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About this Item


  • Qur'anic verses


  • Muhammad Riza Tabataba('i)

Created / Published

  • 19th century


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


  • -  Qur'anic verses written in the Naskh script by Persian calligrapher Muhammad Riza Tabataba'I in 19th Cent. Iran.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 11.7 (w) x 10.8 (h) cm
  • -  Perish the hands of the Father of Flames, perish he. / No profit to him from all his wealth and all his gains. / Burned soon will he be in a fire of blazing flame. / His wife will carry the crackling wood as fuel, / A twisted rope of palm leaf fiber around her own neck.
  • -  The surah is brought to an end by the artist's signature in the lower left corner. The calligrapher's name, Muhammad Riza Tabataba('i), strongly suggests that he was a Shi'i Persian calligrapher who traced his lineage back to Tabataba, the great-great grandson of 'Ali. Although he has not dated his work, calligraphic sheets pasted onto cardboard panels similar to this one were executed in Persian naskh script during the first half of the 19th century in Iran (see 1-86-154.136). Such panels were intended as wall decoration in private homes or as calligraphic exercises.
  • -  This calligraphic panel includes the bismillah at the top, followed by the Qur'an's 111th surah entitled al-Masad (The Plaited Rope), also known as al-Lahab (The Flame). This chapter contains five verses, all of which are included on the panel. This very early Meccan surah stresses that cruelty ultimately ruins itself, while angry men and their wives perish in their own rage:
  • -  This particular calligraphic sheet includes cloud bands painted in a light brown wash and decorated with black vines and red flowers. Pasted onto a cardboard, it was later provided with green and pink paper margins.
  • -  Script: naskh
  • -  1-84-154.14


  • 1 volume ; 21.6 (w) x 18.3 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714578

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:

Muhammad Riza Tabataba. Qur'anic Verses. 19th Century. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Muhammad Riza Tabataba. Qur'anic Verses. 19th Century. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Muhammad Riza Tabataba. Qur'anic Verses. 19th Century. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.