Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Leaf from a Qur’an Written in Kufic Script

The written form of Arabic began to develop in the sixth through eighth centuries, following a long tradition of oral transmission. Even during the early years of Islam, the Qur’an itself was preserved primarily through oral recitation. The need to accurately record this sacred text spurred the development of a script that was both legible and elegant. The museum’s folio page is written in an angular, early script commonly called Kufic, a name derived from the city of Kufa, where this form of writing is believed (but probably erroneously) to have originated.

Middle Eastern, possibly Iraq
Leaf from a Qur’an Written in Kufic Script
ʿAbbasid Dynasty, 9th–10th century
Ink and gold on parchment
6 1/16 x 8 5/16 in. (15.3 x 21.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 63.41