Birmingham Quran Manuscript
In 2015, two parchments of an early Quran manuscript were
discovered in the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern
manuscripts of the University of Birmingham's Cadbury
Research Library in UK.
The Mingana Collection has 2000 Arabic Islamic manuscripts in addition to other non-Islamic manuscripts that are of international importance.
The University of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit tested the parchments and dated them between 568 and 645 CE, within a 95.4% confidence interval. This makes them among the oldest Quran manuscripts to date.
Knowing that Prophet Muhammad lived from570 to 632 CE, David Thomas, professor of Christianity and Islam at the University of Birmingham, indicated that the parchments could be dated to less than two decades after Prophet Muhammad died.
The first parchment contains verses 23–31 of chapter 18 (The Cave) and the other one contains verses 91–98 of chapter 19 (Mary) as well as the first twelve verses of chapter 20 (Ta-Ha), all in their present day sequence in the Quran.
As mentioned earlier, the way of preserving the Quran does not depend on the time it was written or the availability of old parchments, but it is preserved by being memorized word by word from the time of Prophet Muhammad until now. Nevertheless, the above findings reinforce the verbal narration of the Quran.
The Cave Sura Al Kahf
And never say of anything: “Surely, I will do it
tomorrow", except [when adding]: “If God wills". And
remember your Lord when you forget something and
say: "Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer
than this to right conduct."
Talking about the people of the cave (who are known as the seven sleepers).
And they remained in their cave for three hundred years and exceeded by nine. Say, “ Allah is most knowing of how long they remained. He has knowledge of the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth. How perfectly He sees and hears! They have not besides Him any patron, and He shares not His legislation [or sovereignty] with anyone."
And recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is none who can alter His words; and you shall not find any refuge besides Him.
And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance.
And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.
And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve." Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.
Those who have believed and done righteous deeds - indeed, We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds.
They will have gardens of perpetual residence; beneath them rivers will flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, reclining therein on adorned couches. Excellent is the reward, and good is the resting place.
Solar and lunar years:
Verse 25, chapter 18 talks about the seven sleepers and states they spent 300 and an additional "nine years" in the cave. Nobody knew during Muhammad’s time why the verse didn’t state the total number as “309 years,” instead of the above expression.
Also, in Arabia, nobody knew at that time the difference between lunar year and solar/Gregorian calendar. The lunar year is 11 days shorter than the Solar one. The amazing fact is: in 300 years, the difference between the lunar and solar/ Gregorian is nine years.
These photos are of a cave discovered in an area called Abu Alanda, East of Jordan. It is believed it is for the people of the cave (commonly known as the seven sleepers). The Jordanian authorities built a mosque near the cave site.
Mary Surah Maryam
And they said: “[God] The Most Merciful has taken for
Himself a son".
You have said a terrible thing. The heavens almost rupture there from and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation that they attribute to the Most Merciful a son.
It is not appropriate for the Most Merciful to take a son. He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting. And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone.
Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds, the Most Merciful will bestow upon them affection.
[O Muhammad], We have made the Quran easy in your own tongue (the Arabic language), that with it you may give good tidings to the righteous, and give warnings to a hostile people.
And how many a generation before them We have made them to perish! Do you perceive of them anyone or hear from them a whisper (a sound)?
Ta Ha Sura Ta Ha
Ta Ha, We have not sent down to you the Quran so
that you become distressed. But only as a reminder
for those who fear [God].
A revelation from He who created the earth and highest heavens, the Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established. To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth and what is between them and what is under the soil.
And if you speak aloud, then indeed, He knows the secret and what is [even] more hidden.
Allah, there is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names.
And has the story of Moses reached you? When he saw a fire and said to his family, “Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance".
And when he came to it, he was called, “O Moses! I am your Lord. Remove your sandals, you are in the sacred valley of Tuwa. And I have chosen you, so listen to what is revealed [to you]."
Old Manuscripts of the Quran
There are many old manuscripts and complete old copies of the
Quran that have been preserved until our present time.
The most famous ones are "Othman Mus-haf" in Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul and Samarkand codex which is an 8th or 9th century manuscript kept in the Hast Imam library, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Between August 9, 1537 and August 9, 1538, Venetian printers
Paganino and Alessandro Paganini produced the first printed
edition of the Quran. The edition was probably intended for
export to the Ottoman Empire at that time.
In 1987, professor Angela Nuovo found a single copy of the Venetian printing in the library of the Franciscan Friars of Isola di San Michele, in Venice, Italy.
Later study of the single copy by experts in Arabic showed the edition contains a remarkably large number of typing errors, which would have made it totally unacceptable to Muslims. This confirms the fact the Quran is presevered by being memorized in the hearts of millions of Muslims since its revelation. As mentioned earlier, it is preserved by a chain of uninterruptable scholars. Old copies of Quran found in China, Spain, Middle Eastern and African regions from different periods of the history all match each others.
And your Lord has decreed that you do not worship except Him, and to show good treatment to your parents.
Whether one or both of them reach old age while with you, do not say to them any word of disrespect even so much as [“uff or fie"] and do not shout or yell at them but say to them good words.
And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! bestow your Mercy on them as they did care for me during my childhood."
Woe to those who deal in fraud [give less than due].
When they take a measure from people, they take it in full. But when they measure out to others or weigh out for them, they are deficient and they cause them loss.
Do they not think that they will be resurrected for a tremendous Day.
The Day when all people will stand before the Lord of the worlds?
And seek the dwelling of the Hereafter and do not forget your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world and do good as God has been good to you and seek no mischief in the land. Verily God does not like those who cause mischief. Quran, 28:77
Say: “Shall We inform you who will be the greatest losers by their deeds?
Those whose efforts and strivings have been wasted in this life, while they think that they are doing well."
Those are the ones who disbelieved in the Signs of their Lord and disbelieved in meeting Him, so their deeds have become worthless. On the Day of Resurrection, We will not give them any importance.
That is their recompense, Hell for what they denied and because they took My signs and My messengers in ridicule.
Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds, for them are the Gardens of Paradise to dwell forever, desiring no removal out of them
Say: “If the sea were ink for writing the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement."
Say: “I am only a human being like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone."