The “Qur'ān Of ʿUthmān” At The Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi (Turkish and Islamic Art Museum), Istanbul, Turkey, From 1st / 2nd Century Hijra
© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.
First Composed: 21st September 2009
Last Updated: 3rd January 2010
Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:
Figures: (a) Folio 4a showing sūrah al-Baqarah - part of verse 30 to part of verse 34. (b) Folio 317b showing sūrah Fāṭir - verse 44 to the end, and sūrah Yāsīn - from the beginning until part of verse 7. (c) Folio 419a showing sūrah al-Muddathir - part of verse 31 to part of verse 56. (d) Folio 432b showing sūrah al-Ḍuḥa - part of verse 4 to end. Sūrah al-Sharh - from the beginning until the end. Sūrah Tīn - from the beginning until end of verse 3. (e) Folio 439 say "Katabah ʿUthmān bin ʿAffān fī sanat thalathyn".
Late 1st century / early 2nd century of hijra. Two folios (183b, 439) of this manuscript were published by Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn al-Munajjid. A facsimile edition of this manuscript was prepared by Dr. Tayyar Altikulaç in the year 2007. A folio of this manuscript was also published recently by Seracettin Şahin.
Interestingly, on the last folio (no. 439) of the manuscript is written in kufic script “katabahu ʿUthmān bin ʿAffān fī sanat thalathyn” (“ʿUthmān bin ʿAffān wrote in the year 30 AH”). However, the script and ornamentation negates this possibility. Dr. Altikulaç considers this manuscript to be from second half of 1st century or first half of 2nd century hijra. He thinks that it is a Basran muṣḥaf which does not fully confirm with any of 7 or 10 mutawatir readings in terms of dotting or vowelization. It was written, therefore, before the standardization and spread of famous readings. Likewise, Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn al-Munajjid did not consider this manuscript to be from the time of caliph ʿUthmān and dates it to second half of 1st century hijra. According to him, this manuscript is the "earliest muṣḥaf we have seen".
The dating of this manuscript to late 1st century / early 2nd century of hijra is also supported by the fact that the script in this manuscript has interesting similarities to that of codex Mixt. 917, which is also dated to similar time period.
TIEM Inv. No. 457 (‘Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi Inv. No. 457’) .
Size & Folios
Total number of folios: 439. Only 17 folios are missing out of which 14 folios are restored by a later hand, by Dāwūd bin ʿAlī al-Kaylānī on 3rd December, 1437 CE. These folios are 1, 38, 91, 120, 139, 222, 299, 308, 408, 415, 427, 436, 437, 438. The other three missing folios are the ones after folio nos. 9, 215, 406. Size: 32 cm x 23 cms. Written area: 22 cm x 16 cm. Thickness: 13 cm.
History Of The Manuscript
Very little information is available. Transferred from the Aya Sofiya library to the Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi on 30th March, 1912 CE. It was here the manuscript was given the accession no. 457. Remains there till date. Its origins and when it arrived at the Aya Sofia library is unknown. On the first folio, a waqf seal of the Ottoman Sultan Mahmoud I (1730-1754 CE) is present.
Script & Ornamentation
The manuscript is written on gazelle skin. On the other hand, the folios restored in 1437 CE are made of paper.
There are 15 lines per folio except three folios, viz., f. 184a has 16 lines; f. 405a has 14 lines; f. 406a has 13 lines and f. 406b has 14 lines. The folios restored in 1437 CE folios have between 7 and 10 lines per page. The verse endings are marked by a set of diagonal dashes; every fifth verse is marked with a golden ‘d’ shaped character. Every tenth verse is marked with a patterned circular gold medallion connected by blue, green, and red dots [Figures (c) and (d)]. The consonants are frequently differentiated by dashes. The beginning of the sūrah, number of verses and whether Makki or Madani are indicated in gold [Figures (b) and (d)]. It appears that this sūrah separator along with the marking of every fifth verse was done by a different (later?) hand.
On the last folio (no. 439) of the manuscript is written in kufic script “katabahu ʿUthmān bin ʿAffān fī sanat thalathyn”. This statement is enclosed inside a highly ornate rectangular box with a semicircle jutting out from its left hand side [Figure (e)]. This appears to be a floor design of a mosque with mihrab.
There are good number of other Qur'ans [such as the ones at St. Petersburg, Istanbul, two in Cairo (al-Hussein mosque and Dār al-Kutub) and Samarqand] having at times turned up in different parts of the Islamic world, almost all purporting to show the traces of the blood of the third caliph ʿUthmān upon certain pages, and thus the genuine ʿUthmānic Qur'an, the imām, which he was reading at the time of his death. Taking into account the palaeographic considerations, this Qur'an does not belong to time of the third caliph ʿUthmān.
The contents of the manuscript, as tabulated below, are gathered from the facsimile edition.
|Folios||Qur'anic Sūrah||Image Publication||Comments|
|1b||al-Fātiḥah||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 1b is written in a later hand.|
|1b -34a||al-Baqarah||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 1b is written in a later hand.|
|34a - 54a||āl-ʿImrān||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 38a, 38b are written in a later hand.|
|54a - 75b||al-Nisā||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|75b - 91b||al-Mā'idah||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 91a, 91b are written in a later hand.|
|91b - 108a||al-Anʿām||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 91b is written in a later hand.|
|108a - 127a||al-Aʿrāf||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 120a, 120b are written in a later hand.|
|127a - 134a||al-Anfāl||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|134a - 148b||Tawbah||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 139a, 139b are written in a later hand.|
|148b - 159a||Yūnus||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|159a - 169b||Hūd||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|169b - 179b||Yūsuf||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|179b - 183b||al-Rʿad||Altikulaç, 2007; Al-Munajjid, 1972 (f. 183b)||-|
|184a - 188b||Ibrāhīm||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|188b - 192a||al-Ḥijr||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|192a - 202a||al-Nahl||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|202a - 211b||al-Isrāʾ||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|211a - 218b||al-Kahf||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|218b - 223b||Maryam||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 222a, 222b are written in a later hand.|
|223b - 231a||Ṭāhā||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|231a - 237b||al-Anbiyā||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|237b - 244b||al-Ḥajj||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|244b - 250b||al-Muʾminūn||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|250b - 258a||al-Nūr||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|258a - 263b||al-Furqān||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|263b - 271a||al-Shuʿarā||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|271a - 277b||al-Naml||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|277b - 285b||al-Qaṣaṣ||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|285b - 291a||al-ʿAnkabūt||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|291a - 296a||al-Rūm||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|296a - 299a||Luqmān||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 299a is written in a later hand.|
|299a - 301a||al-Sajdah||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 299a, 299b are written in a later hand.|
|301a - 308b||al-Aḥzāb||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 308a, 308b are written in a later hand.|
|308b - 313b||Sabʾ||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 308b is written in a later hand.|
|313b - 317b||Fāṭir||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|317b - 321b||Yāsīn||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|321b - 326b||al-Ṣāffāt||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|326b - 331a||Ṣād||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|331a - 337b||al-Zumar||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|337b - 344b||Ghāfir||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|344b - 349a||Fussilat||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|349a - 353b||al-Shūra||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|353b - 358b||al-Zukhruf||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|358b - 360b||al-Dukhān||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|360b - 363a||al-Jāthiya||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|363a - 367a||al-Aḥqāf||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|367a - 370a||Muḥammad||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|370a - 373b||al-Fataḥ||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|373b - 375b||al-Ḥujurāt||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|375b - 377b||Qāf||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|377b - 379b||al-Dhāriyāt||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|379b - 381b||al-Ṭūr||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|381b - 383b||al-Najm||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|383b - 385b||al-Qamar||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|385b - 388a||al-Raḥmān||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|388a - 390a||al-Wāqiʿah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|390a - 393b||al-Ḥadid||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|393b - 396a||al-Mujādilah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|396a - 398b||al-Ḥashr||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|399a - 400b||al-Mumtaḥinah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|400b - 402a||al-Ṣaff||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|402a - 403a||al-Jumuʿah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|403a - 404a||al-Munāfiqūn||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|404a - 406a||al-Taghābūn||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|406a - 407b||al-Talāq||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|408a - 409a||al-Tahrīm||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 408a, 408b are written in a later hand.|
|409a - 410a||al-Mulk||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|410a - 411b||al-Qalam||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|411b - 413a||al-Ḥaqqah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|413a - 414a||al-Maʿārij||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|414a - 415b||Nūḥ||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 415a, 415b are written in a later hand.|
|415b - 417a||al-Jinn||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 415b is written in a later hand|
|417a - 418a||al-Muzzammil||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|418a - 419b||al-Muddathir||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|419b - 420a||al-Qiyāmah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|420a - 421b||al-Insān||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|421b - 422b||al-Mursalāt||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|422b - 423b||al-Nabāʾ||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|423b - 424b||al-Nāziʿāt||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|424b - 425a||al-ʿAbasa||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|425a - 426a||al-Takwīr||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|426a - 426b||al-Intifār||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|426b - 427b||al-Mutaffifīn||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 427a, 427b are written in a later hand.|
|427b - 428a||al-Inshiqāq||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 427b is written in a later hand.|
|428a - 428b||al-Burūj||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|428b - 429a||al-Tāriq||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|429a - 429b||al-ʿAlā||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|429b - 430a||al-Ghāshīyah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|430a - 431a||al-Fajr||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|431a - 431b||al-Balad||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|431b - 432a||al-Layl||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|432a - 432b||al-Ḍuḥa||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|432b - 433a||al-Tīn||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|433a - 433b||al-ʿAlaq||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|433b - 434a||al-Bayyinah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|434a - 434b||al-Zalzalah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|434b - 435a||al-Qāriʿah||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|435a - 435b||al-ʿAsr||Altikulaç, 2007||-|
|435b - 436a||al-Fīl||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 436a is written in a later hand.|
|436b||al-Quraysh||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 436b is written in a later hand.|
|436b||al-Māʿun||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 436b is written in a later hand.|
|437a||al-Kawthar||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 437a is written in a later hand.|
|437a||al-Kafirūn||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 437a is written in a later hand.|
|437a - 437b||al-Naṣr||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folios 437a and 437b are written in a later hand.|
|437b||al-Masad||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 437b is written in a later hand.|
|437b||al-Ikhlās||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 437b is written in a later hand.|
|438a||al-Falaq||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 438a is written in a later hand.|
|438a||al-Nās||Altikulaç, 2007||Missing folio 438a is written in a later hand.|
Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi (Turkish and Islamic Art Museum), Istanbul, Turkey.
 S. al-Munajjid, Dirāsāt fī Tārīkh al-Khatt al-ʿArabī Mundhu Bidayatihi ilā Nihayat al-ʿAsr al-Umawi (French Title: Etudes De Paleographie Arabe), 1972, Dār al-Kitāb al-Jadid: Beirut (Lebanon), pp. 56-57, Figs. 26 and 27.
 T. Altikulaç, Hz. Osman’a Nisbet Edilen Mushaf- I Şerîf (Türk ve İslâm Eserleri Müzesi Nüshası), 2007, Volumes I and II, İslam Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM): Istanbul (Turkey).
 S. Şahin, The Museum Of Turkish And Islamic Arts - Thirteen Centuries Of Glory From The Umayyads To The Ottomans, 2009, Blue Dome Press: New York (NY), p. 23 (description), pp. 24-25 (picture).
 T. Altikulaç, Hz. Osman’a Nisbet Edilen Mushaf- I Şerîf (Türk ve İslâm Eserleri Müzesi Nüshası), 2007, op. cit., pp. 106-107 (Volume I, Turkish section), pp. 120-121 (Volume I, Arabic section).
 S. al-Munajjid, Dirāsāt fī Tārīkh al-Khatt al-ʿArabī Mundhu Bidayatihi ilā Nihayat al-ʿAsr al-Umawi (French Title: Etudes De Paleographie Arabe), 1972, op. cit., p. 55.
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