collections > Islam & Middle East > 30 Qur’an Manuscripts

30 Qur’an Manuscripts

 Thirty Qur’an Manuscripts Honoring Thirty Days of Ramadan

In honor of the Ramadan month of fasting (this year, July 10 – August 8), the National Library of Israel presents a digital exhibition of rare and selected Qur’an manuscripts, from the ninth through the nineteenth centuries, and from diverse Muslim locales. These manuscripts are part of the NLI collection, which includes 2,400 manuscripts in the Arabic script, and over 100 manuscripts of the Qur’an.
Ottoman Qur’an from 1869
Item of the day – Ottoman Qur’an from 1869.

 

The emphasis on thirty Qur’ans reflects one of the central rituals performed during the month of Ramadan: a daily reading of one section  in order to complete the recitation of the Qur’an at the end of Ramadan. The Library will highlight a different Qur’an each day throughout the month. Each Qur’an will be displayed lwith a link to the full digitized text. ​​​

 
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  • Qur’an section from the early 9th century, in Kufic script, with an early form of vowelization using red dots only for endings and difficult words.
  • Qur’an section from 9th century Qayrawan (in modern day Tunisia). Part of the third section, out of seven total, in Kufic script. The manuscript represents a further stage of redaction.
  • Qur’an section from 9th century Hamdan. The 15th section (out of 30 sections) of the Qur’an, likely from the Hamdan region (in modern day Iran).
  • 12th century Qur’an with variant readings. In the margins of the texts are traditional variant readings based on the method of Mujahid of Basra (d. 936), using different colors for each of the seven recitation traditions.
  • Sections from a 12th century Iranian Qur’an, written in Eastern Kufic script with both the early form of vowelization with red dots and the black diacritics in use today.
  • Qur’an section from 12th century Andalusia. The 29th section (out of 30), written on parchment, mostly likely in 12th century Seville
  • 13th century Qur’an from Anatolian, mostly likely from Konya. Shown here are the two opening pages of the Qur’an, including the opening chapter and the beginning of Chapter 2, Surat al-Baqarah.
  • Mamluk Qur’an from the 13th century. The first part of the Qur’an, with illumination added later, likely at the command of Sultan al-Malik al-Zahir Baybars (r. 1260-1277)
  • Qur’an written in 1289, likely from Baghdad. Naskh script with Chinese influences detected in the illumination.Yahuda Ms.Ar.915
  • Ilkhanid Qur’an, likely from Tabriz (in modern day Iran), from 1323. Shown here are the two opening pages of the Qur’an.Yahuda Ms.Ar.902
  • Mamluk Qur’an from 1329. Naskh script with starlets to symbolize the end of each sentence, and conifer flowers to represent the tenth sentence. Displayed here are verses 5-26 of Chapter 2, Surat al-Bakarah.Yahuda Ms.Ar.886
  • 14th century Qur’an, with the traditional variant readings in the text’s margins displayed in seven distinct colors. Early Naskh script, likely written in Egypt.
  • 14th century Iranian section of the Qur’an. The 19th section (out of 30), most likely from Iran. Rihani script. Displayed here is the beginning of Chapter 25, Surat al-Furqan.
  • 15th century Qur’an, most likely from Iran, written using one of the six styles developed by the famous calligrapher Yaqut al-Musta‘simi (d. 1298). Displayed here are the opening pages of the Qur’an.Yahuda Ms.Ar.896
  • 15th century Qur’an from India, written in Bihari script, a variant of Naskh that takes its name from the Bihar region of Northeast India and describes the pre-Mughal calligraphic style.
  • 15th century Qur’an section, from the first third of the Qur’an, in Bihari script. Displayed here is the beginning of Chapter 3, Surat Al Imran
  • 15 pages from a 15th century Mamluk Qur’an. The pages, from the 22nd section of the Qur’an, were written by the Mekkan calligrapher, al-Muqri’ al-Halabi (d. 1411).
  • Shirazi Qur’an from the early 16th century, most likely commissioned for the Safavid court in Tabriz, Iran. Yahuda Ms.Ar.910
  • Mamluk Qur’an from 1511, with variant readings in the margins. Displayed here are the opening pages of the Qur’an. Yahuda Ms.Ar.913
  • Iranian Qur’an from 1568, written in the Herat style (from the Herat region of modern day Afghanistan). Naskh script. Displayed here are the two opening pages of the Qur’an written in the Rihani calligraphic style.
  • Iranian Qur’an from 1614, written in Naskh script by the calligrapher, ‘Imad al-Din b. Ibrahim al-Shirazi. Displayed here is the opening chapter of the Qur’an spread onto both pages with sun-like forms, following the Shirazi style. Yahuda Ms.Ar.925
  • Mughal Indian Qur’an, written between 1708-1717, by Yaqut Khan for the Mughal emperor, Farrukhsiyar Badshah (r. 1713-1719). Naskh script. Displayed here is the opening chapter of the Qur’an following the Shirazi style.
  • North African Qur’an from 1734, in Mughrabi script. Displayed here are the two opening pages of the Qur’an. Yahuda Ms.Ar.50
  • . Qur’an from Timbuktu (in modern day Mali), written around 1775 using Arabic Sudanese script that derives from the Mughrabi script. This style of Qur’an is distinctive for being unbound and preserved in leather boxes.
  • Kashmiri Qur’an from the 18th century. Shown here are the final two chapters of the Qur’an, Surat al-Falaq and Surat al-Nas, which are illuminated in the same style as the opening page of the Qur’an.
  • Javanese Qur’an from 1688. The first part of a Qur’an that was written in Java. Naskh script with slight alternations (e.g., a dot instead of the traditional shaddah, for emphasis) and with textual errors. Shown here are the opening pages of the Qur’an.
  • Ottoman Qur’an from 1807, written by Hafiz Muhammad al-Adib who was known as Imam Sultan Bayazid. Displayed here are the opening pages of the Qur’an.
  • Ottoman Qur’an from 1825, written by Mustafa al-Awni who was a student of Hafiz Mahmud. Displayed here are the opening pages of the Qur’an.
  • Qajar Qur’an from 1835, with interlinear translation into Persian. The manuscript was commissioned by the city council of Sanandaj in Kurdistan as a gift for the military governor, Amir Nizam Muhammad Khan, of the Qajar court.
  • Ottoman Qur’an from 1869, written by Hajj Muhammad Sharif al-Ramzi, who was a student of Muhammad al-Hilmi. Shown here are the opening pages of the Qur’an.