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Section 13 of the Qur'an of Nur al-Din

Calligraphy by ‘Ali bin Ja’far bin Asad

Not on view

The military leader Nur al-Din had this volume of a Qur’an manuscript, amongst others, made for the madrasa that he founded and named for himself in Damascus. The richly decorated text originally comprised sixty volumes, a testament to its intended use in daily readings and to his generosity. But Jerusalem was Nur al-Din’s ultimate, unrealized goal, and it fell to his successor, Saladin, to recapture the city and fill its sanctuaries with similarly rich Qur’an manuscripts. Contemporary chroniclers relate that Saladin had "copies, portions, and venerated sections of the Qur’an raised up on lecterns and placed on shelves in view of visitors."

Section 13 of the Qur'an of Nur al-Din, Calligraphy by ‘Ali bin Ja’far bin Asad (active Damascus, mid-12th century), Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper and parchment, Syrian

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