Did the Qurʾān borrow from the Syriac Legend of Alexander?

An interesting discussion on the Quran’s alleged borrowing from the Syriac legend of Alexander the Great.

Pondering Islam

Note: It is recommended that this article be viewed in PDF format. Click here.


In 2007, an article appeared in Gabriel Said Reynold’s ‘The Qurʾān in its Historical Context’ titled ‘The Alexander Legend in the Qurʾān 18:83-102’, authored by Kevin Van Bladel. This article has proven to be a substantial contribution to understanding the background of the Dhū-lQarnayn pericope in sūrat al-Kahf, or ‘The Cave’. The primary thesis of Van Bladel’s paper is that the story of Dhū-lQarnayn essentially depends on the ‘Neṣḥānā d-Aleksandrūs’, otherwise referred to as the “Syriac Legend of Alexander1” in contemporary scholarship.

The Syriac Legend dates approximately to 630 A.D2, and was brought to light by the orientalist E.A Wallis Budge in 1889, apparently being a work appended to the Syriac edition of Pseudo-Callisthenes. In his book titled “The History of Alexander the Great…

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One thought on “Did the Qurʾān borrow from the Syriac Legend of Alexander?

  1. stewjo004

    @ QB

    But, but QB the passive-aggressive kuffar like Marc C. said that because some random professor made a paper ignoring all Islamic writings concerning a text (like the easiest refutation being the Syriac legend is dated 630CE while Kahf is a Meccan Surah) it MUST be true. How could a fancy professor get so many things wrong?

    Liked by 3 people

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