Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Haman Hoax

Jochen Katz


* Introduction

* The Hoax

Stage one: Maurice Bucaille
Stage two: Islamic Awareness
Stage three: Harun Yahya
Stage four: Caner Taslaman

* Various Appendices

[To fully understand the argument, it is important to read the various parts in their intended sequence. The reader is advised to start with the Introduction.]

Stage Four: Caner Taslaman

On 28 June 2011, nearly 20 months after publishing my rebuttal of the Haman Hoax, which discusses in detail the versions by Maurice Bucaille, Islamic Awareness and Harun Yahya, I accidentally1 discovered that there exists yet another variant of this miracle claim.

Caner Taslaman’s version of the Haman miracle is not (yet) spread so widely on the internet, but during May and June 2011 it really seems to have proliferated and Google currently already knows of some 60 pages where Taslaman’s article is posted.2 This observation merits an update and expansion of my analysis and refutation of this Muslim hoax since these claims obviously continue to enjoy quite a bit of attention.

As we will shortly see, Taslaman’s version is partly dependent on Harun Yahya’s formulation,3 but the author managed to creatively develop the claims around this story and introduce even more errors over and above those which are found in the versions of Maurice Bucaille and Harun Yahya. Those additional errors are mostly small formal mistakes, but there is also a substantial error of content, and a couple of unsubstantiated assertions.

Caner Taslaman’s book, The Quran : Unchallengeable Miracle,4 was published in May 2006. On 430 pages the author presents scores of alleged scientific and mathematical miracles of the Qur’an. Around the middle of the book, we find that Chapter 60 is devoted to Haman. Consisting of only two short pages and containing hardly any new and startling information beyond what is found in Harun Yahya’s article, together with the fact that the author is still young and relatively unknown, may be the reason why Taslaman’s version hadn’t received much attention until recently.

In the first part of my rebuttal, I will simply quote his text, section by section, and add some comments where necessary. I am going to take his statements at face value, and respond to them “as they are”. In the second part of this rebuttal, I am going to investigate the sources that Taslaman plagiarized from. Some of his specific formulations and mistakes betray the sources he used for his text, and after these sources are identified, it then becomes clearer how some of these errors came into being in the first place, and what he may have meant by some of his mysterious statements. This investigation will be quite revealing.

Caner Taslaman writes on pages 214-215 of his book:5



36- Pharaoh said: “O Haamaan! Build me a high tower that I may attain the ways and means.”

40-The Believer, 36

38- Pharaoh said: “O Chiefs! No god do I know for you but myself. So, O Haamaan! Fire some clay to build a tower for me that I may mount up to the God of Moses. I believe that he is a liar.”

28-The History, 38

Haamaan’s name is quoted several times in the Quran as promoter and supporter of Pharaoh, who, claiming to vie with God, and taking a stand against Moses, had ordered Haamaan to erect a high tower so that he might reach the God to whom Moses referred.

Prof. Maurice Bucaille, in his Moise et L’Egypte, speaks of the use of the name Haamaan mentioned in the Quran, alluding to the objections raised in history to the use of this name, and gives an account of the corroboration of the account given in the Quran after the deciphering of the hieroglyph.

As much as I appreciate Taslaman’s attempt to be brief – given that he wants to cram more than a hundred miracles into his book – this is simply too cryptic. Which “hieroglyph” was deciphered when, where and by whom? Taslaman speaks of “the hieroglyph” with a definite article, so he is referring to something specific, but he does not tell us what that is.

Moreover, his use of the word reveals that he doesn’t really know what he is talking about. Hieroglyphs are a writing system, a script, like Chinese characters. So, one hieroglyph (character, logogram) would represent one word, or perhaps only one letter. But how could “one character” corroborate the account in the Qur’an? That doesn’t make sense. Taslaman is confused on the meaning of “hieroglyph”. Did he perhaps mean a certain “text (inscription) written in hieroglyphs”? After all, even the Egyptian name that Bucaille claimed to represent “Haman” consists of three hieroglyphic characters.6

Another clear and telling error in this last paragraph is that Maurice Bucaille never wrote a book with this title. Wherever Taslaman picked this up, it is clear he has not made any attempt to verify this, or he would have realized that no such book exists. This is extremely shoddy research. The Haman Hoax was started with the claims Bucaille propagated in the book Moses and Pharaoh: The Hebrews in Egypt, Mediascope, 1994 (English edition) and Moïse et Pharaon : Les Hébreux en Egypte, Seghers, 1995 (French edition).

Interestingly, Taslaman’s book has a Bibliography that lists two books by Bucaille on page 422, but the alleged Moise et L’Egypte is not among them. This is very sloppy.7 Claims must be supported by evidence and proper references. We will see more of this sloppiness as we continue.

The name Haamaan is also mentioned in the Old Testament as the chief minister or vizier of King Ahasuerus. After the failure of his attempt to cut off all the Jews in the Persian Empire, he was hanged on the gallows which he had erected for Mordecai. The name Haamaan is mentioned five times in the Quran. People with prejudice looking for errors in the Quran claimed that the Quran had made errors while copying the Old Testament and brought forth the name of Haamaan as evidence.

No comment is necessary on this paragraph, apart from noting one small positive detail: While Bucaille tried to disassociate the Quranic from the Biblical Haman by using different spellings (cf. Appendix 2), Taslaman at least recognizes that it is the same name that is used in both the Bible and the Qur’an.8 He continues:


Jean Francois Champollion (1790-1832), a French Egyptologist and a pioneer in the study of ancient Egypt, is best known for his success on the Rosetta Stone in 1822. The stone in question was found near Rosetta on the western mouth of the Nile by one of Napoléon’s officers in 1799. Its text, a decree commemorating the accession of Ptolemy V, is written in two languages and three scripts: hieroglyphs forming Egyptian parts of the inscription were deciphered by Jean-Francois Champollion, and this led to the interpretation of many other early records of Egyptian civilization. In the Hof Museum of Vienna one can read of Haamaan’s close relations to the Pharaoh. (See: Walter Wreszinski, Aegyptische Inschriften aus dem K.K. Hof Museum in Wien, 1906, J.C. Hinriesche Buchhandlung.) The name “Haamaan” is recorded as the head of the quarry workers, which is in accordance with the sura The Narrations verse 38. (See: Herman Renke, Die Aegyptischen Personnennamen, Vierzeischnis der Namen, published by J. J. Augustin in Glückstadt, Band I, 1935.)

Apart from the wrong claims about the name Haman, this paragraph is full of citation errors. Taken together they expose (again) that Taslaman has not made any effort to verify his sources and is a very shoddy researcher.

First error: The statement “In the Hof Museum of Vienna one can read …” is written in the present tense, but as we observed earlier, there has not been a “Hof Museum” since September 1921, i.e. for nearly ninety years by now (1, 2 - link to Bucaille and Harun Yahya). This error was probably taken over from Harun Yahya’s version.

Second error: The publisher name of Wreszinski’s book is misspelled. It must be “J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung”.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth errors are found in this reference: Herman Renke, Die Aegyptischen Personnennamen, Vierzeischnis der Namen, published by J. J. Augustin in Glückstadt, Band I, 1935.)

Being German, having to read this butchered reference makes my toenails curl. The proper bibliographical reference is: Hermann Ranke, Die Ägyptischen Personennamen, Band I (Verzeichnis der Namen), Verlag von J. J. Augustin in Glückstadt, 1935. In other words, it must be Hermann instead of Herman, Ranke instead of Renke, Personennamen instead of Personnennamen, Verzeichnis instead of Vierzeischnis.

But there are not only these “minor” citation errors. The claims themselves are also wrong. As Muslims never tire to repeat the same false claims, I am going to repeat that they are wrong and list them again.

First content error:

In the Hof Museum of Vienna one can read of Haamaan’s close relations to the Pharaoh. (See: Walter Wreszinski, Aegyptische Inschriften aus dem K.K. Hof Museum in Wien, 1906, J.C. Hinriesche Buchhandlung.)

Even if the name of the museum had been updated, the claim that there “one can read of Haamaan’s close relations to the Pharaoh” remains utterly wrong no matter how often it is repeated. In Wreszinski’s entry on the inscription under discussion there is no reference to Pharaoh, let alone mentioning a close relationship between “hmn-h” and the Pharaoh.

Second content error:

The name “Haamaan” is recorded as the head of the quarry workers, which is in accordance with the sura The Narrations verse 38. (See: Herman Renke, Die Aegyptischen Personnennamen, Vierzeischnis der Namen, published by J. J. Augustin in Glückstadt, Band I, 1935.)

The name “Haamaan” is recorded neither in this museum, nor in Wreszinski’s book and not even in Ranke’s dictionary – at least not as “head of the quarry workers” in Egypt. Ranke neither mentions “Haaman”, nor does he say anything about a “head of quarry workers”. Wreszinski speaks of a head of quarry workers, but does not transliterate the name. Taslaman has clearly never opened any of these books. These claims have been refuted and exposed as wrong in the earlier parts of this series (specifically Part 1 and Part 2). Taslaman merely copied these baseless assertions from other Muslim propaganda texts without doing any critical investigation himself.

Maurice Bucaille gave the name “Haamaan” to a French Egyptologist, telling him that he had seen it quoted in an Arab manuscript dating from the 7th century. (He did not, however, tell him that the Manuscript in question was the Quran, so as not to prejudice the Egyptologist’s reaction to this). He suggested to Maurice Bucaille that he refer to the “Dictionary of Personal Names of the New Kingdom by Ranke.” Bucaille eventually found the name in the German hieroglyph transliteration list as being the head of the quarry workers.

Bucaille could not find the name “Haamaan” in this dictionary, because it is not there. That whole story is a hoax, see my discussion on Bucaille’s original version (*). However, it is interesting that Taslaman refers to the same dictionary in two different ways in consecutive paragraphs. We have just analyzed the many spelling errors in the German bibliographical reference. Given that he now presents a (seriously wrong) English translation of the German title (as it was given by Bucaille), one starts to wonder whether Taslaman even realized that he is talking about the same book twice?

Apart from his creative spelling, up to this point Taslaman has not presented anything substantially new, going beyond the claims of Bucaille. The next paragraph, however, contains two serious claims:

Another discovery was the engraving of the name Haamaan on a monument in Vienna. The bracket appended to the name Haamaan indicates his special position in relation to the Pharaoh. (The Egyptians used to write the words linked together unless it was to indicate a special situation.)

Starting this paragraph with “Another discovery” means that Taslaman speaks of something else than before, i.e. he claims there are at least two inscriptions that contain the name Haman. Now, that is new. Bucaille only spoke of one. Taslaman does not present any evidence for his claim. But this formulation shows that he is probably dependent on Harun Yahya who was the first to change Bucaille’s “stela” into a “monument”. And Yahya also spoke of several inscriptions (found on some tablets and on a monument).9 Taslaman apparently internalized that understanding and therefore speaks here of “another discovery” and is not bothered by the fact that he cannot provide any reference for this second instance. It remains a naked assertion.

Taslaman then turns to discuss a specific detail of the inscription. But which one? The one on the monument, or the one that was discussed before and about which he had already claimed earlier that it signifies “Haamaan’s close relations to the Pharaoh”? Or is that a feature found in both of them?

Pictures of the one inscription referenced by Wreszinski are linked in Appendix 3. What bracket is Taslaman talking about? Which scholarly book on the hieroglyphic texts can he quote in order to support his last sentence, “The Egyptians used to write the words linked together unless it was to indicate a special situation.”? And how does he make the leap from “a special situation” to “his special position in relation to the Pharaoh”? Did Taslaman invent all of this himself or did he uncritically take it over from some other source? Did Bucaille’s “determinative” perhaps mutate into Taslaman’s “bracket”? (Cf. our discussion of Bucaille’s claims.)

Although this last paragraph introduced two substantial claims, the author has not provided any evidence for them.

He then concludes his chapter on the miracle of Haman with these words:

So, objections raised against the contents of the Quran are brought to naught in every instance. Whenever probing becomes necessary about a particular point, the Quran displays further miracles. The Quran’s quoting the name Haamaan cannot be coincidental. No source other than revelation could possibly have included the name so appropriately in the Quran.

The only miracle I can see in this context is the miracle of gullibility and believing anything and everything. Taslaman has certainly not done the least bit of “probing” on any of the many particular points associated with this major Muslim hoax. Does he really think that probing is unnecessary as long as claims are made in support of Islam?

The story of Haman in the Qur’an remains a major problem for the historical credibility of this book and thus for the claim of its divine authorship.

Searching for the missing links

Caner Taslaman is fascinated with the Darwinian theory of evolution10 and has written books and papers from the position of a critical observer and commentator. However, with his chapter on Haman he has finally become an active participant in another kind of evolution, i.e. the selection, mutation,11 and propagation of Qur’an miracle claims. Taslaman’s version of the Haman miracle was not created ex nihilo, but was developed from certain predecessors which can be clearly identified.12 In this section, I will present the results of my detective work of searching out the original sources of Taslaman’s peculiar formulations and errors.

Mystery 1: Taslaman’s strange bibliographical references. What could be the reason for ascribing to Maurice Bucaille a book with the title “Moise et L’Egypte”, and where originated the horribly butchered reference “Herman Renke, Die Aegyptischen Personnennamen, Vierzeischnis der Namen”?

Mystery 2: What did Taslaman mean when he wrote, “Prof. Maurice Bucaille, in his Moise et L’Egypte, speaks of the use of the name Haamaan mentioned in the Quran, alluding to the objections raised in history to the use of this name, and gives an account of the corroboration of the account given in the Quran after the deciphering of the hieroglyph.”

Mystery 3: Why does Taslaman speak of “another discovery”, i.e. of at least two inscriptions with the name Haman?

In order to solve Mystery 1 we need to take a somewhat lengthy detour through the Turkish version of this chapter, Kur’an : Hiç Tükenmeyen Mucize, pages 233-35, which is also available online here.

After quoting the verses from the Qur’an, he writes:

Firavun'un tanrılık iddiasında, Hz. Musa'ya karşı çıkışında, yardımcılarından ve destekçilerinden biri olarak Haman'ın ismi, Kuran'da birkaç ayrı surede anılır. Firavun, Haman'a yüksekçe bir kule yaptırıp, Musa'nın varlığını bildirdiği Tanrı'yı insan işi yüksek bir kulenin tepesinde arama cahilliğini ve alaycılığını göstermiştir.

Fransız bilim adamı Prof. Dr. Maurice Bucaille yakın zamanlarda "Musa ve Mısır" adlı bir kitap yazdı. Bu kitap Kuran'da Haman isminin kullanılışını, bu ismin kullanılışına tarihte yapılmış olan itirazları ve bulunan eski hiyeroglif yazıların çözümünün, Kuran'ın doğruluğunu onaylamasını anlatmaktadır.

Haman ismi Tevrat'ta da geçer ve Kuran'ın işaret ettiği kişiden ayrı bir Pers hükümdarını belirtir. Kuran'da hata bulmaya çalışan hata avcıları Kuran'ın Tevrat'tan yanlış olarak kopyalandığını, Haman isminin kullanılış tarzının buna delil olduğunu söylediler. (Kuran'da Haman ismi 5 kez geçer.) Kuran'ı insan yazması sanan bu kişiler Kuran'ı yazdığını düşündükleri kişinin (Hz. Muhammed) yanlış bir kopyalama yaptığını ileri sürdüler.


Bu tartışmalar Fransız Jean François Champollion tarafından çözülen Rosetta Stone adı verilen bir yüzü Yunanca, bir yüzü eski Mısır hiyeroglifi ve bir yüzü de geç dönem hiyeroglifle (Demotik tarz) yazılmış bir yazıtla başka bir boyut kazandı. Artık hiyeroglifler okunuyor ve isim listeleri çıkartılıyordu. Yine Viyana'daki Hof Müzesi'nde Haman'ın Firavun'a yakınlığı anlatılmaktadır (Bakınız Walter Wreszinski, Aegyptische Inschriften aus dem K. K. Hof Museum in Wien, 1906, J. C. Hinriesche Buchhandlung). Yeni Krallık Listeleri sözlüğünde ise "Haman" ismi aynen Kasas suresindeki gibi "Taş ocağı işçilerinin şefi" olarak kayıtlıdır. (Bakınız Herman Renke; Die Aegyptischen Personnennamen, Vierzeischnis der namen, Verlag Von J. J. Augustin in Glückstadt, Band I, 1935)

Maurice Bucaille "Haman" ismini bir Fransız Mısır Bilimcisine verir ve bunun 7. yüzyıldaki bir Arap el yazmasından alıntı olduğunu söyler. (Bu ismin Kuran'da geçtiğini söylemeden, 7. yüzyıldaki Arap el yazması diyerek Mısır bilimcisinin tepkisini ölçer.) O da, 7. yüzyıldaki bir Arap el yazmasında hiyerogliflere ait bir bilginin geçirilmiş olmasının mümkün olmadığını, fakat Firavun sarayının isim listelerine bakacağını söyler, Dr. Maurice Bucaille'a ise "Dictionary of Personal Names of the New Kingdom by Ranke" adlı Mısır isimleri sözlüğünü önerir. Bucaille ise Almanca hiyeroglif transliterasyon listesinden Haman'ın, Taş Ocakları İşçilerinin Şefi olduğunu bulur. Dahası Haman ismi Viyana'daki bir anıtta da kazılıdır. Haman'ın isminin yanındaki ayıraç ise Firavun'un yanındaki önemini göstermektedir. (Mısırlılar kelimelerini çok özel bir durum olmadıkça hep bitişik yazarlardı.)

Anlaşılıyor ki Kuran'a karşı yapılan her itiraz geçersiz çıkmaktadır. Hatta bu itiraz yapılan nokta araştırılınca, Kuran'ın yeni bir mucizesi daha anlaşılmaktadır. Haman isminin rastgele bir şekilde Kuran'a konması mümkün değildir. Vahiy dışı hiçbir kaynak Kuran'a bu ismi bu şekilde yerleştirmiş, her kelimeyi bu şekilde yerli yerinde, mükemmel bir tarzda kullanmış olamaz.

I have underlined the relevant parts for faster identification. Observe: The misspellings discussed in the first part of this rebuttal are all there. They were not introduced by an incompetent English translator but are found in this way in the original Turkish edition of this book.13 However, Bucaille’s book has a different title in the Turkish text: “Musa ve Mısır”. Translating it literally, the underlined sentence means in English: The French scientist Prof. Dr. Maurice Bucaille has recently written a book named “Moses and Egypt”.

Seeing that Bucaille was explicitly called a French scientist, Ender Gürol, the translator of Taslaman’s book from Turkish to English, apparently assumed that Bucaille must have written his book in French14 and thus simply performed a literal back-translation on the title attributed to Bucaille in Turkish. This literal translation of the alleged Turkish title into French resulted in “Moise et L’Egypte”, a title that never existed in French.

Ironically, the title is wrong even in Turkish. There is no Turkish translation of a book by Bucaille that has this title. The Turkish translation of Bucaille’s book, Moses and Pharaoh: The Hebrews in Egypt, was published in 2002 under the title “Musa ve Firavun: Çıkış Kitabı”.15 The above discovery explains the appearance of the title “Moise et L’Egypte”, but it simply pushes the same question back into another language. We are still left wondering: Where did Caner Taslaman get the title “Musa ve Mısır” from?16

The solution to all of “Mystery 1” is finally discovered in this posting on a Turkish internet discussion forum that is run by a group that Caner Taslaman associates with:

Author: Hakan Kutalmış
Post subject:
Kur'an'da Haman İsmi
Posted: Thu May 08, 2003 7:14 am

Firavun dedi ki: "Ey Hâmân! Bana bir kule yap, belki ben o yollara ulaşabilirim."

"Göklerin yollarına ulaşabilirim de, Musa'nın ilâhının ne olduğunu anlarım. Ben onu mutlaka yalancı sanıyorum." İşte böylece Firavun'a kötü ameli süslü gösterildi de yoldan çıkarıldı. Çünkü Firavun düzeni hep boşa çıkar. [40:36-37]

Firavun: "Ey ileri gelenler! Sizin için benden başka bir ilâh tanımıyorum. Ey Hâmân, haydi benim için çamur üzerine ateş yak (ve tuğla imal et), bana bir kule yap ki, Musa'nın ilâhına çıkayım; ama sanıyorum, o mutlaka yalan söyleyenlerdendir." dedi. [28:38]

Fransız Müslüman Maurice Bucaille yazdığı "Kitab-i Mukaddes, Kur'an ve Bilim" adlı yapıtıyla bilim anlayışı ve bilimsel doğruluk açısından bir karsılaştırma yapmıştı. Vardığı temel sonuç bilim açısından Kur'an'in adeta Tevrat ve İncil'in hatalarını düzeltme görevi üstlendiğini ispat etti ve çok sayıda insana ulaştı. Sonra yakın zamanda da yine Mısır ile ilgili bilinenlerle Kur'an-i Kerîm' i ve Kitab-i Mukaddes' i karşılaştırdı ve "Musa ve Mısır" adlı yapıtını okuyucuya sundu.

Dr. Bucaille'in bildirdiğine göre Kur'an'da geçen, Firavun'un yanında bulunan "Haman" ismi oldukça dikkat çekiciydi. Haman ismi Tevrat'ta, Kur'an'dakinden yaklaşık 1100 sene kadar sonra yasamış bir Pers hükümdarına aitti. Enteresan nokta her ikisinin de bir kule inşaasını üstlenmesiydi. Buradan yola çikan hata avcıları derhal Kur'an'a hata izafe ettiler. Dedikleri ise özetle (Haşa!) Kur'an derlenirken Kasas Suresi ve daha başka 5 yerde geçen Haman ismi Tevrat'tan yanlış kopya edilmiş, aslında Haman Firavun'la alakasız ve sadece yanlışlık ile Kur'an'da karıştırılarak yazılmıştı.

Bu tartışmalar 1799 yılında, Fransız Jean-François Champollion tarafından çözülen Rosetta Stone adi verilen bir yüzü Yunanca, bir yüzü eski Mısır hiyeroglifi ve bir yüzü de geç dönem hiyeroglifle (Demotik tarz) yazılmış bir yazıtla başka bir boyut kazandı. Artık hiyeroglifler okunabiliyor ve isim listeleri çıkartılıyordu. Yine Viyana'daki Hof Müzesi'nde Haman'ın Firavun'a yakınlığı anlatılmaktadır.

(Bkz. Walter Wreszinski, Aegyptische Inschriften aus dem K. K. Hof Museum in Wien, 1906, J. C. Hinriesche Buchhandlung.)

Yeni Krallık Listeleri sözlüğünde "Haman" aynen Kasas Suresindeki gibi Taş Ocağı İsçileri Şefi olarak kayıtlıdır.

(Bkz. Herman Ranke; Die Aegyptischen Personnennamen, Vierzeichnis der Namen, Verlag Von J. J. Augustin in Glückstadt, Band I, 1935)

Dr. Maurice Bucaille daha sonra bir Fransız Mısır bilimcisiyle tartışmasını şöyle anlatır:

Kur'an'dan yansımalar(Réflexions sur le Coran [1]adlı kitabımda,Fransız bir Mısır bilimciden alıntı yapmıştım. Kendisine bir kaç soru sordum o da bana yanıt verme nezaketini gösterdi.

Ona Kur'an'dan aldığım "Haman" isminin kopyasını verip bu yazıyı M.S.7.y.y. bir Arap el yazmasından alıntı olduğunu söyledim.

O da bana 7.y.y. bir el yazmasında Hiyerogliflere ait bir kelimenin transliterasyonunun mümkün olamayacağını söyledi. Ama yine de Firavun sarayındaki isim listelerinde bu ismin olup olmadığına bakacağını belirtti.

Bana da Dictionary of Personal Names of the New Kingdom by Ranke,[2] adlı Mısır İsimleri Sözlüğü'nü önerdi. Ben de Almanca hiyeroglif transliterasyon listesinden bu ismi aradım.

Ve buldum ki "Haman- Taş Ocakları İşçi Şefi" idi. Daha sonra ona Kur'an'dan ilgili ayetleri gösterip listenin fotokopisini de sununca susup kaldı.

Dahası, Ranke referans olarak 1906'da Mısır bilimci Walter Wreszinski'[3]den şunları almıştı:

Haman ismi Viyana'daki Hof-Müzesi'nde bir anıtta kazılıydı.[4] Daha sonra aldığım eğitimle ben de hiyeroglifleri okumaya başlayınca isme bağlı ayıraç[5] firavunun yanındaki önemini belirtiyordu.[6]

Ve devam etti:

Haman kelimesi ise Tevrat'ta bir kere bir Pers hükümdarının ismi olarak geçiyor. Böylece anlaşılıyor ki vahy dışı başka hiçbir kaynak da Haman ismini Kur'an'a ekleyemezdi[7]


[1] Mohamed Talbi and Maurice Bucaille, Réflexions sur le Coran: 1989, Seghers, Paris.
[2] Hermann Ranke, Die Ägyptischen Personennamen, Verzeichnis der Namen, Verlag Von J J Augustin in Glückstadt, Band I (1935).
[3] Walter Wreszinski, Aegyptische Inschriften aus dem K.K. Hof Museum in Wien: 1906, J C Hinrichs' sche Buchhandlung, Leipzig.
[4] The name is listed as masculine, from the New Kingdom. The profession translated into German reads Vorsteher der Steinbruch arbeiter - "The Chief/Overseer of the workers in the stone-quarries" (Aegyptische Inschriften, I34, p. 130).
[5] Mısırlılar kelimelerini çok özel bir durum olmadıkça hep bitişik yazarlar
[6] Ibid.
[7] Bucaille, Moses and Pharaoh: The Hebrews in Egypt, Op. cit. pp. 192-193.

(Source; as accessed on 1 July 2011)17

The second half of the above text is an abridged translation of section 4.5 of the Islamic Awareness article, Version 1.6 from 20 November 2000 as a comparison of the text and the footnotes easily reveals.18

I was not able to determine the original source of the first part of the above posting, but both parts were apparently passed around on the web, on various forums. The second part existed also by itself (e.g. here19), but who added the first part with all those errors in the references is unclear.20 The earliest example that I could find so far, with both parts together was posted here (1, 2) on 13 April 2002, but that is hardly the original. Most likely there were earlier versions posted on other web boards / forums, or passed around on mailing lists.21

In any case, a comparison of the texts in this posting and in Taslaman’s Turkish edition shows that Taslaman used this text heavily. It is similar in many aspects. Not only does it contain many of the same errors in the references, but the first paragraph after the subheading in Taslaman’s chapter is a nearly verbatim copy of the third paragraph (after the quotations from the Qur’an) as it is found in the forum posting.

Whoever composed this first part is most likely the originator of the alleged title “Musa ve Mısır” for this book by Maurice Bucaille.Here is a possible explanation for how this title came into being: The author of this text may simply have “abbreviated” the genuine title “Moses and Pharaoh: The Hebrews in Egypt” by taking the underlined words from the beginning and the end, thus collapsing it to “Moses and Egypt”.

Anyhow, Mystery 1 is solved and the solution provides further evidence that Taslaman has simply taken unreliable sources and incorporated them into his chapter without verifying anything, plagiarizing various formulations – including a host of typos.

Mystery 2 and Mystery 3 will become clear when we take a closer look at the first version of the text by Harun Yahya (here). He explicitly turns the one inscription mentioned by Bucaille (and Islamic Awareness) into at least two, when he writes:

It also made it possible to acquire the vital piece of information we are now discussing. The name "Haman" was in fact mentioned in old Egyptian tablets. It was mentioned on a monument which now stands in the Hof Museum in Vienna, and in which the closeness of Haman to the Pharaoh was emphasized. (Walter Wreszinski, Ägyptische Inschriften aus dem K.K. Hof Museum in Wien, 1906, J. C. Hinrichs' sche Buchhandlung)

Note that Yahya uses the word “tablets” in the plural and additionally mentions a monument. The word “monument” suggests something different than a tablet. Whether Yahya intended this or not, the formulation certainly gives the impression that these are two different entities and Caner Taslaman apparently understood it that way, internalized that it refers to different artefacts, and thus he explicitly writes of “Another discovery” in his own text.

Moreover, Yahya gives the impression that the deciphering of hieroglyphs on the Rosetta stone, and subsequently of the hieroglyphic writing system as a whole (about 200 years ago), immediately led to the discovery of the name Haman and thus the vindication of the account of the Qur’an. He writes of critics that have attacked the story of Haman in the Qur’an and then states:

Those who claim, as a result of their low intelligence, that the Prophet Muhammad (saas) wrote the Qur'an in the light of the Torah and the Gospel also put forth the sophistry that he copied some of the subjects in the Qur'an wrongly.

The ridiculousness of this claim became obvious 200 years ago when the Egyptian hieroglyphs were deciphered and the name "Haman" was discovered.

To state that attacking the story of Haman in the Qur’an was exposed as ridiculous already 200 years ago, assumes that the name Haman was discovered immediately after the deciphering of the hieroglyphic writing system. This then explains what Taslaman meant with the formulation, “Prof. Maurice Bucaille … speaks of the use of the name Haamaan mentioned in the Quran, alluding to the objections raised in history to the use of this name, and gives an account of the corroboration of the account given in the Quran after the deciphering of the hieroglyph.” In contrast to Bucaille who claims that it was his own discovery – though with the help of a famous Egyptologist – that he found the name Haman in Ranke’s dictionary and could connect it to the story in the Qur’an, Taslaman like Yahya gives the impression that the deciphering of the hieroglyphic writing system immediately and automatically led to the corroboration of the account of the Qur’an. This twist was introduced by Yahya and taken over by Taslaman.



1 I was proofreading an article that responded to a related topic found in the very next chapter in Caner Taslaman’s book and website.

2 Incidentally, the text is often attributed to some Nasir Pasha. However, Nasir Pasha probably posted this chapter some time ago without attributing it to the correct author. Others who copied it from that place then attributed it to him.

3 Therefore it is appropriate to list it as “Stage Four”.

4 Obviously, a book with such a title just begs for a refutation!

5 This text is also available on his website, on this page.

6 The mystery of this formulation will be solved when we identify its source in the second section.

7 This seems to be a contagious disease. When Bucaille invented his Haman tale he also made cryptic references to books by giving either wrong titles or no titles at all, and certainly no page numbers!

8 Although this positive element is probably only due to Taslaman’s sources, i.e. Islamic Awareness and Harun Yahya, which both recognize this identity. It is highly unlikely that Taslaman ever read Bucaille’s book.

9 For a more detailed analysis of Taslaman’s dependency on Harun Yahya, see the second section below.

10 See Taslaman’s writings listed on his academic pages (1, 2), and various YouTube videos.

11 In the usual theory of evolution there is first mutation and then selection. Taslaman, on the other had, first selected his sources, then introduced some mutation into the texts before he propagated the result of his cross-breeding efforts.

12 Perhaps not with absolute certainty, but still with high probability.

13 Actually, the Turkish version contains an additional small typo in the title of Ranke’s book, i.e. “namen” in lower case instead of the correct “Namen”. This was apparently corrected in the process of translation from Turkish to English.

14 In fact, Bucaille’s book was first published in English (1994) before it appeared in French (1995).

15 Actually, the subtitle is misleading and deceptive. Çıkış Kitabı means “The Book of Exodus” and gives the impression that this book is a Bible commentary instead of being an apologetic of the Qur’an.

16 Admittedly, “Musa ve Mısır” sounds great as a title due to the alliteration, but it remains a wrong translation nevertheless.

17 The forum of the website is currently disabled. announces: “Through a technical mishap, lost its content. We are uploading them and updating this site gradually. So, make sure to visit here periodically.” (5 September 2011) At the time of the publication of this article (11 September 2011), the above quoted posting is still available in the Google cache (here) but I am not sure how long the cache for this page is going to be available.

18 The footnotes at the bottom are the original English footnotes of the article by Islamic Awareness, only renumbered since the first part of the IA-article, and the footnotes that came with it, were removed. Minor discrepancies: Footnotes 6 and 7 were accidentally switched. Footnote 5 was translated into Turkish but heavily abbreviated to “Mısırlılar kelimelerini çok özel bir durum olmadıkça hep bitişik yazarlar” which means “Exceptional cases aside, Egyptians always write their words without spaces.”

19 This geocities page was posted before 28 April 2001.

20 The writer of this first part does, however, betray a certain dependency on Harun Yahya since Yahya’s peculiar error of assigning a time-difference of 1,100 years between the Haman of the Bible and the Haman of the Qur’an is also found in this text.

21 Taslaman’s text contains a few more errors than the postings I found online, which probably means that Taslaman preserves a somewhat older version and the postings found by me were already corrected in some points, e.g. Ranke instead of Renke, Vierzeichnis instead of Vierzeischnis, Namen instead of namen. It is less likely that Taslaman added a three more typos into this bibliographical reference when copying it from his source.

The Haman Hoax
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