qurʾānic studies and classical Arabic literature, including The Transmission of the Variant Readings of the Qurʾān (Brill, 2013).


In The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān, Nasser studies the transmission and reception of the Qurʾānic text and its variant readings through the work of Ibn Mujāhid (d. 324/936), the founder of the system of the Seven Eponymous Readings of the Qurʾān. The overarching project aims to track and study the scrupulous revisions the Qurʾān underwent, in its recited, oral form, through the 1,400-year journey towards a final, static, and systematized text.
For the very first time, the book offers a complete and detailed documentation of all the variant readings of the Qurʾān as recorded by Ibn Mujāhid. A comprehensive audio recording accompanies the book, with more than 5,000 audio files of Qurʾānic recitations of variant readings.



Chapter 1: Preliminaries. The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān

Chapter 2: Survival of the fittest
2.1: The Irregular readings of the Canonical Readings
2.2: Sixty-Six Problematic Transmissions in Ibn Mujāhid’s Kitāb al-Sabʿa

Chapter 3: Ḥadīth and Qurʾān rijāl criticism

Chapter 4: Orality revisited. The Written Transmission of Qirāʾāt
4.1: The Regional Codices
4.2: Early different forms of Qirāʾāt transmission

Chapter 5: The Nature of the Qurʾānic variants
5.1: Standardization of Arabic and the Qurʾānic text through the principles of Qurʾānic recitation (uṣūl al-Qirāʾa)
5.2: The individual variants (farsh) of the Qurʾān

Conclusion and future research

View online : Brill