Al-Rasm al-ʿUthmāānīī: Towards Correct Pronunciation and the Preclusion of Ambiguity

Abūū Khaḍīīr, Nāāṣir Al-Dīīn
October 2011
Journal of Qur'anic Studies;2011, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p201
Academic Journal
The ʿUthmāānic way of writing ( al-rasm al-ʿUthmāānīī) is a science that specialises in the writing of Qur'anic words in accordance with a specific 'pattern'. It follows the writing style of the Companions at the time of the third caliph, ʿUthmāān b. ʿAffāān, and was attributed to ʿUthmāān on the basis that he was the one who ordered the collection and copying of the Qur'an into the actual muṣḥaf. This article aims to expound on the two fundamental functions of al-rasm al-ʿUthmāānīī: that of paying regard to the 'correct' pronunciation of the words in the muṣḥaf, and the pursuit of the preclusion of ambiguity which may arise in the mind of the reader and his auditor. There is a further practical aim for this study: to show the connection between modern orthography and the ʿUthmāānic rasm in order that we, nowadays, are thereby able to overcome the problems faced by calligraphers and writers of the past in their different ages and cultures.


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