Books play an extremely important role in the Islamic world. Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam is based on a revealed sacred scripture, the Quran. Religious study fostered an openness to learning, and the Islamic world developed an outstanding culture of scholarship. Particular impetus came from Baghdad, both under the Abbasid caliphs (750–1258) and later as well. Many Muslim rulers owned fine libraries, and commissioned calligraphers, gilders, painters and bookbinders to produce exquisitely ornamented books for them. Calligraphers, who copied the texts in beautiful scripts appropriate to the text, were held in highest esteem. Bookbinders designed splendid bindings in leather orenamel, ornamenting them with various stamping, punching and cut-out techniques or paintings. Of greatest importance in the production of books was the introduction of papermaking, taken over from the Chinese, in the 8th century. In the West it is chiefly the books’ exquisite miniature paintings that excite admiration.