Quran against dating

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Fragments of an ancient Quran discovered in Birmingham University in July may predate the prophet Muhammad, thus undermining core beliefs of Islam, UK researchers told The Times on Monday.

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So while the dating process does not necessarily contradict Islamic tradition, it does raise the possibility that the book, or parts of it, was written before the prophet was even born, or during his infancy.

Ancient text The Quran manuscript covers two parchment leaves and contains parts of the suras (chapters) 18 through 20, written with ink in an early form of Arabic script called Hijazi.

The manuscript had been improperly bound with leaves of a similar Quran manuscript that dated to the late 7th century.

Carbon isotopes, or carbon atoms of varying weight, float around in relatively constant proportions in Earth's atmosphere, and all living things have the same ratio of stable carbon to radioactive carbon-14.

When an organism dies, the radioactive carbon decays at predictable rates over time, which means researchers can examine the remaining levels of carbon-14 to make age estimates.

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