Could the Qur’an have been copied from the Bible?
Unfortunately, when confronted with undeniable proof like the evidence provided in the section “The Bible and the missing books” the last doctrine skeptics tend to hide behind is: “The Qur’an was copied from the Bible by Muhammad (pbuh).”
To end this speculation, let’s demonstrate through 3 different categories why the Qur’an could not have been copied from the Bible:
1- Muhammad himself (pbuh).
2- The inconsistency between the Qur’an and the Bible (2 examples).
3- Scientific theories discovered in the 20th century in the Qur’an.
Category 1: Muhammad himself (pbuh).
Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Mecca (570-632); he could not write nor read and spoke only Arabic.
Saadia Gaon did not translate the Hebrew Bible into Arabic until the 10th century. It was only in the 17th century that Francis Britius and the Catholic Archbishop of Damascus Sergius Risi supervised the translation of the entire Bible (the old and the new testaments) into Arabic.
So how could Muhammad (pbuh) have copied anything from the bible?
Let us take a look at the second category:
Category 2: The Contradiction between the Qur’an and the Bible:
As stated in section: “The Bible and the missing books” it should be noted that the intent of this work is not to denigrate the Bible.
Our intention is to demonstrate that the Qur’an could not have been copied from the Bible.
Let us examine a couple of stories that appeared in the Bible and the Qur’an to see if they match while remaining mindful that the source is the same “God.”
Example 1: Local vs. Universal Flood during Prophet Noah (pbuh):
The Bible tells of a universal flood during the time of the prophet Noah (pbuh) in the Book of Genesis, Chapter # 7: “Every living thing that moved on the earth perished, birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died”.
The Qur’an mentions a local flood affecting the people of Noah only: “Is it too much of a wonder that a reminder should come to you from your Lord, through a man like you, to warn you, and to lead you to righteousness, that you may attain mercy? They rejected him. Consequently, we saved him and those with him in the ark, and we drowned those who rejected our revelations”. (Qur’an 7:59-64)
There is no evidence of a worldwide flood in the time specified by the Book of Genesis. The closest event was discovered in 1929 by the archeologist Sir Charles Leonard Wooley, when he found evidence of a flood which occurred around 4000 B.C. In his book “The Bible as History” Werner Keller says: “A flood of the unimaginable extent described in the Bible still remains ‘archeologically not demonstrated” (pp.29-30)
So how would the author of the Qur’an have avoided this mistake unless the revelation came from the initiator of the flood Himself?
Example 2: Moses and the Pharaoh:
Another comparison will again demonstrate that the Qur’an was not copied from the Bible.
The Bible states that God drowned the Pharaoh and his army when they pursued Moses (pbuh) and his people:
“And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them” Exodus 14:28.
The clear indication in that description is that the body of the Pharaoh perished in the sea.
The Qur’an agrees that God drowned the Pharaoh and his army when they pursued Moses. However, the Qur’an dared to differ and prove true. In the Qur’an God promised to preserve the body of the Pharaoh after having drowned him as a sign for later generations “…Today, we will preserve your body, to set you up as a lesson for future generations. Unfortunately, many people are totally oblivious to our signs. “(Qur’an 10:90-92).
As God promised in the Qur’an, the Pharaoh’s body was discovered at Thebes in the Valley of the Kings by Loret in 1898. Elliot Smith removed its wrapping on July 8, 1907 and wrote a detailed description in his book The Royal Mummies (1912).
In the late 1970s, President Anwar El-Sadat allowed the loan of the pharaoh’s mummy to Paris to be studied. The Chief Surgeon in charge of the project was Dr. Maurice Bucaille.
Among the discovery made by the scientific team in Paris was the pharaoh’s cause of death: “… The salt remnant in his body was the biggest evidence that he died drowning, and his body was extracted from the sea after drowning immediately. Then quickly they carried and embalming process of the body in order to preserve it…”
Dr. Maurice Bucaille was so fascinated by the discovery that he devoted himself to learning the Arabic language in order to be able to read the Qur’an in its original text and to study its meaning.
In 1976 he wrote a book titled: “The Bible, the Qur’an and Science” which caused a furor in high academic circles, particularly in the Christian world. In his book, Dr. Bucaille aimed to prove that the Qur’an is in agreement with scientific facts, while the Bible is not. He claimed that in Islam, science and religion have always been “twin sisters”. Also and according to Dr. Bucaille, there are monumental errors of science in the Bible and not a single error in the Qur’an, whose descriptions of natural phenomena make it compatible with modern science. Dr. Bucaille concluded that the Qur’an is the reliable word of God.
So from which source could the author of the Qur’an have obtained the information that Pharaoh’s body (who was already dead for centuries) was being preserved somewhere in Egypt, when the method of mummification used by the ancient Egyptians was unknown until fairly recently? How could Muhammad (pbuh) predict that the Pharaoh’s body would be discovered centuries after his death as a sign? Furthermore, with no mention of this in the Old or New Testaments, how could Muhammad (pbuh) have copied it from the Bible?
Category 3: Scientific proofs:
Let us analyze how the Qur’anic verses which accurately foretell modern scientific ideas in the seventh century imply divine authorship.
What the Qur’an says about the embryonic stages:
“And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth). Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge) and lodged it in a safe lodging (womb of the woman). Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be God, the Best of creators.“ (Qur’an 23:12-14)
When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was asked about this verse, he added:
“After the sperm-and-ovum drop (Nutfah) has been (in the uterus) forty-two days, God sends it an angel that gives it form and fashions its hearing, sight, skin, flesh, and skeleton”
Modern science has confirmed this: organogenesis peaks at precisely 42 days.
So if Muhammad (pbuh) could not have copied it from the Bible, could he have written the Qur’an himself? Let us see what scientific experts have to say:
Dr. E. Marshall Johnson: Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA:
“The Qur’an describes not only the development of external form, but emphasizes also the internal stages, the stages inside the embryo, of its creation and development, emphasizing major events recognized by contemporary science. I see no evidence for the fact to refute the concept that this individual, Muhammad, had to be developing this information from some place. So I see nothing here in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved in what he was able to write.”
Dr. T. Persaud: Professor of Anatomy, Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:
“…Muhammad .. could not read, didn’t know to write. – You have someone illiterate making profound pronouncements – amazingly accurate about scientific nature. So many accuracies – I have no difficulty in my mind that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which led him to these statements.”
Dr. Gerald C. Goeringer: Director and Associate Professor of Medical Embryology at the Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA:
“In a relatively few Qur’anic verses is contained a rather comprehensive description of human development from the time of commingling of the gametes through organogenesis. No such distinct and complete record of human development, such as classification, terminology, and description, existed previously. In most, if not all, instances, this description antedates by many centuries the recording of the various stages of human embryonic and fetal development recorded in the traditional scientific literature.”
Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson: Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA:
“I think, that not only there is no conflict between genetics and religion but, in fact, religion can guide science by adding revelation to some of the traditional scientific approaches, that there exist statements in the Qur’an shown centuries later to be valid, which support knowledge in the Qur’an having been derived from God.”
If you still have doubts, please visit the section of this website: “The Universe: God’s creation or a pure accident?”
The only plausible conclusion is:
“There is no god but God (Allah) and Muhammad is the messenger of God (pbuh)”.