Oldest quran carbon dating
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If you have followed the news over the last week, then there’s little doubt you may have seen some of the following headlines: Fragments of World’s Oldest Koran May Predate Muhammad Birmingham’s ancient Koran ‘could rewrite history of Islam’Carbon dating suggest ‘world’s oldest’ Koran could be older than the Prophet Apparently this ancient Quran found in England is older than the Prophet Muhammed!
Well, does the Birmingham manuscript predate the lifetime of the Prophet? Or, if it does, then the case for its divinity is even stronger. The Birmingham manuscript’s is the only thing that has been carbon dated.
There seems some poetic justice in the fact that a city that is home to one of the most multicultural communities in the world (described without irony on Fox News as a “no-go area” for non-Muslims) should now, as it surely will, become a veritable Mecca for both non-Muslims and Muslims eager to examine for themselves these almost 1,400-year-old pages, which are offered in a clear, legible, even beautiful hand.
Certainly, the discovery will have its detractors, and no doubt these will be of two kinds.
It suggests an utter lack of intellectual rigor and seriousness.
There is no contextual historical evidence to suggest that any of the Qurʾān predates the accepted time frame of revelation.4.
But historians schooled in palaeography or philology (the study of historical language) can often find the evidence furnished by carbon-dating to be unfeasibly early.
There have been clear instances of carbon-dating specifying a timeframe that is undermined by a study of language (such as dialect or idiom), of script and of what I will call circumstantial evidence, namely what is known from written histories or from archaeological remains about the spread of texts and of ideas.
Diacritical marks are widely known and universally recognized as postdating the lifetime of the Prophet.
Now, we have examples of manuscripts where diacritical marks have been added by others later, and this could be the case here.
First, from those historians who are cautious, even sceptical about carbon-dating as a tool of evidence.