Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(2,837 words)

The ability to read and, often, to write. Literacy (framed in contemporary Arabic by expressions such as maʿrifat al-qirāʾa wa-l- kitāba, thaqāfa and their derivatives) is in many cultures considered a primary requisite for learning and education. In Arabia at the beginning of the first/seventh century, however, oral transmission of knowledge, memorization and the spoken word had a long tradition and were highly appreciated among the tribes (see tribes and clans; orality and writing in arabia; memory; speech). Until that time, the use of writing and written matter — due …

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Günther, Sebastian, “Literacy”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 05 June 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00262>

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