Skip Navigation

Manuscript of the Qur'an

Arts of the Islamic World

The patron who commissioned this manuscript of the Qur’an spared no expense—from the first few folios, replete with lush illumination, to the binding, elaborately engraved with the Chinese-inspired lotus blossoms and cloud bands common to the art of the Timurid dynasty in Iran and Central Asia. The second and third pages displayed here feature intricate vegetal ornamentation in gold on a background of cobalt blue, both materials prized for their value and beauty. The right-hand page contains the Arabic text of the Qur’an’s first sura, or chapter, which plays a part in many Muslims’ daily lives; the following chapter begins on the left. The script is known as ghubar, which literally means “dust,” because the letters were thought to be as minute as grains of powder. The small overall size of the codex suggests that it was meant for travel, and certain marginalia and stamps indicate that it passed through several hands in both the Iranian and Ottoman worlds.
MEDIUM Ink, opaque watercolors, and gold on paper
DATES A.H. 889/1484 C.E.
DIMENSIONS Paper: 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 in. (9.5 x 9.5 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Laurice M. Khouri in memory of her father, Alexander N. Khouri
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Manuscript of the Qur'an, A.H. 889/1484 C.E. Ink, opaque watercolors, and gold on paper, Paper: 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 in. (9.5 x 9.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Laurice M. Khouri in memory of her father, Alexander N. Khouri, 1992.230 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1992.230_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1992.230_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.