koran older Muhammed
© Wikimedia Commons
"Diez Albums Studying The Koran" by unknown / (of the reproduction) Staatsbibliothek Berlin/Schacht - Dschingis Khan und seine Erben (exhibition catalogue), München 2005, p. 266.
Forskere mener, at en kopi af Koranen, der opbevares i England, kan være endnu ældre end profeten Muhammed.

Kulstofdatering af et fragment fra en Koran opbevaret i et Birmingham bibliotek tyder på, at bogen blev produceret mellem 568 og 545 e.Kr. siger forskerne ved Oxford University, men Islamske lærde mener almindeligvis, at Muhammed levede mellem 570 og 632 e.Kr.

Hvis kulstofdateringen er nøjagtig, var Koranen lavet før den første formelle tekst var samlet på ordre af kalif uthman i 653 - o det kunne gå tilbage til Muhammeds barndom eller endog før han blev født, skriver The Times of London.

Dette er sammenligneligt med opdagelsen af formuleringer fra evangeliet, der datere tilbage til før Jesu Kristi barndom, siger forskerne.

Muslimske lærde er stærkt uenige i resultatet, som strider mod de fleste optegnelser af profetens liv, men nogle historikere siger, at der er voksende tegn på at de tradtionelle fortællinger om Islams oprindelse er upålidelige.

"Det destabiliserer, mildt sagt, ideen om at vi kan vide noget som helst med sikkerhed om hvordan Koranen opstod - og det har igen implikationer for historiciteten [historisk ægthed] af Mohammeds og hans It destabilizes, to put it mildly, the idea that we can know anything with certainty about how the Koran emerged - and that in turn has implications for the historicity of Mohammed and hans fæller," sagde Tim Holland, forfatter til In The Shadow of the Sword.

Andre meget gamle Koraner peger på, at hellige vers cirkulerede i skreven form inden Muhammeds død.


Keith Small, of Oxford's Bodleian Library, cautioned that carbon dating was done only on the Koran's parchment and not its ink, but he said the dates were probably accurate.

"If the dates apply to the parchment and the ink, and the dates across the entire range apply, then the Koran - or at least portions of it - predates Mohammed, and moves back the years that an Arabic literary culture is in place well into the 500s," he said.

Small said that would lend credibility to the historical view that Muhammad and his followers collected text that was already in circulation to fit their own political and theological agenda, rather than receiving revelations from heaven.

"This would radically alter the edifice of Islamic tradition and the history of the rise of Islam in late Near Eastern antiquity would have to be completely revised, somehow accounting for another book of scripture coming into existence 50 to 100 years before, and then also explaining how this was co-opted into what became the entity of Islam by around AD700," Small said.

Muslim scholars, however, said the dates confirm that the Koran had faithfully preserved for more than 1,350 years the words passed on by Muhammad to his followers.


"If anything, the manuscript has consolidated traditional accounts of the Koran's origins," said Mustafa Shah, from London's School of Oriental and African Studies.