Tuesday 11 June 2024

Do not show conceit for Allah does not like the conceited (Selected verses from Qur'an)

No two men are gifted or blessed alike. In fact there exists a vast disparity between the HAVEs and HAVE NOTs. And it is the general human psyche to boast of one's wealth and possessions for they think whatever have the achieved is all because of their own efforts and handwork, not realizing that no one is blessed unless the Lord of the world so desired.

There have been nations and individuals mentioned in the Divine Scriptures that showed arrogance and conceit due to their possessions and positions who were wiped out with for Allah does not like the conceited and the arrogance.  In Qur'an, there is a mention of one such man by the name of Qarun (mentioned as Korah in Bible and Torah) who was mighty rich, yet was too boastful and conceited about his wealth. People around him warned him lest Divine wrath enveloped and destroyed him. He did not heed to the warnings and was sunk in the sand along with his entire wealth.

Such anecdotes are mentioned in Divine Scriptures to guide people to show humility rather than conceit and be always thankful to their Lord so that they are given and blessed more. And also any eye opener for those who despite knowing such anecdotes, boast and forget to thank their Lord in an expression of humility.

We share today the 76th verse of Surah 28. Al Qasas (The Story) about arrogance and conceit of Qarun:

اِنَّ قَارُوۡنَ كَانَ مِنۡ قَوۡمِ مُوۡسٰى فَبَغٰى عَلَيۡهِمۡ​ وَاٰتَيۡنٰهُ مِنَ الۡكُنُوۡزِ مَاۤ اِنَّ مَفَاتِحَهٗ لَـتَـنُوۡٓاُ بِالۡعُصۡبَةِ اُولِى الۡقُوَّةِ اِذۡ قَالَ لَهٗ قَوۡمُهٗ لَا تَفۡرَحۡ​ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الۡفَرِحِيۡنَ‏  
[They should not show arrogance on their means and resources. Tell them:] Korah was from among the nation of Moses;  then  he became rebellious against them. We had given him so many treasures that its keys were barely lifted by a band of many strong men. When the people of his nation counselled him: “Do not show conceit because God does not like the conceited 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: It was recorded that Ibn 'Abbas said:
(إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَىٰ Verily, Qarun was of Musa's people,) "He was the son of his paternal uncle." This was also the view of Ibrahim An-Nakha'i, 'Abdullah bin Al-Harith bin Nawfal, Sammak bin Harb, Qatadah, Malik bin Dinar, Ibn Jurayj and others; they all said that he was the cousin of Musa, peace be upon him. Ibn Jurayj said: "He was Qarun bin Yashar bin Qahith, and Musa was the son of 'Imran bin Qahith.

(وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْكُنُوزِ And We gave him of the treasures,) meaning, of wealth;

( مَا إِنَّ مَفَاتِحَهُ لَتَنُوءُ بِالْعُصْبَةِ أُولِي الْقُوَّةِ that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men.) Groups of strong men would not have been able to carry them because they were so many. Al-A'mash narrated from Khaythamah, "The keys of Qarun's treasure were made of leather, each key like a finger, and each key was for a separate storeroom. When he rode anywhere, the keys would be carried on sixty mules with white blazes on their foreheads and white feet." Other views were also given, and Allah knows best.

(إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ قَوْمُهُ لَا تَفْرَحْ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِحِينَ Remember when his people said to him: "Do not exult. Verily, Allah likes not those who exult.") means, the righteous ones among his people exhorted him. By way of sincere advice and guidance, they said: "Do not exult in what you have," meaning, 'do not be arrogant and proud of your wealth.'

(  إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِحِينَ Verily, Allah likes not those who exult.) Ibn 'Abbas said, "This means, those who rejoice and gloat." Mujahid said, "It means those who are insolent and reckless, and do not thank Allah for what He has given them." His saying:

(وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ ۖ وَلَا تَنْسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا ۖ But seek, with that which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world;) means, 'use this great wealth and immense blessing Allah has given you to worship your Lord and draw closer to Him by doing a variety of good deeds which will earn you reward in this world and the Hereafter.'

Explanation Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi:
This fact also is being related in continuation of the answer to the excuse which has been the theme of the discourse from verse 57 onward. In this regard, one should bear in mind the fact that the people who feared that the Holy Prophet Muhammad's message would affect the overall national interests adversely were, in fact, the big money owners, money-lenders and capitalists of Makkah, who by virtue of their international trade and money-lending business had become the Korahs of their time. These were the people who thought that the real truth was to earn and amass maximum wealth. Anything that seemed to vitiate this object was an untruth which could not be accepted in any case. On the other hand, there were the common people who looked with longing eyes at these magnates and earnestly desired that they should also attain the same heights as those people had attained. In an atmosphere charged with the love of money, as it was, people considered it to be a weighty argument that if the invitation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) towards Tauhid and the Hereafter and the moral code was accepted it would spell ruin for the Quraish not only commercially but economically too. 

Qarun who has been called Korah in the Bible and the Talmud was a first cousin of the Prophet Moses. According to the account of descent given in Exodus (ti: 18-21) the fathers of the Prophet Moses and Korah were real brothers. At another place in the Qur'an it has been stated that this man had joined with Pharaoh in spite of being an Israelite and become one of his favorites; so much so that one of the two ring-leaders of opposition to Prophet Moses after Pharaoh was this same Korah: "We sent Moses to Pharaoh and Haman and Korah 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 couriers were of inferior status, who were not worth mentioning. The same position of Korah has been alluded to in 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.

Qur'an Wiki explanation:
Now the sūrah tells us about Qārūn, or Korah, portraying the power of wealth and knowledge and how, when coupled with arrogance and ingratitude, this leads to the same end. In essence, the sūrah depicts those values that make wealth and luxury practically insignificant when compared with faith and righteousness, as also with moderation in enjoying life’s pleasures without arrogance or corruption.

Qārūn belonged to Moses’ people. God had given him abundant wealth, described in the sūrah as “treasures”, a term that signifies a hoarded surplus of money which is taken out of circulation. Indeed the mere carrying of the keys to these treasures represented a heavy burden even for a band of strong men. It was because of his wealth that Qārūn treated his people unjustly. The sūrah does not specify the form of injustice dealt out by Qārūn, leaving it indefinite so as to include all types of injustice. He might have taken their land and property unfairly, as is often done by those who use power and wealth to deprive others of their rights. He might also have deprived them of their fair share in his property. God has given the poor their rightful share in the property of the rich, so that wealth does not circulate exclusively among the rich while all around them the poor are in desperate need. When this happens, corruption becomes manifest. Qārūn might equally have been guilty of other forms of injustice.

However, some in his community tried to stop such injustice, counselling him to maintain the path that earns God’s pleasure. Thus, he would be able to enjoy his wealth and partake of the pleasures it provides, but in moderation and within reason. More importantly, this path requires wealthy people to watch God in all their actions, for it is He who granted them all they have. They too will have to account for their deeds on the Day of Judgement.

“Do not exult” in your riches nor be so proud of them as to forget the One who has granted you this blessing. Do not neglect to give due thanks. Do not treat your money as an object of extreme delight so that you become insolent and arrogant in your treatment of other people. “For God does not love those who are exultant.” His compatriots remind him of God and the fact that He does not love those who are infatuated with wealth, showing arrogance and using its power to humiliate others.

Summarizing the above quoted verse, eminent Muslim scholar of present times Javed Ahmed Ghamidi notes: It is this wisdom and comprehension of the truth about which it is stated at another instance that he who is blessed with these is blessed with a great treasure. The implication is that everything in this world is God-given; they should not regard it to be a consequence of their own ability or a legacy of their forefathers; it is purely a favour of God that He has granted so much wealth and affluence to them. Whatever from it that will be a benefit for them will be the part they spend for the cause of God. He wants to see the reflection of His own attributes in His servants as well and likes those among them who look upon with favour at their fellow brethren.

Such anecdotes are not repeated without any reason nor these are specific to any time period. Such like verses are to warn the entire mankind to shun any notions that show conceit, arrogance and pride to boast of one's family. These are to warn all such people to bow in humbleness to their Lord and show utter humility. And if this is not done, wrath of the Lord can be any minute knocking at their door with news of misfortune. Remember, within seconds, empires crumble and man robbed of his proud possessions.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) helpnes' wealth, health, position or fa us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may read more posts on similar theme in our series of posts related to: The Utter Losers (in worldly life and the Hereafter) in the light of Qur'an

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook. You may also refer to our Facebook  Group Islam: The Ultimate Truth for more on Islam and Da'wah.

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on social media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More