There is a little-known, but important disagreement between the Quran and the Bible on whether or not women prophets exist. It may seem like a small thing, but actually the reliability of the Quran partly stands upon this issue. This is especially so because the same Quranic verse which says prophets are only men, says to ask those who had Scripture before – the Jews and Christians (Quran, al Nahl 16:43)
The opening segment features Arab Christian Georges Houssney reading the Quranic verse in Arabic and English. He then reads a passage from the Bible about a famous woman prophet, Deborah. Deborah was a judge, a leader, and a poet. Georges points to this as evidence of the esteem women have in the Bible.
Dr. Cynthia then recounts her experience with Quran 16:43. One day she was reading the Quran alone when she came across this verse. She compared the Arabic and English in her bilingual Quran. Dr. C’s Arabic is very basic; but it did seem to say that indeed all prophets were men! Then she called her tutor to ask if that was really what the verse said. The tutor confirmed it. Dr. C was very surprised and explained the Bible’s view to her tutor. (This tutor later became a Christian.)
At that time in her studies of Islam, Dr. C knew that Islam claimed to accept the prophets of the previous monotheistic religions. So, she believed that they also would accept the women prophets. Instead, the passage seems to be totally ignorant that Jews and Christians had women prophets, because the second part of the verse actually refers the reader to them for confirmation!
Jews and Christians know very well that there ARE women prophets. Many are mentioned in multiple books in both the Old Testament of the Jews and the New Testament of the Christians. In fact, a popular name for women of both Christian and Jewish women is “Deborah.” Between 1950-1970 Deborah was one of the top 20 names given to baby girls in America!
Dr. C says this creates a significant problem that must be addressed by Islam. It can’t be overlooked or ignored, for it is not a small or insignificant detail. In the video she puts forth these 4 challenges:
- Does the Quranic verse in al Nahl, 16:43 really mean that there are no women prophets?
- If Islam is related to the prior monotheistic religions, why does it not have women prophets?
- When were the scriptures of the Christians and Jews changed to add women prophets?
- If Allah knew what was in the prior scriptures, why does the Quran say to ask Christians and Jews about women prophets?
- Why do Christians accept the women prophets of the Jews, but the Quran and Islam do not?
Dr. C discusses these 5 challenges. The Quran does not condemn the Bible. On the contrary, it points to it as guidance and light. The Codex Sinaiticus is a nearly complete Bible from hundreds of years before Mohammed. Dr. C checked, and it includes the verses about women prophets.
Dr. C says that the existence of these women prophets challenge Islam. Islam is telling them that they do not exist, and that Christians and Jews can confirm this. Dear friends, check the evidence for yourself. With this huge mistake, can you reasonably believe that the Quran is totally reliable?
REFERENCES cited: BIBLE:
Genesis 1:27; Judges 4:4,5 & chapters 4-6; Exodus 15:20-22; 2 Kings 22:14; Joel 2:28; Luke 2:36; Acts 2:17 & 21:9; I Corinthians 11:5
QURAN: Surahs 16:43; Surah 5:43; Surah 10:94; Surah 2:170