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: Made in Tunisia, probably Qairawan

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


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.