This Qurʼanic fragment contains the first chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Fatihah (The opening). Recited at the very beginning of the Qurʼan, this surah proclaims God as Gracious and Merciful and the Master of the Day of Judgment, and beseeches him to lead his followers on the straight path. The illuminated upper and lower panels contain a text, outlined in gold ink to let the plain folio show through, stating that this surah is Fatihat al-Kitab al-'Aziz (The opening of the Holy Book) and contains seven ayat (verses; singular, ayah) revealed in Mecca. These illuminated cartouches contain gold vine and flower motifs interlacing on a blue background. In the right margin appear two gold and blue decorative roundels and one semi-roundel in the center. The text itself is written in the cursive script called naskh, and each verse is separated by an ayah marker consisting of a gold six-petal rosette with blue and red dots on its perimeter. Both the script and the illumination are typical of Qurʼans produced in Mamluk Egypt during the 14th and 15th centuries. Above the first two ayah markers on the first line of text immediately after the initial bismillah (in the name of God) appears the word la (no) in red ink, indicating that when reaching these places the reciter must not stop. Finally, this fragment is particular in that there are four extra verse markers at the very end of the surah. The mistake has been rectified partially by the addition of the exclamatory, terminal praise amin (Amen) between the last correct verse marker and the first additional marker. The spaces between the last three verse markers on the lowermost line remain empty.

Last updated: April 16, 2015