Qur'an with part of Surat al-Qamar, Fragment


Description by Jan Just Witkam, Professor of Paleography and Codicology of the Islamic World, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands (2010): Arabic, parchment, 16.2 × 22 cm (largest measurement), 1 leaf with text on either side, ragged edges with damage especially in the four corners of the leaf (was the leaf taken out of an album?), also three larger and a number of smaller holes in the leaf, ʿAbbāsid bookhand, possibly of the 4/10th century, 16 lines of text on either page, text area: c. 13 × 19.0 cm, now kept in a passepartout. The diacritics for the consonants are done with little strokes, the vowels are given with red dots; unadorned, rather primitive ten-verse dividers which are possibly of a later date, although there seems to be space left open for them, can be observed at the end of āya 10, 20 and 30. An old fragment of the Qurʾān (54:1-32). Recto (hair side): Qurʾān 54:1 (al-Qamar)—16 (wa-Nudhuri). Verso (flesh side): Qurʾān 54:17 (laqad yassaranā)—32 (fa-hal). Images of either leaf are shown at several instances in the Digital Image Database Online (DIDO), of the History in Art department of UVic, Nos. 085585, 085586, 085587, 085588, 266618, 266619. Description by Sohrab Mosahebi as part of coursework for a manuscript studies class with Dr. Adrienne Williams Boyarin, June 2022: An old fragment of Qur’an, written on parchment with the size of 162 × 220 mm (largest measurement). It is only one leaf with text on either side, written in one column with 16 lines on each side and in horizontal (landscape) orientation. The parchment is damaged especially in the four corners of the leaf, with three larger and a number of smaller holes in the middle. It is identified by Witkam as “Abbāsid bookhand” (106–08). The content shows the first 32 verses of “Surat al-Qamar” (The chapter of the moon) with the first 16 on the recto (hair side) and the second 16 on the verso (flesh side) of the parchment. There is no decoration or illumination, and the only instance of any kind of rubrication are red dots...

In Collection:
Subject Language Identifier
  • Shelf Mark: MS Victoria 1992-037-1
Date created Resource type Rights statement Extent
  • 1 leaf ; 22.5 x 16.5 cm
Alternative title
  • MS Leaf on Vellum from a Qur'an, North Africa
Geographic coverage Coordinates
  • 32.95337, 9.97559
Additional physical characteristics
  • Written In Dark Brown Kufic Script, Vowels In Red Dots. Text: Surah 54, vv. 17-32 [from Maggs Bros. export license] Mounted between two pieces of cardboard, using paper hinges. Clear plastic in cut-out of top piece of cardboard allows viewing. Leaf has several holes plus somewhat ragged edges; some text is affected.
Physical repository Collection
  • Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection
  • Bruce and Dorothy Brown Collection, officially transferred to the University of Victoria on June 27th, 1996. Earlier provenance: Acquired through Maggs Bros. Rare Books, London, April 1992, who gave as the ultimate origin of the fragment ‘North Africa’.
Provider Genre Archival item identifier
  • Accession Number: 1992-037, Item: 1
Fonds title Fonds identifier Is referenced by Date digitized
  • February 23, 2012
Transcript Technical note
  • Metadata by KD.
  • Contact Special Collections and University Archives for access to the original manuscript and for reproduction requests (fee for reproductions). This material is made available on this site for research and private study only.

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