The One and the Many: The Early History of the Qur'an
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The One and the Many: The Early History of the Qur'an  -     By: Francois Deroche

The One and the Many: The Early History of the Qur'an

Yale University Press / 2022 / Hardcover

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Stock No: WW251326

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Product Description

François Déroche, one of the world's foremost experts on early Qur'anic manuscripts and the history of the Arabic book, demonstrates that the original texts of the Qur'an were actually rather fluid, including their accounts of Muhammad's sayings. Déroche unearths variant readings that were later eliminated from the canonical version.

Product Information

Title: The One and the Many: The Early History of the Qur'an
By: Francois Deroche
Format: Hardcover
Vendor: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2022
Weight: 1 pound 2 ounces
ISBN: 0300251327
ISBN-13: 9780300251326
Stock No: WW251326

Publisher's Description

A revelatory account of early Islam’s great diversity by the world’s leading scholar of early Qur’anic manuscripts
 
"There is no one better placed than François Déroche to write the history—and tell the story—of how the Quran went from words uttered by Muhammad to inviolable canonical scripture. This is a meticulous, lucid, and fascinating book."—Shawkat Toorawa, Yale University  
 
According to Muslim dogma, the recited and written text of the Qur’an as we know it today scrupulously reflects the divine word as it was originally sent down to Muhammad. An examination of early Islamic sources, including accounts of prophetic sayings, all of them compared with the oldest Qur’anic manuscripts, reveal that plurality was in fact the outstanding characteristic of the genesis and transmission of the Qur’an, both textually and orally.
 
By piecing together information about alternative wordings eliminated from the canonical version that gradually came to be imposed during the first centuries of Islam, François Déroche shows that the Qur’an long remained open to textual diversity. Not only did the faithful initially adopt a flexible attitude toward the Qur’anic text, an attitude strikingly at odds with the absolute literalism later enforced by Muslim orthodoxy, but Muhammad himself turns out to have been more concerned with the meaning than the letter of the divine message.

Author Bio

François Déroche, professor at the Collège de France, is the world’s foremost authority on early Qur’anic manuscripts and a leading scholar of the history of the Arabic book. Malcolm DeBevoise has translated more than forty works from French and Italian in every branch of scholarship. He is a three-time winner of the French-American Foundation translation prize for nonfiction.

Editorial Reviews

"With four decades of painstaking manuscript research behind him, there is no one better placed than François Déroche to write the history—and tell the story—of how the Quran went from words uttered by Muhammad to inviolable canonical scripture. This is a meticulous, lucid, and fascinating book."—Shawkat Toorawa, Yale University  
 

"A masterful and clearly written synthesis of Déroche’s pioneering and pathbreaking scholarship on early Islamic manuscripts over the past three decades."—David Stephan Powers, Cornell University
 

"The author engages in true investigation . . . connecting the Qur’anic text, the theory of ’readings,’ and different layers of tradition in their historical context with his observations from manuscripts of the seventh and eighth centuries. He thus shows that, from the time of the Prophet until about the tenth century, a plurality was at work in various ways, revealing an approach to the Qur’an and its transmission very different from the literalism that has been observed."—Jean-Marc Balhan, Revue Études
 

"A summary of the author’s life’s work: Déroche is a master of manuscripts, and very artfully takes the reader through the earliest ones."—David Cook, Rice University

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