Oldest known Koran copy dated to early 7th century

Fragments of the oldest known copy of the Koran have been discovered in the archives at the UK's University of Birmingham.

Tests have concluded that the parchment dates to AD 568-645, around the time of the birth of Islam.

Koran Birmingham uni
The Koran was found in the archives at the University of Birmingham

Professor David Thomas, head of Christian and Islamic studies at the university, told the BBC: "The person who actually wrote it could well have known the Prophet Muhammad.

"He would have seen him probably, he would maybe have heard him preach. He may have known him personally - and that really is quite a thought to conjure with….

"The parts of the Koran that are written on this parchment can, with a degree of confidence, be dated to less than two decades after Muhammad's death.

"These portions must have been in a form that is very close to the form of the Koran read today, supporting the view that the text has undergone little or no alteration and that it can be dated to a point very close to the time it was believed to be revealed."

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