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Manuscript/Mixed Material Interlinear Qur'an (5: 89-95)

About this Item


  • Interlinear Qur'an (5: 89-95)

Created / Published

  • 1207/1792-3


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Calligraphy, Persian
  • -  Manuscripts, Arabic--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Iran
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Naskh
  • -  Nasta'liq
  • -  Qur'anic verses


  • -  Qajar Iranian Interlinear Qur'an, Arabic with Persian interpretation.
  • -  Although not as refined as some Persian interlinear Qur'ans made for Safavid rulers (Bayani et al 1999: 138-45, cat. no. 45), this fragment reveals the extent to which the practice of translation in Persian and other non-Arabic languages became an integral part of the program of Qur'anic production. For instance, many Qur'ans from Kashmir nearly contemporary to the fragment in the Library of Congress also bear Persian translations, although they tend to include marginal commentaries as well (Bayani et al 1999: 220-3, cat. no. 70 and 247-8, cat. no. 76; and Beit Al Qur'an 1996, 51). Qur'ans with Turkic language (eastern Turkish, Anatolian Turkish, etc.) interlinear translations also appear as early as the 15th century (see John Rylands Library, Manchester, Arabic ms. 25-38; and Staatsbibliotek, Berlin, Hs. Or. 6163) and continue to be produced today.
  • -  At the top, bottom, and center of the right margin of this fragment's verso appear four gold leaf-shaped cartouches bearing writing in red ink. These three cartouches read: "al-juz' al-sabi' min ajza' al-thalathin" (the seventh part of the thirtieth part). The Qur'an is divided into approximately thirty equal sections called ajza' in order to facilitate the location of particular parts and to help in the process of learning, memorizing, and reciting Qur'anic verses. There are other divisions of the Qur'an, e.g. parts (ahzab) of a juz', five- (khams) and ten-verse ('ashr) marks, as well as other less common subdivisions according to traditions present in different parts of the Islamic World (Beit Al Qur'an 1996, 44). This fragment includes the letter 'ayn in a leaf-drop cartouche in the upper right margin: this letter stands for 'ashr and marks the stop of a tenth verse (in this case, verse 94).
  • -  Recto: Dimensions of Written Surface: 11.2 (w) x 21.7 (h) cm. Verso: Dimensions of Written Surface: 11.7 (w) x 22 (h) cm.
  • -  This interlinear Qur'an fragment of Surat al-Ma'idah (The Table/The Repast) is said to belong to a manuscript dated 1207/1792-3 (Selim 1979, 146). In all likelihood, it was produced in Iran during the early years of Qajar rule (1785-1925). This particular Qur'an includes translation in Persian written in complete sentences in red ink in between each verse of the Arabic original. This late 18th-century practice of translation (or even paraphrasing) reveals a development of the production of interlinear Qur'ans over the centuries. Some of the earliest bilingual Qur'ans only include word-by-word translations: this is especially the case for Qur'ans from the Ilkhanid period (see 1-84-154.27c R and V).
  • -  Three gold leaf-shaped cartouches appear at the top, bottom, and left margin of the folio. Each cartouche contains writing in red ink, which altogether reads: "Surat al-Ma'idah, nuzilat fi al-Madinah" (The Chapter of the Repast, revealed in Medina). The Qur'an is divided into Meccan and Medinan verses, as some verses were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in Mecca and others were revealed to him after his flight (hijrah) to Medina in 622 A.D. Medinan verses number twenty-eight in total and tend to be longer than Meccan surahs. Their character is also more legalistic in nature, as they tend to lay out social and political norms for the Muslim community (Beit Al Qur'an 1996, 44). The few surah verses on this folio (5:89-95) support the prescriptive nature of Medinan verses, as they discuss the importance of keeping one's oath, giving food and clothing to the indigent, and avoiding gambling and divination.
  • -  Script: naskh and nasta'liq
  • -  1-85-154.67


  • 1 volume ; 18 (w) x 29.5 (h) cm


  • Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714468

Online Format

  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The contents of the Library of Congress Selections of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Calligraphy are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions and are free to use and reuse.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, African and Middle East Division, Near East Section Persian Manuscript Collection

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Interlinear Qur'an 5: 89-95. /1792-3, 1792. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

(1792) Interlinear Qur'an 5: 89-95. /1792-3. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Interlinear Qur'an 5: 89-95. /1792-3, 1792. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.