The Quran is the holy book of Islam which Muslims believe is the revelation of Allah given to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. While the Quran has many problems with it demonstrating that it does not come from God, I want to focus here on the most glaring historical errors in the Quran which contradict the Bible and known history:
1. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the same individual as Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron and daughter of Amram:
“Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, ‘O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste’” (Surah 19:27-28).
“And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient” (Surah 66:12).
‘Imran is an alternate spelling of Amram who is the father of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam according to the Bible:
“Amram took as his wife Jochebed his father’s sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses, the years of the life of Amram being 137 years” (Exod 6:20).
“[Mention, O Muhammad], when the wife of ‘Imran said, ‘My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.’ But when she delivered her, she said, ‘My Lord, I have delivered a female.’ And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, ‘And the male is not like the female. And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah]’” (Surah 3:35-36).
This mistake is understandable given that the name Mary comes from the Hebrew name Miriam.
2. Haman lived at the same time as Moses and was a servant to Pharaoh:
“And We did certainly send Moses with Our signs and a clear authority to Pharaoh, Haman and Qarun [Korah]; but they said, ‘[He is] a magician and a liar’” (Surah 40:23-24).
“And Pharaoh said, ‘O Haman, construct for me a tower that I might reach the ways – the ways into the heavens – so that I may look at the deity of Moses; but indeed, I think he is a liar.’ And thus was made attractive to Pharaoh the evil of his deed, and he was averted from the [right] way. And the plan of Pharaoh was not except in ruin” (Surah 40:36-37).
3. The water test of Judges 7:1-8 was commanded by Saul instead of Gideon:
“And when Saul went forth with the soldiers, he said, ‘Indeed, Allah will be testing you with a river. So whoever drinks from it is not of me, and whoever does not taste it is indeed of me, excepting one who takes [from it] in the hollow of his hand.’ But they drank from it, except a [very] few of them. Then when he had crossed it along with those who believed with him, they said, ‘There is no power for us today against Goliath and his soldiers.’ But those who were certain that they would meet Allah said, ‘How many a small company has overcome a large company by permission of Allah. And Allah is with the patient’” (Surah 2:249-250).
4. Alexander the Great was a Muslim:
According to Surah 18:83-98, Alexander the Great was a follower of Allah. But we know from history that Alexander was a polytheistic pagan. For more information on this error, go to 36:30 in this helpful documentary.
5. Jesus was never crucified:
“And [for] their saying, ‘Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.’ And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain” (Surah 4:157).
This is the greatest historical error of all in the Quran since the extra-biblical evidence for the crucifixion of Christ is overwhelming. In addition, the Quran confirms the accuracy of the Gospel which teaches that Jesus was crucified:
“And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. And let the People of the Gospel [Christians] judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient” (Surah 5:46-47).
Other places in the Quran which affirm the truthfulness of the Gospel and Torah include Surah 2:136; 3:3; 5:110; 7:157; 16:43; 20:133; 21:7; and 40:53-54. According to the Quran, Christians are commanded to judge by the Gospel. But since the Gospel teaches that Jesus was indeed crucified, the Quran is in error. Muslims try to get around this objection by saying that the Gospel we have today has been corrupted. But this is impossible, not only because we have many complete New Testament manuscripts which predate the Quran, but also because the Quran tells Christians to judge by the Gospel. But how can they judge by the Gospel if it had been corrupted by the time of Muhammad when Surah 5:46-47 was given?