SMALL QUR'AN IN GHUBAR SCRIPT

MS 5315
MS Short Title SMALL QUR'AN IN GHUBAR SCRIPT
Text QUR’AN
Description MS in Arabic on paper, Ottoman Empire, late 15th c., 338 ff. (-1 f.), 8,0x5,5 cm , single column, (5,0x3,0 cm), 16 lines in Ghubar script, sura headings in gold Riqa’ verging on Tawqi’ script within a gold and blue ruled frame, 2 pp. opening of full-page decoration in gold on a deep blue ground.
Binding Ottoman Empire, late 15th c. full leather sewn on 2 cords.
Context
Provenance 1. Newberry Library, Chicago, ORMS 220; 2. Sam Fogg, London.
Commentary

Small Qur’ans, usually of octagonal form, were made for soldiers, travellers and pilgrims and were used as protective talismans. They were placed into the breast pocket and were meant to be kept close to the heart.

The art of diminutive writing is based primarily on t♦he Ghubar (dust) script. Its full name is Ghubar al-Halbah, and it is attributed to al-Ahwal, who apparently derived it from the Riyasi script in 9th c. It was originally conceived for writing messages and correspondence on tiny sheets of paper to be sent by pigeon post, and later used for miniature Qur’ans.

Modern calligraphers have reduced Ghubar to an extremely minute size. The complete text of the Qur’an, amounting to 77934 words, has been written on a single sheet of paper measuring only 5,5 x 4,5 cm. (Safadi: Islamic calligraphy, pp. 21 and 30).

Published
Exhibited
Mentioned
Boxing
See also
Place of origin Ottoman Empire
Dates late 15c AD

Location