Two Pages from a Qur’an Artist: Unknown

late 18th–early 19th century

Asian Art

These pages contain the last two chapters of the Qur’an, known together as the “Verses of Refuge,” since the text calls for protection from evil. The chapter titles are written within illuminated cartouches—a common Islamic bookmaking practice, particularly in Iran and India. Such exquisite decorations were usually reserved for the opening and closing pages of a manuscript.


Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper


1.: 6 1/8 × 3 9/16 in. (15.5 × 9.1 cm)
2.: 6 1/8 × 3 9/16 in. (15.5 × 9.1 cm)
framed: 19 15/16 × 14 15/16 × 1 9/16 in. (50.6 × 37.9 × 4 cm)

Credit Line

The Vera M. and John D. MacDonald, B.A. 1927, Collection, Gift of Mrs. John D. MacDonald

Accession Number



Qajar dynasty (1789–1925)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Vera M. and John D. MacDonald, Boston, Mass. to 2001; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
Object copyright
Additional information


On the back of page 1, there is a seal that reads: Year 1314 (could be 1935 or 1897) Muraji’a va taftish shod (referred and inspected).


1: Sura Al-Nās \r\nSAY: "I SEEK refuge with the Lord of men,*The King of men,*The God of men,*From the evil of him who breathes temptations into the minds of men,*Who suggests evil thoughts to the hearts of men --,*From among the jinns and men.\r\n2: Sura al-Falaq \r\nSAY: "I SEEK refuge with the Lord of rising day*From the evil of what He has created,*And the evil of evening darkness when it overspreads,*From the evil of sorceresses who blow incantations on knots,*From the evil of the envier when he envies.\r\n\r\n(Translation of the Qur’an used is by Ahmed Ali: Ahmed Ali, Al-Qur’an: A Contemporary Translation, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001)

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