Qur'anic Verses (107-9, 110-112)


This Qur'anic fragment’s recto includes surahs (chapters) 107–9: al-Ma'un (The assistance), al-Kawthar (The abundance), and al-Kafirun (The unbelievers). The last chapters of the Qur'an tend to be Meccan and quite short, thus several can fit onto one page. They deal with sincerity in devotion and true worship and warn of persecuting men of different faith. The chapter headings are written in thuluth script. The top heading for al-Ma'un is executed in white ink, rather than gold outlined in black, and states that it is Meccan and consists of seven verses. Like the other headings, it appears above gold flower and vine interlacings on a red and blue background. Verse markers consist of rosettes in gold with red centers, with 12 petals outlined in black and blue and red dots punctuating the perimeter. The text’s rectangular gold and blue border is a bit faded. The verso of the fragment continues with surahs 110–12, al-Nasr (The victory), al-Masad (The plaited rope), and al-Ikhlas (The purity of faith), which discuss victory as given by God, cruelty as self-damaging, and God as the single, everlasting being. Surat al-Ikhlas appears in the lowermost portion of the folio. Its heading is executed in large thuluth with white ink, stating that the surah consists of four verses and was revealed in Mecca. As with the two other chapter headings on the page, the title appears on a bed of gold flower and vine interlacings on a red and blue background. The other two headings are written in gold and outlined in black. The calligraphy used for the verses is masahif, a cursive script that is smaller and less stiff than muhaqqaq. Its name, which means codices or volumes, reflects its common use for copying the Qur'an. Masahif and other bold cursive scripts, such as naskh and muhaqqaq, are typical of Qur'ans produced in Egypt in the 14th–15th centuries.

Last updated: October 17, 2011