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, while the fragment’s recto introduces the 26th section, of which it constitutes the first chapter. The fragment’s verso includes verses 1–3 of Chapter 46, Surat al-Ahqaf (The winding sand tracts). The script is thuluth, a cursive script typical of the Mamluk period (14th–15th centuries) in Egypt. The background of spiral scrollwork on this decorative page is characteristic of Qurʼans of this period. This chapter is the seventh and last of the ha-mim series (chapters 40–46). It argues that all Creation has a divine purpose. For this reason, the righteous must wait with patience, as Truth and Revelation will be vindicated. The ha-mim letters are the mystery or abbreviated letters, appearing singly or in combination at the beginning of certain chapters in the Qurʼan. The juz' marker forms an artistic break in the Qurʼan. The inscriptions at the top and bottom are executed in gold ink in a black calligraphic outline inscribed on the cream-colored page, placed on a red background with arabesques of blue and green leaves.

Last updated: May 7, 2015