I have been following this Twitter handle, Bayt Al Fann (The Art House), with daily interest, being introduced to architecture, language, history, manuscripts, art, and much more. What I have learned is memorable, inspiring, and often magnificent and stunning. I return for the insights the posts genuinely offer, the images and brilliance of artists collaborating across borders for a different tomorrow. You know, that type of unforgettable learning. But perhaps also that learning is necessary for the world to be less violent, more forgiving, and kind.
This thread explains how "The Holy Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) over 23 years, with the first revelations beginning in the month of Ramadan in 610 AD."
"But how did the Qur'an reach us today in its final form? Who compiled it & why, & where are the oldest Qur'ans in the world?"
What I appreciate the most is that the post identifies these questions to be explained, which could be asked of many holy books, theoretical propositions, legal precedents, origin stories, myths, etc. How? Who? Why?
Tracing the oldest is not about longevity or gravity but about genealogy, which is always political. Narratives and history are never neutral, pasts are silenced, and forgeries and myths reinvent origin stories of counter-revolution as imperial innocent and victimhood combined with violence and exceptionalism.
Another question that not everyone may know is a question, is why did Thomas Jefferson have a Qur'an in his library? How did Jefferson acquire the holy book? Who compiled that version of the Qur'an & why?
The Washington Post article "The complicated history of Thomas Jefferson's Koran," by Yair Rosenberg, provides these answers:
"… Jefferson's 1734 translation of the Koran was not produced out of a special love for Islam, but rather to further Christian missionary efforts in Muslim lands. As translator George Sale wrote in his introduction to the reader, "Whatever use an impartial version of the Korân may be of in other respects, it is absolutely necessary to undeceive those who, from the ignorant or unfair translations which have appeared, have entertained too favourable an opinion of the original, and also to enable us effectually to expose the imposture."