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Volume :16 Issue : 62 1998      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Historicity of Writing: A Study of the First Part of the Book of al-Masáhif (in Arabic)

Auther : Ibrahim Mohamed Zein

This paper will analyze an important book written by al-Imam ibn Abi -Daud al-Siijistani entited Kitab al-Masahif (The History of the Quranic Text).

Obviously, concepts like historicity and writing will be of great value in revealing the inner meaning of Ibn Abi Dauds text. Through these concepts I will be able to offer an interpretation of the text. Then, special attention will be given to understand the position of Ibn Abi Daud in the historical narrative of the Quranic text. Given this strategy of reading Kitab al-Masahif I was able to come up with a meaningful exposition of that book. It should be remembered that Ibn Abi Daud was able to reconstruct the most cohesive history of the Quranic text.

However, Ibn Abi Daud in his historical account subtly manipulated and, referred to most of the historical materials to convey his message. Although he identified the role of the main actors in the history of the Quranic text like Abu Bakar, Omar, Othman, Zaid, Huzyfah and ibn Masud, he was careful enough to harmonize these roles within his preconceived picture of that history. In addition he succeeded to give an accurate account of the historical metod which was used by the companions of the Prophet to transform the Quran from orality to a written text.

It would not do to conclude, without stressing the genius of Ibn Abi Daud who was able to theologize the history of the Quranic text within the principle of the eternity of the Quran. Writing a mere history of the Quran as a Revealed text in not difficult at all, but seeing that history as a part of the tension between the immanent and the transcendental is the real contribution of Ibn Abi Daud.

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