The commodification of the muṣḥaf in the early centuries of Islam

Cortese, Delia ORCID logoORCID: (2013) The commodification of the muṣḥaf in the early centuries of Islam. In: Writings and writing: investigations in Islamic text and script in honour of Januarius Justus Witkam. Kerr, Robert and Milo, Thomas, eds. Archetype Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 41-65. ISBN 9781901383409. [Book Section]

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In this paper I will attempt to retrace the history of the process of commodification of the muṣḥaf in the first two centuries of Islam by analysing the theological and legal debates regarding the various forms of trading that grew around the ḳur’ānic codex. I will base myself primarily on Traditions attributed to Companions and Successors of the Prophet Muḥammad, mostly collected in 3rd/9th century books extolling the excellence of the Ḳur’ān (faḍā’il al-Ḳur’ān). While recording contrasting voices on the acceptability of selling, buying, pawning, inheriting and exchanging the muṣḥaf, this material also reveals the varied types of commodification that surrounded the early production and distribution of the ḳur’ānic codex, aspects of the organisation of labour for its production and the role that early traders of maṣāḥif played in shaping the social history of the holy book. Finally I will use my findings to suggest how economic factors and considerations might have impacted on stylistic choices in the making of the early maṣāḥif.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Investigations in Islamic text and script in honour of Dr Januarius Justus Witkam, Professor of Codicology and Palaeography of the Islamic World at Leyden University.
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
A. > Perspectives in Religion group
A. > School of Health and Education > Education > Interpreting and Translation group
Item ID: 13273
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Depositing User: Delia Cortese
Date Deposited: 06 May 2014 07:14
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 00:18

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