Name of Object:

Page from a Qur’an

Location:

Raqqada, Kairouan, Tunisia

Holding Museum:

Museum of Islamic Art

 About Museum of Islamic Art, Raqqada.

Date of Object:

Hegira 410 / AD 1020

Artist(s) / Craftsperson(s):

'Ali ibn Ahmad al-Warraq.

Museum Inventory Number:

P 227

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Parchment.

Dimensions:

Length 45.5 cm, width 31 cm; 5 lines, 1 folio

Period / Dynasty:

Fatimid-Zirid

Provenance:

Kairouan.

Description:

The Fatiha sura ('the Opening', verses 1 and 2), taken from a Qur'an copied on parchment.
The writing combines the kufic, naskhi and the rayhani styles. Its identity has still not been well established. The laying out of the cursive script is more rectangular than curved.
Vowel-points are absent from this writing, but, in keeping with the system developed by al-Khalil ibn Ahmad, there is an abundance of orthographic signs. Vowels are marked in red, sukun and shadda in blue and hamza and maddah in brilliant green.
Standing out on this page is a strip containing the title and number of verses in the following sura, written in gold.
The title is inscribed in a series of superimposed frames in which geometric decoration alternates with floral decoration using the multi-lobed fleuron. Some strips are engraved in gold and all the surrounds are brown. A palm-leaf motif made up of floral arabesques projects towards the edge of the page.
At the top of the page in the right-hand margin there is a geometrically decorated gold and brown lozenge; the corners each have a crown in the same colour and the sides have blue and brown circles on the outer edge.
The central area contains gilded kufic script indicating the number of the verses.

View Short Description

This page is from a Qur'an copied on vellum. Bands of geometric decoration with the name of the sura and the number of verses it contains, in gold, are particularly distinctive. The colophon of the Qur'an mentions the deed of gift by the governess of Prince Badis to the Great Mosque of Kairouan.

Original Owner:

Fatima al-Hadinah, governess to the Zirid prince, Badis

How date and origin were established:

The deed of gift clearly mentions that the legacy took place in 410 / 1020.

How Object was obtained:

After the abolition of the habus foundation in Tunisia, this Qur'an was obtained by the Bardo Museum. In 1986 it was transferred to the Museum of Islamic Art at Raqqada where it is currently on display.

How provenance was established:

This Qur'an was copied, illuminated and bound by Ali ibn Ahmad al-Warraq for Fatima al-Hadinah, the governess of the Zirid prince, Badis. The work was supervised and financed by Durah al-Katibah – 'Durah the lady-scribe', the governess's secretary. The colophon of the Qur'an mentions the deed of gift by Badis's governess to the Great Mosque of Kairouan. The deed is authorised by the qadi (judge) of Kairouan, Abdullah ibn Hashim.

Selected bibliography:

Lings, M., and Safadi, Y.-H., The Arts of Islam (exhibition catalogue), London, 1976, p.30, plate no. 25.
De Carthage a Kairouan (exhibition catalogue), Paris, 1982, p.273, plate no. 357.
Ifriqiya: Thirteen Centuries of Art and Architecture in Tunisia, pp.175–6.

Citation of this web page:

Mourad Rammah "Page from a Qur’an" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;tn;Mus01;4;en

Prepared by: Mourad Rammah
Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: David Ash
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez


MWNF Working Number: TN 06