I was reading Shame (1983) by Salman Rushdie, and came to this sentence.

Lost in the forest of new relatives, wandering in the bloodjungle of the matriarchal home, Bilquis consulted the family Quran in search of these family trees, and found them there, in their traditional place, monkey-puzzle groves of genealogy inscribed in the back of the holy book.

Is it a widespread tradition to inscribe family trees in the back of the Quran? The author refers to the back as a "traditional place" where they would expect to find a family tree. I couldn't find any other resources proving this fact.


2 Answers 2


Much like the tradition among Christians to record births, deaths, marriages and baptisms in their Bibles, it is, in fact a common thing for the family Koran to include such things as well. For example, Firoozeh Dimas writes:

Whenever a child was born in my father's family, my grandfather, Javad, recited a prayer and noted the birth date in the family Koran.

Similarly, in an article in Saveur, we find:

In December, Asghar will celebrate his birthday for the first time. Up until recently, he spent his life only knowing that he was born in 1986. He went by the the date January 1, 1986. During another brother’s recent trip to their old home, he found Asghar’s birth date, December 22, 1986, written on the back of the family Koran. A whole year younger, it’s as if Asghar is given a few extra months to pursue his restaurant dreams.

While Rushdie is not a practicing Muslim, he can be relied upon to be able to reliably report cultural aspects of Islam.

(Oh, one more citation from a site that blocks copying text: http://www.mohammadmossadegh.com/biography/birthdate/)


It's traditional for Christian families to record their family tree in bibles. I assume it's common for Muslim families to do the same in their Quran, but it seems impossible to google since any combination of 'family tree' and 'quran' brings back a ton of results about Mohammed's family tree.

  • Unfortunately, with no references, this answer is much less useful.
    – bobble
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 17:04

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