Ancient Manuscripts of the Quran still in existence today
Allah (SWT) says in the Quran,
“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Quran and indeed, We will be its Guardian.” (Quran Surah Al-Hijr Ayah 15:9)
There is no doubt that the Quran is still present in its original form to this day since it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) over 1400 years ago. The Quran during the time of the Prophet had started to be collected. The companions would write the revealed verses of the Quran on materials that were used in those ancient times. After Prophet Muhammad (SAW) passed away, his companion Abu-Bakr (RA) became the first caliph of Islam. Soon after the departure of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from this world, an imposter named Muslimah declared him to be the messenger of Allah (SWT). Sayyidina Abu Bakr in the year 632 A.D, which according to Islamic calendars is 11 Hijri sent a military expedition against this imposter.
A great battle took place and even though the Muslims were victorious, hundreds of Hafiz of the Quran, those who memorize the entire Quran and commit it to memory embraced martyrdom. Sayyidina Umar (RA) having become concerned at the heavy loses was the first to advise the caliph to compile the Quran into a complete book form. At first Sayyidina Abu Bakr was reluctant to do so for he said he could not do something that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had never done in his lifetime. However Sayyidina Umar persisted in his counsel and finally the caliph agreed to his suggestion. It was Sayyidina Zaid Ibn Thabbit (RA) who was tasked with completing this task. He collected all of the written materials that held the verses of the Quran, and listened to many hafiz as they recited the Quran to him. The first complied Quran was given under the custodianship of Sayyidina Abu Bakr (RA) who passed it onto Sayyidina Umar (RA) when he became the caliph, and after the departure of Sayyidina Umar (RA) from this world, that Quran volume went into the custody of his daughter Sayyidina Hafsa (RA).
Over the ages the Quran has been written and spread across the world. Unlike the Bible or the Torah, there is only one single version of the Quran, uncorrupted and still pure in the form it was revealed all those centuries ago. People today can compare a modern printed Quran and cross reference it with one that was written hundreds of years ago and be amazed that they both are exactly the same. That is proof enough that the Quran is a divine book and a living miracle.
Here are some of the oldest manuscripts of the Quran in existence today.
Birmingham Quran Manuscript
In 2015, at the University of Birmingham, scientists found an old Quran manuscript on parchment, using clearly legible Arabic Hijazi script. It is said to be one of the oldest manuscripts, and it dates back to sometime between 568 and 645 CE, that is, probably sometime during the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself.
Picture can be found here: https://muslimmemo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Birmingham_Quran_manuscript.jpg
Sana’a Quran Manuscript
The Sana’a Quran manuscript was found in Yemen in 1972 during the restoration of the Great Masjid of Sana’a. The manuscript is written on parchment, and comprises two layers of text, both of which are in the Hijazi script. Most likely, this manuscript dates back to sometime between 646 and 671 CE.
Picture can be found here: https://muslimmemo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Sanaa_Quran_Manuscript.jpg
The Topkapi Quran Manuscript
The Topkapi Manuscript is dated to the late 1st century or early 2nd century AH (i.e. early or mid-8th century CE). It is written in Kufic script and contains more than 99% of the text of the Quran. With only two pages (23 verses) missing, this manuscript is the closest to the complete text of the Quran among others of the same time period.
Picture can be found here: https://muslimmemo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Topkapi_Quran_Manuscript-1.jpg
Samarqand Quran Manuscript
The Codex Parisino-Petropolitanus, one of the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Quran, was found among Quranic fragments which were kept in the al-Amr Masjid in Fustat (Egypt) until the end of the 18th century. Scientists have dated the manuscript to belong to sometime around the late 7th century CE or early 8th century CE.
98 surviving sheets of this manuscript are preserved across different locations, such as Bibliotheque Nationale de France, The National Library of Russia, The Library of Vatican, and The Khalili Collection in London. This manuscript was produced by five different scribes writing in the Hijazi script, probably working concurrently in order to meet the demand for a faster production.
Picture can be found here: https://muslimmemo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Parisino_petropolitanus_Quran_Manuscript-1.jpg