Manama: A Yemeni young man has claimed to have found the oldest surviving manuscript of the Holy Quran.
The book venerated by Muslims was found inside a leather cover in a cave in the mountains south of the city of Dhale in the southern part of the country, Yemeni Arabic news site Aden Gulf News reported on Wednesday.
The words “This manuscript was handwritten in 200 AH” (815 AD) were inscribed on the first page, and preliminary tests have indicated that the copy was genuine, making it the oldest in existence. According to the site, the Arabic letters did not have the dots that were introduced at a later stage in the Arabic alphabet to distinguish similar looking letters.
The young man, who was not identified, has reportedly been offered large sums of money for the manuscript, including a YR 12 million (Dh205,682) offer, but he has refused to give it away, preferring instead to keep it, relatives said. He said that he was able to reach the mountain cave by climbing down using a rope, insisting that it was the only way to reach it.
The news site said that the young man also found next to the Quran manuscript a sword believed to have belonged to Ali Bin Abi Talib, the fourth Caliph and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Some history accounts say that the sword — Dhu Al Faqqar — was offered by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) to Ali.
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) lived between AD570 and 632 and the Holy Quran was revealed between 610 and 632.