This collection brings together for the first time the Arabic manuscripts stemming from the British Museum Library with the less well-known collection from the former India Office Library.
This section includes not only the complete work but also individual sections of the Qur’anic text and, in some cases, single pages of calligraphic importance. It contains works on the accepted reading traditions of the Qur’anic text and the specific rules of recitation. This section includes lexicographical works relating specifically to the Qur’an as well as mystical interpretations of the Qur’anic text. General works on Qur’anic science are also included.
The Holy Qur’an
• One of the oldest Qur’an codices in the world in ma’il ’slanting’ script dated early 2nd/8th century
• 28 manuscripts from the 10th century or earlier; a further 29 dating from before 700/1300
• The complete gold Qur’an copied for the Mamluk Sultan Baybars II in 704-5/1304-6
• Qur’ans copied for royal patrons: for the Il-Khanid Sultan Uljaytu in 710/1310, for the Mamluk Sultan Faraj ibn Barquq in the 14th century, for the Sharifi Sultan of Morocco in the 16th century, and for Tipu Sultan … read morein the 18th century
• Qur’ans from Indian royal libraries: the Royal Library at Delhi, the library of Muhammad Qutb Shah of Golconda, of the Nawabs of Oudh
• Over 200 manuscripts on the reading and recital of the Holy Qur’an are al-Quhundizi’s Sharh al-ghayah fi qira’at al-’ashr (443/1051) and al-Baghdadi’s al-Mustanir al-zahir fi al-qira’at ’asharah al-bawahir (540/1145)
• Almost 400 commentaries including the works of al-Baydawi, al-Baghawi, Ibn Sina, al-Nasafi, al-Razi, al-Suyuti, al-Tabarsi, al-Tha’alibi, and al-Wahidi
• Early copies of al-Sulami’s Haqa’iq al-tafsir (564/1169), al-Nisaburi’s Tafsir al-basa’ir (577/1181), al-Rummani’s al-Jami’ al-kabir fi-tafsir al-Qur’an (6th/12th c.), and al-Zamakhshari’s al-Kashshaf ’an haqa’iq al-tanzil (676/1277)