At The Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston-Area Muslims Reflect On The Quran

Kufic Script Arranged to Represent a Sailing Ship, Turkey, Denman Waldo Ross (Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)Qur'an in a leather satchel, Northern Nigeria, Late 19th century, Denman Waldo Ross Collection (Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)Leaf of a Qur'an, Denman Waldo Ross Collection (Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

The Bible has inspired countless works of art: paintings, sculptures and murals that transform the text of Christianity into images. But turn your attention to Islam, and you’ll find that the religious text is the art itself. The pages of the Quran are often richly decorated, with elaborate Arabic calligraphy that balances visual appeal with spiritual significance.

A selection of rare and ancient Quran pages are on display at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts right now, in an exhibit called “Sacred Pages: Conversations About The Qur’an.” The pages come from across the Islamic world, but the exhibit also gives visitors a glimpse of how the Quran resonates among Muslims right here in Boston. The MFA asked 24 people from the city’s Islamic community to write personal reactions to a Quran page of their choice, and their words hang on the walls of the gallery alongside the works of calligraphy.

Sacred Pages: Conversations about the Quran” is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts until next February.


Betul Cam, an economist originally from Turkey

Rahman Oladigbolu, a filmmaker originally from  Nigeria

Laura Weinstein, Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The recitation you hear at the beginning of the piece is courtesy of Michael Sells. Approaching the Quran: The Early Revelations. Ashland, Oregon: White Cloud Press, 2007.

Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Host Meghna Chakrabarti introduces us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and brings us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

  • Listen: Weekdays, 3 p.m. on 90.9 FM
  • Live Call-In: (800) 423-TALK
  • Listener Voicemail: (617) 358-0607
Most Popular
This site is best viewed with: Firefox | Internet Explorer 9 | Chrome | Safari