Qurʼanic Verses


This calligraphic fragment includes, on the left-hand side of the bifolium, the illuminated title and verses 1−6 of the 69th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Haqqah (The truth). This text continues with verses 6−14 on the fragment's verso. The right side of the recto then proceeds with verses 14−19 from the same chapter. Altogether, this fragment contains the title and verses 1−19 of Surat al-Haqqah. This surah dates from the Meccan period and contains 52 verses. It is largely eschatological in nature, and verses 1−19 in particular describe the cataclysmic events on the Day of Judgment, when the mountains are crushed to powder and the sky is torn asunder. The text is written in Kufi (New Style III). Red dots indicate vocalization, while vowel signs and orthoepics (pronunciation marks) were added in black ink at a later date. One dot below the letter ra (r) serves to differentiate it from the zayn (z). The script, vocalization marks, and vertical format show some of the advances in Kufi calligraphy and Qurʼan production during the tenth century. The chapter title of Surat al-Haqqah at the top left of the bifolium is executed in gold ink. It provides the surah's title and number of verses, and ends in an ornate gold and red marginal palmette that has been slightly lost due to cropping. Ayah (verse) markers consist of gold flowers with red dots, while ayah markers denote every fifth verse (e.g., right side, fourth line) and are shaped like a gold droplet or the Arabic letter ha (h).

Last updated: April 6, 2015