This partial Mamluk Qur’an from the 14th Century is an exciting addition to the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center’s (SCUA’s) growing Medieval and Early Print Studies collection.The volume of 53 leaves makes up juz’ 16, one of 30 divisions of the Qur’an, all equal length and meant to help reading the Qur’an in its entirety in a single month. Juz’ 16, known as Qala ‘Alam, spans three chapters and includes the Israelites’ exodus and crossing of the Red Sea. This juz’, along with the other 29, were probably created for a member of the Mamluk courts, and since the Mamluk empire occupied a region that overlaps modern Egypt, it’s likely the Qur’an was created there. The manuscript features fine muhaqqaq calligraphic script, gold borders, and exquisite decoration including arabesque designs, medallions, and gold rondels. While not SCUA’s first Islamic manuscript, the Mamluk Qur’an represents a continued effort to diversify our rare book collections, particularly the Medieval and Early Print Studies teaching collection.
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