Oldest Quran in the World: The words of the Quran were originally revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in roughly 610 AD, which is when the Quran’s history began. Islam holds that Muhammad received revelations up until his passing in the year 632 AD.
After Prophet Muhammad’s passing, his teachings were transmitted orally until Uthman ibn Affan, the third caliph (the head of the Islamic government), issued an order in about 651 AD for the creation of official versions of the Quran.
In this article, we will discuss 9 of the Oldest Quran in the World that still exists in Mosques and Museums.
9 Oldest Quran in the World that still exists
1) Birmingham Quran manuscript
Location: University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England.
The Birmingham Quran manuscript is currently believed to be the oldest Quran in the world this manuscript consists of two leaves of parchment that are a fragment of an early quranic manuscript dated between 568 to 645 A.D. Researchers at the University of Birmingham in England dated the parchment II within a 95.4 accuracy. this
means that the manuscript may have been written shortly after the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) died, as he is thought to have lived between 570-632 A.D. The manuscript contains text from Surahs 18 to 20 and is written in Arabic Hijazi script
2) Tübingen fragment
Location: University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
The Quran fragment from the University of Tübingen in Germany has been dated to a period between 649 to 675 A.D this state means the manuscript was written about 20 to 40 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). pieces of the manuscript were analyzed in a lab in Zurich using modern c14 radiocarbon and dated within a 95.4 statistical probability. the manuscript has been in the University’s possession since the 19th century when first
Prussian Consul to Damascus, Johann Gottfried Wetzstein acquired several ancient Arabic manuscripts. the research into the fragment’s age was conducted as part of a project funded by the German research society and them corresponding French institution Agence Nationale de la Recherche.
3) Sana’a manuscript
Location: Great Mosque of Sana’a, Yemen
Until recently the Sana’a manuscript was believed to be the pieces of the Oldest Quran in the World in existence. the manuscript was first discovered in 1972 during the Renovations of the Great Mosque of Sana’a in Yemen. construction workers
uncovered the large cache of Quranic and non-Quranic manuscripts and parchments that were poorly preserved and heavily damaged. the manuscript was identified as part of the Quran in 1981 and since then, the Yemeni Department for Antiquities with help from foreign universities has worked to restore the fragments. it has been radiocarbon dated to between 632 A.D to 671 A.D with the lower codex stated with 99 accuracy to 671 A.D.
4) Codex Parisino-petropolitanus
Location: 70 folios at Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris. 26 folios at the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg, Russia. 1 folio in the Vatican Library and 1 folio in the Khalili collection in London.
It is a 98-folio Quran manuscript dating back to the late 7th or early 8th Century. the manuscript was found with
several quranic fragments in the Amr Mosque in Fustat, Egypt during the Napoleonic expedition in the late 18th
century, French scholar Jean Joseph Marcel bought several of the folios and Jean Louis Asselin Cherville bought a
few more pages a few years later. research conducted by Yasin Dutton suggests that the manuscript may have
been written in Syria as it is written in the Qira’at of Ibn Amir of Damascus, Syria. today parts of the manuscript are
preserved across four different institutions the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, the National Library of Russia, the Vatican Library, and the Khalili Collection in London.
5) Topkapi manuscript
Location: Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
The Topkapi manuscript was often cited as the Oldest Quran in the World for many years. Recent research shows that the Topkapi manuscript is at least a century younger than the oldest existing Quran fragments. the Topkapi manuscript has been dated to about the early to mid-8th Century and is a nearly complete text of the Quran. in that respect, it is most likely the oldest, near-complete Quran in existence.
6) Samarkand Kufic Quran
Location: Hast Imam Library, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
For several years prior to research conducted in the last few decades, the Samarkand Kufic Quran was thought to
be the Oldest Quran in the World in existence. the date the manuscript was written varies widely from between 595
A.D to 855 A.D. however most researchers agree that it was most likely written in the 8th or 9th century. this manuscript is revered by the Muslim Community as it is believed to be part of a group of Qurans commissioned by the third Caliph Uthman in 651 A.D. Uthman wanted to produce a standard copy of the Quran 19 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). this belief has been challenged by research that shows the manuscript came long after the 7th century.
7) Blue Quran
Location: most of it is located in the National Institute of Art and Archeology Bardo national museum in Tunis, Tunisia; 67 folios in the Le musée national des Antiquités et des Arts islamiques in Raqqada, Tunisia; one folio at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California, USA; and the other folios are scattered worldwide at various museums.
The Blue Quran is one of the most famous and beautiful ancient Quran in the world. the manuscript has been dated to between the late 9th century to the early 10th Century. it has been dated as late as 1020 A.D. It is believed that the Blue Quran was created for the great Mosque of Qairawan in Tunisia. The pages are written with gold ink on Vellum colored with Indigo, giving it a distinct blue color.
8) Ibn Al Bawwab Quran
Location: Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland
This Quran manuscript is a fully surviving Quran in cursive style nakshi script. this manuscript was written by an Arab calligrapher Ibn al-bawwab in Baghdad. this manuscript dates back to 391 Hijri.
9) Paganini Quran or First Printed Quran (1537 and 1538)
Paganini and his son published what was probably the first printed edition of the Quran in Arabic. this work was
likely intended for export to the Ottoman Empire with which Venice had extensive trade ties. in the end, the venture was unsuccessful. the entire print run is reported by various contemporaries to have been lost, though the explanations for the disappearance vary widely. however, one copy of this printed Quran was found in 1987 in a
monastery in Isola di San Michelle, Venice.