Of Interest in InterNET

'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

  • 22 July 2015

What may be the world's oldest fragments of the Koran have been found by the University of Birmingham.

Radiocarbon dating found the manuscript to be at least 1,370 years old, making it among the earliest in existence.

The pages of the Muslim holy text had remained unrecognised in the university library for almost a century.

The British Library's expert on such manuscripts, Dr Muhammad Isa Waley, said this "exciting discovery" would make Muslims "rejoice".

The manuscript had been kept with a collection of other Middle Eastern books and documents, without being identified as one of the oldest fragments of the Koran in the world.

Discovery of 'oldest' Quran fragments could resolve history of holy text

(CNN) -- 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 Mohammed, is neither news, nor particularly controversial.

But in academia the history of this holy text is much more opaque. 

For researchers in Islamic studies, historical evidence dating the Quran back to Islam's foundational era has proved elusive. This has led to hotly contested academic debates about the early or late canonization of the Quran, with a small handful of scholars claiming that the book is a product of a much later (mid-eighth century and after) age of compilation or even confabulation, when 'Abbasid-era scholars rationalized and expanded the Muslim religious corpus.

We are not Charlie

Following the horrific murders of police and journalists in Paris on Wednesday, Muslim communities in Europe are facing the inevitable consequences. Mosques in France have been attacked and Muslims in Europe are feeling further reverberations, evident in criticisms of their supposed contention with freedom of speech, whilst governments continue to justify tightening measures that will ironically restrict freedom of speech amongst Muslims who condemn foreign policy.

The dominant voices in the mainstream media are focusing on perpetuating myths about a clash of civilisations: the Western ideals of freedom of speech vs the barbaric repression of the (Muslim) Other. Social media is abound with calls to ‪#‎KillAllMuslims, whilst all Muslims are expected to apologise, yet again, for the individual evil actions of murderers, and call out loudly ‪#‎NotInMyName, else their silence will be subject to scrutiny and suspicion and branded as complicity. At such times it is the Muslims who are always expected to apologise, a point frequently argued by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

New York Times


Before Malala

Malala’s extraordinary bravery and commitment to peace and the education of women is indeed inspiring. But there is something disturbing about the outpouring of praise: the implication that Malala is a lone voice, almost a freak event in Pashtun society, which spans the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan and is usually perceived as ultraconservative and super-patriarchal.

                                      Read more


Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyib, Chancellor of Al-Azhar University, issues a Fatwa or legal opinion on Shia Muslims in an interview with Egypt's NILE TV:

Q. In your opinion, isn’t there any problem in Shia beliefs?

A. Never, 50 years ago Shaikh Mahmood Shaltoot, the then Chancellor of Al Azhar, had issued a fatwa that Shia School is the fifth Islamic School just like the other schools.

Q. Our children are embracing Shia Islam, what should we do?

A. Let them convert and embrace Shia School. If someone leaves Maliki or Hanafi Sect, do we criticize them? These children are just leaving the fourth school and joining the fifth.

Q. The Shias are becoming relatives with us and they are getting married with our children!

A. What is wrong with this, marriage between religions is allowed.

Q. It is said that the Shias have a different Quran!

A. These are the myths and superstitions of the elderly women. Shia Quran has no difference with ours, and even the script of their Quran is like our alphabet.

Q. 23 clerics of a country (Saudi Arabia) have issued a fatwa that the Shia are infidels and heretics—Kafirs!!

A. Al-Azhar is the only authority to issue fatwa for Muslims; therefore the above said fatwa is invalid and unreliable.

Q. So what does the difference – being raised between the Shia and the Sunni – mean?

A. These differences are the part of the policies of foreign powers who seek conflict between the Shia and the Sunni.

Q. I have a very serious question that “the Shia do not accept Abu Bakar and Umar, how you can say they are Muslims?“

A. Yes, they do not accept them. But is the belief in Abu Bakar and Umar a part of the principles of Islam? The story of Abu Bakar and Umar is historic and history has nothing to do with fundamentals of the beliefs.

Q. (The reporter surprised by the response, asks) Shia has a fundamental problem and that is, “they say that their Imam the time (امام العصر ) is still alive after 1,000 years!”

A. He may be alive, why is it not possible? But there is no reason that we – as Sunni – should believe just like them.

Q. (Referring to Imam Mohammad Taqi al-Jawad AS, (the 9th Imam of Shias) the reporter asked) The Shias believe that one of their Imams was just eight-year old when he became Imam; is it possible that an eight-year-old child be the Imam? 

A. If an infant in a cradle can be a prophet (Issa AS), then why an eight-year-old child can not be the Imam? It is not strange. Although we may not accept this belief as we are Sunni. However, this belief does not harm their Islam, and they are Muslims.