About this Item


  • Qur'anic verses

Created / Published

  • 11th-13th centuries


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Calligraphy, Persian
  • -  Manuscripts, Arabic--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Iran
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Persian naskh
  • -  Plaited eastern kufi


  • -  Plaited eastern Kufi and Persian Naskh scripts.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 20.2 (w) x 10.7 (h) cm
  • -  Eastern Kufi and Persian naskh scripts are typical calligraphies practiced in Persian lands between the 11th and the 13th centuries. It is rather rare to find eastern Kufi interlaced, as the script tends to incline at an angle. Nevertheless, its high verticals (or stems) leave ample room for the elaboration of decorative motifs in the textual interstices. Decorative elements include knots, vine or leaf motifs, plaits, and interlaced stems, which counterbalance the low curves of the writing with a filled space in the writing's upper zone. This decorative technique not only presents calligraphy in an aesthetic manner but also ensures the clarity of the letters (Blair 1986, 329).
  • -  Like the chapter heading on its verso, the last line of Surat al-Kahf is executed in plaited eastern Kufi, with knots executed in black ink on the letters' stems and in red for the vine-like interlacing between the letters' verticals. The last three words executed in plaited eastern Kufi of verse 18:110, "admit nobody as partner in the worship of God" (bi-'ibadat rabihi ahadan) also are provided with sub-linear Persian translation. The single verse marker present in the fragment consists of a six-petalled rosette filled in with yellow paint and decorated with three red dots on its perimeter.
  • -  Other interlinear Qur'ans are held in the collections of the Library of Congress: see 1-84-154.27c R and V, as well as 1-85-154.67 R and V.
  • -  Plaited Kufi also appears on Islamic metalwares, as well as on woodwork (Blair 1998: 134-35 and fig. 10.58) and ceramics (L. Volov-Golombek, "Plaited Kufic on Samanid Epigraphic Pottery" Ars Orientalis 6 [1966]: 107-34). At times, the interlaced motifs recall the ornamental "Celtic knots" of medieval European manuscripts.
  • -  The initial bismillah, on the other hand, is executed in plaited eastern Kufi script similar to the last line of writing on the fragment's recto (see 1-90-154.150 R). The plates form interlacing three-leaf motifs or chain-like knots, in the middle of which appear four leaf designs executed in red ink.
  • -  The verso of this fragment includes the heading of the 19th chapter of the Qur'an entitled Surat Maryam (Mary), as well as the surah's initial bismillah. The title, which reads Surat Maryam, 'alayha al-salam (The Chapter of Mary, Peace be Upon Her), is executed in gold ink on a red background decorated with white interlacing vines (Selim 1979, 159).
  • -  This fragment includes on its recto the last verse (110) of the 18th chapter of the Qur'an entitled Surat al-Kahf (The Cave). The heading of the next chapter (19) entitled Surat Maryam (Mary) appears on the fragment's verso (see 1-90-154.150 V). The Qur'anic text itself is executed on rag paper in old Persian naskh and provided with interlinear Persian translations.
  • -  Script: plaited eastern Kufi and Persian naskh
  • -  1-90-154.150


  • 1 volume ; 20.2 (w) x 10.7 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714490

Online Format

  • 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

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Chicago citation style:

Qur'anic Verses. 11th-13th Centuries. Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/2019714490/.

APA citation style:

Qur'anic Verses. 11th-13th Centuries. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2019714490/.

MLA citation style:

Qur'anic Verses. 11th-13th Centuries. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2019714490/>.