Qur'an Manuscript

Object Name: Non-illustrated manuscript

Date: late 9th–early 10th century

Geography: Attributed to Syria or Iraq

Medium: Main support: ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on parchment; Binding: leather; tooled

Dimensions: H. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
W. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Gift of Philip Hofer, 1937

Accession Number: 37.142


The second volume (juz') of a thirty-part Qur'an, this manuscript was written on parchment in kufic script. Unlike most early Qur'ans, short vowels and other diacritical marks are included to guide the reader in pronunciation. The red dots placed above and below letters denote the vowels, while the smaller black dots were added later to serve as consonant points (i'jam), where they help distinguish between letters of similar forms. Verse markers placed every ten verses and double-page illuminations at the beginning and end of the manuscript are precursors to what later developed into a major element of Qur'an decoration.