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 its perimeter, and the word hizb written in its center. The ayah (verse) marker that appears in the center of the uppermost line consists of a flower with petals, outlined in dark brown ink, with a red center, and filled with gold leaf. Diacritical marks are in red ink and seem to have been added at a later date to facilitate pronunciation and recitation. The verso of the fragment contains verses 34–36 of the same surah, which speak about recompense and punishment, as well as the need to fight pagans. The text is written in dark brown ink on a light beige rag paper. The script is masahif, which was used for copying the Qurʼan (and occasionally for copies of the Bible as well). It is a smaller and less stiff version of muhaqqaq, for which it is often mistaken. Along with the cursive naskh and muhaqqaq scripts, masahif is the most popular of all Qurʼanic scripts. The layout of five lines per page is typical of 15th-century Qurʼans made in Mamluk Egypt (1250–1517).

Last updated: April 27, 2016