Questions and Answers > Qur'an > Contradictions Qur'an 1-15

Qur’an 7:124 - Crucifixion in Egypt?

The Qur’an is telling us that crucifixion was used as execution method in Egypt (Qur’an 7:124, 20:71, 26:49). However, historical research is telling us that there was no crucifixion in Egypt in those days.

1. Meaning of the word “to crucify”
The Arabic word “salaba” means “to crucify” and occurs 6 times in the Qur’an. The word is most likely derived from the word “cross” in Syriac. In the Qur’an, crucifixion is in most cases connected with Egypt in the time of Joseph and Moses [1].

2. Qur’an about crucifixion as execution method in Egypt
Qur’an 7:124, 20:71, 26:49 show stories about the People of Israel in Egypt. History estimates the events not later than 3300 years ago. Crucifixion starts in history as an execution method among the Seleucids, Carthaginians, and Romans not earlier than 2500 years ago [2]. Therefore the Qur’an verses are in contradiction with historical facts.

3. Qur’an about crucifixion before the time of Moses
In Qur’an 12:41 is a story of Joseph about crucifixion, many centuries before Moses. History describes the events at some 3800 years ago, a big difference with the historical proven start of crucifixion. The word “to crucify” in Qur’an 12:41 is in Arabic “salaba” which is the same as in Qur’an 4:157 with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ [3]. This means that with crucifixion in Qur’an 12:41 is meant the true crucifixion method the Romans used.

4. No evidence in the Bible about crucifixion before the time of Jesus Christ
Some Muslims claim that in Genesis 40:19 is evidence about crucifixion in the time of Joseph: Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.” However there is no crucifixion in this verse, it only mentions “hang on a tree” after the execution. Deuteronomy 21:22-23, Joshua 8:29 with “hung on a tree” are also not a reference to crucifixion. The The Hebrew word "talah" means "hung" and this is another execution method.

5. Conclusion
The old Egyptians didn’t crucify anyone because it was not invented. Therefore the Qur’an mentions crucifixion in a time that contradicts historical and Biblical facts.


Notes:

1. Neal Robinson, Crucifixion, in: Jane Dammen McAuliffe (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, Volume One, A-D, Brill, Leiden, 2001, 487-488.
2. Wikipedia, Crucifixion, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion
3. Neal Robinson, Crucifixion, in: Jane Dammen McAuliffe (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, Volume One, A-D, Brill, Leiden, 2001, 468-470.