|These pages come from one of the best known copies of the Qur'an in Kufic script. The script is gold, written along fifteen guidelines impressed on the vellum with a sharp point. Prior to the text having been written, the vellum was stained blue, probably with indigo. The manuscript was clearly produced for a special occasion, as the use of blue vellum was not at all common. However, the occasion remains as yet unknown.
Each verse is indicated by a small silver rosette, now tarnished and hardly distinguishable. The text consists of Surah II, Al-Baqarah, The Cow, verses 197-201. The end of verse 200 is marked with a golden circle bearing the Arabic letter dal and also with a silver medallion in the lower left-hand margin. The letters of the Arabic alphabet had a numerical as well as a linguistic function in early times. Therefore the encircled letters occurring throughout this text appear to have been used for the purpose of numbing some of the verses. Although most of the manuscript was originally in Qayrawan, Tunisia, several folios are found in collections elsewhere. The folios shown here are unusual in that they are conjugate, indicating that they came from the center of a quire located in the first section of the Qur'an. There has been much speculation on the origin of this Qur'an, but it is now accepted as North African. According to a 13th century inventory of the manuscripts in the Mosque of Qayrawan published some years ago, there was a copy of the Qur'an on blue vellum which was probably the manuscript from which these pages came.