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About this Item


  • Qurʼan.


  • This exquisite illuminated Qurʼan (Or 15227) dating from the 19th century originates from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. On the basis of various codicological features, the manuscript can be attributed to the cultural zone encompassing Kelantan, on the northeast coast of Malaysia, and Patani, in southern Thailand. In many ways, the Qurʼan is typical of manuscript production in Patani, with black endpapers of Thai manufacture, a cloth cover with elaborate stitched headbands, and illuminated frames with typical Patani features, such as the interlocking-wave motif. And yet the exactitude of the drawing and coloring, and the repetition of ornamental details, is more typical of Qurʼans from the court of Terengganu, just south of Kelantan, the richest center for Islamic manuscript illumination in Southeast Asia. The hybrid character of this manuscript is emphasized by some other unusual features, including the presence of double decorated frames in the middle of the book marking the start of Surat al-Kahf and Surat Yasin, instead of just at the beginning of Surat al-Isra', as is usual in east coast Qurʼans. The illuminated pages have six double decorated frames and one single decorated frame in the "East Coast" style. Text frames are ruled lines of black-thick yellow-black-black-red ink. Verse markers are yellow (and occasionally green) roundels outlined in black. Surah headings are set within rectangular frames, reserved in white against five colored panels, alternating either green and red, or blue and red. Marginalia include juz' marked by beautiful ornaments with the words al-juz' reserved in white against a colored background in a roundel with floral extensions above and below (these markers are found every 10 folios, always situated in the top-right corner of the verso of a folio); maqra' written in red ink in a very small hand; and catchwords at the end of every quire. This is the first Qurʼan manuscript in the British Library to be digitized in its entirety. The manuscript was displayed in the British Library's sacred texts exhibition in 2007 and also was featured in the accompanying book on Qurʼan manuscripts.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1850 to 1899]


  • -  Malaysia
  • -  Thailand
  • -  1850 to 1899
  • -  Arabic manuscripts
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Koran


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "British Library manuscript reference number: Or 15227"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 307 folios ; 223 x 165 millimeters.
  • -  Reference extracted from World Digital Library: Annabel Gallop, "An illuminated Malay Qurʼan," Southeast Asia Library Group (SEALG) Blog, March 12, 2013, External
  • -  Original resource at: The British Library.
  • -  Content in Arabic.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667314

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

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

Chicago citation style:

Qurʼan. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1899, 1850] Pdf.

APA citation style:

(1850) Qurʼan. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1899] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Qurʼan. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1899, 1850] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.