Susan Worrall said: Explaining the context and significance of the discovery, Professor David Thomas, Professor of Christianity and Islam and Nadir Dinshaw Professor of Interreligious Relations at the University of Birmingham, said: ‘The radiocarbon dating of the Birmingham Qur’an folios has yielded a startling result and reveals one of the most surprising secrets of the University’s collections.
They could well take us back to within a few years of the actual founding of Islam.‘According to Muslim tradition, the Prophet Muhammad received the revelations that form the Qur’an, the scripture of Islam, between the years AD 610 and 632, the year of his death.
Ancient text The Quran manuscript covers two parchment leaves and contains parts of the suras (chapters) 18 through 20, written with ink in an early form of Arabic script called Hijazi.
The manuscript had been improperly bound with leaves of a similar Quran manuscript that dated to the late 7th century.
"The Muslim communitywas not wealthy enough to stockpile animal skins for decades, and to produce a complete Mushaf, or copy, of the Holy Qur'an required a great many of them," he added.
"This — along with the sheer beauty of the content and the surprisingly clear Hijazi script — is news to rejoice Muslim hearts," Waley said. She enjoys learning and writing about natural and health sciences, and is thrilled when she finds an evocative metaphor for an obscure scientific idea.
We are thrilled that such an important historical document is here in Birmingham, the most culturally diverse city in the UK.’ The Qur’an manuscript is part of the University’s Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts, held in the Cadbury Research Library.
"The radiocarbon dating has delivered an exciting result, which contributes significantly to our understanding of the earliest written copies of the Quran," Susan Worrall, director of special collections at the University of Birmingham, said in a statement. The parchment likely came from the skin of a calf, goat or sheep, the researchers said.Consisting of two parchment leaves, the Qur’an manuscript contains parts of Suras (chapters) 18 to 20, written with ink in an early form of Arabic script known as Hijazi.For many years, the manuscript had been misbound with leaves of a similar Qur’an manuscript, which is datable to the late seventh century.At this time, the divine message was not compiled into the book form in which it appears today.Instead, the revelations were preserved in “the memories of men”.The final, authoritative written form was completed and fixed under the direction of the third leader, Caliph Uthman, in about AD 650.‘The tests carried out on the parchment of the Birmingham folios yield the strong probability that the animal from which it was taken was alive during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad or shortly afterwards.