The book aims to trace back and document the beginnings of the book manufacture in the region of the Ḥijāz since the time of the Prophet and the Caliphate.
The author recollects the historic developments that occurred during the prophetic and caliphate periods through identifying that period’s documents in major sources. He captures the initial moments of archiving as well as the factors that influenced its development, including the education system and authorship, the codification of the Qurʾān, and the political, legal and monetary factors of the time. In the second chapter the author looks at the initial stages of book making, the materials involved, the terminology used to describe them, the ways and means of preserving documents as well as the scribes of that time.
This study resulted in the establishment of the first library on the Islamic civilisation and the setting up of the first publishing house for the Qurʾān. The author also found documents pertinent to the influence of Persian book makers on the Arabs. He describes a number of the early centres for the production of the Qurʾān (maṣāhif). He also found evidence to demonstrate the establishment of Qurʾānic schools (katātīb) and administrative departments (dawāwīn) at the time of the Prophet.
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