A baby is sparking a wave of speculation in Russia after phrases from the Koran allegedly began appearing on his skin.
Sayings from the Muslim holy book are said to appear on nine-month-old Ali Yakubov's back, arms, legs and stomach - before apparently fading away and being replaced with new sayings.
Russian medics claimed they are puzzled over the cause of the marks on a baby's skin, which started when the word Allah apparently appeared on his chin within weeks of his birth.
Human Koran: Sacred sayings from the Muslim holy book apparently appear spontaneously on nine-month-old Ali Yakubov's body
One of the markings on the child's skin, which medics and his family say are genuine apparitions
Medics deny that the marks are from someone writing on the child's skin.
His mother, Madina, said that she and her husband were not religious until the writings started appearing on his skin.
Initially they did not show anyone the unexplained writings, she said, until revealing them to their doctor and the imam in their village of Red October which is in a strongly Muslim region.
Now the boy has become a focus of Muslim homage in his troubled home province of Dagestan, close to war-ravaged Chechnya in the south of Russia.
Local MP Akhmedpasha Amiralaev said: 'This boy is a pure sign of God. Allah sent him to Dagestan in order to stop revolts and tension in our republic.'
The boy's mother claimed: 'Normally those signs appear twice a week - on Mondays and on the nights between Thursdays and Fridays.
'Ali always feels bad when it is happening. He cries and his temperature goes up. It's impossible to hold him when it's happening, his body is actively moving, so we put him into his cradle. It's so hard to watch him suffering.'
The phrases regularly replace each other on the baby's skin, she said.
Local imam Abdulla has told locals that the Koran forecasts that before the end of the world, there may be people with its sayings on their bodies.
He said that one sign read: 'Don't hide these signs from the people.'
The story has attracted considerable attention from the Russian media and online.
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