I need only point to the different ways in which plain alif and alif + hamza (which are separate Unicode code points, as are ya', alif maqsura
, and Persian ya' (56)) are treated in searches; or to the fact that the presence of shadda, vowel signs, or plain errors will skew search results.
The diphthong "ay" in the Arabic version of the name is most likely accountable for by the fact that, in early Qur'anic manuscripts (particularly in the hijazi script), the consonantal shape for "ya" is also used as a mater lectionis for "a." Eventually, this practice was continued only for the final consonantal position (the so-called alif maqsura
) and medial matres lectionis were read as though they were in fact "ya" consonants.
Haeedeh Laleh presents her investigation of the monumental Seljuq-period maqsura
, or royal enclosure, in the Friday mosque at Qazvin in Iran; the late Michael Meinecke writes on Abbasid stucco decoration from al-Raqqa, the site he excavated in Syria; and Klaus Kreiser examines the concept of legibility in Ottoman inscriptions in light of Richard Ettinghausen's seminal article, "Arabic Epigraphy: Communication or Symbolic Affirmation?"