Qurʼanic Verses


This calligraphic fragment includes verses 121−22 of the third chapter of the Qurʼan entitled Al ʻImran (The family of ʻImran). This text continues with verses 122−23 on the folio’s verso. Surat Al ʻImran provides a view of religious history, the birth of Islam, and the struggles in the cause of truth. It praises those who are constant in faith and maintain spiritual hope in God and his revelations. Verses 121−48 describe the lessons learned at the victorious Battle of Badr and the defeat at Uhud (encounters between the Meccans and the Muslims in 624). “God helped you at Badr, / when you were just a contemptible little force. / Then fear God / So that you may show Him your gratitude” (3:123). The text is executed in black ink on parchment in the Kufi script (style E) found in Qurʼans of the ninth−tenth centuries. A number of black diacritics appear to have been added at a later date, while the red dots indicating vocalization are integral to the original text. The text on the recto is executed on the flesh side of the parchment: for this reason, part of the ink has worn off.

Last updated: February 6, 2018