Koran: Earliest complete manuscript 200 AH or 800AD!
Muslims are fond of the myth that there are complete copies of the Koran dating from the year Muhammad died. The scientific facts say otherwise!

There are no ancient copies of the Koran dating before 750 AD in museums. We challenge you to prove us wrong! Send us the name, locate and date of the Koran written earlier! Email Brother Andrew

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The earliest complete Koran manuscript in existence in museums today are hundreds of years after Muhammad died:

The Muslim false claim:

"In other words: two of the copies of the Qur'an which were originally prepared in the time of Caliph `Uthman, are still available to us today and their texts and arrangement can be compared, by anyone who cares to, with any other copy of the Qur'an, be it in print or handwriting, from any place or period of time. They will be found to be identical." (Von Denffer, Ulum al-Qur'an, p 64)

The truth:

Although Muslims proclaim they have a Koran that dates to the time of Muhammad, the Reality is different.

Two ancient partial copies of Koran that are in existence are the Samarqand MSS is in Tashkent, and the MSS housed in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul. What many Muslim's do not know, is that because these two manuscripts were written in a script style called "Kufic", practicing Muslim scholars generally date these manuscripts no earlier than 200 years after Muhammad died. Had these two manuscripts been compiled any earlier, they would have been written in either the Ma'il or Mashq script style. John Gilchrist, in his book, "Jam' Al-Qur'an" came to this same conclusion. (John Gilchrist, Jam' Al-Qur'an, Jesus to the Muslims, 1989)

Further, only one-third of the original Samarkand MSS in Tashkent survives. There are about 250 pages written in a bold Arabic script on deerskin. It is written in "Hejaz" in Saudi Arabia, so the script is Hejazi, (Kufic script).

Now we do have one ancient copy of the Koran written in the Ma'il style of script, that is housed in the British Museum in London (Lings & Safadi 1976:17,20; Gilchrist 1989:16,144). But scholar Martin Lings, who was not only a practicing Muslim, but also a former curator for the manuscripts of the British Museum, dates this manuscript at 790 AD, making it the earliest. On the other hand Yasir Qadhi notes one Islamic Masters/PhD scholar who believes the Samarqand MSS is the 'most likely candidate for the original'.

It is unknown, even by Muslims that authorities will not release photographs of the ancient Topkapi manuscript in Istanbul and so there are no known studies on it. This is why the Muslim apologist, M. Saifullah had to state "Concerning the Topkapi manuscript we are not aware of studies done it." (Who's Afraid Of Textual Criticism?, M. S. M. Saifullah, 'Abd ar-Rahman Squires & Muhammad Ghoniem) What is in this manuscript that Muslims are afraid to let the world see? After all in Qur'an 2:111 it says "Produce your proof if you are truthful."

Even the earliest fragmentary manuscripts of the Koran are all dated no earlier than 100 years after Muhammad died.

Add to this the fact that there is no archeological evidence dated at the time when Muhammad was alive, by way of artifact, manuscript or inscription has ever been found were Muhammad is actually referred to as "a prophet".

If you don't believe me, listen to faithful Muslim, Ahmad Von Denffer, in his book, Ulum al Quran, in a chapter called, Old Manuscripts Of The Qur'an, "Most of the early original Qur'an manuscripts, complete or in sizeable fragments, that are still available to us now, are not earlier than the second century after the Hijra. [or 800 AD] The earliest copy, which was exhibited in the British Museum during the 1976 World of Islam Festival, dated from the late second century.' However, there are also a number of odd fragments of Qur'anic papyri available, which date from the first century." (Grohmann, A.: Die Entstehung des Koran und die altesten Koran- Handschriften', in: Bustan, 1961, pp. 33-8)

There are no ancient copies of the Koran dating before 750 AD in museums. We challenge you to prove us wrong! Send us the name, locate and date of the Koran written earlier! Email Brother Andrew


 Written by Brother Andrew


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