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About this Item


  • Qur'anic Verses

Created / Published

  • 9th-10th centuries


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Manuscripts, Arabic--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Iraq
  • -  Arabian Peninsula
  • -  Arabic calligraphy
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Kufi


  • -  Qur'anic verses 87th chapter of the Qur'an entitled Surat al-A'la (The Most High), Written in the Kufi script style C.II, produced during the 9th-10th cent.
  • -  As not enough space was left for the last two words (wa musa) of Surat al-A'la, these appear within the illuminated chapter heading of the subsequent chapter, i.e., Surat al-Ghashiyah. The panel includes the name of the surah and the number of verses (26) written in gold ink and decorated by a series of green ornamental motifs placed in two horizontal bands. The marginal gold finial on the right has been partially lost.
  • -  By degrees shall We teach you to declare the message so that you shall not forget / Except as God wills: for He knows what is manifest and what is hidden. (87:6-7).
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 23 (w) x 15 (h) cm
  • -  Surat al-Ghashiyah comprises 26 verses and also dates from the Meccan period. It largely describes the events that will take place on the Day of Judgment.
  • -  The fragment's script and ayah markers are related to style C.II typical of Qur'ans produced during the 9th-10th centuries (Déroche 1992, 61, cat. no. 14).
  • -  The illuminated chapter heading of Surat al-A'la, which is located at the very top of the flesh side (recto) of the parchment, has suffered considerably. The title seems to have been slightly repainted, while the gold rectangular frame and marginal decoration in the left border remain in better condition. Much like the chapter heading of Surat al-A'la, the verses of the chapter executed in black ink are barely legible now. However, diacritics in red ink and verse markers consisting of three gold dots are still visible.
  • -  The remaining verses of Surat al-A'la are executed in black ink on the hair side (verso) of the parchment and thus are well preserved. Red dots represent diacritical marks, while green dots stand for long "a" (alif) sounds. Most verse markers are represented by three gold dots forming triangles, much like those present on the folio's recto. However, the verso also includes a tenth-verse marker on the topmost line separating verse 10 from verse 11: it is in the shape of a gold flower inscribed with the word 'ashar (ten). On the 5th line of text, moreover, appears a fifth-verse marker between verses 15 and 16; it takes the form of a gold upturned virgule.
  • -  This calligraphic fragment includes the entirety of the 87th chapter of the Qur'an entitled Surat al-A'la (The Most High), as well as the illuminated chapter heading and 1st verse of the 88th chapter of the Qur'an entitled Surat al-Ghashiyah (The Overwhelming Event). Surat al-A'la comprises 19 verses revealed in Mecca and describes man's ability to follow God's path towards Revelation:
  • -  Script: Kufi
  • -  AL-1


  • 1 volume ; 29.6 (w) x 21 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714711

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

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

Chicago citation style:

Qur'anic Verses. 9th-10th Centuries. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Qur'anic Verses. 9th-10th Centuries. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Qur'anic Verses. 9th-10th Centuries. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.