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| by Rebekah Irwin

Special Collections

Here’s another item from Special Collections that eludes photography. A teeny tiny handwritten Qur’an.

Miniature Qur’an

Made in the Islamic “Hijri” year 1100 (corresponding to the common year 1689), this handwritten Qur’an is signed by the calligrapher “Sulaiman Abu, son of Omar the Preacher.” It was likely made somewhere in the Ottoman Empire, which at its height, encompassed most of southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Rather than a copy of the entire Qur’an, this diminutive edition includes certain Surah, or chapters. Could it have been a mnemonic device? To aid in memorization of specific passages? Perhaps it was a talisman, meant to ward off evil and bring good luck to its owner.

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