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Centuries-Old Qur’an Copy Found In India

CAIRO – One of the world’s oldest copies of the holy Qur’an, recovered by police in the south western state of Karnataka, is believed to be dating back to the period of Mughal ruler, Akbar, which existed at least four centuries ago.

“There is no information except that it is dedicated to the saints of that period,” historian Prof. Sheikh Ali told The Hindu.

“Though I have seen many copies of the Qur’an in India, I have not seen one as old as this.”

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The 410-year-old Qur’an copy, which is believed to be the oldest in the Indian subcontinent, was recovered by police in Karnataka’s Mysuru district.

A gang that bought the copy from an anonymous person in Hyderabad was intending to sell it for Rs. 5 crore, approximately $776,754, according to the police.

“When we learnt about them trying to sell the valuable book by sharing videos, a team of policemen approached them in K.R. Nagar posing as prospective buyers,” Mysuru district Superintendent of Police, Abhinav Khare, said.

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Historians described the recovered 604-page copy as a “piece of art.”

“It was written in 1050 of the Hijri calendar, which works out to 1605 AD, which is around the period when Mughal rule was at its peak in India and the time when Akbar was succeeded by Jehangir,” historian Ali added.

The Qur’an is a revelation from God, the creator of the worlds, so He is the original author.

The holy book is originally in Arabic, with many of its translations in several languages.

There could be multiple translations by different authors in the same language such as English.

The Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) through the archangel Gabriel who helped the Prophet memorize it, as reported in several authentic Hadith narrations.

In July 2015, fragments of what is thought to be the world’s oldest Qur’an was found in the University of Birmingham, with experts saying the manuscripts date back to the era of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),  some 1370 years ago.

The announcement followed radiocarbon analysis which proved that it was written in the period between 568CE and 645CE, with 95.4% accuracy.

Later on, Saudi scholars said that Birmingham Qur’an isn’t the oldest, denying the assertion that the copy was written during the era of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).