The fate of arrogant Korah (Qarun)


 The Story of Qarun (Korah)

Qarun had a great treasure

Allah the Almighty says:


{Verily, Qarun (Korah) was of Musa‘s (Moses) people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. Remember when his people said to him: “Do not exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). Verily Allah likes not those who exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). “But seek with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world,’ and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupters).” He said: “This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess.” Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? But the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allah knows them well, so they will be punished without being called to account). So he went forth before his people in his pomp. Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said: “Ah, would that we had the like of what Qarun (Korah) has been given! Verily he is the owner of a great fortune.” But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: “Woe to you! The Reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this none shall attain except those who are As-Sabirun (the patient in following the truth). “So We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then he had no group or party to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves. And those who had desired (for a position like) his position the day before, began to say: “Know you not that it is Allah Who enlarges the provision or restricts it to whomsoever He pleases of His slaves. Had it not been that Allah was Gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up (also)! Know you not that the disbelievers will never be successful.” That home of the Hereafter (i.e. Paradise), We shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes. And the good end is for the Muttaqun (the pious and righteous persons)}. (Al-Qasas, 76-83)

Remains of Qarun’s castle, Egypt

Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) held the opinion that Qarun (Koran) was a paternal cousin to Musa (Peace be upon him). This view is supported by many other narrators, including Ibn Juraij who added that he is Qarun Ibn Yashar Ibn Qahith, while Musa was the son of `Imran Ibn Hafith. Ibn Juraij went further and rejected the viewpoint of Ibn Ishaq that he was a paternal uncle to Musa (Peace be upon him).

Qatadah said: He was called “An-Nur” (the light) for he had a melodious voice while reciting the Torah (Taurat), but he became a hypocrite just like As-Samiri who became a hypocrite too. Thus, Qarun was destroyed because of his transgression due to the wealth and riches he had.

Shahr Ibn Haushab said: he dragged his garment out of pride and arrogance (conceit).

Allah the Almighty mentioned the numerousness of his wealth and riches so that its keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. It was also said: the keys were made of leather and that they used to be carried on sixty mules. Allah knows best!

However, he was advised by the godly men from among his people saying: {Do not exult} i.e. do not be arrogant or conceited with riches, being ungrateful to Allah the Almighty. {Verily Allah likes not those who exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). “But seek with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter} they advise him to direct his endeavors to gain Allah’s Reward in the Hereafter as it is the best of all rewards. But, {and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world},i.e. take thereof with your money what is made lawful to you and have the possible lawful joys of this present life. And {do good as Allah has been good to you}, i.e. do good to the creation of Allah Who has been good to you. And {seek not mischief in the land}, i.e. do not harm the people regarding whom you were commanded to do good. If you harm them, He will punish you and take back what He has granted you {Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupters)}. His answer to this good advice of his people was nothing but: {He said: This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess}, i.e. I do not need what you have said or referred to, as Allah only gave me this for He knew that I deserve it and I am really qualified thereto. Moreover, were it not for that He loves me, He would not grant or give me this.

However, Allah the Almighty refuted his statement saying: {Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? But the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allah knows them well, so they will be punished without being called to account)}, i.e. We have destroyed before him generations because of their sins and bad deeds and that they were stronger than Qarun and they had more riches and children than him. So, if what he said was true, We would not punish anyone of those who had more riches than him and his wealth and riches would not be a proof of Our love or care for him.

Allah the Almighty says: {And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e. please Allah), but only he who believes (in the Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds (will please Us),. as for such, there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings Paradise) in peace and security}. (Saba’, 37) and, He says: {Do they think that in wealth and children with which We enlarge them. We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, [it is a Fitnah (trial) in this worldly life so that they will have no share of good things in the Hereafter] but they perceive not}. (Al-Mu’minun, 55,56).

Allah’s answer to Qarun’s claims confirms our interpretation of his saying, {This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess}. But as for those who claimed that he was a chemist or that he knew the Greatest Name of Allah the Almighty and that he used it to collect wealth, all these are fallacies and not true. For chemistry cannot change the reality of something, and the Greatest Name is of no effect if it is pronounced by a disbeliever. And, Qarun was inherently a disbeliever and apparently a hypocrite. Moreover, the context of the advice given by his people and his answer to them do not support that claim.

Almighty Allah says: {So he went forth before his people in his pomp}, many interpreters mentioned that he went forth before his people in great luxuries (servants, clothes and riding animals). When those who were desirous of the life of the world saw him, they wished to have the same and wondered “what a great fortune he has!” When their saying reached the ears of the godly righteous men they said to them: {Woe to you! The Reward of Allah is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds}, i.e. the Reward of Allah in the Hereafter is better and higher than this.

Almighty Allah says: {and this none shall attain except those who are As-Sabirun (the patient in following the truth)}, i.e. this -advice, saying and high determination regarding the Hereafter in presence of the joys of this present life -none shall attain except those who were guided and those whose hearts were fixed and minds made stable by the Grace of Allah the Almighty. And, nothing is better than the saying of some of our earlier scholars who said: “Verily, Allah loves penetrative insight in time of suspicious matters and perfect reasoning in time of the presence of lusts”.

Allah the Almighty says: {So, We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then, he had no group or party to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves}, when Allah the Almighty mentioned his setting forth in his pomp, He said {So, We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place}. As transmitted by Imam Al-Bukhari, Allah’s Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “While a man was walking, clad in a two-piece garment and proud of himself with his hair well-combed, suddenly Allah made him sink into the earth and he will go on sinking into it till the Day of Resurrection. ” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Allah the Almighty says: {Then he had no group or party to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves}, i.e. he could not help himself or get help from others. Allah the Almighty states: {Then he will have no power, nor any helper}. (At-Tariq, 10) When the people saw what happened to Qarun and his treasures of sinking into the earth and complete destruction, those who had desired for a position like his position the day before regretted and thanked Allah the Almighty and hence they said: {Had it not been that Allah was Gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up (also)! Know you not that the disbelievers will never be successful}.

Then, Allah the Almighty informs us that {That home of the Hereafter}, i.e. Paradise is prepared only for those {who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes} and then He says: {And the good end is for the Muttaqun (the pious and righteous persons)}.

This story of Qarun might have taken place before they get out of Egypt for Allah the Almighty says: {So, We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place}, or it might have taken place after that during the Diaspora. Allah knows best!

However, Almighty Allah mentions the dispraise of Qarun in several Verses on the Glorious Qur’an. Allah says: {And indeed We sent Musa (Moses) with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, .verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), and a manifest authority. To Fir’aun (Pharaoh), Haman and Qarun (Korah), but they called (him): “A sorcerer, a liar!”}. (Ghafir, 23, 24) and, in Surah Al-‘Ankabut after mentioning ‘Ad, Thamud, Pharaoh, Haman and Qarun, He says: {And (We destroyed also) Qarun (Korah), Fir’aun (Pharaoh), and Haman. And indeed Musa (Moses) came to them with lessons, clear Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.), but they were arrogant in the land, yet they could not outstrip Us (escape Our punishment). So, We punished each (of them) for his sins,. of them were some on whom We sent Hasib (a violent wind with shower of stones) [as on the people of Lut (Lot)], and of them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah [torment -awful cry, (as Thamud or Shu’aib’s People)], and of them were some whom We caused the earth to swallow [as Qarun (Korah)], and of them were some whom We drowned [as the people ofNuh (Noah), or Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his-people]. It was not Allah Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves}. (Al-‘Ankabut, 39, 40) so, he who was swallowed by the earth was Qarun, and those whom were drowned were Pharaoh, Haman and their troops because they were sinful.

Imam Ahmed, in his Musnad, reported that once the Prophet (Peace be upon him) remembered the prayer and said: “He who observes it regularly and properly, it will be light, evidence and salvation for him on the Day of Resurrection. And, he who does not observe it regularly and properly, there will neither be -for him -light, nor evidence, nor salvation. And, on the Day of Resurrection, he will be (gathered) with Qarun, Fir’aun (Pharaoh), Haman and Ubaiy Ibn Khalaf”.

 

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The Story of a Blind Man


The Story of a Blind Man

(Quran Surah Abasa 80:1-12)

Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum a blind man, was a companion of Prophet (pbuh). He was one of the early converts to Islam. He was also the cousin of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her. His father was Qays ibn Said and his mother was Aatikah bint Abdullah. She was called Umm Maktum (Mother of the Concealed One) because she gave birth to a blind child.

Guidance for All

“One day the Messenger of Allah (saws) was addressing one of the great leaders of the Quraysh while hoping that he would accept Islam. While he was speaking in direct conversation with him, Ibn Umm Maktum came to him, and he was of those who had accepted Islam in its earliest days. He (Ibn Umm Maktum) then began asking the Messenger of Allah about something, urgently beseeching him. The Prophet (phub) hoped that the man would be guided, so he asked Ibn Umm Maktum to wait for a moment so he could complete his conversation. He frowned in the face of Ibn Umm Maktum and turned away from him in order to face the other man.” Thus, Allah revealed,

﴿عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّى – أَن جَآءَهُ الاٌّعْمَى – وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهُ يَزَّكَّى ﴾

(He frowned and turned away. Because there came to him the blind man. And how can you know that he might become pure) meaning, he may attain purification and cleanliness in his soul.

﴿أَوْ يَذَّكَّرُ فَتَنفَعَهُ الذِّكْرَى ﴾

(Or he might receive admonition, and the admonition might profit him) meaning, he may receive admonition and abstain from the forbidden.

﴿أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى – فَأَنتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّى ﴾

(As for him who thinks himself self-sufficient. To him you attend;) meaning, `you face the rich person so that perhaps he may be guided.’

﴿وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلاَّ يَزَّكَّى ﴾

(What does it matter to you if he will not become pure) meaning, `you are not responsible for him if he does not attain purification.’

﴿وَأَمَّا مَن جَآءَكَ يَسْعَى – وَهُوَ يَخْشَى ﴾

(But as for him who came to you running. And is afraid.) meaning, `he is seeking you and he comes to you so that he may be guided by what you say to him.’

﴿فَأَنتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّى ﴾

(Of him you are neglectful and divert your attention to another.) meaning, `you are too busy.’ Here Allah commands His Messenger to not single anyone out with the warning. Rather, he should equal warn the noble and the weak, the poor and the rich, the master and the slave, the men and the women, the young and the old. Then Allah will guide whomever He chooses to a path that is straight. He has the profound wisdom and the decisive proof.

Allah says,

﴿كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ ﴾

(Nay; indeed it is an admonition.) meaning, this Surah, or this advice in conveying knowledge equally among people, whether they are of noble or low class. Qatadah and As-Suddi both said,

﴿كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ ﴾

(Nay; indeed it is an admonition.) “This means the Qur’an.”

﴿فَمَن شَآءَ ذَكَرَهُ ﴾

(So, whoever wills, let him pay attention to Him (it).) meaning, so whoever wills, he remembers Allah in all of his affairs. The pronoun could also be understood to be referring to the revelation since the conversation is alluding to it.

Source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir

The Prophet (pbuh) always used to guide people towards Islam. During this incident he (phuh) devoted his complete attention to the leaders of Quraysh with the hope of guiding them towards Islam and hence ignored the blind man. As a result of this Allah revealed the above verses.

After this incident, the Prophet (pbuh) always treated Ibn Umm Maktum with kindness and generosity. He (pbuh) often greeted Ibn Umm Maktum with these words of humility:

“Welcome unto him on whose account my Sustainer has rebuked me.”

Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum would also pronounce the iqamah for the Prayer. Bilal (ra) would call the adhan.

Narrated Salim bin Abdullah: My father said that Allah s Apostle said, “Bilal pronounces ‘Adhan at night, so keep on eating and drinking (Suhur) till Ibn Umm Maktum pronounces Adhan.” Salim added, “He was a blind man who would not pronounce the Adhan unless he was told that the day had dawned.”

Source:  Sahih Al-bukhari