Qurʼanic Verses


This calligraphic fragment includes verses 62−64 of the 24th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Nur (The light). The text of this surah ends on the fragment's verso, which also contains the illuminated heading and first three verses of the subsequent (25th) chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Furqan (The criterion). Surat al-Nur describes domestic and public matters and discusses how communal life contributes to man's virtues and his spiritual journey towards God, as in verse 24:62: “Only those are believers who trust in God and his Messenger. / When they are with him on a matter requiring collective action, / They do not depart until they have asked for his leave.” Surat al-Furqan is an early Meccan chapter containing 77 verses. It uses the contrast between light and darkness as a metaphor for knowledge and ignorance, virtue and sin. God has sent forth in his revelation certain measures by which man can distinguish between right and wrong, here in 25:1: “Blessed is he Who sent down the Criterion to his servant, / So that it may be a warning to all creatures.” The text is executed in Kufi script (New Style I), in which vocalization is indicated by red dots. Only a few orthoepic (pronunciation) marks written in black ink, such as the tashdid (duplication of a consonant) and tanwin (nunnation, or pronunciation of the letter "n"), appear to have been added at a later date. The script, lack of diacritics, and vertical format typify Qurʼans produced during the tenth century. Verse markers consist of gold flowers decorated with a gold center. Unfortunately, a small portion of the text has been lost to a hole in the parchment in the center right.

Last updated: April 6, 2015