77 results in English
Holy Qurʼan
According to Islamic belief, the Holy Qurʼan was revealed by God to the Prophet Mohammad (570–632) by the Angel Gabriel over a period of 22 years. The Qurʼan speaks in powerful, moving language about the reality and attributes of God, the spiritual world, God's purposes with mankind, man's relationship and responsibility to God, the coming of the Day of Judgment, and the life hereafter. It also contains rules for living, stories of earlier prophets and their communities, and vital insights and understandings concerning the meaning of existence ...
Al-Bukhāri's Abridged Collection of Authentic Hadith
This work is the earliest Arabic manuscript in the National Library of Bulgaria. Incomplete and fragmentary, it is a 1017 copy of Volume 3 of Sahīh al-Bukhārī (Al-Bukhārī’s authentic hadiths). Muhammad ibn Ismā‘īl al-Bukhārī (810–70) was born in Bukhara, in present-day Uzbekistan, and died in Khartank, near Samarkand. He is considered by Sunni Muslims to be the most authoritative collector of hadiths—reports of statements or deeds attributed to the Prophet Muhammad. This work, completed in 846, is al-Bukhārī’s best-known collection. It was the first work ...
Customs of Central Asians. Reading of the Koran
This photograph is from the ethnographical part of Turkestan Album, a comprehensive visual survey of Central Asia undertaken after imperial Russia assumed control of the region in the 1860s. Commissioned by General Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman (1818–82), the first governor-general of Russian Turkestan, the album is in four parts spanning six volumes: “Archaeological Part” (two volumes); “Ethnographic Part” (two volumes); “Trades Part” (one volume); and “Historical Part” (one volume). The principal compiler was Russian Orientalist Aleksandr L. Kun, who was assisted by Nikolai V. Bogaevskii. The album contains some ...
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The Radiances of Revelation and the Mysteries of Exegesis
Kitāb Anwār al-Tanzīl wa Asrār al-Ta’wīl (The radiances of revelation and the mysteries of exegesis) is the best-known work of the 13th century savant, ʻAbdallāh ibn ʻUmar al-Bayḍāwī (died circa 1286). As the title indicates, the subject of the work is Qurʼanic exegesis. After an introduction in which al-Bayḍāwī praises the science of al-tafsīr (exegesis) as the principal religious science and the basis for sharia (Islamic law), the text of the Qurʼan follows, with each ayah (verse) appearing in red ink accompanied by an explanatory passage in black ink ...
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The Holy Qurʼan
This distinctive Qurʼan comprises the first six surahs (chapters) of the Muslim Holy Book, starting with al-Fātiḥah (The opening) and ending with al-Anʻām (The cattle). The two beginning pages containing al-Fātiḥah are elaborately decorated, as is usually the case with this surah, first with an outermost frame of numerous, small, olive-green niches, but also with a series of other linear frames in red, white, black, green, and gold. Motifs include twisted metal bars and vines with top and bottom transom-like cartouches, suggesting a door shape, and possibly alluding to ...
Qurʼan
This exquisite illuminated Qurʼan (Or 15227) dating from the 19th century originates from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. On the basis of various codicological features, the manuscript can be attributed to the cultural zone encompassing Kelantan, on the northeast coast of Malaysia, and Patani, in southern Thailand. In many ways, the Qurʼan is typical of manuscript production in Patani, with black endpapers of Thai manufacture, a cloth cover with elaborate stitched headbands, and illuminated frames with typical Patani features, such as the interlocking-wave motif. And yet the exactitude ...
Contributed by The British Library
Encyclopedia of the Fourteenth Century A.H., Twentieth Century A.D.: A Reference for the Arabic Language and the Universal Sciences
This ten-volume encyclopedia is an effort to reconcile Islamic belief with the scientific and intellectual currents of the West early in the 20th century. Entirely the work of one man, Muhammad Farid Wajdi, or Wadjdi (1875−1954)‏, it is arranged in the same way as European reference works, i.e., alphabetically, with long essays on important topics. In each of these, the author argues that the Qurʼan and the prophetic traditions of Islam are predictive of or compatible with modern science and rational (but not materialistic) philosophies. The encyclopedia was ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Qurʼan
Making use of a colored background to write upon was a means rarely used in the East or the West to emphasize the importance of a manuscript. This manuscript, with all its pages gilt, is unique. Simple black writing in the Naskhi style is used on the magnificent background. It is a masterpiece of calligraphy. In the 18th century, when the present cover was made, the book was severely cropped; only about half of each of the palm leaf-shaped “ansae” in the surah headings and the marginal verse numbers survived ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
The Concise History of Humanity
Al-Mukhtaṣar fi akhbār al-bashar (The concise history of humanity) is a history of the world from Creation until 1331, the year of the author’s death. Abu al-Fida’ was a statesman, historian, geographer, and patron of intellectual life in the Syrian city of Hamāh. The work is valued nowadays for its treatment of the city in the 13th and 14th centuries. The first volume of this four-volume edition is dedicated to the history of the Abrahamic prophets and the lives of the Prophet Muhammad and his early companions. Subsequent volumes ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Arabic School Board
Shown here is a wooden tablet, of a kind familiar in Qurʼanic schools in many parts of the world, with text from the Qurʼan on both sides. The recto is framed with an ornate arc and spandrels, with decoration incorporating green, red, and blue motifs. The verso has all 19 verses of Surat al-'Aʻlá (The Most High). There is also one separate line of text at the bottom, but water stains have made it illegible. The recto has verses 67−75 of Surat al-Baqarah (The cow), the second and ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Qurʼanic Verses
This calligraphic fragment includes verses 10-11 of the 48th chapter of the Qurʼan, entitled Surat al-Fath (Victory). This surah dates from the Medinan period and contains 29 verses. It describes how triumph comes from courage, faith, and patience if the believer stays true to God: anyone who violates His [God's] oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and anyone who fulfils what he has convenanted with God, God will soon grant him a reward (48:10). The text is executed in Kufi script with black ink ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Qurʼanic Verses
This calligraphic fragment includes verses 85-88 of the 6th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled Surat al-An'am (The Cattle). This late Meccan surah describes the nature of God and how He reveals Himself. Verses 85-88 in particular describe a number of prophets such as Jesus, Elias, and Jonah as capable of guiding believers to the "straight path" (al-sirat al-mustaqim). The text is executed in Kufi script in black ink, at six lines per page, surrounded by a gold painted frame. Verses on the fragment's recto have worn off substantially ...
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Qurʼanic Verses
This eighth century calligraphic fragment from the collections of the Library of Congress is most likely the oldest Islamic text in North America, one that could have been touched by the youngest companions of the Prophet Muhammad. The fragment includes verses 53-54 of the 34th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled Surat Saba' (Sheba), as well as the first ten verses of the 35th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled Surat al-Fatir (The originator). Surat al-Fatir is an early Meccan surah that deals with the mystery of creation and angels. A verse ...
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Antiquities of Samarkand. Tomb of the Saint Kusam-ibn-Abbas (Shah-i Zindah) and Adjacent Mausoleums. Mosque (khanaka) of Shah-i Zindah. Reading-Stand with a Qurʼan Donated by Emir Nasrullah of Bukhara
This interior photograph of the mosque at the Kusam-ibn-Abbas memorial ensemble in the northern cluster of shrines at the Shah-i Zindah necropolis in Samarkand is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72, under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire's Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architecture, such as 14th- and 15th-century monuments from the reign of Timur (Tamerlane) and his successors ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Bihari Qurʼan
This folio contains, on the right side, verses 2–8 of Surat al-Kahf (The cave) of the Qurʼan and, on the left side, verses 67–70 of the Surat Bani Isra'il (The children of Israel), also known as Surat al-Isra' (The night journey). The text is in Arabic with interlinear Persian translation in red ink. The borders include a commentary in Persian, written in black ink and laid out diagonally in the margin. On the rightmost margin of the verso appears a note cross-referenced to the sixth ayah (verse ...
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Interlinear Qurʼan: Surat al-Nisa'
The recto of this Qurʼan fragment contains parts of the first three verses of the fourth chapter of the Qurʼan, Surat al-Nisa' (Chapter of the women). At the top left side of the folio are the chapter title and the number of its verses (176) in bold gold Kufi letters. The title is in a gold-painted rectangular band ornamented with a gold medallion outlined in blue projecting into the left margin. Below the surah heading appears the first half of the first verse in large black muhaqqaq script, with diagonal ...
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Divination by the Qurʼan
This single sheet of a Fal-i Qurʼan lays out in rhyming Persian distichs (couplets) the means of fal (divination) by letters selected at random when opening to a page of the Qurʼan. This folio originally was included at the end of a Safavid Persian Qurʼan, immediately after the last surah (chapter), Surat al-Nas, and a closing prayer on behalf of the Prophet and his family. The layout of the divination text, the script, and the remaining original illumination in the text frame are typical of fals placed at the end ...
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Interlinear Qurʼan (5: 89-95)
This interlinear Qurʼan fragment of Surat al-Ma'idah (The table/the repast) is believed to belong to a manuscript dating from A.H. 1207 (A.D. 1792–93). The Qurʼan includes translation in Persian written in complete sentences in red ink between each verse of the Arabic original. The late 18th-century practice of translation (or even paraphrasing) reflects the development of the production of interlinear Qurʼans over the centuries. Some of the earliest bilingual Qurʼans include only word-by-word translations; this is especially the case for Qurʼans from the Ilkhanid period ...
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Qurʼanic Verses (9:33-36)
The recto of this fragment contains verses 33–34 of surah (chapter) nine of the Qurʼan, al-Tawbah (The repentance), also known as Surat al-Bara'ah (The immunity) from the surah’s opening word, as it is the only surah to which the introductory bismillah (In the name of God) is not affixed. These verses speak about how men must fight against pagan enemies and uphold their faith. In the upper left corner of the folio is a hizb (section) marker, consisting of gold and blue concentric circles, blue finials on ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Qurʼanic Verses (44:56-59, 45:1-4)
This Qurʼanic fragment contains the last verses (44: 56–59) of the surah (chapter) al-Dukhan (The smoke). Its verso continues with the beginning of chapter 45, al-Jāthīyah (The kneeling down). The theme of Surat al-Dukhan is how worldly pride and power fade to smoke in the face of spiritual truths and how men will meet God’s judgment in the Hereafter. The initial verses of al-Jathiyah discuss the material signs of God on earth, such as the presence of humans and animals. Below the chapter heading in gold, executed in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Surat al-Nas and Du'a
This fragment contains on the top line the last two verses of the final surah (chapter) of the Qurʼan, Surat al-Nas (Chapter of mankind). This chapter extols seeking refuge in the Lord from Satan, who, like al-jinn (the spirits), whispers evil things in the hearts of people (116:5–6). The verses at the top of the folio are separated by two verse markers shaped like gold disks with five blue dots on their peripheries. Immediately below the last verse appears a prayer in five lines praising God, the Prophet ...
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Safavid Qurʼan (2:11-27)
This fragment contains verses 11–21 from the second surah (chapter) of the Qurʼan, al-Baqarah (The cow), which continues with verses 21–27 on the fragment’s verso. Al-Baqarah appears immediately after the introductory chapter al-Fatihah (The opening) and, with a total of 286 verses, is the longest chapter in the Qurʼan. Its name derives from the parable of Moses and the cow mentioned in 2:67–71, in which is taught that people should not put forward excuses to justify disobedience. The surah is early Medinan and stresses faith ...
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Bismillah and Qurʼanic Verse (81:1-14)
This Qurʼanic fragment includes the bismillah (In the name of God) and verses 1–14 of surah (chapter) 81, al-Takwir (The folding up). These verses constitute some of the most graphic descriptions in the Qurʼan of Doomsday and the associated reversal of natural phenomena. The sun folds up, stars fall from the sky, mountains vanish, oceans boil over, and a blazing fire is kindled. Souls are sorted out and men’s deeds weighed so that “each soul may know what it has put forward” (81:14). The fragment shows a ...
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Qurʼanic Verses (107-9, 110-112)
This Qurʼanic 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 Qurʼan 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 ...
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Qurʼanic Verses (4: 94-100, 100-105)
This fragment contains verses 94–100 of the fourth surah (chapter) of the Qurʼan, al-Nisa' (The women). The surah addresses the social problems faced by the Muslim community and the need to establish law and order through regulated communal practice. It deals largely with women, orphans, inheritance, marriage, and family rights. These particular verses recommend leaving places hostile to Islam and praise believers who keep their faith when abroad. The verso of the fragment includes verses 100–105 from the same surah, which discuss religious duties during periods of war ...
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The Opening
This calligraphic panel includes the bismillah (In the name of God) at the top, followed by the Qurʼan's first surah (chapter), al-Fatihah (The opening). The surah introduces the Qurʼan by praising God and asking for his guidance to the right path. On the last line, the Fatihah panel is signed by a certain 'Aliriza and dated A.H. 1241 (A.D. 1825). The entire specimen is calligraphed in dark brown naskh (cursive) script on a beige paper, which is framed by a series of alternating gold and dark blue ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Qurʼan Carpet Page
This folio contains an opening carpet page of a Qurʼan. It is the first of five folios belonging to a dispersed Qurʼan manuscript in the collections of the Library of Congress. Together with another folio, this folio constitutes the double-page illuminated frontispiece of a beautiful, albeit damaged, 14th-century Mamluk Qurʼan. This folio contains verses 76–78 of the 56th chapter of the Qurʼan, al-Waqi'ah (The inevitable), contained in the top and bottom rectangular panels of the double-page illuminated frontispiece. The next folio continues the inscription with verses 56:79 ...
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The Cow
This folio includes, below an illuminated rectangular panel, part of the last verse of the Qurʼan's first chapter, al-Fatihah (The opening). Below the last line of al-Fatihah appears the title, executed in gold and outlined in black, of the Qurʼan's second chapter, al-Baqarah (The cow). The heading states that the chapter consists of 287 verses. After the chapter heading follows an initial bismillah (In the name of God), the mysterious letters alif and mim, and the first verse: “This is the Book; without a doubt, in it is ...
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Qurʼanic Verses (56:77-9) on Carpet Page
As noted in the red rectangular registers at the top and bottom of this inscribed panel, this folio introduces the 26th juz' (section) of the Qurʼan. The central space includes an inscription containing verses 77–79 of Chapter 56, Surat al-Waqi'ah (The inevitable). These verses typically open the Qurʼan, although they may appear in decorated pages used to separate the ajza' (parts) of the Qurʼan. The surah (chapter) title at the top is executed in gold and outlined in black ink. It specifies that this surah contains 35 verses ...
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al-Baydawi's "Anwar al-tanzil wa asrar al-ta'wil" with Frontispiece
This folio contains the illuminated frontispiece and title from a manuscript of Anwar al-tanzil wa asrar al-ta'wil (The lights of revelation and the secrets of interpretation), a work consisting of a popular Qurʼanic tafsir (exegesis) composed by the 13th-century scholar al-Baydawi. The title appears in the top panel of the frontispiece, in white ink with the letters drawn out at the vertical to fit into the shape of the horizontal register. The white letters are outlined in black ink and emerge from a gold background decorated with blue and ...
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A Book of Religious Precepts and Stories
Risālah-yi ‘Azīzah (A book of religious precepts and stories) discusses the establishment and spread of Islam. The literal meaning of the title is “Tales of the Almighty.” The book covers the sources of the ideas contained in hadith (the collective body of traditions relating to the Prophet Muhammad) and compares them with the text of the Qurʼan. It also explores the commandments in the sacred books of other religions and relates them to the Qurʼan. The works considered include the Injil (the New Testament of the Bible, or more specifically ...
Qurʼanic Verses
This Qurʼanic fragment includes verses from several surahs (chapters) in the Qurʼan. On the right side, the fragment contains the first 24 verses of the 56th chapter, al-Waqi'ah (The inevitable). The surah’s heading appears at the top of the right folio, in white ink on a gold ground and framed by a horizontal cartouche decorated with vine motifs on a blue or red background. Below the frame is a simple horizontal band of light blue floral vines and minuscule red dots contained in a gold-outlined panel. The heading ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Qurʼan Carpet Page; al-Fatihah
This folio contains an opening carpet page of a Qurʼan. It is the second of five folios belonging to a dispersed Qurʼan manuscript in the collections of the Library of Congress. Together with another folio, this folio constitutes the double-page illuminated frontispiece of a beautiful, albeit damaged, 14th-century Mamluk Qurʼan. The folio contains the continuation of verses 76–80 of the 56th surah (chapter), al-Waqi'ah (The inevitable), contained in the top and bottom rectangular panels of the double-page illuminated frontispiece. The decorative patterns and palette of this carpet page ...
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Qurʼanic Verses
This Qurʼanic fragment includes verses 85–88 of the third surah (chapter) of the Qurʼan, Al 'Imran (The family of 'Imran). The verses continue on the fragment’s verso. In this surah, all people are invited to accept Islam, while Muslims are encouraged to seek friendship and security within their communities. Between each horizontal line of Arabic text are diagonal word-by-word translations into Persian. Unlike similar interlinear Qurʼans that include a Persian translation in red ink, this fragment makes no color differentiation between the Arabic original and its Persian rendition ...
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Qurʼanic Verses
This fragment includes on its recto the last verse (110) of the 18th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled Surat al-Kahf (The cave). The heading of the next chapter (19) entitled Surat Maryam (Mary) appears on the fragment's verso. The Qurʼanic text itself is executed on rag paper in old Persian Naskh and provided with interlinear Persian translations. Like the chapter heading on its verso, the last line of Surat al-Kahf is executed in plaited eastern Kufi, with knots executed in black ink on the letters' stems and in red ...
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Qurʼanic Verses
This Qurʼanic fragment includes verses 35–36 of the 40th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Ghafir (The forgiver), also known as al-Mu'min (The believer). Verses 36 and 37 of the same surah continue on the fragment's verso. This chapter of the Qurʼan uses the story of an individual believer (Moses) among people ruled by an arrogant leader (Pharaoh) to show how faith can prevail against evil. These two verses state that God closes the hearts of "arrogant and obstinate transgressors," such as Pharaoh, who believes wrongly that he ...
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Qurʼanic Verses
This folio contains verses 1–4 of the second chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Baqarah (The cow), the fourth of five folios belonging to a dispersed Qurʼan manuscript in the collections of the Library of Congress. Together, these folios constitute the first five folios of a beautiful, albeit damaged, 14th-century Mamluk Qurʼan. The title of the chapter, executed on a blue and gold background in the top and bottom rectangular panels, gives the name of the surah and the total number of verses (286), words, and letters. The interest in ...
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Illuminated Panel and Qurʼanic Chapter
This illuminated rectangular panel appears at the very beginning of a Qurʼan executed in early Naskh script, dating from about the 11th–13th centuries. On the verso of the folio appears al-Fatihah (The opening), the first chapter of the Qurʼan. Ornamental pages such as this one decorate the start or end of Qurʼans from the ninth century onward. Also called "carpet pages," they provide an ornamental and structural break in the manuscript. Rectangular panels filled with geometric motifs and provided with a finial or leaf-like medallion on the side trace ...
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Qurʼanic Verses
This Qurʼanic fragment includes the last verse (30) of the 32nd chapter of the Qurʼan, Surat al-Sajdah (The prostration), as well as the bismillah (in the name of God) and first verse of the subsequent chapter (33) entitled Surat al-Ahzab (The confederates). The subsequent verses of Surat al-Ahzab continue on the fragment's verso. The title executed in gold ink outlined in black specifies that the chapter contains 73 verses. The beginning of this surah discusses the necessity of abandoning pagan customs. The verso of this fragment includes verse 1 ...
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Qurʼanic Verses
This Qurʼanic fragment includes a carpet page on the left intended to introduce a new section of the Qurʼan, as well as the subsequent ayahs (verses) 53–54 of the 39th surah (chapter) entitled al-Zumar (The crowds). Surat al-Zumar is the last of a series of six chapters (34–39) dealing with the mysteries of the spiritual world and the hereafter. Verse 53 in particular stresses God's compassion. The green and red illuminated carpet page on the folio's left is intended to introduce the 24th juz' (section) of ...
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Qurʼanic Verses
This Qurʼanic fragment includes verses 148–50 of the sixth chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-An'am (The cattle). Verses 150–51 continue on the fragment's verso. This surah dates from the late Meccan period. It discusses the nature of God and the manner in which He reveals Himself. These verses encourage humans to follow God's path and to follow God's will as described in the Qurʼan, because His commands are based on moral law. "Come, I will rehearse what God has really prohibited you from: / Join ...
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The Essence of Matters and the Role of Facts
Khulāṣat al-masā’il wa-muhimmat al-dalā’il (The essence of matters and the role of facts) covers a wide range of issues of importance to Islam: the main trends and interpretations, explication on the precepts laid down in the Qur’an, religious and legal norms, and other factors guiding the believer’s life. Published in Kazan, Russia in 1890, the book is written in Chagatai, an extinct Turkic language that was once widely spoken in Central Asia and that remained the literary language of the region until the early 20th ...