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 pseudo-eastern Kufi script, is a cursive transcription of the same heading in blue thuluth. It states that the chapter consists of 37 ayat (verses) and was revealed in Mecca. The blue transcription was probably added at a later date to clarify the rather illegible surah heading, as well as to give the number of verses (although the numbers 30 and 7 are transposed in the transcription). The first verse of al-Jathiyah appearing after the initial bismillah (In the name of God) contains only the letters ha (h) and mim (m), a double-letter combination appearing at the beginning of surahs 40–46, all dated from the later Meccan period. These letters usually appear in various combinations at the opening of certain surahs in the Qurʼan. Because the exact meaning of each letter or letter combination is unclear, the letters are referred to as the mystery letters, an appellation suggesting that only God knows their meanings. The Qurʼan is written in dark brown ink on a light beige rag paper. The script is masahif. It is smaller than muhaqqaq and was used principally for the copying of Qurʼans. The diacritical marks are executed in the same brown ink, while three upturned gold-painted commas (or virgules) represent the verse markers. The layout of five lines per page is typical of 15th-century Qurʼans made in Mamluk Egypt (1250–1517).

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Qur'anic Verses (44:56-59, 45:1-4)

Type of Item

Physical Description

18 x 26 centimeters


  • Recto: Script: masahif. Verso: Script: pseudo-eastern Kufi (surah heading in gold) and masahif (verses)

Last updated: April 27, 2016