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Forgotten Witness: Evidence For The Early Codification Of The Qur'anEstelle Whelan Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 1998, Volume 118, pp. 1-14. Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.(We do not necessarily agree with everything written in this article - Islamic Awareness)Three kinds of historical evidence are examined here that have not previously being seriously considered in relation to the question of codification. The Umayyad inscriptions from the Dome of the Rock have generally being ignored or dismissed because of apparent departures from the "canonical" text, as represented by the Cairo edition; here they are analyzed for the evidence they nonetheless provide for the state of the Qur'anic text toward the end of the first hijri century. Equally informative are al-Walid's inscriptions at the Great Mosque of al-Madinah, datable about twenty years later; they were described by eyewitnesses in the first half of the tenth century, when they were still partly visible. Finally, from scattered indications it is suggested that there was group of professional Qur'an copyists at al-Madinah at the end of the first and the beginning of the second century.In the last two decades a controversy has arisen over the period in which the text of Muslim scripture became codified. The traditional Islamic view can be summarized as follows.[1] Both Abu Bakr (A.H. 11-13 / A.D. 632-34) and Umar (13-23 / 634-44) made efforts to gather together the scraps of revelation

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