By Ahmadi Brother
At times, atheists, Jews and Christians have tried very hard to find the sources of the Quran, and a major allegation which subsequently arises with, predominantly, our Christian friends is that the Holy Prophet (saw) copied the Bible when writing the Quran. However, there are numerous problems with this theory:
An Arabic Bible?
The Bible was never translated into Arabic at the time of the Holy Prophet (saw), in fact the earliest Arabic Bible manuscript we have is the Mt. Sinai Arabic Codex 151, which was produced in 867 AD. So it is highly improbable that the Holy Prophet (saw) would have ever seen an Arabic Bible, nor any of his companions.
Was the Holy Prophet (saw) taught by anyone ?
It has also been suggested that numerous individuals taught the Holy Prophet (saw) the Biblical narratives so he could copy them. One person mentioned is Waraqah b. Nawfal, but he passed away very shorty after the Holy Prophet’s first revelation. The Pagans used to claim that Jabr the Christian slave of B. al-Hadrami taught the Prophet, but soon dropped the allegation as he knew very little Arabic. These are simply people who the Prophet (saw) had known, but for whom there is no proof whatsoever to indicate that they taught the Prophet about Christianity.
When we analyse the two texts, we see similarities but stark differences.
Accounts of the Prophets in both books
The fact that the Quran discusses similar incidents and the lives of the Prophets who are also mentioned in the Bible does not necessarily verify the Bible, on the contrary, we find numerous passages actually contradicting (or correcting) the Biblical accounts, such as the rebuttals of the ‘sins’ of the Prophets in the Old Testament:
- The Bible speaks of Prophet Adam sinning against God and not being forgiven, but his sins (Gen 3). In the Qur’an, however, Almighty Allah forgives Adam (7:23), not due to any sin, but his mistake (20:116). Thus is, in effect, a rebuttal of the concept of original sin;
- The Bible speaks of Prophet Noah becoming intoxicated and exposing himself to his sons (Gen 9:21), while the Qur’an omits any reference of such an incident;
- The Bible speaks of Prophet Abraham lying numerous times (Gen 20), while the Qur’an contradicts this story by referring to him as a ‘truthful man and a Prophet’ (19:42);
- The Bible speaks of Prophet Lot offering his own daughters to be raped by his town people to save his guests (Gen 19:8) while the Quran has him indicate that his daughters are purer for them (i.e., in marriage) (11: 79);
- The Bible speaks of Prophet Lot (as) getting drunk and impregnating his own daughters (Gen 19:32), while the Qur’an omits any such reference;
- The Bible speaks of Prophet Joseph (as) intentionally placing his cup in Benjamin’s bag and then accusing them of theft (Gen 44:1-4), while the Qur’an expresses it as a genuine mistake of Prophet Joseph (as) and someone else accusing them of theft (12:71);
- The Bible speaks Prophet Aaron (as) as the leader of the rebellious group who created the golden calf (Exodus 32), while the Qur’an completely clears him of such charges (20: 95);
- The Bible speaks of Prophet David (as) committing adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11), while the Qur’an omits such a charge; and
- The Bible speaks of Prophet Solomon (as) worshiping idols (1 Kings 11:5), while the Qur’an states that he ‘did not disbelieve‘ (2:103)
Other Historical Corrections
- The Qur’an refutes the doctrines of the divinity of Jesus in numerous places;
- The Qur’an refutes the idea that the Earth was created in 6 days as the first chapter of Genesis states;
- The Title ‘Pharaoh’ only came in use around the time of Moses, yet the Bible speaks of the ruler of Egypt as Pharaoh in the account of Prophet Joseph (as), who lived some 400 years before Moses. This is historically inaccurate. Yet in the Qur’an, whenever it refers to the ruler of Egypt in the account of Joseph calls him King, and in the account of Moses calls him Pharaoh.
- The Quran speaks of Prophet Jesus’ (as) natural death (3:56) and him not dying on the cross (4:158), contradicting the Bible in numerous places.
The above are just a few examples of where the Qur’an corrects, or differs from the stories of the Bible. Not only that, but there are dozens of examples where the Qur’an is accurate scientifically and contains numerous prophecies which have come true recently. With the above in mind, how can we say the Qur’an copied the Bible?