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A Harari Quran section

containing the first half of the Quran, from al-Fatihah to al-Kahf.

Stock Code
Harar, Ethiopia, 1800

Rare example of a manuscript Quran copied and produced in Harar, Ethiopia, in the late eighteenth century. Although Harar and this region of Eastern Ethiopia had become a centre of Islam by the mid-eighteenth century, manuscripts from this area are exceptionally scarce with very few examples surviving in collections worldwide.

The border designs of the opening two surah are reminiscent of Egyptian Mamluk Qurans and the script, described here as Eastern Sudanese, is a distinctive mix of the informal naskh script of Eastern Africa and bihari script of India. These characteristics in the script demonstrate cross-cultural influence through trade routes established between India, Southern Arabia and Eastern Africa and provide insight into the history of Islamic scribal practices in the region.

For another example of a Harari Quran see 'QUR706' in the Khalili Collection, copied in Shawwal 1162 AH (1749 AD) by Sa'ad ibn Adish Umar ad-Din.

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Decorated manuscript on paper, in Arabic, 187 leaves plus 3 contemporary endleaves, containing text from surah al-Fatihah to al-Kahf (1:1 - 18:110), complete first half of the Quran, 220 by 180 mm.; single column, 13 lines Eastern Sudanese script, some diacritics in red, verse markers of trefoil details throughout also in red, text of opening two surah within circles surrounded by rectangular borders decorated in red and black designs, some verse markers to the margins also in red and black, some catch-words, some smudges and light marginal water-staining, a few leaves with chips and small tears to outer edges; housed in contemporary Harari leather over pasteboards with flap, ruled in blind with provincial tooling to borders also in blind, a little rubbed.


Stock ID:103263

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