09-08-07

A man of faith and the palace

A MAN OF FAITH AND THE PALACE

Despite the supernatural events and miracles they witnessed, Pharaoh

and his inner circle resisted Musa. They insisted on denying the truth, due

to their arrogance and obstinacy, and went to such lengths as to claim that

Musa was a magician who performed a spell. Furthermore, they devised

new plans to subject Musa and his adherents to more severe torture and

oppression:

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 have

faith with him but let their women live." The stratagems of the

unbelievers are nothing but errors. Pharaoh said, "Let me kill Musa

and let him call upon his Lord! I am afraid that he may change your

religion and bring about corruption in the land." Musa said, "I seek

refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every proud man who does not

believe in the Day of Reckoning." (Qur'an, 40: 23-27)

Pharaoh intended to kill Musa. He was committed to preventing the

establishment of a new order in the land of Egypt which would hinder his

further enrichment. If Musa were to attain more power, Pharaoh would not

be able to rule over the Egyptian people as he desired. That is why he tried

to justify killing Musa by suggesting that Musa's intentions were solely evil.

However, there appeared a man from the family of Pharaoh who

supported Musa and objected to Pharaoh's cruelties:

A man among Pharaoh's people who had faith, but kept his faith

concealed, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying 'My Lord is

God' when he has brought you Clear Signs from your Lord? If he is

telling a lie, be it on his own head. But if he is telling the truth, then

some of what he is promising you will certainly happen to you. God

does not guide any unbridled inveterate liar. My people! The kingdom

is yours today, as masters in the land, but who will help us against

God's violent force, if it comes upon us?"

Pharaoh said, "I only show you what I see myself and I only guide you

to the path of rectitude."

The man who had faith said, "My people! I fear for you a fate like that

of the factions (of old), the same as happened to the people of Noah

and 'Ad and Thamud and those who followed after them. God does not

want any injustice for His servants. My people! I fear for you the Day

of Calling Out, the Day when you will turn your backs in flight, having

no one to protect you from God. Whoever God misguides will have no

guide. Yusuf brought you the Clear Signs before, but you never

stopped doubting what he brought to you to the extent that when he

died, you said, 'God will never send another Messenger after him' That

is how God misguides those who are unbridled and full of doubt."

Those who argue about the Signs of God without any authority coming

to them do something hateful in the sight of God and in the sight of

the people who believe. That is how God seals up the heart of every

arrogant oppressor. (Qur'an, 40: 28-35)

The warning from the believer in the palace did not affect Pharaoh,

whose heart was filled with arrogance and blinded in denial. In order to

render his words ineffective, he tried to ridicule this Muslim who had

warned him and all the people of Egypt. In a derisive manner, Pharaoh

turned to his assistant Haman, asking him to build a tower:

Pharaoh said, "Haman, build me a tower so that perhaps I may gain

means of access, access to the heavens, so that I can look on Musa's

God. Truly I think he is a liar." That is how Pharaoh's evil actions were

made attractive to him and he debarred others from the path.

Pharaoh's scheming led to nothing but ruin. (Qur'an, 40: 36-37)

Pharaoh was aiming to regain control merely by derision. He did not

grasp the importance of the message, that is, the existence and oneness of

God, communicated by Musa. Pharaoh thought that Musa suggested God

was up in the air and knew that nothing would be seen once one ascends

there. It was based on this premise that he founded his denial of Musa.

Recognizing the error of Pharaoh's understanding, the believer from

Pharaoh's family, who had concealed his belief, started to explain the

existence of God and the hereafter to Pharaoh and his people. He warned

them against a never-ending torment. He summoned them to the right way

and pleaded them to follow him:

The man who believed said, "My people! Follow me and I will guide

you to the path of rectitude. My people! The life of the earth is only

fleeting enjoyment. It is the hereafter, which is the abode of

permanence. Whoever does an evil act will only be repaid with its

equivalent. But whoever acts rightly, male or female, being a believer,

such a person will enter Paradise, provided for in it without any

reckoning. My people! How is it that I call you to salvation while you

call me to the Fire? You call me to reject God and to associate

something with Him about which I have no knowledge, while I call

you to the Almighty, the Endlessly Forgiving. There is no question that

what you call me to has no foundation neither in the world nor the

hereafter, that our return is to God, and that the profligate will be

Companions of the Fire. You will remember what I say to you. I

consign my affair completely to God. Truly God sees His servants."

So God safeguarded him from the evil things they plotted and a most

evil torment engulfed Pharaoh's people. (Qur'an, 40: 38-45)

Pharaoh and his companions did not heed the warnings of this

devout believer who was from among them. Nevertheless, in return for

their denial and their arrogance, a great torment awaited them.

 

There are some of the stories of communities that We relate you:

of them, some are standing, and some have been mown

down (by the sickle of time). (Qur’an 11:100)

THE NAME "HAMAN" IN THE QUR'AN IS ALSO MENTIONED

IN THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN INSCRIPTIONS

Some of the information the Qur'an provides about ancient Egypt reveals

many historical facts that were not disclosed until recently. This information also

indicates that every word in the Qur'an is used in accordance with divine reason.

"Haman" is another person, along with Pharaoh, whose name is mentioned

in the Qur'an. In six separate verses, Haman is referred to as one of the closest

men to Pharaoh.

Surprisingly however, we never encounter the name of Haman in that section

of the Torah where the life of Musa is related. However, there is reference to

Haman in the latter chapters of the Bible, as the counsellor of a Babylonian king,

who lived approximately 1100 years after Pharaoh, and who was notorious for his

cruelty against Jews.

Some non-Muslims, who claim the Qur'an to be a compilation of the Bible by

the Prophet Muhammad (saas), allege the fallacy that the Prophet incorrectly

copied some of the material from the Bible into the Qur'an.

However, this claim has been proven to be groundless, thanks to the

decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabet approximately 200 years ago.

Through this achievement, the name "Haman" was found in the ancient Egyptian

inscriptions.

Until then, the writings and scrolls in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs had

remained unread. The language of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs had remained in

use for many centuries, but with the spread of Christianity, and its ultimate

cultural influence in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D, brought an end to the

knowledge of it. The last example of the hieroglyphic writing known to us was a

scroll dated 394 A.D. After this date, hieroglyphic had become an extinct

language, leaving behind no one who could speak it until the 19th century.2

The mystery of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs was solved only in 1799, by the

discovery of the Rosetta Stone, which dated back to 196 B.C. The use of three

different languages made this stone decipherable: hieroglyphic, demotic (a

simplified form of hieroglyphics used by the ordinary literate class) and Greek.

The ancient Egyptian writings were decoded mainly by the help of the Greek

script. The transcription was completed by a Frenchman, Jean-François

Champollion, and an extinct language, as well as the history conveyed by it, had

finally been brought to light. Thus, ancient Egyptian civilization, representing an

entirely different religion and social life, was resurrected.3

Thanks to the decoding of hieroglyphic, we also attained an essential piece

of information related to our subject: the name of "Haman" was indeed mentioned

in the Egyptian texts. This name was inscribed on a monument displayed today

in the Hof Museum of Vienna. The inscription also stressed the nearness of

Haman to Pharaoh.4

In the "Dictionary of Personal Names of the New Kingdom," a dictionary based

on the information gathered from a complete collection of scrolls, Haman is

mentioned as "the chief of workers in the stone-quarries."5

THE NAME "HAMAN" IN THE QUR'AN IS ALSO MENTIONED

IN THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN INSCRIPTIONS

 

Until the 19th century, when hieroglyphic was finally decoded, the name of "Haman" was

unknown. With the decoding of hieroglyphic, it became clear that Haman was an

important assistant of Pharaoh and "the chief of stone quarry workers." (Above are the

construction workers of Egypt). What deserves mention here is that, according to the

Quran'ic account, Haman is the person who was in charge of construction projects under

the command of Pharaoh. That is, the Qur'an presented an item of information which

was otherwise impossible to know at that time.

Unlike the claims of its opponents, Haman was a person that had lived in

Egypt at the time of Musa, just as was indicated in the Qur'an. Again, as mentioned

in the Qur'an, he was a man close to Pharaoh who was responsible for

construction projects.

Similarly, the verse conveying how Pharaoh asked Haman to build a tower is

also in compliance with evidence in this archaeological finding:

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." (Qur'an, 28: 38)

In conclusion, the existence of the name of Haman in the ancient Egyptian

scrolls not only rendered these fabricated claims totally unfounded, but also

reinforced the fact that the Qur'an is the infallible word of God. Miraculously, the

Qur'an reveals to us a piece of historical information which had been otherwise

impossible to attain or resolve during the time of the Prophet.

 

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