Qurʼanic Verses


This Qurʼanic fragment includes, on the left side, the surah heading and first two verses of the 14th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled Ibrahim (Abraham). On the right side appear verses 6−7 of the same surah, a continuation of the chapter's previous verses (2−6) present on the folio's verso. Combined, the fragment's recto and verso provide the title and first seven verses of Surat Ibrahim, which discuss how each nation received its own prophet to deliver God's message. In verses 5−6, Moses is heralded as a prophet who brought the knowledge of God to his people and delivered them from Pharaoh. The surah's heading at the top of the left side of the fragment is written in Kufi script, typical of some of the earliest extant Qurʼan manuscripts. The heading, giving the title of the chapter and its number of verses (mistakenly as 51, rather than 52), is written in such a way that the plain folio's beige color shows through the illuminated panel and the black outlines of the letters. The illuminated panel, decorated with blue and white leaf motifs, bears a palmette that jets out into the left margin. This kind of panel—called a tabula ansata after its Roman prototype—is also typical of early Qurʼans of the ninth century. The remaining portion of text forming the chapter subtitle, i.e., Nuzilat bi-Makkah (Revealed in Mecca), is executed in gold ink between two rectangles located in the center of the folio's left margin. The chapter text is executed in an early naskh (cursive) script, with full vocalization in black ink and other orthographical markers—such as the tashdid (doubling of a consonant)—picked out in red ink. Verse markers consist of six-petal gold rosettes with red dots on their perimeters. The combination of Kufi script for chapter headings and early naskh script for the text proper appears in Qurʼans produced in Iraq and Persia during the 11th–13th centuries.

Last updated: May 3, 2016