Birmingham Quran manuscript
Leaves from an ancient Quran manuscript that have been housed at the rare book collections of the University of Birmingham in the U. That puts the fragmented parchment among the oldest copies of the Islamic holy book in the world, notes Maev Kennedy for The Guardian. For most of the intervening years, the fragments remained hidden in another document carbon dating quran by Mingana until recently, when Alba Fedeli, a researcher who was studying the text, noticed the script was out of sync with the rest of the text, explains Dan Bilefsky for the New York Times.
Whoever wrote the text used ink and a type of script called Hijazi to inscribe part of Suras or chapters 18 to 20 of the Quran onto pieces of goat or sheep skin. Their tests put the age of the parchment between and Carbon dating quran. The script might have even written around the time of the founding of Islam and soon after lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, who is to have lived between and AD.
David Thomas, a theological researcher at the University of Birmingham, told Sean Coughlan of the BBC that the author of the parchment could have easily known Muhammad or seen him preach. According to Islamic lore, early Muslims memorized pieces of scripture and inscribed them onto carbon dating quran leaves, pieces of animal skin parchment and even camel bones. Around AD, caliph Uthman assembled a finalized version of the Quran.
Of course, some religious scholars are already expressing skepticism over just how old the Quran in question is. On his blog The New Oxoniantheological historian R. Though the manuscript is archaeologically significant either way, Hoffmann argues that one would expect to seem more variation in such an old version. Carbon dating quran Thompson writes about science and culture for Smithsonian. She's previously written for NPR, National Geographic NewsNature and others.
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