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The Debate between the Might and the Truth within a Quranist Vision (7):
The Israelites and Moses in Post-Pharaoh Egypt, and Quaroon between the Might and the Truth

 

The Debate between the Might and the Truth within a Quranist Vision (7):

The Israelites and Moses in Post-Pharaoh Egypt, and Quaroon between the Might and the Truth 

 

Published in December 24, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Firstly:

1- The genius of Moses' Pharaoh when he severely persecuted the Israelites is manifested by his recruiting Israelite spies and agents serving him against the Israelite tribes and helping him to execute his policies of persecution. This is done by pharaohs of the military regime in Egypt who recruit some affluent Christian Copts now as secret partners in business and to make them help propagate policies against Copts outside and inside Egypt.   

2- Thus, among the retinue members of Moses' Pharaoh was an Israelite man named Quaroon; he was the third man in Egypt after Pharaoh and his vizier Haman, as we infer from these verses: "We sent Moses with Our signs, and a clear authority. To Pharaoh, Haman, and Quaroon. But they said, "A lying sorcerer."" (40:23-24). In addition, Quaroon, as among the distinguished retinue members of Pharaoh inside his palace, agreed with the suggestion of Pharaoh and Haman to massacre children of those who believed to Moses and believed in God and to kill Moses himself: "Then, when he came to them with the Truth from Us, they said, "Kill the sons of those who have believed with him, and spare their daughters." But the scheming of the unbelievers can only go astray. Pharaoh said, "Leave me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread corruption in the land."" (40:25-26). This is asserted further as the only one who objected outspokenly to such evil plans was a believing Egyptian prince who concealed his monotheistic faith: "A believing man from Pharaoh's family, who had concealed his faith, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying, `My Lord is God,' and he has brought you clear proofs from your Lord? If he is a liar, his lying will rebound upon him; but if he is truthful, then some of what he promises you will befall you. God does not guide the extravagant imposter." (40:28).   

3- God says the following about the destruction of the ancient nations: "And Aad and Thamood. It has become clear to you from their dwellings. Satan embellished for them their deeds, barring them from the path, even though they could see. And Quaroon, and Pharaoh, and Haman - Moses went to them with clear signs, but they acted arrogantly in the land. And they could not get ahead. Each We seized by his sin. Against some We sent a sandstorm. Some were struck by the Blast. Some We caused the ground to cave in beneath them. And some We drowned. It was not God who wronged them, but it was they who wronged their own selves." (29:38-40). There are three noteworthy remarks here. (A) The name of Quaroon is mentioned among nations smitten and destroyed by God like Aad and Thamood, and he is mentioned before Pharaoh and Haman in 29:39 in relation to the fact that Moses was sent to whom in particular. (B) In 29:40, the torment/punishment of Quaroon (i.e., the ground caved in on him) is mentioned before that of Pharaoh (i.e., drowning), though the destruction of Pharaoh occurred before that of Quaroon. (C) The peoples of Pharaoh, Haman, and Quaroon are never mentioned in 29:38-40, apart from mentioning the name of Quaroon before that of Haman and Pharaoh in 29:39. Quaroon was among the Israelites, as we now from this Quranic verse: "Quaroon belonged to the people of Moses..." (28:76).

4- Quaroon never accompanied Pharaoh and his soldiers/troops when they chased the Israelites during the exodus; Quaroon was not a military man like Pharaoh and Haman who drowned with their soldiers/troops, and the name of Quaroon is never mentioned in verses about their drowning: "And We delivered the Israelites across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them, defiantly and aggressively..." (10:90); "Pharaoh pursued them with his troops, but the sea overwhelmed them, and completely engulfed them." (20:78); "...they are troops to be drowned." (44:24); "So We seized him, and his troops, and We threw them into the sea..." (28:40); "...Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops were sinners." (28:8).  

5- Thus, Quaroon was a civil man who belonged to the Israelites; undoubtedly, he was an expert in financial investment and he helped Moses' Pharaoh in that domain. We assume that Pharaoh left Quaroon in Egypt as a guardian of his treasures, money, and possessions, as Pharaoh considered his chasing the weak Israelites as merely a simple military excursion and he expected to return back soon to the Nile River valley and to his palaces and treasures guarded by Quaroon his deputy. Pharaoh never expected to meet his death and to be defeated by the Israelites. When Pharaoh drowned along with his soldiers/troops, retinue members, courtiers, and regime statesmen, the only retinue member left was Quaroon the affluent Israelite man left behind at the Egyptian capital city at the time. Quaroon lived in Egypt for a while until God caused the ground to cave in on him along with his mansion and treasures.       

6- God says the following in the Quran: "Quaroon belonged to the people of Moses, but he oppressed them..." (28:76). Of course, God in the Quran describes how Moses' Pharaoh oppressed the Israelites. This means that Quaroon oppressed his people, the Israelites, during the reign of Pharaoh and after Pharaoh drowned. Thus, Quaroon oppressed the Israelites while he was serving Pharaoh who severely persecuted the Israelites. Without a shadow of doubt, Quaroon had spies and agents under him to spy on Moses and Aaron and the believers among the Israelites to serve the purposes of Pharaoh, and such spies and agents caused terror and intimidation among the Israelites who were under constant surveillance all the time. Quaroon continued oppressing the Israelites after Pharaoh drowned; when the regime of Pharaoh drowned, Quaroon was the only remaining member of that Pharaonic regime. Of course, former agents serving under Quaroon, when he served Pharaoh, joined him once more, and he employed them to go out in haughty processions showing off his splendor, imitating the haughtiness of Pharaoh.        

7- We notice that the names of Moses and Aaron are never mentioned in the Quranic story of Quaroon, within this Quranic context: "Quaroon belonged to the people of Moses, but he oppressed them. We had given him treasures, the keys of which would weigh down a group of strong men. His people said to him, "Do not exult; God does not love the exultant. But seek, with what God has given you, the Home of the Hereafter, and do not neglect your share of this world. And be charitable, as God has been charitable to you. And do not seek corruption in the land. God does not like the seekers of corruption." He said, "I was given all this on account of knowledge I possess." Did he not know that God destroyed many generations before him, who were stronger than he, and possessed greater riches? But the guilty will not be asked about their sins. And he went out before his people in his splendor. Those who desired the worldly life said, "If only we possessed the likes of what Quaroon was given. He is indeed very fortunate." But those who were given knowledge said, "Woe to you! The reward of God is better for those who believe and do righteous deeds." Yet none attains it except the patient ones. So We caused the earth to cave in on him and his mansion. He had no company to save him from God, and he could not defend himself. Those who had wished they were in his position the day before were saying, "Indeed, it is God who spreads the bounty to whomever He wills of His servants, and restricts it. Had God not been gracious to us, He would have caved in on us. No wonder the disbelievers never prosper."" (28:76-82).

8- We know from 28:76-82 that Quaroon oppressed the Israelites and that he confiscates Pharaonic treasures while claiming he got such money through his knowledge. Quaroon refused to heed the pieces of advice addressed to him by his people and he went on with his corruption. Some Israelite men envied Quaroon for his affluence and stature, but those Israelite believers endowed with real religious knowledge blamed those enviers of Quaroon. There is no mention of Moses and Aaron in 28:76-82 despite their being present at the same time and in the same location.

9- We can guess the reason for this absence of the names of Moses and Aaron in 28:76-82. The drowning of Pharaoh was a great, happy surprise for the Israelites, including Quaroon. When the Red Sea threw the corpses of Pharaoh and his troops, we imagine that the Israelites stole the ornaments, jewels, and clothes from such corpses, and this was the onset of a feverish treasure-hunting in Egypt by the Israelites (as a minority of one race whose being oppressed by Pharaoh had given them momentum to seek being distinguished from the majority of those who lived in Egypt at the time) who vied for getting more possessions. The Egyptians never participated in such treasure-hunting; they preferred to live on the margin contently and in peace. The Israelites returned to Egypt with the glad tidings that Pharaoh drowned along with his soldiers and retinue members. Naturally, the bond between the Israelites and Moses and Aaron waned very much, or seemed to be dissolved, since the Pharaonic danger ended and the Israelites inherited what was left by Pharaoh and his troops, family, courtiers, and regime statesmen. Once Quaroon knew that Pharaoh drowned, we imagine that he rolled up his sleeves and gathered his followers/agents to hunt for all hidden treasures all over the Egyptian soil, and he stocked them in piles and coffers with so many locks, whose keys would weigh down a group of strong men, under the roof of his mansion/palace. We imagine that the rest of the Israelites who never knew the locations of hidden treasures rushed toward palaces, temples, and mansions to steal anything they could lay their hands on and they destroyed all such edifices within such random treasure-hunting. This is understood by us from this verse: "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137). Such roar of the feverish treasure-hunting drowned the voices of Moses and Aaron. Quaroon filled in the vacuum caused by the drowning of Pharaoh and his regime and by the Israelites who disregarded Moses and Aaron.           

10- Pharaoh and Haman and their troops were punished by God and so was Quaroon who followed the footsteps of Moses' Pharaoh and was inevitably punished in public before the eyes of the Israelites. The corpse of Pharaoh thrown by the Red Sea was a sign for those after him and so was the punishment of Quaroon as the ground caved in on him along with his treasures, mansion/palace, splendor, and procession, before the eyes of the Israelites – even those Israelite men who used to envy him as a 'fortunate' man changed their stance after witnessing such torment inflicted on Quaroon.     

11- After destroying Quaroon – the last power-center of the Pharaonic regime of Moses' Pharaoh – the State of Pharaoh was destroyed along with all treasures and edifices of Pharaoh as the ground caved in on such treasures and edifices were destroyed by the Israelites in their random treasure-hunting; thus, the prayer of Moses and Aaron who invoked the Dominant Lord God against Pharaoh and his money was answered by Almighty God: "Moses said, "Our Lord, you have given Pharaoh and his retinue members splendor and wealth in the worldly life. Our Lord, for them to lead away from Your path. Our Lord, obliterate their wealth, and harden their hearts, they will not believe until they see the painful torment." He said, "Your prayer has been answered, so go straight, and do not follow the path of those who do not know."" (10:88-89).

 

Lastly:

 Quaroon in this Quranic story is portrayed as one who possessed the might without the Truth; Moses and Aaron had the Truth but without the might. 


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