The Qur’anic Studies Unit hosted an occasional lecture by Dr Asma Hilali of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris entitled Pragmatic Aspects of the Religious Text: The San‘a Qur’an Palimpsest in May 2010.
In her presentation, Dr Hilali proposed a method for the study of Islamic religious texts focusing on their textual and contextual components. She used the San‘a Qur’an palimpsest, dated between seventh and mid-ninth century CE, as the principal example. A palimpsest is a manuscript, often made of parchment, which has been scraped off, cleaned and used again. This usually results in two layers of writing. This manuscript, discovered in 1972, is possibly the earliest extant version of the Qur’anic manuscript, it was discovered in the false ceiling of the Great Mosque in San‘a, .
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