Qurʼanic Verses


These fragments belong to a series of three folios cut out from the same manuscript, now in the Library of Congress. The first two provide verses from chapters 78−79 of the Qurʼan. The first fragment’s recto contains verses 18−26 of the 79th chapter entitled al-Nazi'at. Its verso contains verses 27−34 of Surat al-Nazi'at. This Meccan surah contains 46 verses on the Day of Judgment and God's omnipotence. Verses 18−26 contain the parable of Moses and Pharaoh. The second fragment contains verses 18−24 of the 78th chapter entitled al-Naba' (The great news). The text continues with verses 27−35 on the fragment's verso. Surat al-Naba' is a Meccan surah containing 40 verses that discuss God's mercy and the Day of Judgment. The third fragment includes on the recto verses 80−86 of the second chapter entitled al-Baqarah (The cow). The text continues with verses 87−96 on the fragment's verso. With a total of 286 verses, Surat al-Baqarah is the longest chapter in the Qurʼan. These particular verses discuss the Banu Isra'il (Israelites), their covenant with God, and how most principles were not followed. The verso text continues from the verses immediately preceding (on the recto) and discusses Moses and Jesus and their struggles with unruly people. These fragments are written in thuluth script with gold outlined in black ink. The text is fully vocalized in gold, with sukuns (silence marks) in blue ink probably added at a later date. The ayah (verse) markers consist of eight-petalled gold rosettes with center circles executed either in gold or blue ink. The ayah marker in the center of the second line between verses 20 and 21 on the first fragment visually stands out as its shape differs from the other verse markers. It is intended to mark off a tenth verse. It is constructed as a flat gold disk dotted in blue on its perimeter. In the left margin appears a gold medallion marking the ‘ashrun (20th) juz' (section) of the Qurʼan. The script (thuluth) executed in gold and outlined in black, the text layout (five lines per page), the verse markers, and the marginal medallions all bear resemblance to a Qurʼan made in the Jazirah region (Upper Mesopotamia) during the 13th century now held in the Khalili Collection in London.

Last updated: April 6, 2015