THE WORD "PHARAOH" IN THE QUR'AN
the Old Testament, the Egyptian ruler during the period of Prophet
Ibrahim (as) and Prophet Yusuf (as) are named "Pharaoh." However,
this title was actually employed after the eras in which these two
While addressing the Egyptian ruler at the time of Prophet Yusuf
(as), the word "Al-Malik" in Arabic is used in the Qur'an:
It refers to a ruler, king or sultan:
The King said, 'Bring him to me straight away!'�
The ruler of Egypt in the time of the Prophet Musa (as) is referred
to as "Pharaoh." This distinction in the Qur'an is not made in the
Old and New Testaments nor by Jewish historians. In the Bible, the
word "Pharaoh" is used, in every reference to an Egyptian monarch.
On the other hand, the Qur'an is far more concise and accurate in
the terminology it employs.
The use of the word "Pharaoh" in Egyptian history
belongs only to the late period. This particular title began to
be employed in the 14th century B.C., during the reign of Amenhotep
IV. The Prophet Yusuf (as) lived at least 200 years before that
The Encyclopaedia Britannica says that the word "Pharaoh"
was a title of respect used from the New Kingdom (beginning with
the 18th dynasty; B.C. 1539-1292) until the 22nd dynasty (B.C. 945-730),
after which this term of address became the title of the king. Further
information on this subject comes from the Academic American
Encyclopaedia, which states that the title of Pharaoh began
to be used in the New Kingdom.
In this way We give
you news of what has gone before and We have given you a reminder
direct from Us. Those who turn away from it will bear a heavy
burden on the Day of Rising.
(Qur’an, 20: 99-100)
As we have seen, the use of the word "Pharaoh" dates from a specific
period in history. For that reason, the fact that the Qur'an distinguishes
between the different Egyptian titles in different Egyptian eras
is yet another proof that the Qur'an is Allah's Word.
216. Elias Karîm, “Qur’anic
Accuracy vs. Biblical Error: The Kings & Pharaohs of Egypt,”
Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, “An Aspect of the Qur’aan’s
Miraculous Nature,” www.islaam.com/Article.asp?id=40.