Qurʼanic Verses


This calligraphic fragment includes two folios with verses from chapters 69, 70, 76, and 77 of the Qurʼan. The folio on the right includes the terminal verses (30‒31) of the 76th chapter of the Qurʼan, entitled al-Insan (Man), and the illuminated heading and first three verses of the 77th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Mursalāt (Those sent out). The verso of the right folio includes the immediately preceding verses (25‒30) of the 76th chapter. The folio on the left includes the terminal verses (46‒52) of the 69th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled al-Hāqqah (The truth), as well as the illuminated heading of the 70th chapter entitled al-Maʻārij (The ways of ascent). The 70th surah continues with verses 1‒5 on the verso of this fragment. The left folio is most closely associated with a bifolio from the same Qurʼan in the collections of the Library of Congress, which contains verses 1‒19 of Sūrah al-Hāqqah (The truth). It appears that these folios were drawn from a manuscript (1417) formerly in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. The text is written in Kufi script (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 raʼ (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 10th century. Verse markers consist of gold flowers, while ayah markers indicating every fifth verse are shaped like gold droplets or plain gold disks. Two juzʼ (section) markers appear in the margins and are shaped like flowers provided with gold petals and an inscribed center. Both chapter headings (al-Mursalāt on the right and al-Maʻārij on the left) are executed in gold ink. They provide each surah's title and its number of verses and end in ornate gold marginal palmettes, slightly lost on the edges from cropping.

Last updated: February 6, 2018