By Amine El Kounti
11 February 2016
Marrakech – The following is a reader
reaction to the original article “Birmingham Quran May Have Belonged to Prophet
Muhammad’s Friend Abu Bakr” by Morocco World News. (Given Below)
In his article, the author addresses the
issue of the discovery of an ancient copy of the Quran at the University of
Birmingham last year and claims that evidence suggests that this copy of the
Holy Quran may have belonged to Abu Bakr, Prophet Muhammad’s friend and one of
the world’s first ever Muslims.
After stating how the manuscript is thought
to have arrived in Birmingham, the author, based on the Radiocarbon testing of
the manuscript, suggests that the copy of the Quran may have been written
between 568 and 645 A.D., which places it 13 years after the death of Prophet
Muhammad in 632 A.D.
According to this test I totally agree that
this manuscript could be a portion of the oldest copy of the Quran in the
world. Based on the same test and according to the Islamic history that
illustrated how and when Muslims gathered the verses of the Holy Quran in one
book, I may not agree with the choice of Abu Bakr as the owner of this ancient
The Islamic history states that the Holy
Quran gathered in one book between 644 and 656, under the rule of the caliph
Othman. Abu Bakr became the first ever Muslim caliph in 632, ruling for 27
months until his death in 634 AD. This short period of ruling would not have
allowed Abu Bakr to collect all the written copies of the Quran, revising and
correcting them and the most important convincing the companions of the prophet
of such crucial matter (having the Quran in one book).
On the other hand, if we assumed that such
an early document could only have been commissioned by Abu Bakr, this does not
mean that it belongs to him. After the death of Prophet Muhammad many important
figures were still alive and may have been the owner of this significant and
honourable document as the prophet’s wives and daughters, the three other
caliphs Omar, Othman and Ali …etc.
As a university student and young Moroccan,
I like how the article is represented. However this topic does need a longer
and more detailed press report. Since this is related to religion, I would like
the readers to consider the Muslims perspective towards their Holy Book and the
big different between how Christians consider the Bible and Muslims treat the
Unlike many Christians that count holy
books as books written by people inspired by God, Muslims believe that The
Quran is the words of God. The verses of the Quran are memorized by millions of
Muslims all around the world since the era of the prophet Mohammad till
Unlike The Bible there is one version of
the Quran inherited from generation to generation back to the prophet Mohammad.
Any ancient manuscript that will be discovered will not be of any interest to
the Muslim communities and will be rejected if it has a verse different of what
we have in our present Holy Book.
Finally, I believe that too much emphasis
has been placed on dating the manuscript while neglecting its content.
Personally I would prefer that scientists ‘attention divert to the study of The
Quran as a text because Muslims globally from the very beginning have never
worried about the preservation of The Quran.
English in Media is a Master’s level course
in Linguistics at Cadi Ayyad University. The course aims to increase students’
media literacy and awareness of media bias. It also trains students to simplify
their English for better communication with non-native English speakers.
Morocco World News is partnering with the students of this course to provide them
with a real-life opportunity to use and show what they study.
Amine El Kounti is a 1st year Master’s student in the Linguistics and
Advanced English Studies program at Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech. This
reaction is part of a class on English in Media.
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without
Birmingham Quran May Have Belonged To
Prophet Muhammad’s Friend Abu Bakr
24 December 2015
Evidence suggests that the ancient copy of
the Holy Quran that was found at the University of Birmingham earlier this year
could have belonged to Abu Bakr, Prophet Muhammad’s friend.
Experts say this could be “the most
important discovery ever for the Muslim world” as the Birmingham Quran (or
Quran) had been lost for more than a century.
According to the BBC, the Birmingham Quran
was once stored at the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As in Fustat, in Egypt and it is at
least 1,370 years old.
Historian François Deroche who has studied
the U.K.’s discovered Quran, is confident that the manuscript is an “exact
match” of the one held at the National Library of France in Paris.
The manuscript is thought to have arrived
in Birmingham after some folios were resold in the antiquities market and
bought by the Assyrian Alphonse Mingana who brought them to the U.K. in the
Radiocarbon testing of the manuscript
conducted in July suggests this could be a portion of the oldest copy of the
Quran in the world, written between 568 and 645 A.D., which places it 13 years
after the death of Prophet Muhammad in 632 A.D.
Jamal bin Huwareib, Director of UAE’s
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Islamic studies said the
Birmingham Quran could have been commissioned by Abu Bakr, one of Prophet
“I believe this is the Quran of Abu Bakr,”
Huwareib told BBC News.
“This version, this collection, this
manuscript is the root of Islam, it’s the root of the Quran…This will be a
revolution in studying Islam,” he added.
In contrast, other experts are not so sure
the Birmingham Quran was written by the first caliph Abu Bakr, based on
analysis of the style of the text itself.
David Thomas, Birmingham University’s
professor of Christianity and Islam and Mustafa Shah, from the School of
Oriental and African Studies in London, placed the found manuscript at a later
date, between 644 and 656, under the rule of the caliph Uthman.
Yet, the Oxford University’s Radiocarbon
Accelerator Unit, which dated the folio, is 95 percent confident of the dates
revealed in their study.
Huwaireb believes this is a “priceless
manuscript” and the fact that it was found in the U.K. and not in a
Muslim-majority country sends a message of “mutual tolerance” among religions.
“We need to respect each other, work
together, we don’t need conflict,” he stressed, according to the same source.