The Prophet Joseph in the Qur’an, the Bible, and History


Author: Louay Fatoohi

Subject: Comparative Religion

Publication date: 01 Aug, 2007 

Page count: 284

Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm

The Qur’anic sura (chapter) of Joseph deals almost entirely with the story of this noble Prophet, his brothers, and their father Prophet Jacob. Since the revelation of the Qur’an fourteen centuries ago, there have been numerous attempts to interpret this sura. The present study is a genuinely new look at the sura. It includes a careful examination of the historical background of its events and a comparison with the corresponding Biblical narrative.

While referring to interpretations from classical exegetical works, this book offers new insights into the meanings and magnificence of this Qur’anic text. The author is not only concerned with analysing individual verses; he is equally focused on showing how various verses are interrelated, explicitly and subtly, to form a unique textual unit. He shows particular interest in unveiling subtle references and meanings that are often overlooked or missed by exegetes. Through this comprehensive study, the author elucidates why the Qur’an has always been firmly believed to be a unique book that could have only been inspired by Allah. Thorough and scholarly but easy to read, this book is intended for both the general reader and the specialist.

Whether you are a scholar of Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir), have a general interest in Qur’anic studies and the Qur’anic story of Prophet Joseph, or are interested in comparative religion, you will find this in-depth and detailed study of the sura of Joseph informative, enlightening, and thought-provoking.

This new study of the story of Prophet Joseph presents:

  • Comprehensive interpretation of the sura of Joseph
  • Verse by verse analysis and commentary
  • Comparison between the story in the Qur’an and its Biblical counterpart
  • Examination of the historical time and place where Joseph lived
  • Explanation of the Qur’an’s style in narrating history


1. History and Prophet Joseph in the Qur’an, and Qur’anic Exegesis

2. The Beginning of the Sura of Joseph

3. Prophet Joseph in the House of His Father Prophet Jacob

4. Prophet Joseph on His Way to Egypt

5. Prophet Joseph in Egypt

6. Prophet Joseph in Prison

7. Prophet Joseph in Power

8. Prophet Joseph Reunites With His Brother Benjamin

9. Prophet Joseph Reunites With His Father Prophet Jacob

10. The Epilogue of the Sura of Joseph

11. Prophet Joseph in History

12. Prophet Joseph in the Qur’an and the Old Testament


Appendix A: Transliteration Conventions

Appendix B: Qur’anic Terms and Names


General Index

Index of Qur’anic Verses