The Nobel Quran is a word (message) of Allah سبحانه و تعالى , orally revealed, gradually nearly 23 years to the Prophet Muhammed صلى الله عليه و سلم in Arabic language, more specifically dialect of Quraysh tribe through Archangel Jibrail (Gabriel) عليه السلام. It is the primary and central source of the final divine guidance to the mankind.
Since the final divine message (Quran) was not revealed all at once, therefore, it was not possible to preserve the message in writing in a book form at that time. During the initial stage of Islam as well until today, major emphasis is laid on its correct recitation and through memorization as a means of preserving the message. The prophet and his companions (رضي الله عنهمه) used to memorize the message (wahy) as soon as they revealed. . Since the beginning, it remains Islamic tradition to recite and memorize the Noble Qur'an because of its enormous spiritually benefits.
Besides having the Qur’aan committed to memory, the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم made special arrangements to have the Qur’aan committed to writing through his few literate companions (رضي الله عنهمه) who after writing the text used to read the verses to the Prophet sallallaho alehey wasalam to ensure there were no shortcoming. During those days paper was not readily available in Arabia; therefore, these Qur’aanic verses were mostly written on stone slabs, parchments, date branches, bamboo units, tree leaves and animal bones.
The divine revelation stopped few months before the passing of the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم at that moment, the Quran was completed and its order and arrangement and manner of reciting were approved by Almighty Allah through his messenger before his death.
Since the beginning the written text of the various chapters of the revelation was kept probably in unorganized manner by few Muslims for their personal use and at least one complete manuscript was in possession of one of the wives of the Prophet soon after his passing away.
After passing of the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, his successors were reluctant to commit the Qur'an into writing but because of circumstances such as rapid spread of Islam beyond Arabian peninsula in short period of time, dispute over slight variation in the recitation, - they agreed to compile the Qur'an in a book form. The first authorized written copies of Nobel Qur’aan (Mus’hab) were circulated under the supervision of Sayyidna 'Uthman رضي الله عنه the third caliph about 20 years after the passing Prophet Muhammed صلى الله عليه و سلم .
It did not contain dots nor tashkeel (diacritical - vowel-points) for example letter Ba ب Ta ت and Thaa ث looked that same, this is due to the fact that the practice of placing dots nor the diacritical marks over or under letters was not customary then. At that time, those who could read were so used to this style that they had practically no difficulty in reading dot-less writing mainly because they knew the correct recitation, in case of doubt they would easily recognize the text by its the context. At that time Muslims reached a consensus on a rule that it is not permissible to write the text of the noble Qur’aan using any method other than the Uthmani Script standard.
With the spread of Islam beyond the Arabian Peninsula, and the increasing number of non-Arab Muslims, there was a greater need for facilitating reading and learning of Arabic. Since several letters of the Arabic alphabet shared the same shapes and vowels signs were not clearly indicated, some improvement was needed. As a consequence, a system of letter-pointing Nuaqt or I’jam, diacritical marks I'rab and vowel indication tashkeel including sukoon, Nunation tanween, double consonant tashdid prolongation maddah and glottal stop hamzah signs were introduced and perfected well before the first century of Islam without compromising its oral recitation, this system serves as pronunciation keys to as facilitate proper reading.
The 29 letters of Arabic many be conveniently group into 17 shapes as many letters of the Arabic alphabet look similar in shape but are distinguished from one another by position of tiny dots Nuqta (diacritical) for example letter Ba ب which has one dot below the main body but letter TA ت has two dots above the similar shape.
Before the advent of computers, master copies of Qurans were hand written (calligraphy) either for personal collection or for copy/reproduction purpose. Over the centuries the style of calligraphy has been evolving and there are several popular styles such have been used such as Kufic, Naskh, Nastaʿlīq and other styles. In 20th century onward two printed copies of Nobel Quran styles that have been widely circulated, one is called Mushaf al-Madinah an-Nabawiyyah convenient for Arabic speaking and available in various reciting style (riwâyahs -Hafs,warsh ad-Duriyy etc.) and second is Indo-Pak or Farsi script (no appropriate name yet is given but we shall call it Mushaf-e-Ajmi) suitable for Muslims having no knowledge of Arabic language, available in Hafs riwâyah only. Both employ Uthmani script standard slightly differ in the convention of diacritical marks.
The Mushaf-e-Ajmi has been simplified so that learners do not need to know essential Arabic grammar rules such as having to differentiate between letter Alif or hamza, mute letters, simplify method for writing alif/hamza, long vowel letters Huroofe-maddah, alif maqsurah or khara-zaber, madd-e-asli maddah ya or khari-zer and maddah waw or ulta-pesh and some other minor variations. The Mushaf-e-Ajmi divides Quran in sections (Ruku') not found in Mushaf-e-Madinah, it also employs more pause/stop signs (Rumiiz al-Awqaf ) than Mushaf Madinah.
Remember the preservation of Nobel Qur’aan did not rest on writing alone, but rather on the strength of memory, correct recitation (oral transmission) by listening to and being corrected by the others more specifically by the experts. Uthman رضي الله عنه, did not only produce the printed copies but he also assigned Qaris, accomplished reciters of the Qur’aan, along with its copies sent out to various parts of the Muslim world so that they could teach how to read it.