A FEW months ago, the oldest fragments of the Holy Qur’an were discovered. This discovery was neither in the country of ‘revelation’ nor the country of well-guided caliphates or even the not well-guided caliphate. In fact, it was not in any Arab or Islamic country.
The discovery of the oldest Qur’an fragments happened in one of the cities of the empire where the Sun used to never set. These unique fragments of the Holy Qur’an were found in Birmingham University, and the discovery has stirred debate in historical and civilization circles.
One of the experts in Islamic Studies says the discovered manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an could have been written in the very early age; it could be the Qur’an gathered by the order of the well-guided first caliphate — Abu Bakar Al-Sedeeq (may Allah be pleased with him).
The same expert — Jamal bin Huwareib, the managing director of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, disclosed he has seen the manuscripts. He believes the manuscript in Birmingham is part of the first comprehensive written version of the Holy Qur’an assembled under the order of Caliphate Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him).
Huwaireib explained, “The high quality of the handwriting and the parchment show it was a prestigious work created for someone important. The radiocarbon dating shows it was from the earliest days of Islam.” (Sharq Al Awsat daily, Dec 25, 2015).
Now, it is our role to thank Almighty Allah for appointing those who are regarded by some of us as infidels, to protect and preserve the first manuscript known on Earth to contain the words of Allah — the most glorified and exalted. In this manner, we can have the honor of looking at the manuscript the way Muslims in the earlier generations looked, read and learned the divine orders and prohibitions.
We affirm that this copy is not the only one in our era. However, the other copies we took care of ourselves, which were in the form of long beards and short cloths — masters of ‘takfeer’ (excommunication), prohibition and snubbing; those who oppose the constancies of life, knowledge, development and prosperity. All these forms were crushed, executed the way we carried out and fought anything good in life without our actions, words and behaviors.
Almighty Allah is the one who sent down and revealed the Holy Qur’an. He reassured that He will preserve it; and the preservation won’t be in our hands, but in the hands of the ones whom the fanatics amongst us regard as infidels. How paradoxical is that?
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil