The Miraculous Qur’an and the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt

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 This is my most recent interview with Paul Williams on his outstanding channel, Blogging Theology.

This presentation is based on research by my wife, Dr Shetha Al-Dargazelli, and myself. The findings were first published about a quarter of a century ago in a book titled “History Testifies to the Infallibility of the Qur’an: Early History of The Children of Israel”. This was the first detailed investigation of the Qur’anic narrative of the exodus in the light of the history and archaeology of ancient Egypt. The book made major observations that had not been made before.

In 2008, we rewrote the book, mainly to improve its structure and readability, and published it under the title The Mystery of Israel in Ancient Egypt: The Exodus in the Qur’an, the Old Testament, Archaeological Finds, and Historical Sources.

Due to time constraints, the interview dealt only with some aspects of the story of the exodus.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “The Miraculous Qur’an and the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt

  1. Assalamualaikum Dr Fatoohi,
    I wartched the video and want to thank you specifically for the richness of information provided in this lecture. May Allah reward you!

  2. Wa’alaykum al-salam, sister!

    Thank you for your kind words. I am happy that you found the video informative. Jazaki Allahu khayran.

  3. Salam Dr Louay, its beautiful work you’ve done. I have a consideration I’d like to discuss with you on the pharoah of the Exodus. Thutmose III ruled for 30 some years as pharoah, and we don’t know the exact ages of Musa (a.s) (assuming his birth in the first year of the reign of Thutmose III). There is a minor chance of this pharoah being the pharoah of the exodus. Also, there are pharoah’s who’s exact reigns we don’t know about. For example, Horemheb (New Kingdom) ruled 14 or 27 years or even longer (wikipedia mentions there is an inscription mentioning year 59 of Horemheb’s reign, but how that’s possible is disputed). We must also know that Egyptian records are non reliable, as they will always paint the best picture and hide information that is shameful to them. However, I agree with the fact that Ramesis II is the most likely candidate. The litmus test for the identity of the pharoah is the preservation of the body of the pharoah. I’m not sure if the pharoahs i mention here are preserved, but the body of Ramesis ii is preserved.

  4. Thank you for your kind words.

    As I mentioned in the video, in this subject, we have to work with incomplete and inaccurate data, assumptions, and approximations. What I presented is my ijtihad. Is it possible to be inaccurate or wrong, of course it is. But this is what I think is the more likely scanrio.

    1. Dr Louay you’ve done beautifully well ma sha Allah and I’m definitely learning from your work. Yes, I agree this looks like a very likely scenario what you present

  5. Assalamu alaikum Dr Fatoohi,

    I agree with your proposals of both one pharaoh and this pharaoh being Ramesses II. In fact, I had also reached the same opinion unaware of your argument. Of course, as a younger brother than you :), I haven elaborating these issues for few years without noticing that you have already outlined this quite quarter century ago. :) I think this tewafuq is meaningful and motivating for further inquiry for hidayah.
    As you emphasized Ramesses 2 was one of the longest reinging and powerful pharaoh of Egypt. In fact, Quran in different verses confirms that. For example, 83rd verse of Surah al-Yunus says Pharaoh was very supreme in his land. Clue verses you provided for your argument are astonishing and I have also interpretted some of them in similar way unaware of your arguments. It just came right on time by meeting with your videos. May Allah reward you in best and unprecedented way.
    I would also like to contribute your arguments with few points:
    1. As you have mentioned, Musa as was probably around 40 years old when Exodus happened. I mean that is a quite fair point. And if we assume that Torah was revealed to Musa as right after the Exodus (Jewish sources imply about 7 weeks of time interval), then it spiritually make sense as Muhammad s.a.s. also became Rasul at the age of 40. And I think we have plausible clues to believe so. As you said verses in surah al-Qasas are key to estimate this times. Old Testemant we have in hand says Musa as left Egypt when he was 40 and stayed at Midian 40 years more and another 40 years he lived after exodus. It seems to me that in later times, jews have tried to construct nice pattern for Musa’s as lifetime in order to strengthen his holiness and jews in fact loves to deal with numbering things. :) [same is true for ascension of Moses to Mt Sinai in each of which he fast 40 days although Quran implies only once 40 days/nights period after which tablets were given again at once, no mention of breaking of them]. And yes 40 is still important in Musa’s as life but somehow they related and attached many instances to this number. I suspect that the original info was Musa as ultimately departed Egypt at 40 with exodus but they somehow wrongly attributed to this to first escape (to Midian). Interestingly, in rabbinic literature, it is asserted that Musa as remained captive in Jitro’s house 7 to 10 years. Of course, there are discrepancies within the story of Moses and Jitro but at least years are pretty much in line with Quranic verses (Qasas/27). It further says Musa as lived in Pharaoh’s house for about twenty years which is in line with your calculations. It even mentions trumpiant Nubia (Ethiopia) campaign of Moses who is appointed as commander by the pharaoh. He even allegedly became king of Nubia at age of 27 and remained for 40 years before heading to Midian where he was again allegedly kept as prisoner by Jitro, his future father-in-law. Rabbis somehow tried to reconcile this story to fit to Moses’s story in Torah but the story has its flaws and hard to reconcile. After all, Quranic story is more plausible and make sense and confirms some of the extrabiblical context. Regarding Qasas/14, I think you make quite fair point in interpreting (بَلَغَ اَشُدَّهُ) term as marital age as in many different verses of Quran it implies so. You have rightly one example as Yusuf/22 and there are many supporting verses else where like Ahqaf/15 and An’am 19. A male can reach at his full strength by 18 but development still continues according to science. For example, bone development continues until 22 while mental development continues even during thirties. I think interpretation of “wastawa” term is critical but exegesis vary in identifying this some say 18, some say 33 while some claim 40 for the phrase as you have mentioned during your speech. I think your rationing is quite plausible and leaving for madian during early or mid twenties is quite possible. Madian period is most likely 10 years since Ibn Abbas has similar anticipation to yours referring to prophets’ saadiq al waad qualities. Your estimate for stay of Musa as in Egypt after Allah’s order in Wadi al Tuwa is also quite fair, i think. Araf/130-135 definitely implies multiple years. Especially verse 130 says “sinin” which means at least 3 years. Also Verse 133 says plagues are sent separately which should cover multiple years. Considering your bas vs. good years phenomenon, it requires at least 5 years.
    Another point is that I belive Egyptologists slightly misdate reign of Ramesses II to BCE 1279 to 1213. It believe it should lie between BCE 1276 to 1209. I have viable reasons for this argument which I am still working on it based on historical findings and divine texts. I believe Musa as might have born around BCE 1250-1245 when Ramesses was during his fifties. Still I am trying to narrow down these dates in order to show plausibility of historicity of these event, it requires some additional time.
    And lastly regarding the wife of pharaoh, Asiyah, I think you make excellent point that no one catched and remained in blind spot as referencing to Asiyah’s wish from Allah for a heavenly humble house relative to the temple dedicated to nefertari. I belive Asiyah was Isetnofret (beatiful Iset/Aset). I have few justification points. First the name invokes Asiyah(t). Second, it is believed that after death of nefertari, isetnofret was the favorite consort of Ramesses 2 after regnal year 25 of him who ruled 67 years. She was also the mother of next pharaoh Merneptah. On the other hand, little is known about her life and origin. Even her tomb is not known. And there are implications that many inscriptions, statues etc. are cencored or destroyed with few remaining in contrast to her predecessor. Such a mystery to such an important queen! We do not even know when she died. Her origin is not also known preciesly. Linking to narration in some exegesis she might even be origin of semitic tribes like canaanites/amalikates. We might even speculate that she might linked to previous hyksos nobles, even to descendants of Yusuf a.s. God knows best. As I said I am also elaborating on identifying Quranic events like you but I feel we are still on visible part of the iceberg. Thank you very much for the insight, guidance and information you provided to me and the ummah. JazakAllah khayr.

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