Qur'an on cloth

Accession Number: 
111.8 x 241.4 cm
Materials and Technique: 

This unusual Qur’an represents the fusion of Persian and Indian art that flourished in eighteenth-century Mughal India. The text of the Qur’an is written in minute black naskh, termed ghubari, while red and black roundels indicate the start of each verse. In addition to chapter headings written in red thuluth, five large roundels contain the basmillah composed in black on gold and decorated with gold and polychrome illumination. According to the colophon, the scribe, Munshi 'Abd Khan al-Qadiri, began this Qur’an on 3 Ramadan 1130 H/31 July 1718 CE and completed it on 5 Ramadan 1132 H/11 July 1720 CE. The challenges involved in writing on a painted cloth perhaps explain the amount of time it took to make. This Qur’an was presented to the governor of Allahabad, Amir 'Abdallah. Although the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605 CE) designated Allahabad as one of his capitals in 1583 CE, its importance in the eighteenth century derived from its strategic location at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers rather than from its former imperial status.