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Gerd Rüdiger Puin (born 1940) is a Germanmarker scholar and an authority on Qur'anic historical orthography, the study and scholarly interpretation of ancient manuscripts. He is also specialist in Arabic calligraphy. He was a lecturer based at Saarland Universitymarker, in Saarbrückenmarker Germanymarker.

Sana'a Qur'an find

Gerd R Puin photo of one of his Sana'a Qur'an parchments, showing layered revisions to the Qu'ran
Gerd Puin was the head of a restoration project, commissioned by the Yemenimarker government, which spent a significant amount of time examining the ancient Qur'anic manuscripts discovered in Sana'amarker, Yemenmarker, in 1972. According to writer Toby Lester, his examination revealed "unconventional verse orderings, minor textual variations, and rare styles of orthography and artistic embellishment." The scriptures were written in the early Hijazi Arabic script, matching the pieces of the earliest Qur'ans known to exist. The papyrus on which some of the text appears shows clear signs of earlier use, being that previous, scraped-off writings are also visible on it, though this does not necessarily demonstrate modifications to the over-all text of the Qur'an.

More than 15,000 sheets of the Yemeni Qur'ans have painstakingly been cleaned, treated, sorted, and photographed and 35,000 microfilmed photos have been made of the manuscripts. Some of Puin's initial remarks on his findings are found in his essay titled the "Observations on Early Qur'an Manuscripts in San'a" which has been republished in the book What the Koran Really Says by Ibn Warraq.

Assessment of the Qur'an

In the 1999 Atlantic Monthly article referenced below, Gerd Puin is quoted as saying that:

Written publications

Ohlig, K.-H. & Puin, G.-R., 2005 .Die dunklen Anfänge. Neue Forschungen zur Entstehung und frühen Geschichte des Islam ("The dark beginnings: new research on the origin and early history of Islam,") Hans Schiler Verlag.

Ohlig, K.-H. & Puin, G.-R., 2008. The hidden origins of Islam : new research into its early history Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books.

¨Uber die Bedeutung der ¨altesten Koranfragmente aus Sanaa (Jemen) f¨ur die Orthographiegeschichte des Korans’ (About the importance of the oldest Qur'an fragments from Sana'a (Yemen) Orthography for the history of the Quran), in H.-C. Graf von Bothmer, K.-H. Ohlig and G.-R. Puin, ‘Neue Wege der Koranforschung’, Magazin forschung (Universit¨at des Saarlandes) 1 (1999), 37–40,

See also


  • Puin, Gerd R. -- "Observations on Early Qur'an Manuscripts in Sana'a," in The Qur'an as Text, ed. Stefan Wild, , E.J. Brill 1996, pp. 107–111. Reprinted in What the Koran Really Says, ed. Ibn Warraq, Prometheus Books, 2002.

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