With Qur'ans: Books of Divine Encounter, Keith E. Small has written a rich visual history of the Qur'an focused on more than fifty manuscripts in the collection of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. One of the oldest and finest collections of Qur'an in the English-speaking world, it includes treasures from parchment pages from Islam’s earliest centuries to a highly adorned copy of the Qur'an that once belonged to Tipu Sultan, the eighteenth-century ruler of the Islamic Kingdom of Mysore. Beginning with a brief introduction, Small takes readers through the Qur'an’s origins. The book then follows the development of the Qur'an chronologically and geographically, treating in each chapter the themes of textual development, divine presence, and political and religious identity. A wealth of full-color illustrations facilitates an examination of the artistic legacy of the Qur'an, including the beautiful calligraphy that became the foundation of Islamic visual culture for centuries to come.
A lavishly illustrated historical overview,Qur'ans: Books of Divine Encounter brings together in one volume a magnificent range of Qur'ans, bearing singular insight into these beautiful and significant sacred texts.