Daniel Brubaker, PhD, is a scholar of Qurʾan manuscripts of the 7th-10th centuries AD, the earliest period of the book’s existence. He defended his doctoral dissertation titled “Intentional Changes in Qurʾan Manuscripts” and was awarded his PhD at Rice University in Houston in 2014. Since then he has continued his work researching corrections in early Qurʾans. To date, Brubaker has analyzed approximately 10,000 early Qurʾan manuscript folios, most in person, in institutions and libraries in Paris, St. Petersburg, Oxford, Cambridge, London, Dublin, Doha, Manama, Kuwait, Tashkent, and elsewhere.
The work with history and antiquities is not a sterile pursuit; although the manuscript research is full of theological and historical implications, the Qurʾan is more than a mere artifact of history. Along with Islam’s other sources of authority such as the hadith, commentaries, biography of Muhammad, etc., the Qurʾan is the cornerstone of a belief system that continues to impact real events in the world today. This is because what people believe affects what they do. Brubaker believes it is important to understand that not all ideas are equal, and that as Americans we need to think carefully about the heritage we have in our system of limited government that includes checks and balances, the affirmation of certain rights as given by God and therefore un-alienable, the affirmation that all people are created equal, and the embrace of the Bill of Rights including freedom of speech and press and the exercise of religion. How we navigate our encounters as a nation with a system of belief that sees some of these things as illegitimate is a very important question.
Dr. Brubaker’s Qurʾan manuscript research is forthcoming in print in the form of an academic monograph as well as two books designed for a more general audience. Much of it is also becoming available through Qurʾan Gateway, an online digital research tool for academics.
Brubaker is a member of the Islamic Manuscript Association, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, and the International Qurʾanic Studies Association. He is also on the editorial board of the Review of Qurʾanic Research, and is a co-creator and board member of Qurʾan Gateway.