Arabic Calligraphy
The Holy Qur’an
Patrons would present copies of the Qur’an to mosques, shrines and schools on special occasions.
Copies of the Qur’an were produced in many different sizes and for different uses. Some were destined for use in mosques and madrasas, while others were carried about with individuals for benediction and protection. Patronage and commissions for the transcription and decoration of Qur’an manuscripts was considered an honourable religious act for those who could afford it. The patronage system was widespread throughout the Islamic world, and patrons would present such copies to mosques, shrines and schools on special occasions. To complement their function as religious or educational institutions, most of these buildings were also adorned with excerpts from the Qur’an seen on stonework, on tiles, textiles and on the furniture.
Page from a Qur'an

Hegira 410 / AD 1020
Museum of Islamic Art
Raqqada, Kairouan, Tunisia
Fatima, governess to the Zirid prince Al-Mu'izz Ibn Badis, endowed this Qur'an to the Great Mosque of Kairouan. Interestingly it was compiled under the supervision of another woman, Dura al-Katiba, and gilded and decorated by Ali Ibn Ahmad al-Waraq.