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Story of Pharaoh in the

Koran: A Miracle?
by Alamgir Hussain
10 Dec, 2008
A self-professed ex-Muslim atheist found a miracle in the Koran in the story of
Pharaoh, the Egyptian king. In discussions with his friend, he discovered a stunni ng
revelation in the Koran which says that Pharaoh was saved in body although the
Bible (Torah) says, 'Pharaoh was drowned in the Red Sea while chasing Moses and
his companions'. The point he intended to put across is that the Biblical account is
incorrect while the Koranic one is correct. Relevant Koranic and Biblical verses he
cited are as follows:
Bible: "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,
Amazingly, when this was all the worl d knew about the drowning of Pharaoh, the Quran produced this
astoundi ng revelation: "We shall save you in your body this day, so that you may become a sign to all
posterity." (Koran: 10:92)
He sought to relate the Koranic claim of
saving Pharaoh's body in the discovery of
mummies of ancient Kings (Pharaohs) in
Egypt i n the early 20th century. However, he
conveniently ignored the other Koranic
verses, which gi ve a conflicti ng picture of the
fate of Pharaoh as cited below:
And remember We divided the sea for
you and saved you and drowned
Pharaoh's people within your very
sight. [Q 2:50]
(Deeds) after the manner of the people
of Pharaoh and those before them":
They treated as false the Signs of their
Lord: so We destroyed them for their
crimes, and We drowned the people
of Pharaoh: for they were all
oppressors and wrong-doers. [Q 8:54]
And We brought the Children of Israel
across the sea, and Pharaoh with his
hosts pursued them in rebellion and
transgression, ti ll, when the (fate of)

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drowning overtook him, he exclaimed: I believe that there is no Allah save
Him in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of those who surrender
(unto Him). What! Now! When hitherto thou hast rebelled and been of the
wrong-doers? But this day We save thee in thy body that thou mayst be a
portent for those after thee... [Q 10:90]
The story of Pharaoh goes i n the Islamic discourse goes like this:
When Moses took the was fled with the children of Israel, Pharaoh wi th his people
pursued him. Upon arrival at the read sea, Allah parted the sea. Moses and his
people crossed it and when Pharaoh and his people were in the middle of the parted
sea, Allah let the water flow. Pharaoh with his people were drowned.
Now let us have look at the confusing and contradictory picture the Quran draws of
Pharaoh's fate:
1. Quran 2:50 says, Pharaoh and his people, who were i n pursuance of fleeing
Moses, were drowned in Red sea. There is no indication of difference in the
fate of any of them.
2. Quran 8.54 again affirms that Pharaoh and his people, while pursuing Moses,
were all destroyed by drowni ng for their wrong-doings and disbelief.
3. And fi nally Quran 10:90-92 says: Pharaoh had submitted to Islam while
getting drowned and yet, was not forgiven by Allah. Instead, he was saved in
his body to serve as a sign (of evil?) for the posterity.
This account gi ves a glimpse of an utterly confused author, the Islamic God Allah, of
this alleged Holy Book of Truth. When confronted with these Koranic
contradictions, this atheist guy, like a typical Islamic apologist, quickly changed his
mind that the Koran is no more a book of astoundi ng revelation as compared to the
Bible and i nsisted that these divi ne books describe a similarly correct account of
Pharaoh as he said: "Astonishingly, all three books narrates the story of Moses
having contents with startling resemblance". Now he is impressed by the miracle of
these alleged books of revelation that some Egyptian king named Pharaoh ever
existed: "Is there any scientific proof exists that shows Moses or any other
component mentioned in the stories present in Torah, Bible, Quran does exists? At
least I know one, a very weak component, existence of Pharaohs!."
Here is an example of dishonesty and i ntellectual bankruptcy, which a typical
religious apologist will normally demonstrate. This gentleman initially found an
astoundingly different account of Pharaoh in Koran as compared to the Bible (which
is indeed true), but the next moment he changed his mi nd that all these "holy books",
in fact, gi ve a similar account of Pharaoh. The fact that the Koran itself gi ves a very
contradictory picture of Pharaoh's fate will not get into him. No doubt the Koran, as
uncovered by Maurice Bucaille, is a book of all the sciences on earth. This Saudi
royal family doctor's devout disciples from the Muslim community conti nue to unravel
This gentleman appears to believe that it was so difficult for Moses, Jesus and
Muhammad to know that Egyptian ki ng Pharaoh ever existed. Hence, the simple
mention of Pharaoh i n the Torah and the Koran itself is a piece of scientific miracle of
these divi ne books. This account clearly demonstrates his ignorance about the
historical background of the religious scriptures and history of the Middle East and
Egypt as I will expound it in the followi ng paragraphs.
Who was Pharaoh?
All Muslims (also probably all believing Jews and Christians) believe that Pharaoh
was the name of the Egyptian ki ng duri ng the time of Moses and he died drowned in
the Red Sea when he and his men were chasing Moses and his men (Children of
Israel) who were fleeing Egypt. But Pharaoh was not the name of an indi vidual king;
it was actually the title of the ancient Egyptian rulers like the ki ng, emperor or raja.
Thus, there were many Pharaohs i n Egypt from 3200 BCE until Alexander the great
conquered it in 332 BCE. Although some of them may have been unki nd rulers like
other rulers around the world at that time, a few of them were actually kind,
generous, intelligent and concerned about the welfare of the people. The most kind
and generous Pharaoh was Ahmis I (d. 1610 BCE). He was very concerned for his
subjects and ensuri ng better comfort, happiness and welfare of his people was his
motto. He was so popular with his people that the Egyptians worshiped him for
almost a thousand years after his death until the Persians conquered Egypt i n 525
Another great Pharaoh was Rameses II (or Rameses the Great, 13171251 BCE)
and if Moses (allegedly born in 1359 BCE) ever had lived on eart h, Rameses II is the
evil Pharaoh drowned i n the red sea as described in the Bible, later copied in the
Koran. The truth of the matter is that Rameses-II was a very intelligent, strongly
secular and scientific-mi nded; he had great interest in arts and architecture. He was
in no way a cruel king as described in the story of EXODUS. If the Pharaoh in the
story of EXODUS was indeed Rameses II, then this story is one of the greatest
character-assassination efforts i n human history. Character-ki lli ng incidences are not
rare in human history, particularly i n holy scriptures. We see in Hi ndu tradition that
Ravana, a very ki nd and respectable monarch, is horribly character-assassi nated i n
the epic of Ramayana, while the uncouth, unjust and treacherous gang of Rama and
his brother are revered. In Islam, similar character assassination has been done
concerning the Pagans and Jews of Arabia, who were, in any account, a very
tolerant, generous and nonviolent people, opposed to Prophet Muhammad's gang of
plunders, mass-murderers, enslavers and rapists.
Name Pharaoh in books of revelations a miracle?
This gentle atheist feels that simply the occurrence of the word Pharaoh in the Bible
and the Koran is a miracle, a scientific proof (weak?) of the divi nity of these books.
But does it qualify to be any kind of miracle?
Unlikely so! Egyptian rulers assumed the Pharaoh title from ~3200 to 332 BCE and
scores of Pharaohs ruled Egypt during that period. Given that the story of the
EXODUS was revealed either by an alleged God or composed by some jealous and
mischievous writer as folklores, duri ng about the time of alleged Moses (13001200
BCE) or later, when Pharaoh was sti ll the title of the Egyptian king, the author
naturally used the term 'Pharaoh' to describe the Egyptian monarch. Hence, it is
naive at best to discover a miracle i n the occurrence of the word 'Pharaoh' i n the
Bible and the Koran. The failure of di vine books to specify which Pharaoh was
involved i n animosity with Moses exposes their baselessness.
The mummy story
The Egyptians used to mummify their dead bodies if they could afford, which, they
thought, would ensure peace to their departed soul in afterlife. And obviously, the
dead bodies of Kings (Pharaohs) were mummified. Mummification of dead bodies
conti nued for about 3,000 years until the 4th century CE, when many Egyptians had
become Christians and no longer believed that mummi fication was necessary for
after-death salvation of the soul. Eventually, the Egyptians gave up the art and
science of making mummies.
Since Prophet Muhammad was born just about two hundreds years after the tradition
of mummification ceased to continue and gi ven the proximity of the Arabia with
Egypt, Prophet Muhammad undoubtedly heard folklore stories and legends about
mummification, especially of Egyptian Pharaohs (Kings). Although Muhammad failed
to describe mummification of Pharaoh's bodies properly (simply said Pharaoh was
saved i n his body), indeed Pharaoh Rameses II was mummified and preserved; he
was never drowned i n the Red Sea as described in Exodus. When everyone
accompanying Pharaoh was perished by Allah in the red sea, who brought the dead
body of Pharaoh from there to Egypt and did the mummification? It was more likely
that Moses and his followers would have brought Pharaoh's dead body to Israel for
preservation as wished by the Allah. But there is no mummy found i n Israel. If at all
that happened, the mummy of the Pharaoh of Abrahamic scriptures must be buried
underneath somewhere in Israel and is not at all acting as the warni ng or signs of
evil, for which Allah wished to save Pharaoh in his body [Quran 10:9092]. Allah's
wish failed to materialize.
The fact is that Muhammad was confused by the stories of Old Testament and the
stories of mummies of Pharaohs preserved in Egyptian pyramids; therefore, he gave
conflicting accounts of Pharaoh's fate i n the Koran.
In fact, Ramses II is one of the three most famous Egyptians mummies, namely
Tutankhamen, Seti I and Rameses II (Ramses the Great). Although great Pharaoh
Ramses II may have been severely character-assassinated by the fables of di vine
scriptures, the ci vilized people of the world paid due respect to the mummified body
of Ramses II; it never served as a "sign of evil" as Allah wished in the Koran. Here
goes the story:
Rameses the Great ruled over Egypt from
12791212 BC, an incredible 67 years.
Rameses was legendary in many respects. At
a time when most people lived only a few
decades, Rameses was about 90 years old
when he died. He was a tall man about six feet
in height, when the average Egyptian was a
little over five feet tall. Rameses had many
wives in his lifetime and is believed to have fathered over 100 children.
In 1974, Egyptologists at the Cairo Museum noticed that the mummy's condition was getting
worse rapidly . They decided to fly Rameses II to Paris so that a team of experts could give the
mummy a medical examination. Did you know that even a mummy needs a passport to travel?
Ramses II was issued an Egyptian passport that listed his occupation as "King (deceased)."
Once in Paris, Ramses was diagnosed with, and treated for, a fungal i nfection.
During the exami nation, scientific analysis revealed battle wounds and old fractures,
plus arthritis and poor circulation Pharaoh's body at the time of his death. In addition,
experts were able to determi ne some of the flowers and herbs that were used for the
embalming him, which included lots of camomile oil.
Thus, the story of Pharaoh or the discovery of mummies of Egyptian kings or
whatsoever, none of them gives any credibility to the fables or legends described in
the Bible and the Koran. A proper historical, scientific and rational i nvestigation only
unravels the baselessness of those stories.

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