Ulum al Qur'an
CONTENTS ONLINE LIBRARY
CHAPTER 3 : The Qur'an in Manuscript and Print
THE QUR'ANIC SCRIPT
Writing, although not very widespread in pre-Islamic time, was well-known among the Arabs. The script used in the seventh century, i. e . during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, consisted of very basic symbols, which expressed only the consonantal structure of a word, and even that with much ambiguity.
While today letters such as ba, ta, tha, ya, are easily distinguished by points, this was not so in the early days and all these letters used to be written simply as a straight line.
From this very basic system of writing there developed over the ages, various types of script, such as Kufi, Maghribi, Naskh, etc., which spread all over the world.
The later invention of printing with standardised types has contributed to formalising the writing.
However, as far as the actual script of the Qur'an is concerned, there were two important steps which brought about the forms in which we have the Qur'anic text as it is today. These were the introduction of: