Study and study of the location of manuscripts in the museum of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi

Study and study of the location of manuscripts in the museum of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi

in the name of God

Title: Study and study of the position of manuscripts in the museum of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi, in the evolution of calligraphy (5th to 7th centuries AH)

  • Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi

Abstract: Calligraphy is one of the highest and most prominent forms of Islamic art, which has made significant progress in the 5th to 7th centuries AH. In fact, the desire for calligraphy in the Islamic period reflects the view of faith. The Museum of Manuscripts of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi is one of the places that has works and manuscripts belonging to the 5th to 7th centuries AH, which are important and worthy of study from the perspective of the evolution of calligraphy in these centuries. Evaluating and introducing the features of these outstanding works from the perspective of writing and decoration, along with mentioning their place in the evolution of lines, are among the objectives of this research.

Keywords: Manuscripts – Dr. Mahfouzi Museum – 5th to 7th centuries – The evolution of lines. Decorate.

  • Doctor of Philosophy. Chairman and Founder of the Anthropological Encyclopedia Center, Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural and Artistic Works of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi – email:


Study and Analysis of the Place of Manuscripts Available in Dr. Mohammadsadegh Mahfuzi’s Museum, in Evolution of Styles of Calligraphy (Centuries Hegira 5 to 7)


Calligraphy or scribing is one of the most eminent and prominent forms of Islamic Art, which has had noteworthy progress in the centuries Hegira 5 to 7. In truth, eagerness for calligraphy in Islamic Era has shown the faith-based point of view. In Dr. Mohammadsadegh Mahfuzi’s Museum of Manuscripts, we may find artworks and manuscripts of the 5th to 7th centuries Hegira, which may be of considerable significance with respect to the evolution of calligraphy in these centuries, and may have aptitude for study and examination.

The most important purpose of the present research is to appraise and introduce the characteristics and features of such prominent artworks with respect to calligraphy and decoration, and also to mention their place in the evolution of calligraphy styles.


Manuscripts; Dr. Mahfuzi’s Museum; the 5th to 7th Centuries; Evolution of Styles of Calligraphy; Decoration

The questions that this article seeks to answer are as follows:

1- What kind of calligraphy are the index manuscripts of the 5th-5th centuries, the Museum of Manuscripts and the cultural-artistic works of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi?

2- What is the role and position of the manuscripts of the 7-5 AH centuries of the museum of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi in the evolution of the lines of the mentioned periods?

3- What are the decorative features of the manuscripts of the 5th-7th centuries of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi Museum?

theories :

The manuscripts of the 5th-7th centuries of the museum of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi contain the prominent lines of the mentioned periods.

The variety of lines in the manuscripts of the 5th-7th centuries of the Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi Museum indicate their place in the evolution of the lines.

These manuscripts have various decorative features.

Method of collecting materials and method of arranging:

It is a method of collecting documentary and library materials. The content is arranged in a historical, descriptive and analytical manner.


The selected manuscripts in this research, from the perspective of manuscript historiography, indicate the type of calligraphy and special decoration of the 5th-5th centuries AH, which have a prominent role and place in the evolution of the lines of the mentioned periods. It is noteworthy that religious and historical themes have always played an important role in the composition of the pages, the arrangement of the text and the decoration of these manuscripts.


The fifth to seventh centuries AH is one of the most important Islamic periods and one of the brightest periods of Islamic art. And since Iran was the center of power at this time, especially in the Seljuk era, this period has acquired a colorful place in the history of post-Islamic Iran and has manifested itself in the form of a golden age. The rulers of the fifth to seventh centuries AH, especially during the Seljuk period, while using the traditions of pre-Islamic Iran, were able to establish a new civilization with different structures. During this period, various branches of art were able to reach a level of excellence and considerable progress, including lines and book design.

In fact, the close relationship between science and art is one of the factors in the development of art in this period. The fifth to seventh centuries AH is a period that has been able to best reveal the peak and development of the art of calligraphy. Because it has a dynasty such as Seljuk, so that in this time, scribes and calligraphers have always been encouraged and supported by kings. The Seljuks were a tribe of Ghaz Turks who lived in the plains around the Aral Sea and the shores of the Caspian Sea and the valleys of Sihon and Jeyhun in the Samanid era (Iqbal Ashtiani, 2008: p. 576). These nomadic and nomadic tribes became Muslims due to their proximity to Islamic lands and migrated to Iran from the beginning of the fifth century AH (Godar, 1345: p. 230). And very soon they expanded the realm of government, conquests and decolonization and were able to establish a world government and empire of their time (Dabirinejad, 1351: p. 70).

They were one of the largest and most powerful dynasties that, after Islam, brought most of the Islamic countries under the rule of a single government and state. And they were able to create a civilization called the Seljuk civilization of Iran, which is very important in the political, social and cultural history of our nation.

Common calligraphy of this era has been abundant, but artists have used two types of calligraphy, Kufic and Naskh, more than other calligraphies. The Iranian Kufic script in the Seljuk Qurans made a significant change. The existence of Seljuk inscriptions on the head is evident in mosques, minarets, domes as well as papers. Most of these writings in museums today show the evolution of calligraphy in the mentioned periods and also indicate the place of calligraphy in that era. One of the museums that was able to display these works so that those interested can do research in this regard is the Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural-Artistic Works of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi. In addition to collecting numerous manuscripts of Islamic periods, this museum shows manuscripts about the 5th to 7th centuries AH, which has a special place in Islamic periods in terms of the evolution of calligraphy and book design.

Most of the manuscripts of this museum are from the Quran and are part of the religious manuscripts and represent the lines of Iranian Kufi, Khorasanian Kufi, early manuscripts, Basil of the Persian school and…. Some of them are decorated with gold and sun. In the present study, while introducing the existing examples on a case-by-case basis, the description and position of these lines and their decorations in Islamic art are pointed out.

Influential developments on calligraphy and decoration of manuscripts in the fifth to seventh centuries AH

In the fifth to seventh centuries AH, we see many political-religious developments in society. Political and religious developments throughout history have always influenced cultural and artistic works in various fields. In fact, Iranian society at this time underwent complex structures, and a kind of interaction of political-military crises can be observed in it (Hassanzadeh, 2007: p. 42).

Observing a kind of struggle between the Iranian and Turkish dynasties in the mentioned centuries, can be considered as one of the prominent features of this period (Shayestehfar; 2007: p. 25). The domination and extinction of the Shiite dynasty of Buwayhid in western Iran and Iraq, as well as the formation of the Seljuk domination of the Turkmen tribes (Ibid., 2007: pp. 45 and 25). And tended to the Sunni religion, is one of the developments that can be considered influential in the field of calligraphy and gilding. Since the Seljuks, as a government that lived between the 5th and 7th centuries AH, first introduced themselves as the defenders of the Abbasids, this factor can be considered as another reason for the tendency to create lines and ornaments in that land. Appeared.

Political ideas in this period of time have always been influential in changing the style of various branches of art. In fact, we can see a kind of flexibility in decorating works of art (ibid., P. 45). The presence of a minister with a strategy such as Khajeh Nizam-ol-Molk in the Seljuk court has had a significant impact on the imitation of Iranian art. And this issue can also be one of the effective cases in Islamic art in the mentioned periods. Internal conflicts of the Seljuk dynasty, successive clashes between the Ismailis and the Seljuks, the deterioration of the Seljuks’ relations with the Abbasid caliphs, their inability to control the influx of a large wave of Turkmen tribes into Iran, the lack of a functioning government and internal corruption were among the cases. Which caused the defeat of the Seljuks from Khwarezmshah Aladdin Taksh and its division into different branches (Zolfagharian, 2005: p. 82).

The above-mentioned cases and the coming to power of the Khwarezmshahis are another process that has all influenced the formation of manuscripts and its decorations.

The Seljuks had a valuable share of Islamic art in those centuries. The concept of Seljuk art has been constantly studied by scholars for decades

O.Gerabar, 1968, PP: 627-29 Hillenbrand, 1999, PP: 86-110

Calligraphy and book decoration in the fifth to seventh centuries AH

The variety of lines of manuscripts of the 5th to 7th centuries AH indicates a kind of movement and change. According to Islamic ideas, the world is seen from a perspective that is constantly moving and changing (Najdat Erzen, 2008: p. 329). By making these changes, the artist’s mind can somehow confirm this claim and lead us to believe that he has tried to induce the nearness of God through religious messages by writing Qur’anic texts and using various lines and ornaments. . In fact, these lines and decorations best reflect the aesthetic values ​​in art. Islamic lines can be considered as prominent features of Islamic art

Othaman, Zainal Abidin, 2011, p 107).

In the fifth century AH, the Kufic script was used for inscriptions and writing the Holy Quran. In the sixth century, the Naskh script was also used alongside the Kufic script. At this point in time, it can be said that Muslim Iranians adopted calligraphy and gilding from the Arabs. In the mentioned periods, the Iranian Kufic script experienced maximum development and its gilding became richer (Esson Dimand, 2004: pp. 77, 78 and 79).

Decorating manuscripts in different periods, he wore different clothes. In the sixth and seventh centuries, the decorations of different texts appeared in a solid and coherent form, and the decorations usually played a role along the lines, especially the Kufic script (Zarei Mehrvarz, 1373, p. 128).

The Kufic script and its evolution in a decorative form continued until the end of the sixth century AH, but later it lost its pivotal role as a factor for expressing ideas and events and took on only a decorative aspect. Existence of thousands of Qur’anic manuscripts in Iran in Kufic, Naskh, Salat, Reyhan and خط scripts. It shows the devotion that Muslims have to writing the Qur’an at this time (Mohseni, 2002, p. 138).

Some undoubtedly attribute the origin of gilding and decorating Quranic versions to Iran and believe that this style of decorating Qurans and Quranic manuscripts has been taken from Iran (Imani, 2002: p. 62).

Remaining Qur’anic versions from the fifth and sixth centuries AH, especially the Seljuk period, offer a better understanding of the art of calligraphy and the decoration of religious texts. Because these versions express the tradition of decorating the texts of the territory of Eastern Iran (Kargar, Sarikhani, 1390: p. 62).

In the Seljuk era, the writing of the Qur’an was usually done on paper and the use of leather was relatively obsolete. Naskh script also became popular for writing Quranic versions. Horizontal cut also faded in the imitation of Quranic versions of the Seljuk period and was gradually replaced by rectangular cut (ibid., Pp. 64 and 63).

In general, what can be concluded is that the art of calligraphy underwent significant changes in the fifth to seventh centuries AH, the way of writing the Qurans and its important place in this period of time caused us to see diversity. And the evolution of Islamic lines regarding the writing of religious texts, including the Qur’an.

Introduction of selected Quranic pages from the manuscripts of the fifth to seventh centuries AH in the Museum of Manuscripts of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfoozi (case by case)

Among the manuscripts of the fifth to seventh centuries available in the Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural Works, Art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi, six Quranic pages are introduced and explained in this case, which can somehow express Objectives of the research and answer its questions.

The first Quranic example: a page of the Holy Quran, the handwriting and writing of the text of the Iranian Kufic script in the Persian region and the date of its writing is the fifth century. The mentioned text has golden verse flowers and the role of the sun. This text has about five verses and twelve lines. The artist here has tried to use color symbols. In fact, this example can be introduced as a prominent case in showing decorative lines. (Picture number one).

Kufic script is in fact the first perfection of calligraphy in Islam. This script, which was first used by the Arabs, reached its peak of beauty in writing in the second half of the second century AH. The Kufic script has always helped scholars to understand the importance of the letter structure of Qur’anic versions. At the beginning of this line, to any land that was entered, according to the culture and civilization of that land, it was influenced by the local line and became known as the same city and country (Kargar, Sarikhani, 1390: p. 24). Iranian Kufic calligraphy is a method of Eastern Kufic script in which the artist’s hand is open for decoration and has been used more than other calligraphies (Ibid: p. 24). In fact, Iranians use the Kufic calligraphy, independence and a new identity They give it, as well as gilding and decorating and using new methods in writing, it shows the valuable service of Iranians. The Iranian Kufic script was different from the traditional Kufic (Mohseni, 2002, p. 138).

The second Quranic example: a page of the Quran, the handwriting and writing of the Kufi Khorasani text on paper and the date of its writing is the fifth century AH. In this example, the artist has created a kinetic and dynamic force to try to show the impact of the early Kufi along with the changes made in it and to show a kind of unity and harmony in this line. The coordination made in writing this Quranic sheet has prevented eye fatigue. Due to the special balance and beauty that has been created in the text, the calligrapher has tried to evoke the power of the pen in the viewer’s mind. In this example, the lines have angles, and it can be said that the artist has tried to reduce his inner empty space (Figure 2).

The third Quranic example: a page of the Quran, the handwriting of the Kufi Khorasani text on paper, and the date of writing of the fifth and sixth centuries AH. In this Quranic sheet, the artist has tried to show the decorative aspect of the line in the best way with moods and angles and also to limit the empty spaces (picture number three).

Fourth Quranic example: a page of the Holy Quran, calligraphy and writing of the text of the original version with signs in the margin and the date of writing of the sixth and seventh centuries AH. Show at the mentioned time period. The text has the decoration of the sun and the golden flowers of the text (picture number four).

The word abrogation is an infinitive meaning abrogator. Because they used to write with this script, this script is an invalid. It seems that they have left the other lines and are satisfied with this line. Ibn Muqalla is the author of the Naskh script. (Kargar, Sarikhani; 1390: p. 32).

Naskh script is one of the original Islamic scripts, and has a special effect, beauty and gloss. Many inscriptions, inscriptions and manuscripts in Islamic periods are decorated and blessed with this script. It can be said that Kufi and Naskh scripts have grown together and have spread in Islamic lands (Haj Seyyed Javadi; 1983: p. 225). One of the reasons for the formation of Naskh script was in fact the ease of writing.

Othaman, Zainal Abidin, 2011, p 107). From the second half of the fourth century AH, the scribes paid more attention to this script in their manuscripts, because unlike the Kufic script, it had no distance and its writing was easy (Kargar, Sarikhani; 1390: pp. 32 and 33). .

The fifth Qur’anic example is a sheet of the Holy Qur’an, the script and writing of the text in the style of the basil of the Persian school, and the date of writing of the seventh century AH. This example has a Persian translation and the elegance and order of the basil script. The artist showed the balance to decorate and tried to reveal the change of line in the best possible way. In the upper margin, the special motifs and decorations of the Islamic period in the mentioned periods are quite visible.

Sixth Quranic example: A page of the Holy Quran, with Maghribi Kufi script and dust writing with golden verses, and the date of writing is the seventh and eighth centuries AH. Here, the artist has tried to show the style of the Maghreb Kufic script by limiting the background space, and by using decorations in the text and using colored Arabic accents in the best way, changes the writing and decoration during the seventh to eighth centuries. Show.

Maghreb Kofi is formed based on the name of the place and has been more common in North Africa (Kargar, Sarikhani, 1390: p. 24). The dust is a linear line, pure from the surface and without cracks, compact, compact, regular and clear, which is branched from the line of rak’ah. It suffers from hardship and weakness (Ibid: p. 54).


Manuscripts are considered sources of history and are not merely decorative. In fact, they are valuable and prestigious works that have adorned many museums in different periods. Each sheet of manuscripts can reflect the socio-religious and cultural conditions of the time of its writing. Their spiritual purity is considered. Quranic pages of the 5th to 7th centuries, copies in the museum of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi, contain divine sayings, which indicate the emergence of faith and closeness of Muslims to the one God. Some of these Qur’anic verses contain the Kufic script, which is in fact the most spiritual Arabic script. Other sheets have basil lines, original copies and…. Are . The linear variation in the mentioned cases indicates the writing changes in the 5th to 7th centuries AH. Most of these Qur’anic sheets have golden and floral ornaments and signs in the margins, which is a document about the decoration of religious texts in the mentioned centuries. In fact, by writing and decorating Quranic verses, the artist seeks the spiritual reflection of Quranic verses in the minds of the audience of his time.

When we look at this diversity of writing and the importance of the position of religious texts, we find that they can indicate that the fabric of Islamic life is formed from the verses of the Qur’an and has always been based on it spiritually. These Qur’anic texts, in fact, indicate that the art of calligraphy is first and foremost the product of the thinking of thinkers related to religious fields. When a work of art is formed in the mind of the viewer as a religious or religious work, that person reacts to this religious art in various ways (Diane Apostolos; p. 105). From this point of view, it can be said that calligraphy in the 5th to 7th centuries AH, regarding the writing of Qur’anic manuscripts, is considered a religious art.

In general, the Quranic sheets in Dr. Mahfouzi’s museum show the attention paid to various writings by the artist and the decoration of Quranic texts and its affinity with Quranic meanings, as well as in combining them with its way of life and policy.


Picture No. 1: A sheet of the Holy Quran in Iranian Kufic script, Fars region, fifth century AH.

Picture No. 2: A sheet of Quran, Kofi Khorasani, on paper, fifth century AH.

Picture No. 3: A sheet of Quran in Khorasanian Kufic script on paper, fifth and sixth centuries AH.

Picture No. 4: A sheet of the Holy Quran, in the script of the original version with a sign in the margin, the sixth and seventh centuries AH.

Picture No. 5: A sheet of the Holy Quran, the basil style of the Persian school, seventh century AH.

Picture No. 6: A sheet of the Holy Quran in Western Kufic script, dusted with golden verse flowers, 7th and 8th centuries AH.

Persian sources

Esson Dimand, Morris, Guide to Islamic Industries, translated by Abdullah Faryar, Scientific and Cultural Publications, First Edition, Tehran, 2004.

Imani, Ali, “The contribution of Iranians in the art of calligraphy based on the Kufic script”, the book of the month of art, February and March 2002.

Pir Nia, Hassan Iqbal Ashtiani “History of Iran”, Jomhuri Publishing, Tehran, 2008.

Haj Seyyed Javadi, Seyyed Kamal “A Journey in the History of Islamic Lines: Reading the Origin of All Awareness” Journal of Art and Architecture, No. 4, Fall 1983.

Hassanzadeh, Esmaeil, “Political Reforms and Instability in the Seljuk Period”, Scientific-Research Journal of the Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Isfahan, Volume 2, Number 50, Fall 2007.

Dabirinejad, Badiullah, “The course of culture in the Seljuk era”, Art and People, Nos. 124, 25, 1351.

Zolfagharian, Masoumeh, “Study of the most important sources and references of the Seljuk era (1) (general histories – early Seljuk period – lineage and memoirs)”, Sokhan Samat, No. 15, Fall 2005.

Zarei Mehrvarz, Abbas, “On the Edge of Literature and Art: The Historical Course of the Art of Illumination”, Journal of Jurisprudence and Principles, Endowment of Immortal Heritage, No. 6, Summer 1994.

Shayestehfar, Mahnaz, An Introduction to Iranian-Islamic Art, Published by the Institute of Islamic Art Studies and the Museum of Religious Arts, Imam Ali (AS), Second Edition, Tehran, Fall 2007.

Cappadona, Diane Apollos, “Art and Religion”, translated by Farhad Sassani, No. 7, November, Institute of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Comprehensive Portal of Humanities.

Kargar Mohammad Reza, Sarikhani, Majid, Book Design in Islamic Civilization of Iran, Organization for the Study and Compilation of University Humanities Books (Samat), First Edition, Tehran, 2011.

Godard, Andre, “Iranian Art”, translated by Dr. Behrouz Habibi, Tehran, 1345.

Ali Beigi, Rezvan. Charei, Abdolreza, “The evolution of the Kufic script in writing the Qurans of the first to fifth centuries AH and a study of its structure”, Nagreh Analytical-Research Journal, No. 12, Fall 2009.

Nejadat Millet, Jaleh, “Islamic Aesthetics: Another Way to Knowledge”, translated by Maryam Saberipour, Journal? , Ninth year, number 19, second half of 1387.

Non-Persian sources

o.Grabar, The Visual Arts. 1050-1350, The Gambridge History of Iran V, Gambridge, 1968

R. Hillenbrand, Islamic Art and Architectur, Landon / New York, 1999

R.Othman, Z.J.Zainal – Abidin The IMPORTANCE of Islamic Art in Mosque Interior. The 2nd Interational Building Control conference 2011. Elsevier.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published.