Asked • 04/26/19

Are the letter forms of Arabic essential to the Qur'an?

Are the existing letter forms/shapes of the Arabic alphabet an essential part of the Qur'an, or are they an arbitary choice made by humans as a means to *record* the Qur'an?In other words, if someone came up with a different writing system that could be transliterated back and forth from the Arabic alphabet *with no loss of information*, **would a transliteration of the Qur'an into such writing actually *be* the Qur'an or only an interpretation of it?**Alternatively, one could phrase this question as asking whether there are minimal standards for writing the letters of the Qur'an, a violation of which invalidates that copy, is *haram*, or is otherwise problematic. For example, would it be valid for someone to claim to a Qur'an copyist that, "Your *lams* have unacceptably large flourishes, your *mims* have an extra small serif that has no precedent and just looks weird, and the loops on your *qafs* are 5% tighter than the benchmark standard as defined by the Standard Fatwa on Best Practices in Literacy. Your Qur'an is invalid.", or is the requirement only that the copy be *understandable* as a Qur'an?

1 Expert Answer


James W. answered • 06/03/19

Latin, Classical/NT Greek and literary Arabic tutor

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