|This Qur'an is one of the few that can be directly attributed to this populous yet little-known part of the Islamic world. According to an inscription written in corrupt Arabic, the manuscript was copied in the city of Yarkand in 1246/1830 by Rahmatullah Ibn Abil-Ghiyath. In appearance, it resembles Qur'ans produced in l9th century Kashmir, a region lying immediately to the south of Chinese or East Turkistan.
The pages contain the opening of the Qur'an, Al-Fatihah (the exordium) on the right, and the beginning of Surah II, Al-Baqarah, The Cow, opposite. The text is in a large Naskh of a type found in 18th and l9th century Iranian manuscripts. Both the script and the technique of writing the text between parallel lines came to India from Iran. The pages are illuminated after the manner of Kashmin manuscripts, with gold wedge-shaped hasps extending into the four margins. These, like the blue backgrounds, are covered with multi-colored floral scrolls. The decoration includes several ling-chih shapes, a Chinese symbol of longevity dating back to the Ming period (1368-1643). These do not come directly from Chinese art but via that of 16th century Safavid Iran, where they entered the decorative repertoire of Persian artists. At the time when the Qur'an was copied Yarkand was officially part of the Manchu Empire but was in continual revolt and ferment. Indeed, the area was often in such a state, as seen by European travelers from Marco Polo in 1273 to those in the late l9th century like Aurel Stein and Sven Hedin.