Do any of the original Qurans transcribed by Uthman survive to this day?(A study of the Topkapi and Samarqand codices) As virtually all the earliest Quran codices and fragments cannot be dated earlier than about one hundred and fifty year’s after the time of Muhammad it would seem most improbable that portions of the Quran copied out at Uthman’s direction should have survived, least of all whole codices or substantial sections thereof.A Qur’an manuscript held by the University of Birmingham has been placed among the oldest in the world thanks to modern scientific methods.Radiocarbon analysis has dated the parchment on which the text is written to the period between AD 568 and 645 with 95.4% accuracy.There are many references in modern Muslim writings to Qurans said to have belonged to Uthman, Ali or the grandsons of Muhammad which are said to have survived to this day.One cannot help wondering whether in such cases the wish is not perhaps father to the thought.It is possible to analyze the characteristics of the script itself to come to a rough date of composition, because the form of letters changes over time.Dr James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries notes that the script of the manuscript has a form of vowel pointing that is not present on the oldest established Qur’an manuscripts—the Paris and London Qur’ans.
We are thrilled that such an important historical document is here in Birmingham, the most culturally diverse city in the UK.’ The Qur’an manuscript is part of the University’s Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts, held in the Cadbury Research Library.
Nevertheless, Muslim writers often claim that Uthmanic manuscripts still exist.
As the Muslim dogma that the Quran has been perfectly preserved by divine decree is based not on evidences or facts but purely on popular sentiment, so it should not surprise a student of the early text of the Quran to find that this sentiment is often buttressed by claims that proof of the perfection of the text can be found in actual Uthmanic codices still in existence.
Researchers in the UK have discovered fragments of the Quran that were radiocarbon dated to within 20 years or less of Muhammad’s death in 632, making it one of the oldest Islamic manuscripts on record, the BBC reported Tuesday.
The fragments sat unrecognized in Birmingham University’s library for a century along with other Middle Eastern books and manuscripts, until a Ph D researcher stumbled upon the text and decided to carbon date it.