Name of Object:
Two pages from a Qu’ran
Raqqada, Kairouan, Tunisia
Museum of Islamic Art
Date of Object:
Hegira, late 2nd–early 3rd centuries / AD 8th–9th centuries
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Length 35 cm, width 25 cm; 14 lines
Period / Dynasty:
These two pages which contain the suras, al-Balad (verses 10–20) and al-Shams (verses 1–6) are taken from a Qur'an written in thick kufic script.
View Short Description
Taken from a Qur'an written in kufic script, these two pages contain two Qur'anic quotations: the suras al-Balad (verses 10–20) and al-Shams (verses 1–6). The use of red for the orthographic symbols is typical of the Iraqi school of calligraphy, while the Andalusian school used a range of colours.
How date and origin were established:
Compared with other Qur'ans dating from the middle of the 3rd / 9th century, the kufic lettering style seems more archaic, allowing us to date this Qur'an from the late 2nd to the early 3rd century (8th / 9th century). This is corroborated by the decorations found at the beginning of each sura in this Qur'an, which are mostly geometric and have a more naïve look about them than later Qur'ans.
How Object was obtained:
At the time of the abolition of the habus foundation in 1959, this Qur'an was acquired by the Bardo Museum before being transferred to the Museum of Islamic Art at Raqqada in 1983.
How provenance was established:
This Qur'an belonged to the old library of the Great Mosque. Given that Kairouan was at that time a great centre of book production it is highly likely that this example was copied and bound at Kairouan on locally tanned parchment.
Tunisia: from Christianity to Islam (exhibition catalogue), Lattes, 2001, p.194, plate no. 112.
Citation of this web page:
Mourad Rammah "Two pages from a Qu’ran" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;tn;Mus01;1;en