The arrogance of Satan


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  • The arrogance of Satan


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    Qarun

    Qarun was one of the people of Musa but he lorded it over them. We gave him treasures, the keys alone to which were a heavy weight for a party of strong men. Thereupon his people said to him, "Do not gloat. Allah does not love people who gloat." (Surat al-Qasas: 76)

     

    As the above-quoted verse maintains, the treasures and status Qarun possessed in Egypt made him grow arrogant and insolent towards his people. To test him, Allah granted him an enormous fortune, and as is the case with all arrogant people, he was spoilt by them. He forgot that all possessions belong to Allah, and that He can take them back any time He wishes, and failed to recognise that these were granted to him as a test. Due to his arrogance, he thought that they were all given to him because he had "knowledge" and possessed superior qualities:

    He said, "I have only been given it because of knowledge I have." Did he not know that before him Allah had destroyed generations with far greater strength than his and far more possessions? The evildoers will not be questioned about their sins. (Surat al-Qasas: 78)

     

    This is the deviant outlook of the arrogant. Although it is Allah Who has given man whatever he has, the arrogant boast of their possessions and do not feel grateful to Allah or ask forgiveness from Him. They do not bother themselves with thinking, even for a second, that they could lose all these gifts in an instant. However, as we are to understand from this verse, many people, who were wealthier or more powerful than Qarun, perished on account of their arrogance. Like those of the past, Qarun received his punishment in this world. If he had been as powerful as he assumed himself to be, he would have been able to rescue himself. Yet, neither his status, nor his possessions, nor the people who admired him, nor the knowledge for which he boasted, could save him from Allah' s punishment:

    We caused the earth to swallow up both him and his house. There was no group to come to his aid, besides Allah, and he was not someone who is helped. Those who had longed to take his place the day before woke up saying, "Allah expands the provision of any of His servants He wills or restricts it. If Allah had not shown great kindness to us, we would have been swallowed up as well. Ah! Truly the disbelievers are not successful." (Surat al-Qasas: 81-82)

     

    Haman

    As we are to understand from the Qur' an, "Haman" is one of the men closest to Pharaoh, and who obeyed him and acted in compliance with his methodology. Being insolent and rebellious, he sided with Pharaoh and remained a loyal supporter to him. When Musa (as) came to his people to communicate Allah' s message, Haman was there to oppose him along with Pharaoh:

    We sent Musa with Our Signs and clear authority to Pharaoh, Haman and Qarun. But they said, "A lying magician." When he brought them the truth from Us they said, "Slaughter the sons of those who believe with him but let their women live." The stratagems of the disbelievers are nothing but errors. (Surah Ghafir: 23-25)

    Pharaoh' s immoral conduct towards Musa (as) was similarly adopted by Haman. Furthermore, he shared Pharaoh' s errant reasoning and complied with all his wishes. As the verse below maintains, Pharaoh asked Haman to build a tower to see Allah (Surely Allah is beyond this):

    Pharaoh said, "Council, I do not know of any other god for you apart from Me. Haman, kindle a fire for me over the clay and build me a lofty tower so that perhaps I may be able to climb up to Musa' s god! I consider him a blatant liar." (Surat al-Qasas: 38)

    However, Haman, who, out of conceit, was insistent on refusing to submit to Allah and His messenger, met the same end as Satan and Pharaoh. He tasted the inevitable end slated for the arrogant:

    And Qarun and Pharaoh and Haman-Musa came with the Clear Signs to them, but they were arrogant on the earth. They could not outstrip Us. We seized each one of them for their wrong actions. Against some We sent a sudden squall of stones; some of them were seized by the Great Blast; some We caused the earth to swallow up; and some We drowned. Allah did not wrong them; rather they wronged themselves. (Surat al-' Ankabut: 39-40)

     

    The Prophet Ibrahim's Father

    The Prophet Ibrahim' s father possessed the attributes common to disbelieving nations. He was one of those who grew arrogant towards Allah, and was entrenched in hostility towards the Messenger. Having to be taught the morality of religion from his own son hurt the pride of this arrogant man. With gracious words and gentleness did the Prophet Ibrahim communicate Allah' s religion to his father and sought ways to prevent him from worshipping idols. Despite the Prophet Ibrahim' s best efforts, his father clung to his ignorant ways. He turned from the Prophet Ibrahim merely because he had faith in Allah, threatening him even with stoning:

    Mention Ibrahim in the Book. He was a true man and a Prophet. Remember when he said to his father, "Father, why do you worship what can neither hear nor see and is not of any use to you at all? Father, knowledge which never reached you has come to me, so follow me and I will guide you to the right path. Father, do not worship Satan. Satan was disobedient to the All-Merciful. Father, I am afraid that a punishment from the All-Merciful will afflict you, and turn you into a comrade of Satan." He said, "Do you forsake my gods, Ibrahim? If you do not stop, I will stone you. Keep away from me for a good long time." (Surah Maryam: 41-46)

    These threats did not daunt Ibrahim (as); he showed loyalty to Allah, disobeying his father and his people who denied his prophethood, and ultimately leaving them. This exemplary conduct of Ibrahim (as) is related in the Qur' an as follows:

    Ibrahim was a community in himself, exemplary, obedient to Allah, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters. (Surat an-Nahl: 120)

    Then We revealed to you: "Follow the religion of Ibrahim, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters." (Surat an-Nahl: 123)

    Abu Lahab

    Abu Lahab was a disbeliever from the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saas) who was known for his arrogance and insolence. The Qur' an informs us that he and his wife were repaid with Hell for their evildoings in this world. They will be greatly humiliated with the punishments they receive.

    The carrying of wood, is a job too mean for those fond of boasting of their wealth and possessions. Also seen as demeaning by them was the wearing a fibre cord around the necks. Yet, Allah humiliated them in a way they could not foresee. Their future condition, set as an example to later generations, is related in a surah of the Qur' an as follows:

    Ruin to the hands of Abu Lahab and ruin to him! His wealth has not helped him nor anything he has earned. He will burn in a Flaming Fire. And so will his wife, the firewood-carrier, with a rope of twisted fibre round her neck. (Surat al-Masad: 1-5)

     

     
       
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