The Qur'an or Holy Koran is the key religious text for Islam. Followers of Islam find the Qur'an to be the literal word of God, revealed through the prophet Muhammad and containing all things necessary for a righteous life. This illuminated leaf of the Qur'an was written on handmade paper probably in Herat in the late sixteenth century. Herat was a center for art and culture in medieval Afghanistan. On this leaf, which has 15 lines of text, the first, eighth, and fifteenth lines of each page are written in gold Muhaqqaq script with the remaining lines written in smaller Naskhi script in black with red diacritics and recitation symbols. The Surah headings are written in Thuluth script in gold. The leaf has five pin holes, and has been re-margined within a sheet of laid paper. Please note that because Arabic and Persian texts are read right to left, the designations recto and verso do not apply. A bilingual edition of the Qur'an in Arabic and English, approved by Al-Azhar University, recently has been published: Fakhry Majid. The Qur'an in English translation with commentary. New York, New York University Press, 2002.
Sides one and two each are divided into two blocks of text, bordered by horizontal margins of text in gold, and vertical marginal blocks containing illuminated medallions in gold, blue, and green. Gold discs, with blue outlines and spokes and red center dots, separate the verses. The Surah headings are written in Thuluth script in gold with black diacritics.
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