Codex TIEM ŞE 12995 – A Qur'ānic Manuscript From 2nd Century Of Hijra

Islamic Awareness

© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.

First Composed: 30th May 2009

Last Updated: 31st May 2009

submit to reddit

Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

A folio from the codex TIEM ŞE 12995 showing the end of sūrah al-Nisā and the beginning of of sūrah al-Mā'idah.


Beginning of 2nd century AH / 8th century CE.[1]

Inventory No.

TIEM ŞE 12995 (‘Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi Şam Evrakı 12995’) .

Size & Folios

The folio has the approximate dimensions of 16.0 cm (height) x 22.0 cms (width). Only 22 folios of this codex survive.

History Of The Manuscript

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

Script & Ornamentation[2]


The text is written in a script related to the B I group of scripts, as documented by Déroche.[3] The number of lines per page varies from 15 to 17. The surviving manuscript covers parts of the 4th to the 7th sūrah, then a portion of the 26th, 39th, 42nd and 45th sūrah.

An interesting patterning of the coloured inks is applied to the last three lines of a sūrah and the first three lines of the next one. For example, the end of sūrah al-Nisā is written in green and contrasts wiith the first and third lines of sūrah al-Mā'idah which are written in red, the second one being also in green. The title of sūrah al-Mā'idah is in green, but the letters are smaller in size. As for the rest of the text, it is transcribed in an ordinary black or dark brown ink. The coloured inks seem to have been used as an indicator of the transition from one sūrah to another in order to draw reader's attention to it.

Four varieties of ink have been used for the copy of the text. In addition of the most common used brown ink, the scribe also employed a red, an orange and a green one. These inks are not connected with the beginning or the end of sūrahs. The usage of inks does not follow any rule or sequence.

As far as the reading is concerned, this manuscript is written in that of Ibn ʿĀmir.[4]


Below are the published folios of this codex. The information here is summarize from the scattered and at times incomplete information about the content of the folios.[5]

Codex TIEM ŞE 12995
Folio Number Qur'anic Surah Size of the Folio (cm.) Image Publication
2b 4:96 – – x –
3a – 4:111 – x –
4:176 – 5:2 – x – Déroche, 2008; Déroche, 2002[6]
12b 6:xxx – 6:118 – 6:xxx – x –
13b 6:xxx – 6:137 – 6:xxx – x –
14a 6:xxx – 6:143 – x –
14b 6:144 – – x – Déroche, 2008
15a – 6:157 – x – Déroche, 2008
16 7:3 – x –


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

Bookmark and Share


[1] F. Déroche, "Inks And Page Settings In Early Qur'anic Manuscripts" in S. Brinkmann and B. Wiesmüller (Eds.), From Codicology To Technology - Islamic Manuscripts And Their Place In Scholarship, 2008, Frank & Timme GmbH, p. 85.

[2] ibid., pp. 84-88. The discussion is summarize from here.

[3] F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition: Qur'ans Of The 8th To The 10th Centuries AD, 1992, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, Volume I, Oxford University Press, pp. 35-36; idem., Catalogue Des Manuscrits Arabes. Deuxième Partie. Manuscrits Musulmans, 1983, Tome 1: Les Manuscrits du Coran. 1- Aux Origines de la calligraphie islamique, Bibliothèque Nationale: Paris, pp. 37-38.

[4] F. Déroche, "Inks And Page Settings In Early Qur'anic Manuscripts" in S. Brinkmann and B. Wiesmüller (Eds.), From Codicology To Technology - Islamic Manuscripts And Their Place In Scholarship, 2008, op. cit., p. 86.

[5] ibid., pp. 85-87.

[6] 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. 634 and Fig. 14.

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