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Qur’an manuscript leaf in Maghribi script

Accession Number
1959/1.146

Title
Qur’an manuscript leaf in Maghribi script

Artist(s)

Object Creation Date
13th century

Medium & Support
ink, red ochre, paper on paper

Dimensions
10 5/8 in x 7 7/8 in (27 cm x 20 cm);10 5/8 in x 7 7/8 in (27 cm x 20 cm);19 5/16 in x 14 5/16 in (49.05 cm x 36.35 cm);10 5/8 in x 8 in (26.99 cm x 20.32 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
March 28, 2009
For Muslims, Arabic script, representing the language of their holy book, the Qur’an, is a thing of sublime beauty. Arabic calligraphy links the spiritual and aesthetic dimensions of the written work and figures significantly in the visual and healing arts of the Islamic world.
There are many styles of Arabic calligraphy. This page from a north African Qur’an is written in a script called Maghribi, which was developed in the western region of north Africa. Maghribi is a variation of the ancient Kufic script, known for its angular form. Maghribi script features sweeping curves that soften the angularity of its Kufic characters. Diacritical marks indicated in red facilitate the reading of this script.

Subject matter
This page from a north African Qur’an is written in a script called Maghribi. Meaning “of the west,” this script was developed in the western region of north Africa. Maghribi is a local variant of the ancient Kufic script, known for its angular, abstracted form well suited for work with bricks and other architectural materials. As noted by former University of Michigan scholar Yasser Tabbaa, Maghribi script is characterized by sweeping curves that soften the angularity of its Kufic characters. Diacritical marks, indicated in red, facilitate the reading of this script.

Physical Description
Arabic calligraphic script on paper; script is in Maghribi style, written in black ink with touches of green and rec ochre. Shadows of script (from reverse or opposite page, transferred while closed?) show through. Beige paper is browned with age at edges; upper left has repaired tear.

Primary Object Classification
Unbound Work

Primary Object Type
leaf

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Islam
calligraphy (process)
manuscripts (document genre)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display