(In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

(In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

About Pharaoh (Firon)



Dr. Amtul Qudoos Farhat
We (Allah) rehearse unto thee a portion of the story of Moses and Pharaoh
with truth, for the benefit of a people who would believe. (Al Quran 28:04)
We sent Moses with Our Signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they unjustly
rejected them. Behold, then, what was the end of those who created
disorder!(Al Quran 7:104)
This day shall We save you (O Pharaoh) in your body, that you may be a
Sign to those who come after you!But indeed, many among mankind are
neglectful of Our Signs. (Al Quran 10:93)
Pharaoh who denied the prophethood of Moses died more than 3000 years ago. More
than 1500 years after the Pharaoh’s death, the Holy Quran prophesized that Pharaoh’s
body has been saved. In the 19th century, the prophecy of the Holy Quran became
fulfilled when Pharaoh’s mummy was discovered.

Mummy of Ramesses II (left) and Merneptah (Right)
The word ‘Pharaoh’:
Since the term Pharaoh has been used for multiple kings of ancient Egypt, it should be
established as to which Pharaoh the Holy Quran prophesizes about and whether this is the
same Pharaoh whose dead body was found in the 19th century.
According to the book Reading the Past-Egyptian Hieroglyphics, published by the British
Museum, Egyptians did not call their rulers ‘Pharaoh’ until the 18th Dynasty (1552 -
1295 BC).1 The title Pharaoh was coined to designate the king from the new kingdom
onward. In the language of the hieroglyphs, ‘Pharaoh’ was first referred to the king
during the reign of Amenhophis IV (1352-1338 BC). Prior to this period ‘Pharaoh’ wasused for majestic buildings and palaces.2 The ruler of Egypt in the time of the prophet
Moses, may peace be on him, is called Pharaoh in the Holy Quran. The Book of Exodus,
in the Holy Bible also refers to him as Pharaoh in at least 120 places.
Dynasties of Pharaohs:
The period of the New Kingdom (1600 BC-1150 BC) / (1552-1068 BC) corresponds to
the Mosaic Period.3 The kings and Pharaohs who ruled during this period include:
Ahmose, Amenhotep (Amenophis), Tuthmose (Thuthmosis), Hatshepsut, Akhenaten
(Amenophis IV), Tutankhamen, Horemheb, Seti (Sethos), Ramesses and Merenptah.
Since the prophet Moses lived around 13th century BC so one of these rulers must have
been the Pharaoh of Mosaic period.4 The ancient kingdom of Egypt is divided in to
periods and dynasties: Table: 1

Number  Period                                      Approximate Years           Dynasty
1            The Early Dynastic Period         3000-2600 B.C.      The first & second Dynasties
2            The Old Kingdom                     2600-2100 B.C.      The Third to Eighth Dynasties
3            The First Intermediate Period    2100-2050 B.C.      Ninth and Tenth Dynasties
4           The Middle Kingdom                 2050-1800 B.C.      The Eleventh and Twelfth Dynasties
5           The Second IntermediatePeriod 1800-1600 B.C.      The Thirteenth to Seventeenth Dynasties
6           The New Kingdom                   1600-1150 B.C.       The Eighteenth to TwentiethDynasties
7           The Late Dynastic Period          1150-330 B.C.         The Twenty-First to ThirtiethDynasties

The Pharaoh of Moses a Transgressor according to the Quran:

When Moses and Aaron, may peace be on both, were commissioned to prophet hood,
they were directed to deliver the message of Allah to Pharaoh, the arrogant and the
transgressor. They asked him to liberate the Israelites from his bondage and there are
several mentions of this communication in the Holy Quran:
We are the Messengers of the Lord of the worlds. (26:17) (20:25) (20:44)
And We did send Moses with Our Signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs, and he said, ‘I am
truly a Messenger of the Lord of the worlds.’ (43:47) (7:105)
Indeed, Pharaoh behaved arrogantly in the earth, and divided the people thereof into
parties: he sought to weaken a party of them, slaying their sons, and sparing their women.
Certainly, he was of the mischief- makers. (28:05)
Pharaoh proclaimed to be the lord himself and challenged the supreme authority of Allah.
He said: ‘Who then is the Lord of you two, O Moses?’ (20:50) ‘What then will be the
fate of the former generations?’(20:52)
‘O chiefs, I know of no God for you other than myself; (23:39) “If thou takest a God
other than me, I will certainly put thee into prison.’ (26:30)
‘O my people!does not the kingdom of Egypt belong to me and these streams flowing
under me? Do you not then see?’ (43:52)
His people didn’t accept the message because of fear of persecution, according to the
Holy Quran:
And none obeyed Moses save some youths from among his people, because of the fear of
Pharaoh and their chiefs, lest he should persecute them. And of a truth, Pharaoh was a
tyrant in the land and surely he was of the transgressors. (10:84) (20:80) (23:47)
Pharaoh challenged, ‘If thou (Moses) hast indeed come with a Sign, then produce it, if
thou art of the truthful.’ (7:107) And We did show him (Pharaoh) Our Signs, all of them;
but he rejected them and refused to believe. (20:57) (10:76) (17:02)
Moses explained to him again: ‘Thou knowest well that none has sent down these Signs
but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as so many evidences; and I certainly think
thee, O Pharaoh, to be a ruined man.’ (17:103)
Pharaoh invited wrath of God and in doing so he was a transgressor. He called Moses a
‘mad man,’ ‘a magician,’ ‘a liar’ (40:25) and threatened to kill him (40:27).
Dr. Maurice Bucaille writes about Exodus in his book, the Bible the Quran and Science
examines whether Moses dealt with one Pharaoh or two different ones in his life time.
He writes, “This hypothesis, which starts with the Bible, is complemented by the
information contained in the Qur'an. Modern data are added to these two Scriptural
sources and it is thus possible, through a confrontation between the Bible, the Qur'an and
today's knowledge, to situate this episode from the Holy Scriptures in a historical
The Holy Quran tells how Israelites under the guidance of Moses and Aaron planned to
cross the Red Sea, and how they were chased by Pharaoh of the time and his hosts and in
doing so, they all drowned:
“We brought the Children of Israel across the sea and Pharaoh and his troops pursued
them out of tyranny and enmity. Then, when he was on the point of drowning, he
(Pharaoh) said, I believe that there is no god but Him in whom the Children of Israel
believe. I am of those who submit to God. What!Now!And indeed you disobeyed before
and you were of the mischief-makers. This day shall We save you in your body, that you
may be a Sign to those who come after you!But indeed, many among mankind are
neglectful of Our Signs." (Al Quran 10:90-92)
The Holy Quran reveals detailed account of the last moments of Pharaoh while drowning.
It reveals that Pharaoh accepted and submitted to the God of Moses Who promised him
to be saved in body and made a sign for the world.
This is the prophecy which no other scripture had revealed. Not even the historians of the
time had any clue. The mummified bodies of all the Pharaohs lay concealed in the Valley
of Kings (KV7 & 8) along the banks of the Nile at this time and even the plunderers of
tombs did not know who was buried in them. Their discovery took place in the 19th
The Old Testament also gives the account of Pharaoh as follows:
"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 14:28) For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen
into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the
Children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.” (Exodus 15:19)
Unlike the Holy Quran, in this account of the Old Testament, there is neither any clue of
the last moments of Pharaoh nor of the destiny and fate of his mummy in years to come.
All it mentions is that all of them drowned.
According to Dr. Maurice Bucaille:
“When the Qur'an was transmitted to man by the Prophet, the bodies of all the
Pharaohs who are today considered (rightly or wrongly) to have something to do with the
Exodus were in their tombs of the Necropolis of Thebes, on the opposite side of the Nile
from Luxor. At the time however, absolutely nothing was known of this fact, and it was
not until the end of the Nineteenth century that they were discovered there. As the Qur'an
states, the body of the Pharaoh of the Exodus was in fact rescued: whichever of the
Pharaohs it was, visitors may see him in the Royal Mummies Room of the Egyptian
Museum, Cairo. The truth is therefore very different from the ludicrous legend that
Father Couroyer has attached to the Qur'an.”5 6
Who was the Pharaoh of Moses: Ramesses II or his son Merneptah?
The name of Pharaoh whom Moses gave the message of God has not been mentioned in
the Holy Bible or the Holy Quran.
Scholars have placed Moses at various points within the New Kingdom from Tuthmosis
II (1493-1479 BC) to Merneptah (1212-1202 BC).7 The Academic American
Encyclopedia situates Moses in the 13th century BC and the Exodus taking place in 1250
BC. By historical and religious consensus Moses was born and brought up by Ramesses
II son of Seti, the first (1301-1235 BC) who ruled for more than 65 years.8 According to
Encyclopedia Britannica, as it describes Ramesses II the Great, “He was the third king of
the 19th dynasty (1292–1190 bce) of ancient Egypt, whose reign (1279–13 bce) was the
second longest in Egyptian history. In addition to his wars with the Hittites and Libyans,
he is known for his extensive building programs and for the many colossal statues of him
found all over Egypt.”9
Merneptah, the warrior king of Palestine was his successor who ruled only for few years
(4-8 years).
Holt’s World History: A Dictionary of important people, places and events, identifies
Merneptah as the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Similarly the Egyptologist Pierre Montet in his
book ‘Egypt and the Bible’ also concludes that Merneptah was the Pharaoh of the
Exodus.10 The Hutchison New Century Encyclopaedia also believes that Merneptah was
most likely the Pharaoh at that time.
According to Father de Vaux's theory there was a single ruler during the period of
Moses life time. (The Ancient History of Israel) and that unquestionably makes Ramesses
II the Pharaoh of Moses.
Actually, as early as Eusebius of Caesarea, Ramesses II was identified as the Pharaoh of
Exodus. The most popular and authentic film on Christianity ‘The Ten Commandments’
released in 1958 cast Yul Bryner as Ramesses II, the Pharaoh of Exodus.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica:
“The reign of Ramses II marks the last peak of Egypt’s imperial power. After his death
Egypt was forced on the defensive but managed to maintain its suzerainty over Palestine
and the adjacent territories until the later part of the 20th dynasty, when the migration of
militant Sea Peoples into the Levant ended Egypt’s power beyond its borders.”11
So far historians agree that the Pharaoh of Exodus was either the Ramesses II or his son
Merneptah. Both of them were cruel and despotic to Israelites and bodies of both have
been found and displayed in Cairo Museum for visitation.
For the purposes of the Quranic prophecy, it does not matter whether Ramesses II or
Merneptah was the Pharaoh of Exodus. Since the bodies of both, Ramses II and
Merneptah have been found, confirmed medically and displayed for visitation for all
mankind in the Cairo Museum; bearing testimony to the fulfillment of the prophecy of
the Holy Quran 1500 years ago!
The elegance of the Quranic prophecy:
This day shall We save you (O Pharaoh) in your body, that you may be a
Sign to those who come after you!But indeed, many among mankind are
neglectful of Our Signs." (Al Quran 10:93)

 Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad writes in his book Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and
“All that the Bible mentions of Pharaoh and his pursuing army is that each of
them was drowned without exception.
'Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army
of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them
But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea...'
(Exodus 14:28–29)
Evidently, according to this Biblical statement, all bodies were claimed by the
sea, Pharaoh being no exception. The rout was total. As against this, the following
is the statement of the Quran referring to the same event. The difference is so
‘And We brought the children of Israel across the sea; and Pharaoh and his hosts
pursued them wrongfully and aggressively, till, when the calamity of drowning
overtook him, he said, 'I believe that there is no God but He in Whom the children
of Israel believe, and I am of those who submit to Him.'
What!Now!While thou wast disobedient before this and wast of those who
create disorder.
So this day We will save thee in thy body alone that thou mayest be a Sign to
those who come after thee. And surely, many of mankind are heedless of Our
It should be especially noted here that contrary to this Quranic statement, the
Biblical account does not as much as hint at the possibility of the retrieval of
Pharaoh's body: '... not so much as one of them remained.' (Al Quran 10:91-93)
Hence, till the time the Quran mentions the saving of Pharaoh's body with the
purpose that the posterity may learn their lesson from it, no human source of
history had ever referred to it.
When the Quran was revealed, the tombs of the Egyptian kings lay buried deep
under layer upon layer of desert sand. Little was known of the science of
mummification to the people of that age, certainly not to the Arabs. No books or
tradition, religious or otherwise, had ever hinted at the rescue of Pharaoh's body
let alone mention its subsequent preservation. This account of the Quran is unique
also in the sense that it does not merely reveal some past events which were till
then unknown to the rest of the world, but it also prophesizes that the future
would testify to the truth of the Quranic statement. It was implausible enough to
conceive that the body of Pharaoh having drowned in the conditions described by
the Bible, could be retrieved. The phenomenon of such a body, even if retrieved,
would present no small problem for the purpose of mummification.
Yet, this is what the Quran claims. No man could have dreamt of making such a
statement contrary to the available historical evidence at the time of the revelation
of the Quran.”12
The contrast between the Quranic and the Biblical description is very glaring and speaks
volumes about the elegance of the Quran and its special status among the scriptures.
Dis covery of the mummy of Ramesses II:
It was discovered in 1881 among many other royal mummies in the Royal Cache in Deir
el-Bahri (DB320) on the Theban west-bank. It was contained in a closely contemporary
anthropoid wooden coffin and was superficially intact. The mummy was unwrapped by
Gaston Maspero at Bulaq on June 03, 1886. A hieratic docket recording its rewrapping
and reburial in the tomb of Seti I (KV17) was found beneath the outer bandages and a
shroud decorated within an image of the goddess Nut.
The examination gave hints to the original burial. The linen fragments, woven in blue and
metallic gold were discovered within the body. A microscopic examination of sand
particles associated with the body suggested that pharaoh was embalmed in the north of
Egypt, at some distance from the Nile. This is because no aquatic-plant pollen was found
in the body. He was suffering from severe dental problems and was plagued by arthritis
and hardening of the arteries. He died at about 90 years of age.
According to the recordings of hieroglyphics on the linen covering the body of the
Ramesses II, he was originally buried in the tomb KV7 in the Valley of the Kings. It was
removed from the actual royal tomb for safety reasons by Egyptian priests in the 10th
year of the reign of king Pinodjem (around 1070 B.C.) and transferred to a holding area.
They re-wrapped it and then placed it inside the tomb of queen Inhapy. Within three days
it was again moved to the tomb of the high priest Pinudjem II. His mummy can be found
today in Cairo's Egyptian Museum:
The pharaoh's mummy features a hooked nose and strong jaw, and is below average
height for an ancient Egyptian, standing some 1.7 metres (5 ft 7 in). Microscopic
inspection of the roots of Ramesses II's hair at a later stage proved that the original color
of the king's hair was red suggesting the origin from a family of redheads. In ancient
Egypt, people with red hair were associated with the god Seth, the slayer of Osiris, and
the name of Ramesses II's father, Seti I, means ‘follower of Seth.’
In 1974, the mummy of Ramesses II was flown to Paris for examination. He was issued
an Egyptian passport that listed his occupation as ‘King (deceased).’ The mummy was
received at Le Bourget airport, just outside Paris, with the full military honours befitting a
king. In Paris, Ramesses’s mummy was diagnosed and treated for a fungal infection.
During the examination, scientific analysis revealed battle wounds and old fractures, as
well as the Pharaoh's arthritis and poor circulation. For the last decades of his life,
Ramesses II was essentially crippled with arthritis and walked with a hunched back.
Recent studies however excluded ankylosing spondylitis as a possible cause of the
Pharaoh's arthritis. A significant hole in the Pharaoh's mandible was detected while "an
abscess by his teeth was serious enough to have caused death by infection, although this
cannot be determined with certainty. When Ramesses' mummy returned to Egypt, it was
visited by the then-President Anwar Sadat and his wife.
 Valley of the Kings-Tomb of Ramesses II and his sons
Mummy of Merneptah:
The mummy of Merneptah was discovered in 1898 along with eighteen other mummies
in the tomb of Amenhotep II. It is believed that he was originally buried in the Valley of
the Kings. The mummy was unwrapped and identified in Cairo by Dr. G. Elliott Smith on
July 8, 1907
In 1975, Dr Maurice Bucaille received permission to examine the bodies of mummies.
The primary medical examinations (1974-1975) of Ramesses II and Merneptah were
carried out in Egypt by a team of ten doctors and dentists. They made certain discoveries
which cast new light on a variety of old questions pertaining to Pharaoh Merneptah.
The forensic evidence was given by Dr Maurice Bucaille, a French surgeon and
Archeologist who gave the forensic report that Merneptah died of asphyxiation/ due to
drowning. He had no knowledge of Islam or the Holy Quran and its prophecies at that
time. Knowing that this is the prophecy of the Holy Quran being fulfilled, drove him to
learn Arabic to read and understand the Holy Quran himself. He ultimately became a
Muslim. Merneptah’s body bears the traces of fatal blows. It is reported that these marks
may have been caused during his drowning or after the recovery of his body, that had
washed ashore; the Egyptians mummified him like all the other Pharaohs. The tomb's
location has meant that it has been very badly damaged in the flash floods that
periodically sweep through the valley.
Dr Maurice Bucaille in his book The Bible, the Qur’an and Science also suggests that the
reigning Ramesses II died when Moses was in Midian and the Exodus took place in the
reign of Ramesses II's successor, Merneptah.
Salt crystals in the mummy of Merneptah favored him as the drowned 'Pharaoh of the
Exodus' – some critics have pointed out that all mummies showed evidence of these
embalming salts!
Dr. Maurice Bucaille suggests in his book, the Bible the Quran and Science that
Ramesses II was the Pharaoh of the Oppression and Merneptah the Pharaoh of the
Exodus. He writes:
“All the evidence points towards the fact that Moses was born at the beginning of
Ramesses II's reign, was living in Midian when Ramesses II died after a sixty-seven year
reign, and subsequently became the spokesman for the cause of the Hebrews living in
Egypt to Merneptah, Ramesses II's son and successor. This episode may have happened
in the second half of Merneptah's reign, assuming he reigned twenty years or nearly
twenty years. Rowton believes the supposition to be quite feasible. Moses would then
have led the Exodus at the end of Merneptah's reign. It could hardly have been otherwise
because both the Bible and the Qur'an tell us that Pharaoh perished during the pursuit of
the Hebrews leaving the country.”
Ramesses II as the Pharaoh of the Oppression as well as the Pharaoh of the Exodus:
In this section we present the views of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, as described in his
book, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth. He favors Ramesses II as the
Pharaoh of Exodus, from the Quranic description and suggests that he probably survived
near drowning at the time of the Exodus and lived for sometime afterwards in a poor state
of health and was mummified after his death. His support is based on following rationale:
1. The support for Merneptah comes from Bible according to which Moses, may
peace be on him, was informed by God during his exile in Midian that the
Pharaoh in whose reign he had committed manslaughter was dead. Therefore he
could now return safely. This scenario seems logical and acceptable superficially
but on reflection, death of a king does not absolve anyone of his crime. In the
Holy Quran God does not even remotely hint at the death of any Pharaoh to dispel
fear of Moses. Instead he is told not to fear because God would protect him and
his brother irrespective of the Pharaoh who ruled the land. . So the biblical
reasoning does not hold much water, Moses had to face the trial who ever was the
Pharaoh at that time.
2. We also know from the Holy Quran that Moses was accused of his act of
manslaughter by the Pharaoh to whom Moses returned. He was hesitant to take
action because of the Divine signs which Moses had displayed. Evidently, his
escape from punishment was certainly not due to the death of one Pharaoh and the
enthronement of another.
3. According to the archaeological evidence Ramesses II who died at the ripe old
age of ninety years had spent the last thirty years of his life as a bedridden, senile,
tottering old man probably suffering from an extreme arteriosclerosis. His poor
health could be a direct consequence of his near-drowning, resulting in an
insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain for an extended period.
4. The exile of Moses to Midian and his entire stay there lasted only eight to ten
years. Therefore on his return to Egypt Ramesses II could not be more than forty
to fifty years old. Archeologically and medically we know that Ramesses II died
at the age of 90 years.
5. The life of Moses and Aaron after their return to Egypt is described by the Quran
and the Bible as very eventful and their confrontation with Pharaoh seems to be
drawn out over decades. The Holy Quran mentions nine signs which includes
years of drought and scarcity. Allah instructs the Israelites to build a township,
something which would take years rather than days. All the signs narrated could
not have been packed in few years time. Logically it was a prolonged period.
However historians estimate that the entire reign of Merneptah from the day of his
crowning to the day of his death lasted only eight years or less.
6. Moreover, history describes Merneptah as a warrior king who repeatedly attacked
the Palestinians year after year. Both the Quran and the Bible are absolutely silent
about the Pharaoh of Moses having carried out such expeditions into the land of
The good works of Moses, may peace be on him, are all so apparent in our contemporary
society. His name and wonderful influence will live eternally in the scriptures, the Holy
Bible and the Holy Quran. Ramesses II or any other Pharaoh for that matter, leave no
followers to applaud them. Their works have minimal influence in the contemporary
world. Ozymandias was another name for Ramesses. 'Ozymandias' is also a sonnet by
Percy Bysshe Shelley, published in 1818. It is frequently anthologized and is probably
Shelley's most famous short poem.

 The 'Younger Memnon' statue of Ramesses II in the British Museum thought to have
inspired the poem by Shelley
Here is the poem by Shelley:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

1 comment:

Sulman Haider said...

اللہ تعالیٰ آپ کو آپ کی تحقیق کا اجر عظیم عطا فرمائے آمین.