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 the Qurʼan, and it includes an extracted inscription containing verses 77–79 of the 56th sura entitled 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 verses read: “That this is indeed a Glorious Qurʼan / In a Well-Guarded Book, / Which none shall touch but those who are clean.” The text on the right side of the folio is executed in black Thuluth script at five lines per page. A number of alifs (the vowel "a") are picked out in red ink, while the name of God is written out in gold and outlined in black ink. In the right margin appears the term ashar, which denotes the tenth verse, while verse markers consist of eight-petal rosettes with red and blue dots. The verso of this fragment continues with verses 32–34 and, on the left hand side, verses 50–52 of al-Zumar. The style of this illuminated page and the script of the text match another fragment held in the Library of Congress. Both fragments appear to have come from the same Qurʼan produced during the Mamluk period (14th–15th centuries) in Egypt.

Last updated: April 6, 2015