A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (1/4)

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (1/4)


Qur'ān

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments

in Qur'ānic Orthography related to

Vocalization and Diacritics

I. Introduction

Muslim sources are quite unanimous in stating the fact that the text of the earliest masāhif was in bare consonantal form[1]– devoid of diacritics (i'jām) to distinguish homographs and bereft of vowels markings (tashkīl or i'rāb) to discern declensions. The script which needed a total of twenty eight constants from the available fifteen graphemes, and which was thus without matres lectionis[2]posed difficulty for non-Arabs. In order to avoid misreading of these masāhif, vocalization and diacritics[3] were gradually introduced in the script. This process began about three decades after the demise of Muhammad (sws) and was completed in about the next one hundred years.

In this article, an attempt will first be made in the light of primary source books to trace these major phases of the development of Qur'ānic orthography specifically related to vocalization and diacritics. Later this account will be critically evaluated. The discussion will end on a conclusion.

II. The Traditional Accounts

In the light of the early sources, the phases of development of Qur'ānic orthography specifically related to vocalization and diacritics can be chronologically divided into the following three:

A. The First Vocalization Phase

B. The Diacritics Phase

C. The Second Vocalization Phase

Details follow.

A. The First Vocalization Phase

Almost all Muslim authorities are of the opinion that the first person to introduce vocalization on the masāhif was a Basran poet and literary figure called Abū al-Aswad Zālim ibn 'Umar al-Dū'alī (d. 69 AH). He embraced faith when the Prophet (sws) was alive but was never able to see him.[4]He was a close companion of 'Alī (rta) from whom he has reported to have learnt the basic rules of Arabic grammar and then formally documented them.[5]Majority of the sources mention that it was at the behest of Ziyād ibn Abīh (d. 53 AH), the Basran governor of the Umayyad caliph Mu'āwiyah ibn Abū Sufyān (d. 60 AH) that Abū al-Aswad undertook this task,[6] while a very minority opinion is that he did it at the behest of the Umayyad caliph 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān (d. 86 AH).[7]

Muhammad ibn 'Ubaydullāh ibn 'Amr al-'Utbī (d. 228 AH) has recorded in detail this event of first vocalization:

حدثني أَبي قال : حدثنا أَبو عكرمة قال : قال الْعُتْبي : كتب مُعاوية إلى زياد يَطلبُ عبيد الله ابنه ، فلما قدِم عليه كلّمه فوجَده يلحَن فرده إلي زياد ، وكتب إليه كتاباً بلومه فيه ، ويقول : "أمثلُ عُبَيْد الله يُضَيع".فبَعث زياد إِلى أَبي الأسود فقال له : يا أَبا الأَسود ، إِن هذا الحمراء قد كثُرتْ وأفسدَت من أَلسُن الْعرب فلو وضعتَ شيئاً يَصلِح به الناس كلا مهم ويُعربون به كتاب الله. فأَبى ذلك أَبو الأَسود وكره إجابة زياد إلي ماسأَل. فوجه زياد رجلاً وقال له : اقعُد في طريق أَبي الأَسود فإِذا ربك فاقرأ شيئاً من القرآن وتعمد اللحن فيه ففعل ذلك ، فلما ربه أبو الأسود رفع الرجل صوته يقرا : (أَن اللهَ بَرِي مِّن المشركين و رَسوله) فاستعظم 10 /أ ذلك أَبو الأَسود وقال : عزَّ وجه الله أَن يَبرا من رسولِه ، ثم رجع من فوره إلى زياد فقال له : يا هذا قد أَجبْتُك إلي ما سأَلتَ ، ورأَيت أَن أَبدأَ باعراب الْقرآن فابعَثْ إِليّ بثلاثين رجلاً. فأَحضَرَهم زياد فاختار منهم أَبو الأَسود عشرة ثم لم يزل يختارُهم حتى اختار منهم رجلا من عبد القَيْس فقال : خُذ الْمُصحف وصِبْغاً يخالفُ لون المِداد ، فإِذا فتحتُ شفتيّ فانقُط واحدة فوق الحرف ، وإذا ضممتُها فاجعل النُّقطة إِلى جانب الحرف ، وإذا كسرتُها فاجعل النُقطة في أَسفله ، فإِن أَتبعْتُ شيئاً من هذه الحركات غنَّة فانقط نقطتين . فابتدأَ بالمصحف حتى أَتي على آخره ثم وضع المختصر المنسوب إليه بعد ذلك.

'Utbī stated: "[Once] Mu'āwiyah (rta) wrote a letter to his [Basran governor] Ziyād [ibn Abīh] to call over his son 'Ubaydullāh ibn Ziyād to him. When the latter came over to him, he spoke to him and detected many mistakes in his language; Mu'āwiyah (rta) sent him back to his father. He then wrote a letter to Ziyād censuring him in it and said: '[Those] like 'Ubaydullāh should be done away with.' Ziyād then wrote to Abū al-Aswad and said to him: 'These non-Arabs have increased a lot and have spoiled the language of the Arabs; I wish you could do something through which people correct their language and correctly read the Book of God.' However, Abū al-Aswad refused to do so and showed his dislike in responding to Ziyād's request. So Ziyād went to a person and asked him: 'Sit beside Abū al-Aswad's way and read something from the Qur'ān and intentionally make a mistake in reading it.' When Abū al-Aswad passed by that way, the person loudly read the following Qur'ānic verse: أَنَّ اللّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولِهِ.[8]When Abū al-Aswad heard this, he got very alarmed and said: 'God's countenance is more powerful than to show acquittal to His Messenger.' He then immediately came to Ziyād and said: 'I will do what you asked for and I will vocalize the Qur'ān (put i'rāb on it); so send over thirty people.' Ziyād duly provided him with these. From these thirty, Abū al-Aswad selected ten and continued [to test them] until from these ten, he selected a single individual from the tribe of 'Abd al-Qays.[9]He asked this person: 'Take a mushaf and some ink which should be of a different colour than the colour of the script. When I open my lips, write a dot on top of the letter; when I close both lips, write a dot adjacent to that letter; when I lower my lips write a dot below that letter; If I follow up these signs with [the sound of] nunation (ghunnah), write two dots [accordingly].' So Abū al-Aswad began with this task with a mushaf until he came to the end. Then he wrote a concise book ascribed to him [on this subject]."[10]

Mūsā Shāhīn Lāshīn attributes this whole incident to around 48 AH while referring to an unspecified source.[11] Some other secondary sources mention that whenever this scribe would complete one page, Abū al-Aswad would check it.[12]Jurjī Zaydān has mentioned seeing a Kufic mushaf dotted according to this scheme of Abū al-Aswad written on thin parchment at the Dār al-kutub al-misriyyah which was actually found at a mosque in Cairo.[13]

It is also surmised by some scholars from the description of the endeavour undertaken by Abū al-Aswad that he only vocalized the last letter of words.[14]In the opinion of Lāshīn,[15]it was 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān who asked his Iraqī governor al-Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf (d. 95 AH) to stop tashīf which was still creeping in and people were making mistakes in reading. Lāshīn says that around 80 AH al-Hajjāj summoned Nasr ibn 'Asim al-Laythī (d. 89 AH) who then vocalized every letter of a word so as to minimize reading errors.[16]

Hifnī Nāsif (d. 1337 AH) is of the opinion that the nuqat (dots) of Abū al-Aswad were generally adopted in the masāhif; as far as other books were concerned, they were rarely adopted.[17]He goes on to point out some of the innovations made by the followers of Abū al-Aswad in adopting his methodology of nuqat. Some of them adopted a square shape for representing the nuqat and others adopted a hollow circular shape and some others a non-hollow circular shape. More orthographic signs were added by his followers to represent sukūn and alif al-wasl.[18]

In this regard, we also find scholars engaged in a discussion about the origination of these nuqat. Some of them are of the opinion that Abū al-Aswad was not the originator of the nuqat. He only applied this methodology which he learnt from the Syrians who used them in their own language: Syriac.[19]Some scholars are of the view that he was the originator of this methodology.[20]Some other scholars are of the view that he only revived this methodology which he learnt from the Arabs and which was in vogue in Arabia earlier.[21]

B. The Diacritics Phase

Perhaps the earliest source which mentions anything about the insertion of diacritics to distinguish similar characters in the mushaf is Kitāb al-tanbīh 'alā hudūth al-tashīf of Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī (d. 360 AH).[22]It records the reason for insertion of diacritics: more than forty years passed after the five 'Uthmānic Qur'āns were written and sent to various parts of the empire till the era of 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān arrived. During this time, a lot of tashīf (misreading of script) came into being because the script of many letters (eg. الباء ، التاء ، الثاء) resembled each other and they were not distinguishable from one another. This worried al-Hajjāj and he asked his scribes to make signs which could distinguish similar letters from one another. These scribes inserted one, two or three diacritics above or below the similar letters to make them distinct from one another. Abū Ahmad al-'Askarī (d. 382 AH) while referring to the same details as referred to by Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī adds that as per one opinion, al-Hajjāj summoned Nasr ibn 'Āsim al-Laythī (d. 89 AH) for this purpose. He writes:

وقد رُوی أنّ السبب فی نَقْط المصاحف أن الناس غَبَرُوا يقرءون فی مصاحف عثمانَ رحمةُ الله عليه ، نيِّفا وأربعين سنة ، إلى أيام عبد الملك بن مروان. ثم كثر التصحيف و انتشر بالعراق ، ففزِع الحجَّاجُ إلى كُتاَّبه ، وسألهم أن يضعوا لهذه لحروف المشْتَبِهةِ علامات. فيقال: إنّ نصَر بن عاصم قام بذلك ، فوضع لنَّقط أفرادا وأزواجا. وخالف بين أما كنها بتوقيع بعضها فوق الحروف ، وبعضها نحت الحروف

It has been reported that the reason for putting dots on the masāhif was that more than forty years had passed since the people were reading the masāhif of 'Uthmān (rta) till the time of 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān arrived. Misreading [of the masāhif] increased and spread to Irāq. At this al-Hajjāj, worriedly turned to his scribes and asked them to put signs on similar letters. It is said that Nasr ibn 'Āsim undertook this task. He instituted one and two dots and placed them variously by putting some at the top of the letters and some at the bottom.[23]

Al-Dānī has described the details of these distinguishing marks recorded on letters which resembled one another.[24]

Scholars are of the opinion that Yahyā ibn Ya'mar (d. 89 AH) and Muhammad ibn Sīrīn (d. 110 AH) were also summoned by al-Hajjāj for this objective.[25]They base their view on the following data:

وأما شكل المصحف ونقطه فروي أن عبد الملك بن مروان أمر به وعمله فتجرد لذلك الحجاجبواسط وجد فيه وزاد تحزيبه وأمر وهو والي العراق الحسن ويحيى بن يعمر بذلك

As far as the shakl and nuqat of the masāhif are concerned, it is reported that 'Abd al-Malik ordered for it and had it done. He specifically deputed al-Hajjāj for this task in [the city of] Wāsit. Al-Hajjāj expended his effort in this task and also added divisions to the mushaf. It was while he was the governor of Iraq that he ordered al-Hasan al-Basrī and Yahyā ibn Ya'mar to do this.[26]

C. The Second Vocalization Phase

It is surmised by Muslim scholars of Qur'ānic orthography that the nuqat of masāhif (both tashkīl and i'jām) continued in the way they were formulated till the time of al-Khalīl ibn Ahmad al-Farāhīdī (d. 170 AH). He was a grammarian and a philologist known to have authored the first dictionary of the Arabic language (Kitāb al-'ayn). He was also the originator of the discipline of prosody.

He introduced a major change in the nuqat oftashkīl. The reasons for this change as pointed out by Sharshāl[27]was that before his times, writing down of the masāhif needed inks of two colours – one for tashkīl and the other for i'jām. Also this would fill up a page with dots distinguishable with colours only. This caused difficulty both for the readers and the scribes. The situation could only be resolved by changing one of the two types of nuqat; the nuqat of i'jām had become part of the letters and were also of the same ink as the letters and hence it was not appropriate to change them. So al-Khalīl is said to have changed the nuqat of tashkīl into shapes from which evolved the signs of dammah, kasrah and fathah we know today. Al-Dānī records:

وقال أبو الحسن بن كيسان قال محمد بن يزيد الشكل الذي في الكتب من عمل الخليل وهو مأخوذ من صور الحروف فالضمة واو صغيرة الصورة في أعلى الحرف لئلا تلتبس بالواو المكتوبة والكسرة ياء تحت الحرف والفتحة ألف مبطوحة فوق الحرف

Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad records: the shakl found in books is the work of al-Khalīl and is adapted from the depiction of the letters. So the dammah is represented in the form of a small waw above a letter so that it does not get mixed up with [the actual] waw written; and the kasrah is in the form of a yā written below a letter and the fathah is written in the form of alif placed horizontally above a letter.[28]

Al-Dānī further adds that al-Khalīl also originated al-hamz, al-tashdīd, al-rawm and al-ishmām.[29]

Scholars like Ghānim Qadūrī and Sharshāl[30] are of the view that Abū Ahmad al-'Askarī has referred to this endeavour of al-Khalīl as well. After describing the nuqat of al-'ijām carried out by Nasr ibn 'Āsim at the behest of al-Hajjāj, al-'Askarī writes:

فَغَبَر الناس بذلك زمانا لا يكتبون إلا منقوطا. فكان مع استعمال النقط أيضا يقع التصحيف ، فأحدثوا الإعْجام ، فكانوا يُتْبِعون النَّقط بالإعجام. فإذا أُغْفِل الاستقصاءُ على الكلمة فلم تُوَفَّ حقوقَها اعترى هذا التصحيفُ ، فالتمسوا حيلةً ، فلم يقْدِروا فيها إلا على الأخذ من أفواهِ الرجال.

People stuck [to this method of Nasr] for many years and would not write [masāhif] without nuqat. But even after using nuqat, misreading [of the masāhif] continued. So they invented i'jām and used i'jām with nuqat as well. A slight carelessness in putting in all i'jām with nuqat on words again resulted in misreading [of the masāhif]. People looked for a further method [to secure the correct reading] but were not able to find one except for acquiring [the Qur'ān] from the mouths of people.[31]

In their opinion, the word i'jām refers to shakl because linguistically shakl means i'jām[32]and hence the reference to i'jām here alludes to the endeavour of al-Khalīl.

In this regard, scholars have grappled with a question since sources cite conflicting reports about the person who originated the nuqat on the mushaf. Thus there are some sources which say that the first one to put nuqat on the mushaf was Abū al-Aswad (69 AH); some say that it was Nasr ibn 'Āsim al-Laythī (89 AH) and some say that it was Yahyā ibn Ya'mar al-'Udwānī (89 AH).

Those which record this fact about Abū al-Aswad include al-Zubaydī (d. 379 AH),[33]Abū Hilāl al-'Askarī (395 AH),[34]Ibn al-Jawzī (597 AH),[35]Yāqūt al-Hamawī (626 AH),[36]al-Safadī (764 AH),[37]al-Qurtubī (d. 791 AH),[38]al-Qalqashandī (821 AH),[39]Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH),[40]al-Suyūtī (d. 911 AH),[41]and Sayyid al-Mar'ashī (1425 AH).[42]

Those which record this fact about Nasr ibn 'Āsim include al-Dānī (d. 444 AH),[43]Ibn Atiyyah (d. 543 AH AH),[44]al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH),[45]Muhammad ibn Yaqub al-Fayrūzābādī (d. 816 AH),[46]Ibn al-Jazarī (d. 833 AH),[47]and al-Yaghmūrī (d. 845 AH),[48]and Tāshkubrāzādah (d. 962 AH).[49]

Those which record this fact about Yahyā ibn Ya'mar include Ibn Abī Dā'ūd (d. 316 AH),[50] al-Dānī (d. 444 AH),[51] Ibn Atiyyah (d. 543 AH),[52] al-Mizzī (d. 743 AH),[53] Ibn Kathīr (d. 772 AH),[54]al-Dhahabī (d. 774 AH),[55]Ibn al-Jazarī (d. 833 AH),[56]Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH),[57]al-Yaghmūrī (d. 845 AH),[58]and Jamāl al-Dīn (d. 874 AH),[59]al-Suyūtī (d. 911 AH),[60]and Tāshkubrāzādah (d. 962 AH).[61]

Another name which is also cited in this regard is that of 'Abdullāh ibn Abī Ishāq al-Hadramī (d. 117 AH).[62]

Most scholars while trying to resolve these conflicting reports say that the nature of nuqat put by Abū al-Aswad and the ones put by Nasr and Yahyā was different and all three of them were pioneers in this regard;thus Abū al-Aswad was the first to put the nuqat related to i'rāb (vocalization) while Nasr and Yahyā were the first to put the nuqat related to i'jām (diacritics).[63]

III. Critical Evaluation of the Accounts

The following questions and objections arise on each of the three phases in the aforementioned accounts of the early development of Qur'ānic orthography related to vocalization and diacritics.

A. The First Vocalization Phase

1. If Abū al-Aswad (d. 69 AH) was the first person to put vowel marks on the masāhif in the form of nuqat, then the question arises that why did not anyone of his students or even the students of his students report this endeavour from him. Following are the students of Abū al-Aswad recorded by al-Mizzī:[64]Sa'īd ibn 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Ruqaysh (d. ?), 'Abdullāh ibn Buraydah (d. 115 AH), 'Umar ibn 'Abdullāh, mawlā Ghufrah (d. 145 AH) Yahyā ibn Ya'mar (d. 89 AH), Abū al-Harb ibn Abī al-Aswad (d. 109 AH). To this list, the following more students can be added on the authority of Abū Sa'īd al-Sayrāfī:[65]'Anbasah ibn Ma'dān (100 AH), Maymūn al-Aqran (d. ?) and as per an opinion Nasr ibn 'Āsim (d. 89 AH).

On the contrary, some of these students do report another feat: he was the originator of the science of nahw (Arabic grammar).

Thus, one of Abū al-Aswad's students, Yahyā ibn Ya'mar (d. 89 AH), reports that Abū al-Aswad, at the behest of 'Alī (rta), was the originator of the science of nahw (Arabic syntax) when he saw his daughter reading the expression ما أشد الحر[66]in an erroneous manner.[67]

Similarly, another of Abū al-Aswad's students, Abū al-Harb ibn Abī al-Aswad (d. 109 AH), says that when his father Abū al-Aswad was asked the source from which he obtained the science of nahw, he replied that he derived its definitions from 'Alī (rta).[68]At another instance Abū al-Harb says that the first chapter which his father formulated on nahw was the chapter on [words of] amazement (ta'ajjub).[69]

In other words, had he been the originator of nuqat on the masāhif, his students would have reported this feat of his as well just as they have reported his feat of originating Arabic grammar. It may also be noted that there are many authorities who have recorded this feat of his (origination of nahw). They have not even referred to the fact that he was responsible for putting nuqat on the masāhif.[70]This casts doubt on the fact that he was actually responsible for such an endeavour.[71]

2. It is more than a hundred years after Abū al-Aswad's endeavour (reported to have taken place around 40 AH) that anyone ascribes the introduction of vocalization to Abū al-Aswad. The first person to do so is Abū 'Ubaydah Ma'mar ibn Muthannā (d. 209 AH).[72]Following are the other three who report this achievement from him and are even later:

i. Abū al-Hasan 'Alī ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdullāh al-Madā'inī (d. 225 AH)[73]

ii. Muhammad ibn 'Ubaydullāh ibn 'Amr al-'Utbī (d. 228 AH)[74]

iii. Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad (d. 286 AH)[75]

It is known that Abū al-Aswad died in 69 AH.[76]So, none of the above narrators is contemporaneous to him and thus could not have heard directly from him or seen him.

3. Not only are the above referred to reports munqata', they have other problems in their chains as well. Let us now examine all the isnād of the incidents ascribed to Abū al-Aswad in chronological order:

i. Abū 'Ubaydah Ma'mar ibn Muthannā (d. 209 AH)

ii. Abū al-Hasan 'Alī ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdullāh al-Madā'inī (d. 225 AH)

iii. Muhammad ibn 'Ubaydullāh ibn 'Amr al-'Utbī (d. 228 AH)

iv. Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad (d. 286 AH)

[1]. Some authorities believe that these masāhif were purposefully left devoid of vocalization and diacritics to accommodate some variants which were authentically ascribed to the Prophet (sws) but not read in the al-ardah al-akhīrah. See:Abū al-Khayr Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Jazarī, Al-Nashr fī al-qirā'āt al-'ahsr, vol. 1(Egypt: Maktabah al-Tujjāriyyah, n.d.), 33. Al-Dānī expresses a somewhat similar view. See: Abū 'Amr 'Uthmān ibn Sa'īd, Al-Muhkam fī naqt al-masāhif, 1st ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 2004), 11. Others believe that the purpose was to accommodate the seven ahruf. See, for example: Abū al-'Abbās Ahmad ibn 'Abd al-Halīm ibn Taymiyah, Majmū'ah fatāwā, 2nd vol. 13 (n.p: Maktabah Ibn Taymiyah, n.d.), 402.

[2]. Notation of vowel markings.

[3]. In classical sources, the term used for both tashkīl and i'jām is nuqat (dotting), as the dot noation was used used for both of them.

[4]. Abū al-Khayr Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Jazarī, Ghāyah al-nihāyah fī tabaqāt al-qurrā', vol. 1 (Cairo: Maktabah al-khanji, 1932), 346.

[5]. See for example: Abū al-Faraj 'Alī ibn al-Husayn al-Abahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12 (Lebanon: Dār al-fikr li al-tabā'ah wa al-nashr, n.d.), 347; Abū al-Barkāt Kamāl al-Dīn 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muhammad ibn al-Anbārī, Nuzhah al-alibbā' fī tabaqāt al-alibbā', 3rd ed. (Al-Zarqā': Maktabah al-manār, 1985), 18-19; Jamāl al-Dīn Abū al-Hasan 'Alī ibn Yūsuf al-Qiftī, Inbā' al-ruwāt 'alā anbā' al-nuhāt, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Cairo: Dār al-Fikr al-'arabī, 1986), 40.

[6]. Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Qāsim ibn Muhammad ibn Bashshār ibn al-Hasan al-Anbārī, Īdāh al-waqf wa al-ibtidā' fī kitābillāh, 1st ed. (Cairo: Dār al-hadīth, 2007), 35-36; Abū al-Faraj al-Abahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12, 347; Abū Sa'īd al-Hasan ibn 'Abdullāh al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-Basriyyīn,1st ed. (Cairo: Shirkah maktabah wa matba'ah Mustafā al-Bābī, 1995), 12; Abū al-Mahāsīn Yūsuf ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Yaghmūrī, Nūr al-qabis al-mukhtasar min al-muqtabis fī akhbār al-nuhāt wa al-udabā' wa al-shu'arā' wa al-'ulamā' (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1964), 4-5; Abū al-Faraj Muhammad ibn Ishāq ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 2002), 63; Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 11-12; Abū al-Qāsim 'Alī ibn al-Husayn ibn'Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 25 (Beirut: Dār al-fikr, 1995), 189; Ibid., vol, 25, 192-193; Al-Qiftī, Inbā' al-ruwāt, vol. 1, 40; Abū 'Abdullāh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn 'Uthmān ibn Qāyamaz ibn 'Abdullāhal-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-Islām, 1st ed., vol. 5 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'arabī, 1407), 278-279; Abū 'Abdullāh Badr al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Bahādur ibn 'Abdullāh al-Zarkashī, Al-Burhān fī 'ulūm al-Qur'ān, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-fikr, 1980), 317.

[7]. See, for example: Jalāl al-Dīn 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Kamāl al-Dīn Abī Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sābiq al-Dīnal-Suyūtī, Al-Itqān fī 'ulūm al-Qur'ān, 1st ed., vol. 4 (Baydār: Manshūrāt al-radī, 1349 AH), 184; Muhammad Ghawth ibn Nāsir al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Nizām al-Dīn Ahmad al-Nā'itī, Nathr al-marjān fī rasm-i nazm al-qur'ān (Hyderabad: Matba'ah 'Uthmān, 1331 AH), 12.

[8]. Read thus, the verse would mean: "That God has acquitted Himself from the Idolaters and His Messenger." The correct reading

(أَنَّ اللّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولُهُ) would mean: "That God and His Messenger have acquitted themselves from the Idolaters."

[9]. According to the account recorded by Abū Tayyib 'Abd al-Wāhid (d. 351 AH), it is mentioned on the other hand that Abū al-Aswad had only asked for one scribe in the first place; this was provided from the 'Abd al-Qays tribe but Abū al-Aswad was not satisfied with him after which he was provided with one from the Quraysh whom he accepted. See: Abū al-Tayyib 'Abd al-Wāhid, Marātib al-nahwiyyīn (Cairo: Maktabah nahdah, n.d.), 10.

[10]. Abū Bakr Ibn al-Anbārī, Īdāh, 35-36. See also: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 11-12. Besides, 'Utbī, this account is also reported similarly by Abū 'Ubaydah Ma'mar ibn Muthannā (d. 209 AH), by Muhammad ibn Yazīd al-Mubarrad (d. 286 AH) and with scanty details by Abū al-Hasan 'Alī ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdullāh al-Madā'inī (d. 225 AH).

Those who record Abū 'Ubaydah's account include: Abū Sa'īd al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 11-12; Ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 63; Ibn 'Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 25, 189; Al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-islām, vol. 5, 278-279. The account says that Ziyād asked Abū al-Aswad to do something that will be a guide to people in reading the Book of God; at first he refused; however later when, he heard someone wrongly reading the Sūrah Tawbah verse (cited by 'Utbī) he came over to Ziyād and asked him to make available a scribe for this purpose. A scribe from the tribe of 'Abd al-Qays was brought, but Abū al-Aswad was not pleased with him. However, when another scribe was brought, he set out to put nuqat on the masāhif by employing the methodology of intonation described above by 'Utbī.

Those who record al-Mubarrad's account include: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13. The words are: When Abū al-Aswad resolved to institute Arabic grammar, he called a scribe from the tribe of 'Abd al-Qays and through him he set out to put nuqat on the masāhif by employing the methodology of intonation described above by 'Utbī. put nuqat. It may be noted that there is no mention of mushaf in this account.

Those who record al-Madā'inī's account include Abū Faraj al-Asbahānī. See: Abū Faraj al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12, 347. This account while omitting other details says that Ziyād ordered Abū al-Aswad to put nuqat on the masāhif, which he did and also asked him to institute the rules of grammar.

[11]. See: Mūsā Shāhīn Lāshīn, Al-La'ālī al-hassān fī 'ulūm al-qur'ān, 1st ed. (Cairo: Dār al-shurūq, 2002), 67.

[12]. See for example: Ibrāhīm al-Jumu'ah, Qissah al-kitābah al-'arabiyyah (Cairo: Dār al-ma 'ārif, 1947), 52; Abū 'Abdullāh al-Zanjanī, Tārīkh al-Qur'an, 3rd ed. (Beirut: Mu'assasah al-a'lamī li al-matbū'āt, 1969), 88; Hifnī Nāsif, Hayāt al-lughah al-'arabiyyah (n.p.: Matba'ah al-jarīdah, 1910), 58.

[13]. Jurjī Zaydān, Tārīkh al-tamaddum al-islāmī, vol. 3 (Beirut: Manshūrāt dār maktabah al-hayāt, n.d.), 62.

[14]. This is the conclusion drawn by Dr al-Farmāwī and Dr Ghānim Qadūrī. See: Dr 'Abd al-Hayy Husayn al-Farmawī, Rasm al-mushaf wa nuqatuhū, 1st ed. (Beirut: Mu'assasah al-rayyān, 2004), 293; Dr 'Abd al-Hayy Husayn al-Farmawī, Qissah al- nuqat wa al-shakl (Cairo: Dār al-nahdah al-'arabiyyah, n.d.), 65; Dr Ghānim Qadūrī al-Hamd, Rasm al-mushaf, dirāsātun lughwiyyatun tārikhiyyatun, 2nd ed. (Aman: Dār 'ammār li al-nashr wa al-tawzī', 2009), 425.

[15]. Mūsā Shāhīn Lāshīn, Al-La'ālī al-hassān, 68. Dr al-Farmāwī also supports Lāshīn's inference. See: Dr 'Abd al-Hayy al-Farmāwī, Rasm al-mushaf, 298.

[16]. However, I am not able to find in the earlier sources a corroboration of this effort undertaken by Nasr.

[17]. Hifnī Nāsif, Hayāt al-lughah al-'arabiyyah, 87.

[18]. Ibid., 86-87.

[19]. See, for example: Dr Hasan 'Awn, Al-Lughah wa al-nahw dirāsātūn tārīkhiyyatun wa tahlīliyyatun wa muqāranatun, 1st ed. (n.p.: Matba'ah rūyāl, 1952), 248.

[20]. See, for example: Dr 'Abd al-Fattāh al-Shalbī, Abū 'Alī al-Fārisī wa athruhū fī al-qirā'āt wa al-nahw, (Cairo: Maktabah al-nahdah, 1377 AH), 440; 'Alī al-Najdī Nāsif, Abū al-Aswad al-Du'alī 'asruhū hayātuhū āthāruhū al-'ilmiyyah wa al-adabiyyah (Cairo: Al-Majlis al-a'lā li al-shu'ūn al-islāmiyyah, 1968). 170.

[21]. See: Dr al-Farmāwī, Rasm al-mushaf, 296-297.

[22]. Hamzah ibn al-Hasan al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-tanbīh 'alā hudūth al-tashīf, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dār Sādir, 1992), 27-28.

[23]. Abū Ahmad al-Hasan ibn 'Abdullāh al-'Askarī, Sharh mā yaqa'u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 1st ed. (Cairo: Shirkah maktabah wa matba'ah Mustafā al-Bābī, 1963), 13. Ibn Khallikān has cited him in his Wafayāt. See: Abū al-'Abbās Shams al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abī Bakr ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a'yan wa anbā' abnā' al-zamān, vol. 2(Lebanon: Dār al-thaqāfah, n.d.), 32.

[24]. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 27-29.

[25]. See, for example: Mūsā Shāhīn Lāshīn, Al-La'ālī al-hassān, 68; Dr al-Farmāwī, Rasm al-mushaf, 301.

[26]. Ibn Atiyah, (ed.) Arthur Jeffery, Muqaddimah Tafsīr (Cairo: Maktabah khanjī, 1954), 276. See also: Abū 'Abdullāh Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abū Bakr al-Qurtubī, Al-Jāmi' li ahkām al-Qur'ān, vol. 1 (Cairo: Dār al-shu'ab, n.d.), 63; Abū al-Fadā' Ismā'īl ibn 'Umaribn Kathīr, Fadā'il al-Qur'ān (Cairo: Dār al-hadīth, n.d.), 90; Abū al-Qāsim ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Jazzī al-Kalbī, Al-Tashīl li 'ulūm al-tanzīl, vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 1995), 6.

It may be be added here that if Yahyā ibn Ya'mar had a share in putting these diacritics with Nasr, then in the above expression… وأما شكل المصحف ونقطه, the word shakl and nuqat must be interpreted as synonyms to mean diacritics. The fact that they can occur as synonyms is linguistically possible (for example, Ibn Manzūr records:أشكله: أعجمه. See: Ibn Manzūr, Lisān al-'arab, vol. 11, 358); however, does the context and occasion allow this synonymous use? The answer to this question will be given in the "Critical Evaluation" Section.

[27]. Abū 'Abdullāh Muhammad ibn 'Abdullāh al-Tanasī,ed. Ahmad ibn Ahmad Sharshāl, Al-Tirāz fī sharh dabt al-Kharrāz (Madīnah: Majma' al-Malik Fahad li al-tabā'ah al-mushaf al-sharīf, 1420 AH), 51.

[28]. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 14. See also: Abū al-Hajjāj Yūsuf ibn Muhammad al-Balawī, Alif bā', vol. 1 (Cairo: Jamī'ah al-ma'ārif, 1287 AH), 176.

[29]. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13.

[30]. Dr Ghānim Qadūrī al-Hamd, Rasm al-mushaf,456; Al-Tanasī,ed. Ahmad ibn Ahmad Sharshāl, Al-Tirāz, 46-47.

[31]. Abū Ahmad al-'Askarī, Sharh ma yaqa'u fīhī al-tashīf wa al-tahrīf, 13.

[32]. See, for example, Ibn Manzūr records: أشكله: أعجمه. See: Ibn Manzūr, Lisān al-'arab, vol. 11, 358. Some other scholars who do not accord this meaning to i'jām think that there is some discrepancy in the words cited because they think that the i'jām mentioned refer to diacritics and these had already been inserted. See, for example: Jurjī Zaydān, Tārīkh al-tamaddum al-islāmī, vol. 3, 62; 'Adnān al-Khatīb, Al-Mu'jam al-'arabī bayn al-mādī wa al-hādir 2nd ed. (Beirut: Maktabah Labnān nāshirūn, 1992), 25.

[33]. Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Zubaydī, Tabaqāt al-nahwiyyīn wa lughwiyyīn, 2nd ed. (Cairo: Dār al-ma'ārif, n.d.), 21. He attributes this view to Mubarrad (d. 285 AH).

[34]. Abū Hilāl al-Hasan ibn 'Abdullāh ibn Sahal ibn Sa'īd ibn Yahyā al-'Askarī, Al-Awā'il, 1st ed. (Cairo: Dār al-bashīr li al-thaqāfah wa 'ulūm al-islāmiyyah, 1987), 372.

[35]. Abū al-Faraj 'Abd al-Rahmān 'Alī ibn Muhammad ibnal-Jawzī, Al-Muntazam fī tārīkh al-mulūk wa al-umam, 1st ed., vol. 6 (Beirut: Dār sādir, 1358 AH), 97.

[36]. Abū 'Abdullāh Yaqūt ibn 'Abdullāh al-Hamawī, Mu'jam al-udabā', 1st ed., vol. 3 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 1411 AH), 436.

[37]. Abū al-Safā' Salāh al-Dīn Khalīl ibn Aybak ibn 'Abdullāh al-Safadī, Al-Wāfī bi al-wafayāt, vol. 16 (Beirut: Dār ihyā al-turāth, 2000), 305.

[38]. Al-Qurtubī, Jāmi' Ahkām al-Qur'ān, vol. 1, 63.

[39]. Ahmad ibn 'Alī al-Qalqashandī, Subhal a'shā fī sina'ah al-inshā, vol. 1 (Damascus: Wizārah al-thaqāfah, 1981), 478; Ibid., vol. 3, 149.

[40]. Abū al-Fadl Ahmad ibn 'Alī ibnHajar al-'Asqalānī, Al-Isābah fī tamyīz al-sahābah, 1st ed., vol. 3 (Beirut: Dār al-jīl, 1992), 562.

[41]. Jalāl al-Dīn 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Kamāl al-Dīn Abī Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sābiq al-Dīn al-Suyūtī, Bughyah al-wu'āt fī tabaqāt al-lughwiyyīn wa al-nuhāt, vol. 2 (Lebanon: Al-Maktabah al-'asriyyah, n.d.), 22

[42]. Sayyid al-Mar'ashī, Sharh ihqāq al-haqq, vol. 8 (Qum: Manshūrāt maktabah āyatullāh al-'uzmah al-Mar'ashī, 1411 AH), 4.

[43]. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 12-13. He ascribes this opinion to Abū Hātim Sahal ibn Muhammad ibn 'Uthmān (d. 255 AH).

[44]. Abū Muhammad 'Abd al-Haq ibn Ghālib ibn 'Atiyyah, Al-Muharrar al-wajīz fī tafsīr al-kitāb al-'azīz, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 1993), 50. He says that this is what is recorded in the Kitāb al-amsār of al-Jāhiz (d. 255 AH).

[45]. Al-Dhahabī, Ma'rifah al-qurrah al-kibār, vol. 1, 170.

[46]. Muhammad ibn Ya'qūb al-Fayrūzābādī, Al-Bulghah fī tarājim ā'immah al-nahaw wa al-lughah, 1st ed. (Kuwait: Jamī'ah ihyā' al-turāth al-islāmī, 1407 AH), 232.

[47]. In al-Jazarī, Ghāyah al-nihāyah fī tabaqāt al-qurrā', vol. 2, 293.

[48]. Al-Yaghmūrī, Nūr al-qabis, 23.

[49]. Ahmad ibn Mustafā Tāshkubrāzādah, Mawsū'ah mustalahāt miftāh al-sa'ādah wa misbāh al-siyādah bi mawdū'āt al-'ulūm, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 1985), 21.

[50]. Abū Bakr 'Abdullāh ibn Abī Dā'ūd Sulaymān ibn al-Ash'ath, Kitāb al-masāhif, 1st ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 1985), 158.

[51]. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 12.

[52]. Ibn 'Atiyyah, Al-Muharrar al-wajīz,vol. 3, 294.

[53]. Abū al-Hajjāj Yūsuf ibn al-Zakī al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl fī asmā' al-rijāl, 1st ed., vol. 32 (Beirut: Mu'assasah al-risālah, 1980), 54. He attributes this view to Hārūn ibn Mūsā (d. 248 AH).

[54]. Abū al-Fadā' Ismā'īl ibn 'Umar ibnKathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, vol. 9 (Beirut: Maktabah al-ma'ārif, n.d.), 73.

[55]. Abū 'Abdullāh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn 'Uthmān ibn Qāyamaz ibn 'Abdullāhal-Dhahabī, Siyar a'lām al-nubalā', 9th ed., vol. 4 (Beirut: Mu'assasah al-risālah, 1413 AH), 442.

[56]. Ibn al-Jazarī, Ghāyah al-nihāyah, vol. 2, 381. He attributes this view to Hārūn ibn Mūsā.

[57]. Abū al-Fadl Ahmad ibn 'Alī ibn Hajar al-'Asqalānī, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, 1st ed., vol. 11 (Beirut: Dār al-fikr, 1984), 266. He also attributes this view to Hārūn ibn Mūsā.

[58]. Al-Yaghmūrī, Nūr al-qabis, 21.

[59]. Jamāl al-Dīn Abū al-Mahāsin Yūsuf ibn Taghrī Bardī, Al-Nujūm al-zāhirah fī mulūk misr wa al-qāhirah, vol. 1 (Cairo: Wazārah al-thaqāfah wa al-irshād al-qawmī, n.d.), 217.

[60]. Jalāl al-Dīn 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Kamāl al-Dīn Abī Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sābiq al-Dīnal-Suyūtī,Tabaqāt al-huffāz, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah), 38.

[61]. Tāshkubrāzādah, Mawsū'ah mustalahāt miftāh al-sa'ādah, vol. 2, 21. He ascribes this view to the Tārīkh of Imām al-Bukhārī.

[62]. Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 14. He ascribes this opinion to Abū Hātim Sahal ibn Muhammad ibn 'Uthmān (d. 255 AH).

[63]. For this reconciliation, see: Ahmad Mālik Hammād, Miftāh al-amān fī rasm al-Qur'ān (n.p.: Dā al-Sanghāliyyah, n.d.), 129-130; 'Abd al-Fattāh al-Qādī, Tārīkh al-mushaf al-sharīf, 5th ed. (Cairo: Maktabah al-qāhirah, 2010), 57-58; 'Abd al-Sabūr Shāhīn, Tāīkh al-Qur'ān, 2nd ed. (Cairo: Markaz al-tawzī' al-ra'īs, 2006), 112; Dr Ghānim Qadūrī, Rasm al-mushaf, 458; Dr al-Farmāwī, Rasm al-mushaf, 338-339. For some other reconciliations, see: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13; Muhammad 'Abd al-'Azīm, Manāhil al-'irfān fī 'ulūm al-Qur'ān, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār ihyā' al-turāth al-'arabī, 1998), 285-286.

[64]. Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 33, 37.

[65]. Abū Sa'īd al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 17.

[66]. It is said that she declined the word أشدin the nomintive by pronoucing a dammah instead of the correct accusative pronounced by a fath.

[67]. Abū al-Faraj al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12, 347. It may be noted that after recording this narrative, Abū al-Faraj al-Asbahānī says that this is what he memorized from Abū Ja'far ibn Rustam al-Tabarī when he was very young (hadīth al-sinn) and though words could have been more or less, he has narrated the meaning he understood.

[68]. Ibid., vol. 12, 348.

[69]. Ibid., vol. 12, 349.

[70]. In chronological order, they are:

i. Abū 'Ubaydah Ma'mar ibn al-Muthannā (d. 209 AH): His words are: awwalu man wudi'a al-nahw abū al-aswad. See: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13.

ii. Muhammad ibn Salām al-Jumahī (d. 232 AH). His words are: kāna awwalu man assasa al-'arabiyyah. These words are recorded in al-Jumahī's own extant book, and perhaps is the earliest occurrence to date of this fact in a written compilation that has reached us. See: Muhammad ibn Sallām al-Jumahī, Tabaqāt fuhūl al-shu'arā', vol. 1 (n.p.: Dār al-Madanī, n.d.), 12.

iii. Yahyā ibn Ma'īn (d. 233 AH). His words are: huwa awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. These words are cited by Ibn Abī Hātim and were reported to have been said in response to a question posed by Abū Bakr ibn Abī Khaythamah about Abū al-Aswad to Yahyā ibn Ma'īn. See: 'Abd al-Rahmān ibnAbī Hātim, Al-Jarh wa al-ta'dīl. 1st ed., vol., 4 (Beirut: Dār al-ihyā' al-turāth al-'arabī, 1952), 4, 503.

iv. Ahmad ibn 'Abdullāh ibn Sālih al-'Ijlī (d. 261 AH). His words are: yuqālu innahū awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. See: Ahmad ibn 'Abdullāh ibn Sālih al-'Ijlī, Ma'rifah al-thiqāt, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Madīnah: Maktabah al-dār, 1985), 484.

v. Abū Muhammad 'Abdullāh ibn Muslim ibn Qutaybah (d. 276 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā'a al-'arabiyyah. See: Abū Muhammad 'Abdullāh ibn Muslim ibn Qutaybah, Al-Ma'ārif, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 2003), 247.

vi. Abū Hātim Muhammad ibn Hibbān al-Bustī, (d. 354 AH). His words are: huwa awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. See: Abū Hātim Muhammad al-Bustī ibn Hibbān, Al-Thiqāt, 1st ed., vol. 4 (Np.: Dār al-fikr, 1975), 400; vol. 5, 178.

vii. Abū Bakr Ahmad ibn 'Alī ibn Munjawayh al-Asbahānī (d. 428 AH). The words recorded by him are huwa awwalu man takallama 'an al-nahw. See: Abū Bakr Ahmad ibn 'Alī ibn Munjawayh al-Asbahānī, Rijāl sahīh Muslim, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-ma'rifah, 1407 AH), 333.

viii. Abū al-Walīd Sulaymān ibn Khalf ibn Sa'd al-Bājī (d. 474 AH). He cites the opinion of Yahyā ibn Ma'īn already quoted above. See: Abū al-Walīd Sulaymān ibn Khalf ibn Sa'd al-Bājī, Al-Ta'dīl wa al-tajrīh, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Riyād: Dār al-liwā li al-nashr wa al-tawzī', 1986), 609.

ix. Abū al-Hasan 'Izz al-Dīn al-Jazarī ibn Athīr (d. 630 AH). The words he records are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā'a al-nahw. See: Abū al-Hasan 'Izz al-Dīn Ibn al-Athīr al-Jazarī, Usud al-ghābah, 1st ed., vol. 3 (Beirut: Dār ihyā' al-turāth al-'arabī, 1996), 101.

x. Kamāl al-Dīn 'Umar ibn Ahmad ibn Abī Jarādah (d. 660 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā'a 'ilm al-nahw. See: Kamāl al-Dīn 'Umar ibn Ahmad ibn Abī Jarādah, Bughyah al-talab fī tārīkh Halab, vol. 10 (n.p.: Dār al-fikr, n.d.), 4325.

xi. Muhī al-Din Abū Zakariyyā Yahyā ibn Sharaf ibn Marrī ibn Hasan ibn Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Jumu'ah ibn Hizām al-Nawawī (d. 676 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. See: Muhī al-Din Abū Zakariyyā Yahyā ibn Sharaf ibn Marrī ibn Hasan ibn Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Jumu'ah ibn Hizām al-Nawawī, Tahdhīb al-asmā' wa al-lughāt, 1st ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-fikr, 1996), 468.

xii. Abū al-'Abbās Shams al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abī Bakr ibn Khallikān (d. 681 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā'a al-nahw. See: Ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-a'yān, vol. 2, 535.

xiii. Abū 'Abdullāh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn 'Uthmān ibn Qāyamaz ibn 'Abdullāh al-Dhahabī (d. 746 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wada'a masā'il fī al-'arabiyyah bi ishārah 'Alī (rta). See: Abū 'Abdullāh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn 'Uthmān ibn Qāyamaz ibn 'Abdullāh al-Dhahabī, Ma'rifah al-qurrā' al-kibār, 1st ed., vol. 1 (Istanbul: Manshūrāt markaz al-buhūth al-islāmiyyah, 1995), 154.

xiv. Abū al-Fadā Ismā'īl ibn 'Umaribn Kathīr (d. 774 AH). The words recorded by him are: huwa awwalu man takallama fī al-nahw. See: Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, vol. 8, 312.

xv. Abū Zayd 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muhammad ibn Khaldūn (d. 808 AH). His words are: Abū al-aswad wād'i al-nahw. See: 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muhammad ibn Khaldūn, Tārīkh, 5th ed., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-qalam, 1984), 383.

xvi. Jamāl al-Dīn Abī al-Mahāsin Yūsuf ibn Taghrī Bardī (d. 874 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā'a 'ilm al-nahw. See: Ibn Taghrī Bardī, Al-Nujūm al-zāhirah, vol. 1, 184.

xvii. 'Abd al-Hayy ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-'Ikrī (d. 1089 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa awwalu man wadā'a al-'arabiyyah. See: 'Abd al-Hayy ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-'Ikrī, Shadhrāt al-dhahab fī akhbār man dhahab, vol. 1 (Damascus: Dār Ibn Kathīr, 1406 AH), 114.

xviii. 'Abd al-Qādir ibn 'Umar al-Baghdādī (d. 1093 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa wādi' 'ilm al-'arabiyyah bi ta'līm 'Alī (rta). See: 'Abd al-Qādir ibn 'Umar al-Baghdādī, Khazānah al-adab wa lubb lubāb lisān al-'arab, 1st ed, vol. 1 (Beirut: Dār al-kutub al-'ilmiyyah, 1998), 277.

xix. Shaykh 'Abbās al-Qummī (d. 1359 AH). The words used by him are: huwa alladhī ibtakara al-nahw bi ishārah amīr al-mu'minīn. See: Shaykh 'Abbās al-Qummī, Al-Kunā wa al-alqāb (Tehran: Maktabah al-sadar, n.d.), 9-12.

xx. Sayyid Sharf al-Dīn (d. 1377 AH). The words recorded by him are: wa huwa alladhī wada'a 'ilm al-nahw 'alā qawā'id akhadhahū 'an amīr al-mu'minīn. See: Sayyid Sharf al-Dīn, Al-Murāji'āt, 2nd ed. (n.p: n.p, 1982), 140-141.

[71]. It may be of interest to note that in recent times the issue of the first Arabic grammarian has been discussed with renewed interest. For example, Talmon employing the Schatian framework argues in favour of 'Abdullāh ibn Ishāq al-Hadramī (d. 117 AH). See: Rafeal Talmon, 'Who was the First Grammarian: A New Approach to an Old Problem,' Zeitschrift fur arabische Linguistik 15 (1985), 143; Rafeal Talmon, 'Schacht's Theory in the Light of Recent Discoveries concerning the Origins of Arabic Grammar,' Studia Islamica 65 (1987), 31-50. In another article, he argues about the existence of an early grammatical school in Madīnah with reference to 'Abd al-Rahmān ibn Hurmuz (d. 117 AH). See: Rafeal Talmon, 'An Eighth-Century Grammatical School in Madina: The Collection and Evaluation of the Available Material,' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 48 (1985), 224-236. For a critical evaluation of Talmon's view, see: Mustafa Shah, 'Exploring the Genesis of Early Arabic Linguistic Thought: Qur'ānic Readers and Grammarians of the Basran Tradition (Part II),' Journal of Qur'anic Studies 5 (2003), 9.

[72].Those who record Abū 'Ubaydah's account include: Abū Sa'īd al-Hasan ibn 'Abdullāh al-Sayrāfī, Akhbār al-nahwiyyīn al-basriyyīn, 1st ed. (Cairo: Shirkah maktabah wa matba'ah Mustafā al-Bābī, 1995), 11-12; Ibn Nadīm, Al-Fihrist, 63; Ibn 'Asākir, Tārīkh Madīnah Dimashq, vol. 25, 189; Al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-islām, vol. 5, 278-279.

[73].Those who record al-Madā'inī's account include Abū Faraj al-Asbahānī. See: Abū Faraj al-Asbahānī, Kitāb al-āghānī, vol. 12, 347.

[74].Those who record 'Utbī's account include Abū Bakr Ibn al-Anbārī. See: Abū Bakr Ibn al-Anbārī, Īdāh, 35-36. See also: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 11-12

[75].Those who record al-Mubarrad's account include al-Dānī. See: Al-Dānī, Al-Muhkam, 13.

[76]. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 12, 12.

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