Qurʼanic Verses


This calligraphic fragment includes two separate horizontal panels cut out and pasted onto a cardboard backing. The upper band contains verse 86 of surah (chapter) three of the Qurʼan, Al 'Imran (The family of 'Imran); the lower band includes verse 89 of the same chapter. The surah calls on Muslims to hold together in harmony and friendship. The ayah (verse) marker in the lower band consists of a gold roundel composed of concentric circles outlined in dark brown ink. Three words were omitted from the original text and have been added in smaller script immediately above the main line of text. The text on each panel’s verso can be seen through the paper. These two fragments, pasted together onto a single sheet, come from the same Qurʼan and are executed in a fine muhaqqaq script. Judging from the height of each panel containing a single line of text, the original manuscript must have been large, perhaps 50 centimeters in height with five lines of text per page. In its simplicity and grandeur, the fragment recalls the famous Baysunghur Qurʼan made either in Herat or Samarqand about 1400 A.D., which contained gigantic folios measuring 177 x 101 centimeters, with writing only on their rectos. Although smaller and with writing on its verso, the similarities between this fragment and the Baysunghur Qurʼan suggest that the former may have been made in the early 15th century in Persia or Central Asia.

Last updated: April 6, 2015