I am who I am (Bible & Quran) – Join islam

In the below interview with Dr. Samuel Zinner, he shows how the Biblical passage in Exodus 3, where God informs Moses of His identity, also has a subtle divine echo in the Quran.

13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 

i am who i am (bible & quran) – join islam 14

When we look at the Arabic, we can see an echo of this expression, “I am who I am,” in the Quran in the following verses: 20:12, 28:30, and 27:9. This grammatical expression only occurs in these passages when God addresses Moses.

[20:12] “I am your Lord; remove your sandals. You are in the sacred valley, Tuwã.

 إِنِّىٓ أَنَا۠ رَبُّكَ فَٱخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ بِٱلْوَادِ ٱلْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى

When we look at the Arabic, we see that the word “I am” is implied twice, just like it was in the Bible for Moses.

1 innī إِنِّىٓ “Indeed, [I]
2 anā أَنَا۠ I am
3 rabbuka رَبُّكَ your Lord,

[28:30] When he reached it, he was called from the edge of the right side of the valley, in the blessed spot where the burning bush was located: “O Moses, I am GOD; Lord of the universe.

فَلَمَّآ أَتَىٰهَا نُودِىَ مِن شَـٰطِئِ ٱلْوَادِ ٱلْأَيْمَنِ فِى ٱلْبُقْعَةِ ٱلْمُبَـٰرَكَةِ مِنَ ٱلشَّجَرَةِ أَن يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ إِنِّىٓ أَنَا ٱللَّهُ رَبُّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ

14 yāmūsā يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ “O Moses!
15 innī إِنِّىٓ Indeed, [I]
16 anā أَنَا I am
17 l-lahu ٱللَّهُ God,

In the last example, the syntax is slightly different and states “innahu anā l-lahu” ( إِنَّهُۥٓ أَنَا ٱللَّهُ ), which is typically translated as “Indeed it is Me, God” but this can also be understood as “Indeed, I am He, I am God.”

[27:9] “O Moses, it is Me, GOD, the Almighty, Most Wise.

(٩) يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ إِنَّهُۥٓ أَنَا ٱللَّهُ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ

1 yāmūsā يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ “O Moses!
2 innahu إِنَّهُۥٓ Indeed, it (is) /
I am He
3 anā أَنَا I [am]
4 l-lahu ٱللَّهُ God,


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