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A Quran manuscript long held by a British university is now believed to be among the world's oldest, written close to the time of the prophet Mohammed.

Radiocarbon testing on the document found the parchment on which the text was written dates to a similar time period as Mohammed, who is believed to have lived between 570 and 632, the University of Birmingham said in a statement Wednesday."Researchers conclude that the Quran manuscript is among the earliest written textual evidence of the Islamic holy book known to survive," according to the statement.

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The Quran manuscript will be on public display at the university from Oct.

Recent tests conducted on the oldest known pages of the Quran in existence have determined they were written nearly 1,400 years ago, between 568 and 645 AD.

The Quran is the most sacred book of the Islamic faith, and Muslims consider it the direct word of god.

Scholars who have examined the Birmingham manuscript say it is in a form that is very close to the book read today , with very little alteration.

The manuscript consists of two parchment leaves and contains parts of the suras, or chapters, 18 to 20 written in an early form of Arabic known as Hijazi.

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