|Origin and development|
|Qur'an and Sunnah|
|Views on the Qur'an|
Rasm (رسم) is an Arabic term that signifies "sketch, pattern, mark, design, form". When speaking of the Qur'an, it stands for either the basic 18 letters used in early manuscripts, that is, without i'jam diacritics, or for one of the various ways of depicting the precise vocalization of the Qur'an. Examples of the latter use are Rasm Ad-Dani and Rasm Al-Kharraz, both used to render Riwayat Qalun from Nafi'. (See Qira'at.)
The former sense is characteristic of early Qur'anic and other Arabic texts, usually written in Kufic script, before the development of harakat (vowel pointing) and i'jam (consonant pointing). As such, the rasm are the only element of Arabic script which can be traced back to early Qur'anic manuscripts, and therefore are the most straightforward element of orthography when deciding whether a reading of the Qur'an is canonical.
There are eighteen rasm:
|IPA values||ʔ, aː||b, t, θ||ħ, x, dʒ||d, ð||r, z||s, ʃ||sˁ, dˁ||tˁ, zˁ||ʔˁ, ɣ||f||q||k||l, lˁ||m||n||h||w, uː||j, iː|
However, in medial position, these conflate to fifteen distinct forms, as the differences between ٮ-ں-ﯼ and ڡ-ٯ are lost.
Compare the beginning of the qurʾān with all diacritics and with the rasm only:
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
or with spaces:
ٮسم الـله الر حمن الر حٮم
(note that spaces do not occur only between words)
The Kufic Samarkand Qur'an that was from 1869 to 1917 in St. Petersburg shows almost only the rasm.
- Are There Scribal Errors In The Qur'an?
- Some pages from the famous St.Petersburg-Samerkand-Tashkent Koran. The fourth to seventh images are written in the Kufic script
- A page in the earliest script, known as ma'il