Friday Focus: Treasure of Qaroon
In the Pharaonic order, power of the state stands represented by Pharos—the ruling monarchs, that of socio-religious institutions by Haman and of the corporate money by Qaroon. The trilogy of power worked out in Pharaonic era has left its shades in subsequent epochs. It continues to this day. It was indeed an irony of fate that Qaroon belonged to clan of Moses, in an era when Moses was assigned by Allah to contend Pharaonic narrative, and set free his people oppressed by the order worked out by Pharaoh. On Qaroon, it is ordained in Holy Quran:
Qaroon belonged to the clan 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.'' (28:76)
Qaroon's people reminded him of hereafter, and exhorted him to be charitable, as God has been charitable to him. And, they warned him of corruption inherent in the Pharaonic order, of which he had become one of the pillars:
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." (28:77)
Qaroon however was hardly moved, as he had become a pivot of Pharaonic order, its fulcrum, he had arrogated to himself the belief that his riches result from his own knowledge and effort:
He said, "I was given all this on account of my knowledge (and effort)." 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. (28:78)
The destruction of the arrogant pointed out in Ayah Karim is the natural consequence of fault lines inherent in Pharaonic order.