Qurʼanic Verses


This calligraphic fragment includes verses 120−21 of the ninth chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Tawbah (The repentance). The text continues with verses 121−22 on the folio's verso. Surat al-Tawbah describes broken treaties with pagans and the fighting against infidelity. If a community marches out, some of its members should remain behind in order to continue the teaching of religious matters. Those who believe should associate with the righteous and truthful, actively doing their duty: “It was not fitting for the people of Medina / And the Bedouin Arabs of the area / To refuse to follow God’s Messenger, / Nor to prefer their own lives to his, / Because nothing could they suffer or do / But was reckoned to their credit as a deed of righteousness” (9:120). Verse 9:122 states: “Nor should the believers all go forth together. / If a contingent from every expedition remained behind, / They could devote themselves to studies in religion, / And admonish the people when they return to them. / That thus they may learn to guard themselves against evil.” The text is executed in a Kufi script prevalent in Qurʼans produced during the ninth−tenth centuries. With seven lines per page in black ink, this work follows the horizontal format of early Qurʼans. On the sixth line of the recto, there appears an ayah (verse) marker separating verse 120 from verse 121. A similar marker appears at the end of the fifth line on the verso. The ayah markers consist of three gold circles arranged in a triangle and outlined in black ink. Although the text on this verso has worn off because it was written on the flesh side of the parchment, certain elements are still visible. For example, red dots indicate vocalization and there are traces of green dots. There are no diacritical marks.

Last updated: April 6, 2015