Page from the Koran, 12th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

The essence of writing is in the spirit.

-Persian proverb
Calligraphy is the most highly regarded form of artistic expression in Islam. Hand writing the Koran in Arabic script and is also an act of religious devotion, and calligraphers earn spiritual merit as they make visible the word of God.
The Koran (“recitation” in Arabic) was revealed orally to the Prophet Mohammad between the years 610 and 632. Mohammed’s son-in-law Ali developed the first sacred script several decades later. This script has been refined and embellished over the ensuing years as the Koran has been copied in its original Arabic language again and again throughout the world. The sanctity of the text and the significance of writing it by hand delayed the adoption of mass production of the Koran.

Page from the Koran
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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