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Antique Quran Manuscript Leaf: Surat Al-Shura (The Councel) dated 19th cent.


Item Number: 628
Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Al-Shūrā (The Councel)
Age: 19th century
Origin: India
Size: 150 x 210 mm
Size including frame: 315 x 250 mm
Languages: Arabic
Frame: Dark brown wood
Mount: Green

Detailed Description:

This fine leaf is from an excellently preserved, 19th century Quran, possibly scribed in India. It contains verses from Surat Al-Shūrā (The Councel)The script is in naskh. It has a gold and polychrome border. Neat gold floral devices embellish the corners of each page. The blue medallions outside the border are particularly beautiful.


Al-Shūrā is considered to be a Makkan sūrah revealed directly after the previous sūrah, Fuṣṣilat (JJ). Al-Shūrā takes its name from v. 38, which describes their affair being counsel among them as a characteristic of the believers; it is also known by its first two verses, ḥā Mīm ʿAyn Sīn Qāf.

The sūrah is framed by references to the continuity of Divine revelations (v. 3 and vv. 51– 52), each of which is followed by an assertion of God’s Omnipotence (v. 4 and v. 53). The continuity between the teachings of Islam and previous religions is also addressed in v. 7 and vv. 13– 15. This discourse culminates in vv. 51– 52, which are understood as a reference to the various modes by which God delivers revelation as well as an affirmation that the Prophet has received revelation in the same manner as did previous prophets. In relation to the discussion of revelation, this sūrah emphasizes God’s function as the Provider and Sustainer unto Whom belong the keys of the heavens and the earth (v. 12) and Who provides as He wills in accord with His Wisdom (vv. 11– 12, 19– 20, 26– 29, 32– 34, 49– 50), a characteristic that applies to the bestowal of wealth, offspring, and revelation. Nonetheless, most human beings seek sustenance elsewhere, taking protectors apart from Him (vv. 6, 9), arguing about God (vv. 16– 19), disputing the Hour (v. 18), and disputing His signs (v. 35). In this vein, the sūrah outlines the contrast between those who seek the harvest of this world and those who seek the harvest of the Hereafter (v. 20; cf. vv. 22, 36– 39) and emphasizes that no one has any protector beyond or apart from God (vv. 8– 9, 29, 44, 46).


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