Authenticated and certified by the University of Oxford’s research laboratory for archaeology and the history of art, the handwritten Quran is currently held by the custodian family and is safely kept in Geneva, Switzerland.
After having travelled through modern-day Syria, Madinah and Makkah over the centuries, the family has protected and preserved some of the volumes, never opening them as they were signed by Zayd ibn Thabit, the personally appointed scribe of the Prophet Mohammed himself.
Almost 1,500 years since the handwritten Quran was completed, Metadee is now releasing it as an NFT to the public. According to Metadee’s founder and managing director, Deepali Shukla, the rare collectables market is expected to reach $700 billion by 2032.
“Rare collectables and religious artefacts add the missing market segment that the NFT market may have been deprived of,” Shukla tells The National.
“Tokenising rare collectables and sacred scriptures allow these artefacts to be more accessible than ever, and will further contribute to the spread of ancient knowledge among global youth.”
Metadee is tokenising volumes three, four and five from the handwritten manuscript and offering the NFTs at $1 million each.
Shukla, a collector and art enthusiast, believes NFTs are the future.
“The nature of NFT as blockchain-based cryptographic assets results in more security than our traditional transactions,” she says. “It helps to prevent piracy and provide equal opportunities to showcase and commercialise art creations.”
One of the main attractors around NFTs is the way in which such digital artworks give creators autonomy over their work. Since NFTs are stored on a digital blockchain, they use unchangeable distributed ledgers which anyone within the network can access. This empowers and protects both creators of NFTs and customers, allowing the authentication of genuine work while reducing issues around fraud.
“Unlike the original manuscripts of Quran that need to be heavily guarded and repeatedly validated, its NFT is easily stored on the blockchain and transferable between owner/owners,” Shukla says.
“The NFT can be accessed from anytime and anywhere across the globe. Meanwhile, with web3 and metaverse changing the way people think, act, and breathe, everything in the digital space is highly likely to gain value.
“In the near future, people will prefer studying, learning, reading and archiving things online, and hence the manuscript NFT will surely witness a steady increase in value amid the digital space.”