Item Number: 486
Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Al- al-Muʾminūn (The Believers)
Length: 14.5 cm x 20.0 cm
Frame: Dark brown wood
Handwritten Ottoman Qur’an manuscript dated 1298 AH (1880 AD). It is one single paper with two pages, and contains verses from Surat al-Muʾminūn (The Believers). The text is written with beautiful Arabic Calligraphy and bold letters. The condition of the paper is very good. The leaf exhibits foxing and worming. There is damage due to heavy metal in the ink but the text is not affected.
Considered to be from the Makkan period (Q), Surah al-Muʾminūn begins by describing the virtues and righteous actions of those who believe; it then moves to a reminder of humanity’s origin from clay and, reminiscent of 22:5, recounts a human being’s development starting from a clot of blood and culminating in another creation (vv. 12– 14). After several verses describing the blessings of the world, the sūrah narrates the story of Noah, his struggles with the denial and rebuke of his people, and his journey in the ark (vv. 23– 41). Brief mention of Moses and Jesus follows, after which the sūrah dwells upon the human tendency to divide into religious groups (vv. 42– 54). Having mentioned the difficulties presented to previous messengers, al-Muʾminūn turns to the opponents of the Prophet Muhammad; their reasons for opposition are similar to those voiced by the people of Noah, and the Prophet’s people are reminded that he is no stranger to them (vv. 55– 69). The opposition to prophets by the affluent and powerful is a recurrent theme in this sūrah, something also seen elsewhere in the tendency of the “notables” to oppose the prophets (see also 7:59– 136; 7:60– 62c). The idolaters are addressed in a passage consisting of questions and answers regarding the relationship between God and creation (vv. 84– 89); this passage provides a linear argument, a form uncommon in the Quran in general, against believing in multiple gods. The sūrah concludes by warning of the impending Day of Judgment and the punishment of disbelievers who, upon coming face-to-face with the reality of their perdition, will desire to go back to the world in order to do good instead of evil, though it will be too late for them (vv. 99– 118). The grand and awesome nature of the Hereafter will make their life in the world seem to them as a day or part of a day (v. 113).
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