Qaran dating

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This new discovery may be dismissed by such voices as part of the global conspiracy to give Islam’s self-created narrative more credence than it deserves.But for academic historians of early Islam, the early stabilisation of Quranic text is one of the few areas which a broad spectrum of scholars agree on.In the words of the recently departed historian Patricia Crone, a widely acknowledged expert on early and medieval Islam: We can be reasonably sure that the Quran is a collection of utterances that [Muhammad] made in the belief that they had been revealed to him by God …

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It is this last point of controversy that the Birmingham discovery illuminates.Such discrepancies can usually be attributed to the fact that carbon-dating provides a reasonably accurate assessment of the date of the medium of writing—for example, the death date of an animal whose skin is used for writing on—rather than the date when of the writing itself.Yet, the widespread use of the method for dating ancient and medieval texts and artefacts bears witness to its importance as a powerful tool for establishing a reasonable range of dates for any given object.For the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, the idea that the Quran is a seventh century text disseminated by Islam’s founder, the Prophet Muhammad, is neither news, nor particularly controversial.But in academia the history of this holy text is much more opaque.

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