BibLicaL Verses

The following are few examples of the Qur’anic verses which were borrowed from Biblia Herbraica. Some of them were misinterpreted by Muslim commentators due to their lack of knowledge of Aramaic.

Qur’anic verses taken from the Hebrew Bible

Waqulna li Adam uskun anta wa zawjuka al jannata wa kula minha raghdan haythu shi’tuma wa la taqruba hadhihi al shajarata fatakunu min aldhalimeen, Q. 2: 36, trans. ‘we said: ‘O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or trans. ‘we said: ‘O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or trans. eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Gen. 2: 16-17, NRSV).

Qulna ihbatu minha jamee’an, Q. 2: 39. Muslim commentators render the following interpretations: 1-‘We said: Go forth, all of you, from here’ (M. Sher Ali); 2-’we said: Go down, all of you, from hence’ (M. M. Pickthall); 3-’we said: Get ye down all from here’ (A. Yusuf Ali). The accounts are stated in the book of Genesis, it reads the following: “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen. 3: 23-24, NRSV).

 

Wa idh najjaynakum min aali Phir’un yasumunakum su’ al’adhaab yadhbahuna abna’akum, Q. 2: 50, trans. ‘and remember, we delivered you from the people of Pharaoh; they set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons’ (A. Yusuf Ali). This verse is influence by the Bible. The commentator draws a parallel to the Bible concerning the bondage of the Jews in Egypt before the Exodus, he writes: ‘The bondage of Egypt was indeed a tremendous trial. Even the Egyptians’ wish to spare the lives of Israel’s females when the males were slaughtered, added to the bitterness of Israel. Their hatred was cruel, but their “love” was still more cruel. About the hard tasks, see Exod. i. 14: “They made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their services, wherein they made them serves, was with rigour.”’ The Jewish persecution by the Egyptian Pharaoh has been recorded in the book of Exodus. It reads the following: “The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labor” (Exod. 1: 13, NRSV).

 

Wa idh faraqna bikum al bahr fa anjaynaakum wa aghraqna aal Fir’un wa antum tandhurun, Q. 2: 51. Muslim commentators render the following interpretations: 1-‘And remember the time when We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people, while you looked on’ (M. Sher Ali); 2-‘And when We brought you through the sea and rescued you, and drowned the folk of Pharaoh in your sight’ (M. M. Pickthall); 3-‘And remember we divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people within your very sight’ (A. Yusuf Ali). The commentator refers to the influence of the Bible on the Qur’an. He writes: ‘when the Israelites at least escaped from Egypt, they were pursued by Pharaoh and his host. By a miracle the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, but the host of Pharaoh was drowned: Exod. xiv. 5-31’. The story recorded in this verse is taken from the Bible. In the book of Exodus we read the following: “The Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided” (Exod. 14: 21, NRSV). The ending /a/ in the Qur’anic word “faraqn[a]” represents the Eastern Syriac dialect.

These are just few examples of the Jewish Scriptures being borrowed by the Qur’an. Some of these stories go back two thousand years before the Qur’an came into existence.

Leave a comment

There are no comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (4)