Discovery of the oldest versions of the Koran



Leaflets of the Koran, 1370 years old, were discovered at the University of Birmingham. These could date from the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

One of the oldest manuscript versions of the Koran, which dates back to the late 6th century or early 7th, was discovered on Wednesday, in the library of the University of Birmingham (UK). The manuscript pages were stored for nearly a century in a collection of books and documents of the Middle East, no one suspected their seniority.

The manuscript dates from the time of Prophet Muhammad

Originally of the find, the Italian researcher Alba Fedeli, who examined the text for his doctoral thesis. Following this, the university has decided to conduct a carbon-14 dating, which reveals a “surprising result” , according to David Thomas, a specialist at the university of Islam and Christianity.

As evidence, the analysis revealed, with a certainty of 95.4% found that the manuscript was written between 568 and 645 AD. Now, according to Islamic tradition, the Prophet Muhammad lived between 570 and 632. There is therefore a good chance that it dates from the same era. “The analysis of the parchment shows that there is a high probability that the animal from which the skin lived in the time of Prophet Muhammad or shortly after ” , says David Thomas.

The handwritten version will be honored through an exhibit

In detail, the verses of the chapters or suras 18 to 20, written in ink in Hijazi, an ancient Arabic calligraphic style, are reproduced in this manuscript, according to Italian researcher Alba Fedeli from the same Codex as sheets kept in Paris.

Following this unprecedented discovery, the President of the Birmingham Central Mosque, Muhammad Afzal, said that “all Muslims of the world would like to have the chance to see the manuscript” . These may be seen at an exhibition to be held from October 2 to 25 at the University of Birmingham.