10. Muṣḥaf and the Material Boundaries of the Qur’an
Iconic Books and Texts - Sacred texts (HRLC) - James W. Watts
Natalia K. Suit
Muṣḥaf is what Muslims call the physical body of the Qur’an, its pages, binding, and print. Scholars traditionally focused on the textual analysis of the Qur’an as theological, political, historical or literary productions, favoring a semantic dimension of the text and detaching it from its materiality. In this chapter the author proposes to shift our attention from the understanding of the Qur’an exclusively as message to its material existence as muṣḥaf in the hands of its manufacturers and users in order to highlight the process through which the status of the Qur’an as a sacred message is negotiated.