Skip to Main Content

Qur'an Manuscript Folio

Sheet: 28 x 17.4 cm (11 x 6 7/8 in.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.
Location: not on view

Download, Print and Share


Calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing, was elevated above all other art forms in the Islamic world because Allah (God), revealed the divine word of Islam to the Prophet Muhammad (570–632) in the Arabic language. This beautiful double page forms the opening pages, or unwan, of a Qur’an, the sacred book of Islam. Read from right to left, the verses are written in Arabic in elegant naskhi script on a gold ground with florets identifying the ends of the verses. Calligraphers who specialized in beautiful writing often dedicated their lives to copying the Qur’an to grow closer to Allah and receive his blessings. The pages are enhanced with splendid illumination—ornamentation in colors and gold with scrolling vines, blossoms, lozenges, and cartouches within bordered rectangles. Because the book arts were held in high esteem in the Islamic world, decorative motifs created by illuminators were often adopted in other art forms such as metalwork, textiles, and carpets.
Qur'an Manuscript Folio

Qur'an Manuscript Folio


Afghanistan, Herat, Safavid period (1501–1722)

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.