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Korah in the Quran

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Korah in the Quran is a wealthy man from the Children of Israel who rebelled against God and Moses. In this article, we will take a look at:

Korah in the Quran: A Wealthy Israelite

Korah (قارون) was one of the people of Moses and a rich man from the Israelites who used to bully them:

إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِن قَوْمِ مُوسَىٰ فَبَغَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ

Korah indeed belonged to the people of Moses, but he bullied them. 1

Allah had given him abundant wealth:

وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْكُنُوزِ مَا إِنَّ مَفَاتِحَهُ لَتَنُوءُ بِالْعُصْبَةِ أُولِي الْقُوَّةِ

We had given him so much treasures that their chests indeed proved heavy for a band of stalwarts. 2

His people told him:

لَا تَفْرَحْ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِحِينَ ﴿76﴾

‘Do not boast! Indeed Allah does not like the boasters.” 3

They told him that he must care about the Hereafter by means of the things God had given him, while at the same time not forgetting about his worldly possessions. They also told him be kind and good to others just as God has been to you, and not do injustice in the land, as God does not like those who do wrong.

Korah in the Quran: Korah Defies

Korah said:

قَالَ إِنَّمَا أُوتِيتُهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ عِندِي

He said, ‘I have indeed been given [all] this because of the knowledge that I have.’ 4

He was arrogant and was not willing to attribute the wealth he had accumulated to God, in that it was by God’s grace that he was so rich and affluent. Then the Quran says:

أَوَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ قَدْ أَهْلَكَ مِن قَبْلِهِ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مَنْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُ قُوَّةً وَأَكْثَرُ جَمْعًا ۚ وَلَا يُسْأَلُ عَن ذُنُوبِهِمُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ ﴿78﴾

Did he not know that Allah had already destroyed before him some of the generations who were more powerful than him and greater in amassing [wealth]? The guilty will not be questioned about their sins. 5

Korah in the Quran: Korah Displays His Ornaments

So one day, Korah came out wearing his best clothes and wearing all kinds of ornaments. Some people said, “Only if we were given the like of what Korah was given. Indeed he is very fortunate!” On the other hand, a group of people to whom God had given knowledge said:

وَيْلَكُمْ ثَوَابُ اللَّـهِ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَلَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الصَّابِرُونَ ﴿80﴾

‘Woe to you! Allah’s reward is better for someone who has faith and acts righteously, and no one will receive it except the patient.’ 6

Korah in the Quran: The Earth Swallows Korah

Due to his sins, God cause the earth to swallow Korah together with all of his possessions and no one could protect him and rescue him. When dawn came, those who wished to be in Korah’s place said:

وَيْكَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ ۖ لَوْلَا أَن مَّنَّ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْنَا لَخَسَفَ بِنَا ۖ وَيْكَأَنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الْكَافِرُونَ ﴿82﴾

‘Don’t you see that Allah expands the provision for whomever He wishes of His servants, and tightens it? Had Allah not shown us favour, He might have made the earth swallow us too. Don’t you see that the faithless do not prosper?’ 7

Therefore, they regretted what they had said earlier.

Conclusion

Korah was a wealthy man from the Israelites who used to boast about his wealth and used to bully the Israelites. Moreover, he did not accept Moses’ call and impugned him. Therefore, God punished him by making the earth swallow him for misdeeds and corruption. One learns from the story of Korah that worldly riches and wealth will not avail one in the Hereafter, and that the outcome will always be in favor of the Godwary.


References

  1. Quran 28:76 (Qara’i).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Quran 28:78 (Qara’i).
  5. Ibid.
  6. Quran 28:80 (Qara’i).
  7. Quran 28:82 (Qara’i).
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