In the following examples, citations will be given and highlighted by italics for the sake of comparison. This will help demonstrate that the Quran contains parallel accounts that contain conflicting wording and details.
MOSES AND THE BURNING BUSH
Has the story of Moses Reached Thee? Behold he saw a fire: So he said to his family, "Tarry ye: I perceive a fire; perhaps I can Bring you some burning brand Therefrom, or find some guidance At the fire." But when he came to the fire, a voice Was heard: "O Moses! "Verily I am thy Lord! Therefore (in My presence) Put off thy shoes: thou art In the sacred valley Tuwa. "I have chosen thee: Listen, then, to the inspiration (Sent to thee). "Verily, I am God: There is no god but I: So serve thou Me (only), And establish regular prayer For celebrating My praise. Verily the hour is coming- My design is to keep it Hidden- for every soul To its reward By the measure of its endeavor. Therefore let not such as Believe not therein But follow their own Lusts, divert thee therefrom, Lest thou perish!" "And what is that in thy right hand, O Moses?" He said, "It is My rod: on it I lean; with it I beat down fodder For my flocks; and In it I find Have Other uses." (God) said, "Throw it, O Moses!" He threw it, and behold it was a snake Active in motion. (God) said "Seize it And fear not: We shall return it at once To its former condition... Now draw thy hand Close to thy side: It shall come forth white (And shining), without harm (or stain),- As a another Sign,- In order that we may show thee (Two) of our Greater Signs. Go thou to Pharaoh For he has indeed Transgressed all bounds." [S. 20:9-24] Behold! Moses said to his family "I perceive A fire; soon will I bring you From there some information, Or I will Bring you A burning brand to light our fuel That ye may Warm yourselves." But when he came To the (Fire), a voice Was heard: "Blessed are those In the Fire and those around: And Glory to God, The Lord of the Worlds. "O Moses! Verily I am God, the Exalted In Might, the wise!... "Now do throw thy rod!" But when he saw it Moving (of its own accord) As if it had been a snake, He turned back in Retreat, And retraced not his steps: "O Moses!" (it was said), "Fear not: truly, in My presence, Those called as apostles Have no fear,- But if Any have done wrong And have thereafter substituted Good to take the place of the evil, Truly, I am Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. "Now put thy hand into Thy bosom, and it will Come forth white without stain (Or harm): (These are) among The nine Signs (thou wilt take) To Pharaoh and his people: For they are A people Rebellious in transgression." But when Our Signs came To them, that should opened their eyes, they said: "This is Sorcery manifest!" And they rejected those Signs In iniquity and arrogance, Though their Souls were convinced Thereof: so see what was The end of those Who acted corruptly. [S. 27:7-14] Now when Moses had fulfilled The term, and was traveling With his family, he perceived A fire in the direction of Mount Tur. He said To his family: "Tarry ye; I perceive a fire; I hope To bring you from there Some information, or a burning Firebrand that ye may warm yourselves." But when he came To the (Fire), a voice was heard from the right back Of the valley, from a tree In hallowed ground: "O Moses! Verily I am God, the Lord of the Worlds ... Now do thou throw thy rod! But when he saw it Moving (of its own accord) As if it had been a snake, He turned back in retreat and retraced not his steps: "O Moses!" (It was said), "Draw near, and fear not; For thou art of those Who are secure. "Move thy hand into thy bosom, and it will Come forth to thy side (To guard) against fear. Those are the two credentials From thy Lord to Pharaoh And his Chiefs: for truly They are a people Rebellious and wicked." [S. 28:29-33]
"Behold! We sent To thy mother, by inspiration, The Message: `Throw (the child) Into the chest, and throw (The chest) into the river: The river will cast him Up the bank, and he will be taken up by one Who is an enemy to Me And an enemy to him': But I cast (the garment Of) love over thee from Me: And (this) in order that Thou mayest be reared Under Mine eye. Behold thy sister goeth forth And saith, `Shall I show you One who will nurse And rear the (child)?' So We brought thee back To thy mother, that her eye Might be cooled and she Should not grieve. Then thou didst slay A man, but We saved thee From trouble, and We tried Thee in various ways. Then didst thou tarry a number of years With the people of Midian. Then didst thou come hither As ordained, O Moses!" [S. 20:38-40] "So we sent this inspiration To the mother of Moses: `Suckle (thy child), but when Thou hast Fears about him, Cast him into the river, But Fear not nor grieve: For We shall restore him To Thee, and We shall make Him one of Our apostles... And she said to the sister Of (Moses), "Follow him". So she (the sister) Watched him In the character of a stranger. And they knew not. And We ordained that he Refused suck at first, until (His sister came up and) said: "Shall I Point out to you the people Of a house that will nourish And bring him up For you And be sincerely attached To him?... Thus did We restore him To his mother, that Her eye might be comforted, that she might not grieve, and that She might know the promise of God is true: but Most of them do not understand. [S. 28:7,11-13]
ISRAEL AND OBEDIENCE
And remember We said: "Enter this town, and eat of the plenty therein As ye wish; but enter The gate with humility, In posture and in words, And We shall forgive you your faults And increase (the portion of) Those who do good." But the transgressors Changed the word from that Which had been given them; So we sent on the transgressors A plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly. [S. 2:58-59] And remember it was said to them: "Dwell in this town And eat therein as you wish, But say The word of humility and enter the gate In a posture of humility: We shall forgive you Your faults; We shall increase (The portion of) those Who do good." But the transgressors among them Changed the word from that Which had Been given them So we sent on them a plague from heaven For that they repeatedly transgressed. [S. 7:161-162]
Of particular interest is A. Yusef Ali's footnote:
These verses, 58-59, may be compared to vii. 161-162. There are two verbal differences. Here (ii. 58) we have "enter the town" and in vii. 161 we have "dwell in the town." Again in ii. 59 here we have "infringed (Our command)," and in vii. 162, we have "transgressed." The verbal differences make no difference to the sense. (Ali, The Holy Quran-Translation and Commentary, p. 31, f. 72)
MOSES AND THE SORCERERS
They said: "O Moses! Whether wilt thou That thou throw (first) Or that we be the first to throw?" He said, "Nay, throw ye First!" Then behold Their ropes and their rods- So it seemed to him on account of their magic- Began to be in lively motion! So Moses conceived In his mind A (sort of ) fear. We said: "Fear not! For thou hast indeed The upper hand: Throw that which is In thy right hand: Quickly will it swallow up That which they have faked What they have faked Is but a magician's trick: And the magician thrives not (No matter) where he goes. So the magicians were Thrown down in prostration: They said, "We believe In the Lord of Aaron and Moses." (Pharaoh) said: "Believe ye In Him before I give You permission? Surely This must be your leader, Who has taught you magic! Be sure I will cut off Your hands and feet On opposite sides, and I Will have you crucified On trunks of palm-trees: So shall ye know for certain, Which of us can give The more severe and the more Lasting punishment." They said, "Never shall we Regard thee as more than The Clear Signs that have Come to us, or than Him who created us! So decree whatever thou Desirest to decree: for thou Canst only decree (touching) The life of this world. For us, we have believed In our Lord: may He Forgive us our faults, And the magic to which Thou didst compel us: For God is Best And Most Abiding." [S. 20:65-73] So when the sorcerers arrived, They said to Pharaoh: "Of course- shall we have a suitable reward if we win?" He said: "Yea, (and more),- For ye shall in that case Be (raised in posts) Nearest (to my person)." Moses said to them, "Throw ye- which ye are about to throw!" So They threw their ropes And their rods, and said: "By the might of Pharaoh It is we who will Certainly win!" Then Moses threw his rod, When, behold, it straightway swallows up all The falsehoods which they fake! Then did the Sorcerers fall down, prostration in adoration, Saying: "We believe in the Lord of the Worlds, The Lord of Moses and Aaron." Said Pharaoh: "Believe ye In Him before I give You permission? Surely he is your leader who has Taught you sorcery! But soon shall ye know!"
"Be sure I will cut off Your hands and your feet On opposite sides, and I Will cause you all To die On the cross!" They said: "No matter! For us, we shall but return to our Lord! Only, our desire is That our Lord will forgive us our faults, That We may become Foremost among the Believers!" [S. 26:41-52 (Cf. 7:111-126)]