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Leaf of a Qur'an

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Left side (verso)- Sura 3 [Al-Imran, "House of Imran"], vv. 47-50 Right side (recto)- Sura 3 [Al-Imran, "House of Imran"], vv. 50-55 The text on the verso side of this page, translated below, is from Chapter 3, "The House of Imran," verses 47-50. It is part of the angel's annunciation to Mary of the birth of the prophet Jesus: "God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing He does but say to it, "Be," and it is. And He will teach him the book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel, to be a Messenger to the Children of Israel saying, "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird by the leave of God. I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by the leave of God. I will inform you too of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. Likewise confirming the truth of the Torah that is before me..."


1933, sold by the Persian Fine Arts Exhibit [1] to the MFA for $85.00. (Accession Date: December 22, 1933) [1] It is likely that the exhibit referred to here was the International Exhibition of Persian Art held by the Royal Academy of Arts at Burlington House, London, between January and March of 1931. See Wilson, Arnold Talbot, Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art, London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1931.

Credit Line

Samuel Putnam Avery Fund

Tunisian, Fatimid or Abbasid Period, 9th or 10th century

Object Place

probably Qairouan, Tunisia


H: 23.9 x W: 35.1 cm (9 7/16 x 13 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gold ink on indigo-dyed parchment




Books and manuscripts