Author: Mohammad Mustafa al-Azami
Muslims do not doubt that the Holy Qurʾan is the unadulterated Word of Allah, a Book that has remained pure and free from change or distortion ever since it was revealed. Ageless Qurʾan Timeless Text provides a visual proof of the integrity of the Qurʾanic text – the first of its kind – and is the result of 15 years of effort on the part of the author. Azami applies a proof technique known as ‘proof without words,’ typically used in mathematics to prove an identity or mathematical statement that can be demonstrated as self-evident by a diagram without any accompanying explanatory text.
This work is meant for all people, Muslim and non-Muslim, believer and skeptic. It speaks to the human desire to attain both belief and proof that is illustrated by the well-known story of prophet Ibrāhīm with the bird, which in the Qurʾan touches the soul of everyone who seeks such reassurance:
And prophet Ibrāhīm asked, ‘My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.’ He [Allah] said, ‘Do you not believe?’ He said, ‘I do! But just to reassure my heart.’ He said, ‘Then take four birds and draw them to you. Then place a part of them on each mountain. Then call them; they shall come to you in a rush. And know that indeed Allah is Overpowering, All-wise.’ (2:262)
A visual catalogue and record, the work comprises a collation of 19 Qurʾanic manuscripts focusing on one sūrah (Al-Isrāʾ) but spanning the entire history of Islam. The verses are aligned in a parallel framework so that each word, each letter, each verse is brought into focus. This enables the reader to discern the text visually, by contemplating the very script whose recitation echoed throughout the centuries, from the time when the Companions of the Prophet g made their way through the alleyways to the Prophet’s Mosque and set down to work, to fourteen centuries later when the hum of the modern, digital printing press accompanies the mass production of muṣḥafs for distribution across the globe.
Aqil M. Azmi, July 5, 2017