The story of Qarun

by Shekel on 08:50 AM, 07-Nov-12



Qarun (Korah) was doubtless, of
the people of Moses; but he
acted insolently towards them:
such were the treasures We had
bestowed on him that their very
keys would have been a burden
to a body of strong men, behold,
his people said to him:
"Exult not, for God loveth not
those who exult (in riches). "But
seek, with the (wealth) which
God has bestowed on thee, the
Home of
the Hereafter, nor forget thy
portion in this world: but do
thou good, as God has been
good to thee, and seek not
(occasions for) mischief in the
land: for God loves not those
who do mischief."
He said: "This has been given to
me because of a certain
knowledge which I have."
Did he not know that God had
destroyed, before him, (whole)
generations,- which were
superior to him in strength and
greater in the amount (of riches)
they had collected? but the
wicked are not called
(immediately) to account for their
sins.
So he went forth among his
people in the (pride of his
wordly) glitter. Said those whose
aim is the Life of this World:
"Oh! that we had the like of what
Qarun has got! for he is truly a
lord of mighty good fortune!"
But those who had been granted
(true) knowledge said:
"Alas for you! The reward of God
(in the Hereafter) is best for
those who believe and work
righteousness: but this none
shall attain, save those who
steadfastly persevere (in
good)."
Then We caused the earth to
swallow up him and his house;
and he had not (the least little)
party to help him against God,
nor could he defend himself.
And those who had envied his
position the day before began to
say on the morrow:
"Ah! it is indeed God Who
enlarges the provision or
restricts it, to any of His servants
He pleases! had it not been that
God was gracious to us, He could
have caused the earth to swallow
us up! Ah! those who reject God
will assuredly never prosper."
That Home of the Hereafter We
shall give to those who intend
not high-handedness or mischief
on earth: and the end is (best)
for the righteous.
If any does good, the reward to
him is better than his deed; but if
any does evil, the doers of evil
are only punished (to the extent)
of their deeds. (The Holy Quran,
28:76-84)
Commentary:
Qarun is called Korah in the Bible
and the Talmud. He was a first
cousin of the Prophet Moses
(peace be on him). According to
Bible, in the book of Exodus
(18-21), the fathers of Korah and
the Prophet Moses were real
brothers. At another place in the
Qur'an it has been stated that
this man had joined with
Pharaoh inspite of being an
Israelite. Qarun became a ring-
leader of opposition to Prophet
Moses.
"We sent Moses to Pharaoh and
Haman and Qarun with Our Signs
and a clear authority of
appointment, but they said, `He is
a sorcerer, a liar'." (Al-
Mu'min :23-24).
From this it follows that Korah
had rebelled against his own
people and become a supporter
of the hostile forces which were
bent upon wiping out the
Israelites. On account of this
rebellion against his own people
he had attained a high place with
Pharaoh and the two persons,
besides Pharaoh, to whom the
Prophet Moses had been sent
were Pharaoh's minister, Haman,
and this Israelite capitalist, Korah.
All other chiefs and courtiers
were of inferior status, who
were not worth mentioning. The
same position of Korah has been
alluded to in Surah Al' Ankabut:
39.
In the story related of him in the
Bible (Num., ch. 16), there is no
mention of this man's wealth.
But according to the Jewish
traditions, he possessed
immense wealth, so much so that
three hundred mules were
required to carry the keys of his'
treasures. (Jewish Encyclopedia,
Vol. VII, p. 556). Though greatly
exaggerated this statement
shows that even according to the
Israelite traditions, Korah was a
very wealthy man of his time.

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