IN PHOTOS

From sandy beaches to busy stock markets—people read the Quran in unusual places

Quartz india
Quartz india

The world has discovered the oldest Quran.

London’s University of Birmingham has found two folios of the Islamic holy text—kept since 1936 in its manuscript collection. Both appear to be from the same era as Islam’s founder, the Prophet Muhammad, who is generally thought to have lived between AD 570 and AD 632.

As the world’s historians deal with the excitement of this discovery, Quartz brings you a collection of photos of people reading the holy text in the most unusual places—from war zones and refugee camps to stock markets and beaches.

An Egyptian man recites versus from the Quran at an underground metro after a massive power cut has hit large parts of Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. The power cut halted much of its crowded metro service and delayed the start of trading on the stock exchange. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
An Egyptian man recites versus from the Quran at an underground metro in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 file photo, a woman reads the Quran on a beach as people in bikinis sunbathe and swim at sunset in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Bikinis and briefs are no longer welcome on some sands in the United Arab Emirates. Authorities in Ras al-Khaimah, the northernmost emirate in the UAE, have posted signs on public beaches warning of possible fines for revealing swim wear such as two-piece bikinis for women and brief trunks for men. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A woman reads the Quran on a beach as people in bikinis sunbathe and swim at sunset in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A veiled Palestinian woman reads the Koran on the beach in Gaza City August 23, 2013. Gaza's sandy beach is a favourite spot for locals to relax, especially as most residents cannot afford holidays outside the enclave. Picture taken August 23, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A veiled Palestinian woman reads the Quran on the beach in Gaza City. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi reads the Koran behind a barrier he erected at the entrance of Raba El-Adwyia mosque square where they are camping in Cairo, early July 19, 2013. Brotherhood supporters will take to the streets on Friday in their campaign to reverse the military overthrow of Egypt's first freely-elected president, but the movement also gave a first sign of willingness to negotiate with its opponents. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi reads the Quran behind a barrier he erected at the entrance of Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Cairo. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Refugee pupils hold pieces of wood with Quranic verses written on them at a makeshift madrasa, or Islamic school, under a tree at the IFO2 east camp within the Dadaab refugee complex, near the Kenya-Somalia border, October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya (KENYA - Tags: EDUCATION SOCIETY RELIGION)
Refugee pupils hold pieces of wood with Quranic verses written on them at a makeshift madrasa, or Islamic school, under a tree at the IFO2 east camp within the Dadaab refugee complex near the Kenya-Somalia border. (Reuters/Thomas Mukoya)
A wounded Syrian refugee reads Islam's holy book the Quran as he lies in his bed at a private hospital in Antakya, Turkey, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Three Syrian men who claim to have been wounded by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces are undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Hatay Province in neighboring Turkey. Two of the men said they were wounded in their hometown of Hama when they were attacked by people they believe supported Assad's regime. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A wounded Syrian refugee reads Islam’s holy book as he lies in his bed at a private hospital in Antakya, Turkey. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
An Egyptian broker, centre, reads the Quran, the Muslim holy book, during a break as others work in the Egyptian stock market in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
An Egyptian broker, centre, reads the Quran during a break as others work in the Egyptian stock market in Cairo. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
An Indonesian youth reads the Koran from a digital player at a book shop in Jakarta, September 20, 2007. Digital Koran is increasingly popular in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, where such gadgets sell especially well during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan when religious fervour is high and reading the scripture is an essential part of the observance. Picture taken September 20, 2007. REUTERS/Crack Palinggi (INDONESIA)
An Indonesian youth reads the Quran from a digital player at a book shop in Jakarta. (Reuters/Crack Palinggi)
A flood victim baby sleeps in a hammock as a man reads the Koran during Eid-al-Fitr celebrations while taking refuge in a relief camp for flood victims in Sukkur in Pakistan's Sindh province on September 11, 2010. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro (PAKISTAN - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT RELIGION IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A flood victim baby sleeps in a hammock as a man reads the Quran during Eid-al-Fitr celebrations while taking refuge in a relief camp for flood victims in Sukkur in Pakistan’s Sindh province. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
A protester shields himself with a bucket while reading the Koran as protesters and army soldiers clash in Cairo December 16, 2011. Demonstrators armed with stones and petrol bombs clashed with troops wielding truncheons and electric prods in Cairo on Friday, witnesses said, in the worst violence since the start of Egypt's first free election in six decades. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION)
A protester shields himself with a bucket while reading the Quran as protesters and army soldiers clash in Cairo. (Reuters/Asmaa Waguih)
Two soldiers from the central security forces sit on a military vehicle as they read the Koran while fasting during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, near a checkpoint in Sanaa July 18, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi (YEMEN - Tags: MILITARY RELIGION)
Two soldiers from the central security forces sit on a military vehicle as they read the Quran near a checkpoint in Sanaa. (Reuters/Mohamed al-Sayaghi)
home our picks popular latest obsessions search