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The Calligraphic StateTextual Domination and History in a Muslim Society$
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Brinkley Messick

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520076051

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520076051.001.0001

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The Calligraphic State
Author(s):

Brinkley Messick

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520076051.003.0005

This chapter describes the methods and rationales of transmission in Quranic schools and in advanced lesson circles. The Quranic school specialized in correct comportment, both among a cohort of pupils and especially in relation to Sinna, and in the memorized acquisition of the Quran, the sacred text. Quranic-school formation was integral to a later stage of a child's upbringing and development, matters that are elaborated upon in general terms in several law-manual sections. The conclusion of Quranic school studies was marked by a semipublic ceremony known as the khatam, which, in Yemen, occurred when a boy had successfully memorized a portion of the Quran. Darasa was concerned with jurisprudence and an array of supporting disciplines, including the language sciences, Quranic exegesis, and the science of hadith. The biographical histories give evidence of specialization among some scholars; others dabbled, or in unusual cases such as al-Shawkani, went profoundly into numerous subjects.

Keywords:   Quranic schools, Quran, Sinna, khatam, Yemen, Darasa

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