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Chapter Summary

This chapter talks about the main alphabets of Arabic. It commences with the Abbasid bookhand and concludes with a note on zigzag paper. The Abbasid bookhand is a generic term for a variety of scripts that originated in the early chancery and that were later used for non-Quranic texts. The alif in these scripts often looks like a reversed s or a club, and can be found with or without a head-serif. These scripts came to play an important role in the 3rd/9th century in the copying of texts and the 4/10th century was their golden age. Many Spanish and Moroccan papers between 11667 and 1360 have a characteristic zigzag mark, in comb or diagonal cross form running from the upper to the lower margin. These were drawn with a brush or some other implement while the paper was still moist.

Keywords: Abbasid bookhand; Arabic alphabets; Lam alif; Quran

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