There are two assumptions I intend to dismantle. One, that the stories in both the Bible and Quran are the same. Two, that the Quranic accounts are superior to the Bible. The reverse is the case. The Quranic accounts of Bible stories are marred with historical, logical, Biblical and archaeological blunders which show the human origin of the Quran.
I will use Sura Al-Qasas (28) which means “the Stories/Narrations” as an example (It is a 88 verses long chapter narrating the story of Moses so I will not quote it in its entirety).
Vs. 1 “These are the verses of the Book that makes things clear”
With such an introduction, one would expect to read a clear sequence of historical records, but that is not the case as you will see.
Vs. 3 “We recite you some of the news of Moses and Pharaoh in truth for a believing people…”
This story is from the Bible. Since the Quran admits the Bible is from God and claims to confirm the Bible – and no other book – we will compare both accounts of Moses using the Bible as our standard.
Vs. 6 “And to establish them in the earth, and to show Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts that which they feared them.”
Pharaoh and Haman didn’t live in the same century. This same blunder is repeated in vs 9. This exposes the ignorance of the Quran’s author. Haman lived about 1,100 years after the Pharaoh in Moses’s time, and he didn’t even live in Egypt. This is as inane as bringing George Washington and Mother Teresa together as contemporaries. That would be a fiction.
Vs. 7 “And We inspired the mother of Moses, saying: ‘Suckle him and when thou fearest for him, then cast him into the river and fear not nor grieve. Lo! We shall bring him back unto thee and shall make him (one) of Our Messengers.”
In contrast with the Biblical account, the Quran omits vital details that could have given its story logical and historical coherence. For example, Moses’ mother constructed “an ark of bulrushes” for Moses because “she could no longer hide him.” A scholar points out that this was how ancient Egyptians made light boats. And she didn’t just dump him in any river, she placed him in the Nile where Pharaoh’s daughter took her bath (Exodus 2:3-5).
If Jocebed was divinely inspired to do this, by the Islamic definition, this would make her a prophetess, but Allah considers such an aberration. And the claim that Jocebed knew Moses would be a prophet is a reflective narrative from the pen of someone already familiar with the Bible story.
Vs. 9 “And the wife of Pharaoh said: (He will be) a consolation for me and for thee. Kill him not. Peradventure he may be of use to us, or we may choose him for a son…”
This is an error. Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter – not his wife (Exo. 2:9). If Pharaoh’s wife adopted Moses, then he would have been the right heir to the Egypt’s throne. Moses who wrote the book of Exodus certainly knew his own history better than the novel fancies concocted by an Arabian dreamer after two millennia.
Vs. 12 “And We had forbidden foster mothers for him, so she said: shall I show you a household who will rear him for you and take care of him?”
There was no need for “foster mothers” to audition for a mother for Moses. It wasn’t a super-nanny TV grand slam. Muhammad himself was raised by several foster mothers, so he apparently embellished Moses’ story to parallel his own experience.
Vs. 15 “And he entered the city at a time of carelessness of its folk, and he found therein two men fighting, one of his own caste, and the other of his enemies; and he who was of his caste asked him for help against him who was of his enemies. So Moses struck him with his fist and killed him. He said: This is of the devil’s doing. Lo! he is an enemy, a mere misleader”
In the real account, it wasn’t “two men fighting” but an Egyptian taskmaster beating up a Hebrew slave. Moses killed the Egyptian because he had learned the true story of who he was and how God was going to someday deliver the Jews from Egypt (Gen. 15:13, 14).
The author of the Quran thought Moses was living outside Egypt. Muhammad obviously mixed up this incident with that of Moses’ mediation between two fighting Jews which happened the next day. Notice also that Muhammad also embellished this story to justify his own murders of “the misleaders”.
Vs. 16 “He said “My Lord! Lo I have wronged my soul, so forgive me. Then He forgave him. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful”
It’s intriguing that after reading statements like this in the Quran, Muslims are still programmed to believe that all the words in the Quran are Allah’s. Their Allah talks as Moses in one place, as Mary in another, as Muhammad in a part and as Satan elsewhere. He acts all roles, all he needs is a script. This verse also proves that Moses sinned like every human being, therefore the islamic idea that all God’s prophets were sinless (isma) is false.
Vs. 27 “[Jethro said] I intend to wed one of these my daughters to thee, on condition that thou serve me for eight years; but if thou complete ten years, it will be (grace) from thee. But I intend not to place thee under difficulty: thou wilt find me, indeed if God wills, one of the righteous.”
Jethro didn’t ask Moses to work for him to get a wife. “And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter” (Exodus 2:21). The story mixed in here was that of Jacob who worked for Laban, his father-in-law for “seven years in return for” Rachel whom he loved (Genesis 29:18). The author of the Quran confused two different Bible stories. There are similarities in the stories though.
Both Jacob and Moses escaped from wrath. The former from his brother’s fury whilst the latter from Pharaoh’s. Also, both Laban and Jethro were shepherds. So when Muhammad (said to be an illiterate) heard the stories, he couldn’t tell which was which, so he weaved together events from different centuries into one story! How can such a confusion emanate from the All-Knowing God?
Vs. 29 “Then when Moses had fulfilled the term and was travelling with his housefolk, he saw in the distance a fire and said unto his housefolk: Bide ye (here). Lo! I see in the distance a fire; peradventure I shall bring you tidings thence, or a brand from the fire…”
First of all, Moses wasn’t travelling when he saw this sight. He was rearing his father-in-law’s sheep when he saw the burning bush. There were no “housefolk” with him. His people were hundred miles away in Egypt and he had left them 40 full years before then. Third, Moses did not move near the fire to “bring tidings” that would be a pagan practice.
Vs. 30 “And when he reached it, he was called from the right side of the valley in the blessed field, from the tree: O Moses! Lo I, even I, am Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.”
This is pure anachronism. Allah is the name of an Arabic deity and Moses was not an Arabian. The Quranic account gives no evidence of an encounter with the true God. This would have sounded like an appearance of an Egyptian deity. Furthermore, in the real account, this encounter was at a mountain in the wilderness, not a valley.
In the Bible, God introduced Himself to Moses as “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (Ex. 3:6) distinguishing Him from the pagan gods of Egypt he might have been familiar with. Nowhere does the Allah of the Quran introduce himself this way.
Muhammad proclaimed his messages in the name of Allah, the same deity worshipped by the pagans in Arabia while Moses was sent in the name of the Lord whom the pagan Egyptians didn’t know (“Who is the LORD that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I know not the LORD…” Exo. 5:2).
Vs. 31 “Throw down their staff. And when he saw it writhing as it had been a demon, he turned to flee.”
This is a product of Muhammad’s imaginations. Moses’ staff became a serpent which made him flee (Ex. 4:3). He didn’t flee because it was “writhing like a demon.”
Vs. 38 “And Pharaoh said: O chiefs! I know not that ye have a god other than me, so kindle for me (a fire), O Haman to bake mud and set up for me a lofty tower in order that I may survey the God of Moses; and lo! I deem him of the liars.”
There are several problems with this verse. First of all, ancient Egyptian religion was polytheistic – they believed in many gods. Therefore the alleged statement of Pharaoh claiming they had no god other than him is historically false.
Second, with the exception of the ruins at Nebesheh and Defenneh, the Egyptians at no time used burnt clay to build their structures. They used cut stones up until the Roman era. This has been well documented by G. H. Gaspero in Manual of Egyptian Archaeology. Therefore the alleged statement of Pharaoh above is a forgery.
Again, the Quran mixed up 2 different events. The tower of Babel was built about 750 years before Moses or Pharaoh was born. Who mixed up these historical facts? Certainly not God. The Encyclopedia Britannica has this to say:
“The [Quran’s] deviations from the biblical narratives are very marked…there is no evidence that he [Muhammad] was able to read, and his dependence on oral communication may explain some of his misconceptions; e.g the confusion of Haman, the minister of Ahasuerus, with the minister of Pharaoh (xl, 38), and the identification of Miriam, the sister of Moses, with Mary (Miriyam), the mother of Jesus” (13:479).
If Muslims agree that their Quran is a product of Muhammad’s redactions and poor understanding of the Bible, we wouldn’t have bothered ourselves, but to say it’s a book from God raises many big questions.