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  • Qur'anic verses

Created / Published

  • 11th-12th centuries


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Calligraphy, Persian
  • -  Manuscripts, Arabic--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Bahrain
  • -  Iraq
  • -  Iran
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Eastern Kufi
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts


  • -  Qur'anic verses in eastern Kufi script, Iraq or Iran, 10th to the 13th centuries.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: Verso: 8 (w) x 15.5 (h) cm. Dimensions of Written Surface: Verso: 8 (w) x 15.5 (h) cm.
  • -  Pharaoh said: "O Haman, build me a lofty palace so that I may find the ways and means of reaching the skies and that I may mount up to the God of Moses".
  • -  The use of the term "Qarmathian" for this particular style of eastern Kufi script has never been explained satisfactorily. It seems connected to the Qaramitah, a group of Isma'ilis based in the Gulf area that refused to recognize the claims of the Fatimid caliphs to the imamate (r. 909-1171). Perhaps due to this geographical and chronological link, the script--associated with Qur'an production of Iraq and Iran from the 10th to the 13th century-- gained its appellation "Qarmathian".
  • -  These verses are executed on brown paper in a script known as Qarmathian, a style of eastern Kufi with high vertical shafts and letters assuming a more triangular shape (Lings and Safadi 1976: 34-35, no. 39) than plain eastern Kufi. In some of the more elaborate Qur'ans made in Iran during the 12th century, the script appears on a background of arabesque scrolls and spirals executed in light brown ink (MET 1987: 32-33). In this fragment, the five lines of script executed on a high vertical appear on a plain piece of paper, whose only decoration consists of a verse marker in red and gold on the left side of the second line.
  • -  This Qur'anic fragment includes verses 35-36 of the 40th chapter of the Qur'an entitled al-Ghafir (the Forgiver), also known as al-Mu'min (The Believer). Verses 36 and 37 of the same surah continue on the fragment's verso (1-93-154.179 V). This chapter of the Qur'an utilizes the story of an individual believer (Moses) among the people ruled by an arrogant leader (Pharaoh) in order to show how faith can prevail against evil. These two verses in particular state that God closes the hearts of "arrogant and obstinate transgressors" such as Pharaoh, who believes wrongly that he can build a palace high enough to reach the heavens. The text reads here:
  • -  Unlike other Qur'ans in eastern Kufi script that make use of the complete vowelling system invented in the 8th century by al-Khalil b. Ahmad (see 1-87-154.134 R and V), this particular fragment uses orange dots to represent vowels and other signs. This orthographic technique was introduced by Abu al-Aswad (d. 69/688) in order to render the earlier, undotted Kufi script more legible (Lings and Safadi 1976, 19). Here, red ink is reserved for the vowel waw (u), blue ink for the sukun (vowellessness), and dark gray for the shaddah (duplication of a consonant). There are other eastern Kufi Qur'an fragments such as this one that make use of Abu al-Aswad's dot system rather than al-Khalil b. Ahmad's technique of diagonal strokes (MTIA 2002, 48).
  • -  Script: eastern Kufi
  • -  1-93-154.179
  • -  Near East scanned


  • 1 volume ; 15 (w) x 21.5 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714491

Online Format

  • pdf
  • image

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IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Chicago citation style:

Qur'anic Verses. 11th-12th Centuries. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

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Qur'anic Verses. 11th-12th Centuries. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

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Qur'anic Verses. 11th-12th Centuries. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.