The University of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, is the scene of what may turn out to be one of the most important historical finds of centuries.

It is there that what is described as a late-7th century copy of the Islam holy book, the Qur'an, holds some interesting secrets, for within the fragile pages, are the chapters, or Suras, 18-20.

While this does not sound like major news, it actually is, because these Suras appear to pre-date Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. This claim to age was furthered via the results of radiocarbon (14C) dating, which can only be employed on a once living subject.

The method is based on the half-life decay of 14C, and the less radiocarbon, the more ancient the subject. This is a common practice we archaeologists use in determining age of organic artifacts. The Suras were written on animal hide, which being organic, allows for the 14C method to be employed.

The ramifications of this discovery are far-reaching within the Islam faith, because it reinforces theories that what Muhammad had to say are nothing more than one man’s maniacal ramblings.

It “destabilizes” the underpinnings of the origin of the faith, according to Historian, Tom Holland, and points to corruption and reshaping the message of the Quran, “…to fit their own political and theological agenda, rather than Muhammad receiving a revelation from heaven” according to Keith Small (University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library).

As one can imagine, this is not sitting well with the Islam leadership, and they are promoting the findings as nothing more than blasphemy. One has to wonder why, if your faith has the potential to have been historically corrupted by a depraved nut, would you not want to right its course and get it back on the path of holiness?

Because, Islam is based on absolute power of its religious leadership and we all know what absolute power does-it corrupts.



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