(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Fri 3 Nov 2023, 7:28 AM
In a rich display of Islamic heritage, the Sharjah International Book Festival is showcasing a meticulously crafted replica of the Golden Qur'an which has become the spotlight of the event.
This exhibit is a rare replica of an original manuscript dating back to the 11th or 12th century and is the masterwork of Ibn al-Bawwab, a renowned Persian illuminator and calligrapher of the early 11th century.
The original manuscript is preserved at the Bavarian State Library in Munich, which is a limited edition with only ten copies produced during its era. The replica, one of only 300 printed with the exact size, style, and visual appeal of the ancient codex is being showcased at the event.
“This Qur'an is a true work of art, featuring holy text inscribed in black Naskh cursive writing on gold-coated paper,” said the exhibitor Florian Strulz, representing Adeva Rare Collectibles.
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"The manuscript has decorations that go beyond fanciness and is unique in the world of manuscript art."
Each surah (chapter) heading is elegantly written in blue, white, and reddish-brown script, with intricate floral and arabesque patterns and rosettes in blue and silver separating the verses.
“The size of the letters is based on mathematical principles, with the size of 'alif' (Arabic letter) serving as the unit of scale. The first letter in the Arabic alphabet upon which the size of all other letters is based,” said Strulz.
Originating from Iraq or Iran during the Seljuk Turks' rule, the original Qur'an is made out of colours, including white, brown, crimson, and black, and is written by the skilled hands of Ibn al-Bawwab.
“The vertical letters, slightly slanting to the left, are thoughtfully arranged, showcasing a distinct style characteristic of the Ibn al-Bawwab school,” said Strulz.
“A notable feature of the first page is the unique arrangement of two surah titles, which makes this Qur'an a distinctive piece of art,” said Strulz.
In the 'bismillah', the Arabic phrase translating to 'In the name of Allah, the most gracious and the most merciful', the elongated Arabic letter 'seen' adds a touch of the school's distinct style to this rare and revered Qur'an.
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