Thursday, August 18, 2005

Contradictions In The Quran: Two Young Men?

Question: Two young men?
In the story about Joseph, we read about his imprisonment as punishment for the incident with the wife of Aziz:
And there entered with him two young men in the prison. One of them said: "Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) pressing wine." The other said: "Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head and birds were eating thereof." (They said): "Inform us of the interpretation of this. Verily, we think you are one of the Muhsinûn (doers of good)." [Hilali/Khan Translation] -- Surah 12:36
In Genesis 40 the story is told in detail and there we learn that those two men were the chief cupbearer and chief baker of the Pharaoh.
There are two difficulties in the above ayah. First, it contradicts the Torah which in Genesis 39:19-40:3 makes clear that Joseph had been in this prison already for some considerable time before these two men were arrested and put into the same prison. The Qur'an claims they entered prison together with Joseph.
Second, even though their age is not mentioned in the Bible, it is highly unlikely that these senior staff of the court of Pharaoh (chief cupbearer and chief baker) were both "youths" as the Qur'an states them to be.
Answer: the translation clear that Joseph and the two young men entered all the same prison. It did not state who enter first. If the Quran mentioned they were young and the Torah did not mention their ages I do not see a point of futher speculation. My challange is for anyone to get the best Arabic language scholars and try to make a sura similar to that of Joseph sura. If they would not and could not they ought to believe in Quran if they are really sincere to find out if Quran from God.
12:36 Now with him there came into the prison two young men. Said one of them: "I see myself (in a dream) pressing wine." said the other: "I see myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head, and birds are eating, thereof." "Tell us" (they said) "The truth and meaning thereof: for we see thou art one that doth good (to all)." وَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ السِّجْنَ فَتَيَانَ قَالَ أَحَدُهُمَآ إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَعْصِرُ خَمْرًا وَقَالَ الآخَرُ إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَحْمِلُ فَوْقَ رَأْسِي خُبْزًا تَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْهُ نَبِّئْنَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ