In a rare find, a Quran manuscript long held by the University of Birmingham has been assessed to be among the oldest in the world after carbon dating its parchments at the University of Oxford.
Radiocarbon analysis at Oxford dated the parchment on which the text is written to the period between AD 568 and 645 with 95.4% accuracy. The result places the leaves close to the time of the Prophet Muhammad, who is generally thought to have lived between AD 570 and 632.
Researchers conclude that the Quran manuscript is among the earliest written textual evidence of the Islamic holy book known to survive. This gives the Quran manuscript in Birmingham global significance to Muslim heritage and the study of Islam, a university release said.
Susan Worrall, Director of Special Collections (Cadbury Research Library), at the University of Birmingham, said: “The radiocarbon dating has delivered an exciting result, which contributes significantly to our understanding of the earliest written copies of the Quran”.