Home Lamp Shah Jahan Prayer Carpet Qur'an Manuscript

Folio from a Qur'an manuscript

The chapter heading, Sura al-Zumar (The Crowds), appears at the top of the page in gold letters.


Read from right to left, the title ends in a large circular medallion with an elaborate vegetal pattern that showcases the illuminator's extraordinary talent


Similar smaller medallions indicate the end of each verse, where the reciter is expected to pause.


The blue and red dots that appear throughout the page help ensure the proper pronunciation of short vowels, which are not written out in Arabic. Their colorful and precise execution adds a further decorative touch to the page.

This manuscript was probably produced in Islamic Spain. It features maghribi script, which is characterized by cursive letters and swooping sublinear elements. The use of this script is typical of Spanish and North African Qur'ans, as is the use of parchment, which was unusual in other regions at this late date. The text includes the first, second, and part of the third verses of the Sura al-Zumar chapter of the Qur'an, which focuses on the centrality of God and Muhammad's role as the Prophet. While all Muslims are encouraged to read the Qur'an, correct recitation is a skill acquired through rigorous practice and schooling.

As we know this artwork is about the chapter called Sura al-Zumar, which means the crowds. Below we can see colorful dots crowds togather to make up the heading "Sura al-Zumar" in Arabic. Trace your cursor from right to left and top to buttom, as one may write Arabic, in disbanding the dots to practice writing Arabic.