Qurʼanic Verses


This calligraphic fragment includes the beginning of verse 18 from the fifth chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Ma'idah (The table). The text continues with the end of verse 18 and the beginning of verse 19 on the folio's verso. Surat al-Ma'idah describes the corruption of religions, in particular Judaism and Christianity, prior to the advent of Islam. Even if warned, the Qurʼan states in 5:18 on the verso that Jews and Christians turned away from the truth and violated their covenants: “Both the Jews and Christians say: / ‘We are sons of God, and his beloved.’ / Say: ‘When then does he punish you for your sins? / No, you are but men, / Of the men he has created’.” The text continues the beginning of verse 18 on the folio's recto: “God punishes whom he pleases. / And to God belongs the dominion of the heavens and earth, / And all that is in between. / And unto him is the final goal.” The text is written in a Kufi script at five lines per page in horizontal format. This particular script is differentiated by the upper stroke of the letter kaf (k), which slants to the right before turning to the left. The text is executed in black ink, while red dots indicating vocalization may have been added later. Diacritical marks also appear to have been added subsequently: for example, hamza (glottal stops) are marked in green ink, while tashdid (duplications of consonants) are executed in gold ink.

Last updated: April 6, 2015