11th-Century Qurʼan in Eastern Kufic


This 11th-century manuscript contains the 20th juz’ (section) of a Qurʼan that originally consisted of 30 parts. The arrangement into 30 parts corresponds to the number of days in the month of Ramadan, during which the Muslim is obliged to fast and to read through the whole of the Qurʼan. Other sections or fragments of this magnificent manuscript lie scattered in various collections all over the world. A Turkish note ascribes the Qurʼan to the hand of the Caliph Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, and thus demonstrates the high significance of this manuscript. The text is written in Eastern Kufic, a monumental script that was developed in Iran in the late 10th century. The writing and the illumination of the manuscript bear witness to the great artistic skills of the calligrapher and the illustrator. The manuscript is at the Bavarian State Library in Munich, Germany.

Last updated: April 27, 2015