Fragment of a Qur’an, sura 2:191-233

Manuscript; fragment of a Qur’an; verses of Sura al-Baqara (the Cow) 2: part of verses 191 -232, beginning with “wa akhrijuhum” on verse 191, missing one folio and some verses continue with a portion of 233 ending with “al-ma’ruf”; text: Arabic in black kufic script; vocalized in red; 32 parchment folios with gilded verse markers and inscribed roundels; standard page: one column; 5 lines of text.
Binding: From a later period. The binding of the manuscript (F 1937.6.33) is of floral patterned marbled paper and gold fillets, it has been removed.

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Historical period(s)
Abbasid period, 9th-10th century
Medium
Ink, color and gold on parchment
Dimensions
H x W: 24.5 x 33 cm (9 5/8 x 13 in)
Geography
Near East
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1937.6.1-33
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript

Keywords
Abbasid period (750 - 1258), Iraq, Islam, kufic script, Qur'an, sura 2, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Manuscript; fragment of a Qur'an; verses of Sura al-Baqara (the Cow) 2: part of verses 191 -232, beginning with "wa akhrijuhum" on verse 191, missing one folio and some verses continue with a portion of 233 ending with "al-ma'ruf"; text: Arabic in black kufic script; vocalized in red; 32 parchment folios with gilded verse markers and inscribed roundels; standard page: one column; 5 lines of text.
Binding: From a later period. The binding of the manuscript (F 1937.6.33) is of floral patterned marbled paper and gold fillets, it has been removed.

Label

Most Qur'ans from the late ninth and early tenth centuries are written with a reed pen in dark brown or black ink on a horizontally oriented parchment. The script generally is referred to as kufic, a term associated with the town of Kufa in southern Iraq, one of the main centers for the development of the Arabic script. Notable for its short vertical and elongated horizontal strokes, the script’s stark elegance often is relieved by red diacritical marks; a small floral medallion in the margin indicates a verse ending.

The folio is from the second sura (chapter) of the Qur'an, known as al-Baqara (the Cow). The verses prescribe duties, such as fasting and feeding the poor, for Muslims who cannot perform or complete the hajj (pilgrimage), one of the five pillars of Islam.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Art of the Arab World. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975. cat. 1, pp. 14-15.
  • Muhammad Husayn. Origins of the Book: Egypt's Contribution to the Development of the Book from Papyrus to Codex. Greenwich, Connecticut. p. 108.
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 118-119.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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