William & Mary obtains Quran similar to those read by slaves

college of william and mary

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) – William & Mary recently obtained a rare 19th Century Quran similar to those read by slaves in Virginia.

The university says the holy text was likely read by West African slaves, many of whom were Muslim.

The handwritten Quran was most likely penned in northern Nigeria. Its calligraphy, decoration and vowel usage are unique to West Africa.

The university says the book will be used in an Introduction to Islam class. It will be compared to Qurans read by other enslaved Africans in South America and the Caribbean.

This is not the first Quran of that era to reach the campus. The university said Thomas Jefferson studied the Quran while attending law school at William & Mary. His copy is now at the Library of Congress.