The Famous "Blue" Qur'an

Islamic Awareness

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First Composed: 22nd August 2000

Last Updated: 2nd July 2004



The famous "Blue" Qur'an. Vellums from (a) Rifat Sheikh al-Ard Collection, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and (b) Beit al-Qur'an, Bahrain.


Late ninth or early tenth century CE (c. 300 AH).


Each page is 37.5 x 28.6 inches.


The manuscript in (a) shows Surah al-Baqarah, verses 197-201.

Script & Ornamentation


This page is from a nearly complete manuscript of the Qur'an that is wonders of Islamic calligraphy. No more than three or four Qur'anic manuscripts on coloured vellum are known, and of them this splendid copy of the Holy Book is the most well known. It is a climax to the tradition of the vellum Qur'an in Kufic script.

The script is gold, written on blue vellum. The end of verse 200 is marked with a golden circle bearing the Arabic letter dal and also with a silver medallion in the lower left-hand margin. Each verse is indicated by a small silver rosette, now tarnished and hardly distinguishable.


Although most of the manuscript was originally in Qairawan, Tunisia, several folios are found in collections elsewhere.


We would like to thank Hussain A. al-Ramadan/Saudi Aramco World/PADIA for providing us the manuscript at Beit al-Qur'an.


[1] A. Welch, Calligraphy In The Arts Of The Muslim World, 1979, University Of Texas Press: Austin, pp. 48-49 has folios from the same Qur'an.

[2] Ni`mah Isma`il Nawwab, "Beit al-Qur'an", Aramco World, Volume 51, May/June 2000, pp. 24-30.

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