Asian Art Museum | Education

The best of Asian art at the tip of your fingers for use in the classroom or at home.
Close

Sign up

In My Resources you can save the content you like all in one place. Get started by creating an account.

Create a new account

Page from a manuscript of the Koran, approx. 1330–1340

Page from a manuscript of the Koran, approx. 1330–1340

Page from a manuscript of the Koran, approx. 13301340. Central Asia or Turkey. Manuscript page; Ink, colors and gold on paper. Gift of the Todd Williams Memorial Fund and The Society for Asian Art, B87D7. 

English

Many once-complete manuscripts no longer survive or have been dismantled and their pages dispersed in collections throughout the world. Several pages similar to this one, from a very early Koran, survive in such piecemeal fashion. Between the lines of large Arabic script is a translation in Persian. The red letters that form a border around the text contain verses from the hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad). Finely executed calligraphy is a feature of many Korans from throughout the Islamic world. Because the text contains the word of God, it was considered a form of devotion to copy the Koran in beautiful handwriting and to beautify its pages with decoration.