JERUSALEM, ISRAEL.- A 10th-century Quran, unique in size and style, has gone on display for the first time as part of a collection of Islamic texts being shown at Israel’s National Library to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The 16 texts, all from the 10th through 18th centuries, are shown in a small room, with an entrance decorated by ornate flowers that resemble the manuscripts in the showcase.
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“We have opened a small, yet powerful exhibition of beautiful, rare Islamic manuscripts that tell the story of Islamic culture across a thousand years,” curator Raquel Ukeles said of the exhibit this week, called “Select Pearls from the Islam Collection.”
“Here in Israel, where Jewish culture is the majority culture, the minority cultures often don’t get enough airtime or space, and so one of the roles of the National Library, with its flagship Islam collection, is to draw attention and broaden awareness, and to make space in Israeli social and cultural consciousness to the culture of Islam,” she said.
Featured in the showcase is an exceptionally small and fragile Quran from the 10th century, only 68 by 37 millimeters (2.5 inches by 1.5 inches), which is on public display for the first time.
“It’s a fragile, but wellpreserved item, and what’s special about this item is it was written without any punctuation or vowelization,” said Ukeles. She said the book likely served as “a religious talisman.”