An Explanation for Omitting and Writing Alif in Some Words of the Qurʼan Based on the Ancient Manuscripts

Document Type : Research Paper


College of Islamic Sciences, Diyala University, Baquba, Iraq


Examining the orthography of the Qurʼan shows that the letter alif was omitted in some words, while it was not omitted in similar words. Scholars have offered various reasons for eliminating alif since the early centuries. Some of them regarded the way of writing the Qurʼan as sacred or proposed ideological explanations for it. However studying these justifications shows that they are not subject to scientific linguistic rules and are mostly personal opinions. Because based on the ancient manuscripts of the Qurʼan, we can find many contradictions for the proposed reasons, which shows that they are not general and true in many cases.
Using the reasons presented in the books of Qurʼanic sciences and some interpretations of the Qurʼan and comparing them with the orthography in the manuscripts, this study shows that the orthography of the Qurʼan, especially in the case of writing alif, is a linguistic and scribal phenomenon subjected by some factors that developed the Arabic script in its early stages.