This makes the newly-discovered pages possibly the oldest copy of the Quran in existence.
The Prophet Muhammad, who is recognized as the founder of the Islamic faith, was said to have received the revelations that eventually came to form the Quran. The dating of the Birmingham Quran has led some historians to believe that it could even pre-date the Prophet.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, found that the leaves of parchment date back to A. Researchers dated the parchmentby measuring the radioactive decay of carbon-14, a common way to determine the age of ancient papers and parchments.
"The radiocarbon dating has delivered an exciting result, which contributes significantly to our understanding of the earliest written copies of the Quran," Susan Worrall, director of special collections at the University of Birmingham, said in a statement. The parchment likely came from the skin of a calf, goat or sheep, the researchers said.
Scholars in the United Kingdom believe that the fragments of an ancient copy of the Quran may have been written even before the time of the Prophet Muhammad and could potentially alter the history of Islam.
The fragments were discovered by researchers from the University of Birmingham bound within the pages of another copy of the Quran from the seventh century.
The manuscripts are written with ink in Hijazi - an early form of Arabic. For many years, the manuscript had been misbound with leaves of a similar Quran manuscript, which is datable to the late seventh century.
"We are thrilled that such an important historical document is here in Birmingham, the most culturally diverse city in the UK." The two parchments form part of the University’s Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts.
"Instead, the revelations were preserved in the 'memories of men,'" said David Thomas and Nadir Dinshaw, both religious professors at the University of Birmingham.
The divine message was not written at that time, though.
Following radiocarbon analysis by the University of Oxford, the manuscripts, written on parchments, have been dated to from between AD 568 and 645, with 95 percent accuracy.
The results place the papers close to the time of the Prophet Muhammad, who is generally thought to have lived between AD 570 and 632.