|A Few Golden Leaves|
From the Finest Manuscripts of the Holy Qur'an of Astan Quds Radhawi
The Holy Qur'an is a Divine Epistle, a miracle of the Prophet of Islam, the firmest handle, and the Rope of Power that guides the Muslims all over the world toward faith and stability. This Divine Book occupies the highest rank of eloquence. It consists the most remarkable parts of knowledge, wisdom, preaching, and civil and retributive laws which are regarded very unique in their type. This Book had left its obvious influence on the human's civilization, knowledge, and art.This Book of Allah had been written by different calligraphers in different Islamic shapes and styles, from the first time when the writers of the revelation began to write it by the permission of the Holy Prophet, according to his(s.w.) recitation, on palm's leaves, stone tablets, leather, wood, and camel or sheep's shoulder bones, until this era when styles like Kufi, Thulth, Naskh, Muhaqqaq, Rayhan, Ruq`ee, and Ghubar undergone a great change and became more perfect and got certain rules. Nasta`leeq style had also suffered from several serious changes especially in the field of writing down the Holy Qur'an. In addition to what has been said, the calligraphy of the Holy Quran was the reason for many local styles to be found, like the babari style in India. Although the calligraphy of the Holy Qur'an can be considered the only reason for the existence of many Islamic geographical regions, however, the writing of the verses in many kinds of calligraphy has its own feature and characteristic in the progression of the Holy Quran's calligraphy.
Gilding and decorating of the Holy Quran in the first era of Islam was simple and plain. Only the beginning of each surah and numbers of the verses were perfectly being decorated with saffron and other herbal coloration. In the end of the 4th. and beginning of 5th. Hejira centuries, the calligraphy, as a whole, has undergone fundamental changes and climbed the progression and perfection's mount. The pages of the Holy Quran were being gilded, inlaid with gems, written and composed, supported with double-tables and arabesque decorations, titles, ...etc.
It can be said that from these original scripts the art of fine calligraphy has been distributed to other books and writings. The utmost attention that the most skilful artists, calligraphists, and the experienced gilding persons paid to the Quran's decoration was the main reason, in fact, that many hundreds of the Quran's pages have distributed and reached a high rank of calligraphy in the world of Islamic art. This same method urged the Jewish and Christian calligraphers to take good care of the Torah and Gospel, and began to decorate their pages in the same way.
In addition to what has been said, good and compact binding became famous and well-known since that time. The binders did their best to keep the Quran's pages, and the Holy Quran as a whole, in healthy state, using different tastes, so that these unique copies and manuscripts of the Holy Quran may be conveyed safely from one generation to another. This care led the binders to invent the best binding materials such as Sukht, Mu`arraq, Roughan, Marghash and so on. The accuracy of using such materials in binding were at high degree that many of the binded Holy Quran's copies were considered as top works in the Islamic art of binding.
Moreover, the best producers of paper, well-known calligraphers, gilders and binders, all
have gathered their activity and organized a network group. This group did not restricted
its job only in copying and decorating, it rather produced hundreds of fine copies of the
Holy Quran spread all over the Islamic world and became remarkable in their type.