Tabriz Qur’an Museum

Tabriz Qur’an Museum Tabriz Qur’an Museum

Among the most beautiful museums in the city of Tabriz is the Qur’an Museum.

Located on the site of Sahebalamr Mosque, in Tabriz, the museum boasts of a fantastic collection of Qur’anic manuscripts related to different periods of history, with a display of beautiful pieces of calligraphy.

On display are an array of miniature paintings, metal sheets engraved with prayers, intricately hand decorated penholders, and elaborate pieces of pottery.

Among the museum’s most prized possessions is a sample of what is thought to be Imam Reza’s (AS) own handwriting on a piece of hide.

Copies of the holy Qur’an by famous calligraphers are showcased at the museum, including handwritten works by the likes of Mullah Abdul Baghi-Tabrizi who was the master of Thuluth - a large and elegant, cursive calligraphic script, used in medieval times on mosque decorations, thought to be invented by the Persian Ibn Muqlah Shirazi in the 11th century CE. There are also works by a master of Naskh, Mirza Tahir Khoshnevis,which is a modification of the Thuluth calligraphic style resulting in a smaller size and greater finesse, according to Makanbin, the official West Azerbaijan tourism site.

Other works of prominence include: clothing adorned with the entire Qur’an inscribed on its cloth, an example of the smallest gilded Qur’ans, and a stone carved inscription is cuneiform.

  Sahebalamr Mosque

Sahebalamr Mosque, is situated in the city center and is among the oldest and most venerable of mosques of Tabriz.  The mosque was commissioned and initially owned by Tahmasp I of the Safavid dynasty.  

During the Ottoman incursions the mosque was all but destroyed.  An account of this event has been recorded in one of the works of Mustafa bin Abdullah, Haji Khalifa, a famous Ottoman scholar saying: “In the eastern quarter of the Sahebabad, adjoining the Soltan Hossein Mosque, existed another structure, but because it belonged to Tahmasp, Ottoman soldiers ensured its immediate and total destruction.”  

It was eventually reconstructed following the Ottoman retreat by Mirza Mohammad Ebrahim, the governor of Azarbaijan during the reign of Soltan Hossein (1668 – 1726).

The structure again sustained considerable damage in 1779, this time as a result of an earthquake.  

It was reconstructed in 1849 through the efforts of Ali Akbar Khan (the official translator for the Russian Consulate in Tabriz), and the Madrasseh Akbarieh built on the complex was established in his honor.

The structure is comprised of one central dome and two minarets, whose architectural technique and design are considered unique. Two marble ceilings are the only surviving remnants of the original structure from the Tahmasp I period. The Al-Jinn, Qur’anic sura is inscribed along one of marble ceilings, ascribed to the famous calligrapher Aladdin, also during Tahmap l’s tenure. The mosque is adorned with floral, decorative carvings in the arabesque style.  

The mosque is a typical example of Safavid architecture, and was officially registered as a national heritage site in 2001.