Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Bifolium from the "Nurse's Qur'an" (Mushaf al-Hadina)

Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. A.H. 410/ A.D. 1019–20
Geography:
Tunisia, probably Qairawan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on parchment
Dimensions:
H. 17 1/2 in. (44.5 cm) W. 23 5/8 in. (60 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, James and Diane Burke Gift, in honor of Dr. Marilyn Jenkins-Madina, 2007
Accession Number:
2007.191
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 450
This double-page from a Qur'an comes down to us with the fascinating information that the nursemaid to one of the Zirid rulers of North Africa commissioned it for donation to the Great Mosque of Qairawan. It is written in a form of the 'new style kufic' script that was unique to North Africa, and it was copied on parchment, which remained in use in this region long after paper was commonly used for Qur'ans from Egypt, Iraq or Iran.
Inscription: Although the text is indeed from sura 6, al-An`am, "The Kine", verses 40-41 (in part), and 48-49 (in part), the arrangement is puzzling, on account of the folia being detached from their original sheaves and binding. On the first page, and so in the first photograph with the illumination, that is, the first picture on the left, and running on to the second page and so into the second photograph, but now on the right, one certainly reads, from 6:41-42 :

... aghyara Llahi tad`una in kuntum s?adiqina * bal iyyahu tad`una / fa-yakshifu ma tad`una ilayhi in sha'a wa tansuna ma tashrikuna.

"... upon other than God would you call, were you sincere? * Nay! Unto Him would you call, and He would unveil that for which you call upon Him, and you would forget those (gods) you associate (with Him)."

Then, strangely reversed, on the left page of the second photograph, but going on to the right page of the first photograph, one can read, from 6:48-49 :

... wa mundhirina fa-man amana w-as?lah?a fa-la khawf-un `alayhim wa la / hum yah?zinuna wa-lladhina kadhabu bi-ayatina yamassuhum al-`idhabu ...

"... as warners : and whoso believes and does right, then no fear unto them, nor / shall they grieve *, and those who regard Our signs as lies, shall touch them the chastisement ..."

In Arabic language and in Kufic script:
Koran
Left 6:48
Right 6:41

A.Ghouchani
Fatima al-Hadina, Tunisia (until about 1019–20); Great Mosque of Qairawan, Tunisia(from about 1019–20); [ Charif Fine Arts, Dubai, sold to Fogg]; [ Sam Fogg, London, by 2006–7; sold to MMA]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 126, ill. (color).

Fraser, Marcus, and Will Kwiatkowski. "July 14–August 31, 2006." In Ink and Gold: Islamic Calligraphy. London, 2006. no. 15, pp. 58-61, ill.

"Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2007–2008." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 66: 2 (Fall 2008). p. 12 (color), ill.

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 31, pp. 60-61, ill. p. 60 (color).



Related Objects

Folio from the "Blue Qur'an"

Date: second half 9th–mid-10th century Medium: Gold and silver on indigo-dyed parchment Accession: 2004.88 On view in:Gallery 450

Folio from a Qur'an Manuscript

Date: ca. 1300 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on parchment Accession: 21.28 On view in:Gallery 457

"The Story of the Princess of the Blue Pavillion: The Youth of Rum Is Entertained in a Garden by a Fairy and her Maidens", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi

Artist: Amir Khusrau Dihlavi (1253–1325) Date: 1597–98 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 13.228.33 On view in:Gallery 463

"Krishna Holds Up Mount Govardhan to Shelter the Villagers of Braj", Folio from a Harivamsa (The Legend of Hari (Krishna))

Date: ca. 1590–95 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 28.63.1 On view in:Gallery 463

Folio from a Qur'an Manuscript

Date: ca. 1180 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 29.160.23 On view in:Gallery 451