In 2015 the media fell all over themselves with the announcement that the ‘oldest Qur’an’ was found among the collections of the University of Birmingham. Yet the breathless media coverage ended almost as soon as it started. What happened?
Simply put, far from confirming the truth-claims of Islam the ‘Birmingham Folios’ (only a few pages were found) did exactly the opposite. Consider the following: •The folios contained parts of the Qur’an that are obviously derivative (i.e. that can be traced to other sources), suggesting that it may be part of the material used to construct Islam’s holy book. •The dating of the parchment showed that it may come from before the time of Muhammad.
Both of these factors raise profound issues about a perfect book in heaven flawlessly transmitted to Muhammad and modern Muslims.
For a totally new perspective on the early history of Islam and its place in the modern world, read ‘The Mecca Mystery – Probing the Black Hole at the Heart of Muslim History‘ by Peter Townsend