New Publication – The Word Illuminated: Form and Function of Qurʾanic Manuscripts

Lizzie Stein's picture

The Smithsonian Institution is pleased to announce a new Open Access publication: 

Simon Rettig and Sana Mirza, eds., The Word Illuminated: Form and Function of Qurʾanic Manuscripts from the Seventh to Seventeenth Centuries, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2023.

The volume results from the symposium which was held in conjunction with the exhibition The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (part of the National Museum of Asian Art). 

It is available for free download at:

Print copies will be available later this year.

Learn more about publications at the National Museum of Asian Art here: 


Table of Contents


Massumeh Farhad


Introduction: Current Perspectives on Qurʾanic Manuscripts

Simon Rettig and Sana Mirza


Asṭār al-awwalīn: The Qurʾanic Handwritten Tradition and Its Beginnings

François Déroche


Ghaznavid Imperial Qurʾan Manuscripts: The Shaping of a Local Style

Alya Karame


Illuminated Qurʾan Manuscripts of Late Medieval Rum (Thirteenth to Fourteenth Centuries)

Cailah Jackson


A Luxury Market? Yaqut al-Mustaʿsimi’s Qurʾans

Nourane Ben Azzouna


Sultan Öljeitü’s Baghdad Qurʾan: A Life History

Sheila S. Blair


Mamluk Qurʾans: Splendor and Opulence of the Islamic Book

Alison Aplin Ohta


A Sixteenth- Century Shiraz Masterpiece: Chester Beatty’s Ruzbihan Qurʾan 

Elaine Wright


The Qurʾanic Soundscape of Mimar Sinan’s Mosques: A Survey of Recitation Programs and the Unusual Case of the Hadım İbrahim Paşa Mosque at Silivrikapı

Nina Macaraig


The Rise of the Enʿam: Manuscripts of Selections of Suras in the Early Sixteenth- Century Ottoman Empire

Simon Rettig