The colophon of our manuscript is very closely related to that of another Qur’an attributed to Yaqut al-Musta’simi in the collection of the Türk ve Islam Eserleri Müzesi in Istanbul which is dated to 1294 AD. Both in content and in calligraphic style, the colophon in our manuscript is almost identical to the TIEM manuscript (Inv.TIEM 505, 1400 Yilinda Kur'an-i Kerim, exhibition catalogue, Istanbul, 2010, kat.48, pp.223-31). The date given in the colophon of our manuscript of the first ten days of Rabi’ II AH 694/February-March 1295 AD is consistent with the lifespan of the famous Yaqut. Many Qur’an manuscripts exist with spurious signatures of Yaqut al-Musta’simi. If the colophon of the Qur’an in the TIEM is one widely regarded as correct, then that of ours is at least possible.
Abu'l Majd Jamal al-Din Yaqut bin 'Abdullah is thought to have been born in the first or second decade of the 13th century, probably in the then Byzantine city of Amasya in Anatolia. He studied calligraphy in Baghdad with one of the masters of the day, Safi al-Din 'Abd al-Mu'min al-Urmawi (d. 1294), who worked first for Al-Musta'sim and then for his conqueror, Hülegü and Ata-Malik Juwayni - the Persian historian and governor of the city. He became the librarian (under the direction of the historian Ibn al-Fuwati, d.1318) of the Mustansiriyyah madrasa in Baghdad - a richly endowed foundation which was established by the Abbasid caliph in the early 13th century. He was also protégé to Juwayni - and taught calligraphy to his sons and brother, Shams al-Din, the head of the chancery (sahib diwan). He died in Baghdad around AH 697/1298 AD. There are numerous manuscripts attributed to his hand but few are credible. Many of the so-called Yaqut manuscripts were penned in homage to the great calligrapher in the following centuries. A number of copies like our own manuscript were retouched and often re-margined on the order of later rulers. Shah Tahmasp reworked the illumination of a Qur'an manuscript endowed to the dynastic shrine at Ardabil and Sultan Suleyman and his vizier Rüstam Pasha commissioned the refurbishment of a number of Yaqut manuscripts including one in the Topkapi (Lings and Safadi, The Qur'an, no.47, p.247 and Esin Atil, The Age of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, exhibition catalogue, Washington D.C., 1987, no.13, p.54).
Our manuscript was probably reworked in Ottoman Turkey in the 19th century. Many of the sura headings, which were painted over at that period, show traces of earlier kufic and scroll work beneath reinforcing an earlier attribution for the manuscript. What remains of the original strapwork that surrounds the colophon of our manuscript is closely related to illumination found on a frontispiece of a Qur’an in the Khalili Collection attributed to Baghdad and dated AH 681/1282-83 AD (David James, The Master Scribes, London, 1992, cat. 11, pp. 60-67). The band of large palmettes below the colophon is similar to illumination found on a Qur’an fragment dated to the 13th century in the Chester Beatty Library (inv. Ms. 1446; Arthur J. Arberry, The Koran Illuminated, Dublin, 1967, no. 48, pl. 32). This again confirms that our manuscript dates to the 13th century and thus was produced at the time that Yaqut al-Musta’simi was known to have been active.