The Hamburg Qur’an, the first Arabic printed Qur’an available

[Quran]. Al-Coranus s. lex islamitica Muhammedis, filii Abdallae pseudoprophetae [...].

Hamburg, Gottfried Schultze & Benjamin Schiller, 1694.

4to. (88), 560 [but p. 255f. repeated], (10) pp. Latin title printed in red and black; Arabic (woodcut) and Latin half-titles, "Sententia Muhammedis" after title-page. Preface in Latin, text in vocalized Arabic throughout; incidental fraktur, Greek and Hebrew. Contemporary full vellum with handwritten title to spine. All edges red.


First and only edition of Hinckelmann’s Arabic text of the Qur’an, the second edition of the Arabic Qur’an, the first actually available to readers and the only convenient edition before 1834, with a 36-page Latin introduction by the editor making extensive reference to the earlier literature. The first complete Arabic edition of the Qur’an was printed at Venice ca. 1537/38, intended for distribution in the Middle East, but the entire edition was thought to have been destroyed until one copy turned up in the 1980s. Hinckelmann’s edition was therefore the first edition available to European scholars, missionaries or Islamic readers. It was followed by Ludovico Marracci’s Arabic and Latin edition published at Padua in 1698, whose two folio volumes and extensive (anti-Islamic) commentary made it both expensive and inconvenient to use. The editions published at St Petersburg (from 1789) and Kazan (from 1803) for the use of Islamic groups in the Russian Empire were almost unknown in Europe, so the present edition remained the primary source for European knowledge of the Qur’an for 140 years, until Flügel’s 1834 Leipzig edition. VD17 has four different entries for this work, with different fingerprints, but they are all the same edition.


Rare staining, small scuff to lower edge; altogether in excellent condition.


Hamilton, Europe and the Arab World 33. Smitskamp, PO 360. Schnurrer 376.

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