The “Damascus Umayyad Qur'ān” TIEM ŞE 321 1st Century Of Hijra

Islamic Awareness

© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.

First Composed: 26th May 2009

Last Updated: 27th May 2009

submit to reddit

Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

A folio from the codex TIEM ŞE 321 (the "Damascus Umayyad Qur'an").


1st century of hijra.[1] Déroche arrived at this dating by studying illumination, script, the 10-bifolio quire structure, direct relation of the ornaments used in the manuscript with the mosaics at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. He dates it to the time after 72 AH / 691-692 CE or more probably during the last quater of the 1st (early 8th) century AH.

Inventory No.

TIEM ŞE 321 (‘Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi Şam Evrakı 321’) .

Size & Folios

The codex has 33+ folios. It has the 10-bifolio quire structure.

History Of The Manuscript

This manuscript belongs to the Şam Evrakı (‘Papers of Syria’) collection.

Script & Ornamentation

Kufic or perhaps late ḥijāzī.

The script bears some similarities with the ḥijāzī. The ratio between the height of the script and its thickness is high and as a whole its appearance is close to that of the British Library's MS Or. 2165. Notice also that the writing instrument is slightly thicker than the usually associated with the ḥijāzī script. The shafts of lām and alif tend to be vertical although there are still some tendencies to have them slanting to the right; an exception is the shaft of the letter ṭāʾ / ẓāʾ which remains oblique. Compare this manuscript with the “Great Umayyad Qur'ān”, DAM 20-33.1, from Ṣanʿāʾ.

The letters are spread over the entire page due to an extensive use of elongation of horizontal connections or to a regular spacing of the letters or groups of letters irrespective of being part of the word or not. Just like what is found in the ḥijāzī manuscripts of the Qur'an, words can be divided at the end of the line when there is not enough space left, provided that the word includes a letter which does not require connection with the next one.

The sūrah headings are illuminated. The illumination of this Qur'an relies on motifs which find their parallels with the mosaics of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.


Below are the published folios of this codex.[1]

Folio Number Qur'anic Surah Size of the Folio (cm.) Image Publication
33v 31:33 – 32:4 – x – Déroche, 2002


Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi (Turkish and Islamic Art Museum), Istanbul, Turkey.

Bookmark and Share


[1] F. Déroche, "New Evidence About Umayyad Book Hands" in Essays In Honour Of Ṣalāḥ Al-Dīn Al-Munajjid, 2002, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation Publication: No. 70, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation: London (UK), pp. 629, 632, 634, 640 and Fig. 11.

The images above are reproduced from the stated sources under the provisions of the copyright law. This allows for the reproduction of portions of copyrighted material for non-commercial, educational purposes.

With the exception for those images which have passed into the public domain, the use of these images for commercial purposes is expressly prohibited without the consent of the copyright holder.

Back To The Qur'anic Manuscripts