Name of Object:

Qur’anic manuscript of Sultan Bayazid



Holding Museum:

Islamic Museum, al-Aqsa Mosque / al-Haram al-Sharif


Hegira 964 / AD 1556

Type of object:

Manuscript, leather, paper

Museum Inventory Number:

م/ ش/60 (6)

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Coloured ink on paper, illumination. The binding decorated with embossed and coloured leather.


Length 37.5 cm, width 26.5 cm, depth 7 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Istanbul or Kütahya, Turkey.


A Qur'anic manuscript with an embossed and gilded binding made up of two covers (front and back) and a library marker. In the centre of each cover is a long medallion with palmette shaped extensions. Surrounding the medallion, in all four corners of the cover, are four cornerpieces. The bands create a broad frame that encompasses within it decorative cartouches. The library marker has part of the same decoration of the covers. The decorative motifs on the bands of the cover, as well as the medallion, are composed of gilded vegetal stems and blossoms. The inside cover is framed by an illuminated spiral decoration and, inside the frame, by decorative forms in the shape of cartouches surrounding a medallion.
Folio 1b is the waqf charter of the Qur'anic manuscript. Folio 3b–4a forms the frontispiece composed of two identically decorated pages that form the axial junction of the volume. The margins of the spread are decorated with depictions of vegetal stems and blossoms as well as geometric lines, all of which are gilded. Following the margins on the inside, are decorative bands that surround each page on three sides, and which are decorated with confronting pyramidal shapes in gold and blue. These bands are separated from the written text by frames in successive colours. Following them on the inside, are bands decorated with ornamentation similar to the previous bands, but these are smaller in size. The text on these two pages is written in illuminated thuluth script, with six lines on each page. The lines are separated by motifs of violet-coloured clouds.
Each of the remaining folios is divided into five rectangular sections, each with a single line from the Qur'an, written in illuminated rihani script figuring in the first, third and fifth rectangular area. Four lines in naskhi script are written in the second and the forth rectangular section. Two sides of each of these rectangles are appropriated as two long sections embellished with illuminated spiralling vegetal decoration. The markers for every fifth and tenth part are symbolised by decorative forms in the margin; formed of a circular disk with an illuminated circumference, the centre of which is a circle with a blue background. The name of the chapter, the verse number and the place where they appear are accentuated in gold within an illuminated frame that has a blue background.

View Short Description

Original Owner:

Amir Bayazid, son of Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent

How date and origin were established:

This Qur'an is dated.

How Object was obtained:

The Qur'an manuscript was transferred from the Dome of the Rock to the Islamic Museum at an unknown date.

How provenance was established:

It is likely that this Qur'an was copied in Istanbul, where the endower resided, or in Kütahya the hometown of the scribe who endowed the manuscript, and who was also the Qadi (Judge) of Kütahya. His name is on the first page of the Qur'an.

Selected bibliography:

Farid, M., Tarikh al-Daula al-'Aliya al-'Uthmaniya [History of the Ottoman Empire], Paris, 1981.
Kalo, A., Al-Sultan Sulayman al-Qanuni [Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent], Beirut, 1991.
Nofal, N. A., Kashaf al-Litham 'an Mahiya al-Hukuma wa al-Ihkam fi iqlimi Misr wa barr al-Sham [The Uncovering of the Veil from the Façade of Government and Rule in the Regions of Egypt and Syria], Tripoli, 1990.
Salameh, K., Al-Makhtutat al-Qur'aniya fi al-Muthaf al-Islamu fi al-Haram al-Sharif [Qur'anic Manuscripts in the Islamic Museum in al-Haram al-Sharif], Paris, 2003.

Citation of this web page:

Khader Salameh "Qur’anic manuscript of Sultan Bayazid" in Discover Islamic Art , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019.;ISL;pa;Mus01;35;en&id=leatherwork

Prepared by: Khader SalamehKhader Salameh

Khader Salameh has been the Director of the Islamic Museum and Al-Aqsa Library in Jerusalem for more than two decades. He was previously employed in the Hebrew University Library and worked as a librarian in Saudi Arabia and as a teacher in Libya. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Ottoman History. He received a Certificate of Librarianship in 1986 from the Hebrew University. He obtained his BA degree from Beirut University in 1980. He catalogued the Manuscripts Collections of the Haram al-Sharif, which was published in six parts in several countries. His publications include many articles on different subjects and a recent publication in English and Arabic on the Qur'an manuscripts in the Islamic Museum.

Copyedited by: Majd Musa
Translation by: Amal Sachedina (from the Arabic).
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: PA 35