Top of page

About this Item


  • Qur'anic verses

Created / Published

  • ca. 1550-1600


  • -  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 (18-28) of the 72nd chapter of the Qur'an entitled al-Jinn (the Spirits), written in the Naskh script from Shiraz, Iran, Safavid era, 16th cent.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 13 (w) x 22.2 (h) cm
  • -  Keep in remembrance the name of your God / And devote yourself to Him wholeheartedly. / He is the Lord of the East and the West. / There is no God but He. / Take him therefore for your Disposer of Affairs (73:8-9)
  • -  Say: "I know not whether the (punishment) which you are promised is near, / Or whether my God will appoint for it a distant term. / He Alone knows the unseen, / Nor does He make anyone acquainted with His mysteries." (72: 25-26)
  • -  Surat al-Jinn dates from the late Meccan period and contains 28 verses. The last verses proclaim unity in God and belief in His Omnipotence:
  • -  Surat al-Muzzammil is one of the earliest surahs to have been revealed and comprises 20 ayahs (although the chapter heading on the fragment's recto states that it contains 19 verses). It praises prayer and humility and warms men who reject faith:
  • -  The margins of the text are decorated with gold painted vine, leaf, and flower motifs. In the upper left margin appears a flat gold and blue disk, ornamented by a central gold vegetal design, intended to mark the tenth verse (verse 20 of chapter 72).
  • -  The rectangular band at the bottom of the text frame is decorated in orange-red, blue, and gold panels, in which the title, provenance (Mecca), and number of ayahs (19) of Surat al-Muzzammil are written in thuluth with gold ink on a red ground. The last word of the previous chapter (adadan, or singly), as well as the terminal verse marker, also are inserted in the middle of the panel and outlined on a pale ground. Apparently, the scribe ran out of space to finish his text and saw himself forced to include the last word of the previous surah in the subsequent chapter heading.
  • -  The script, text layout, and illumination are all typical of Safavid Qur'ans produced during the second half of the 16th century in the southwestern Iranian city of Shiraz (see James 1992b: 150-157, cat. no. 39).
  • -  The text is executed in a clear naskh and outlined by gold cloud bands decorated with red and blue flowers. Diacritics are executed in black ink, while some pronunciation and reading signs are picked out in red ink. Verse markers consist of six-petalled gold rosettes decorated with blue dots and red lines.
  • -  This calligraphic fragment includes the terminal verses (18-28) of the 72nd chapter of the Qur'an entitled al-Jinn (the Spirits), as well as the heading and introductory bismillah of the next chapter entitled al-Muzzammil (The Enshrouded One). The text of al-Muzzammil continues with verses 1-20 on the fragment's verso (1-89-154.185 V).
  • -  Script: naskh
  • -  1-89-154.185


  • 1 volume ; 21.1 (w) x 34.5 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714689

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:

Qur'anic Verses. to 1600, ca. 1550. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

(ca. 1550) Qur'anic Verses. to 1600. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Qur'anic Verses. to 1600, ca. 1550. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.