English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 28: Al-Qasas — The Narrative (Revealed at Makkah: 9 sections, 88 verses)

Section 8 (Verses 28:76–28:82): Korah’s Wealth Leads him to Ruin


اِنَّ قَارُوۡنَ کَانَ مِنۡ قَوۡمِ مُوۡسٰی فَبَغٰی عَلَیۡہِمۡ ۪ وَ اٰتَیۡنٰہُ مِنَ الۡکُنُوۡزِ مَاۤ اِنَّ مَفَاتِحَہٗ لَتَنُوۡٓاُ بِالۡعُصۡبَۃِ اُولِی الۡقُوَّۃِ ٭ اِذۡ قَالَ لَہٗ قَوۡمُہٗ لَا تَفۡرَحۡ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُحِبُّ الۡفَرِحِیۡنَ ﴿۷۶﴾

28:76 Korah was surely from among the people of Moses, but he oppressed them, and We gave him treasures, so much so that his hoards of wealth would weigh down a body of strong men.1 When his people said to him: Do not exult; surely Allah does not love the exultant.

وَ ابۡتَغِ فِیۡمَاۤ اٰتٰىکَ اللّٰہُ الدَّارَ الۡاٰخِرَۃَ وَ لَا تَنۡسَ نَصِیۡبَکَ مِنَ الدُّنۡیَا وَ اَحۡسِنۡ کَمَاۤ اَحۡسَنَ اللّٰہُ اِلَیۡکَ وَ لَا تَبۡغِ الۡفَسَادَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُحِبُّ الۡمُفۡسِدِیۡنَ ﴿۷۷﴾

28:77 And seek the abode of the Hereafter by means of what Allah has given you, and do not neglect your portion of the world, and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land. Surely Allah does not love the mischief-makers.

قَالَ اِنَّمَاۤ اُوۡتِیۡتُہٗ عَلٰی عِلۡمٍ عِنۡدِیۡ ؕ اَوَ لَمۡ یَعۡلَمۡ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ قَدۡ اَہۡلَکَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہٖ مِنَ الۡقُرُوۡنِ مَنۡ ہُوَ اَشَدُّ مِنۡہُ قُوَّۃً وَّ اَکۡثَرُ جَمۡعًا ؕ وَ لَا یُسۡـَٔلُ عَنۡ ذُنُوۡبِہِمُ الۡمُجۡرِمُوۡنَ ﴿۷۸﴾

28:78 He said: I have been given this only on account of the knowledge I have. Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations who were mightier in strength than he and greater in assemblage? And the guilty are not questioned about their sins.2

فَخَرَجَ عَلٰی قَوۡمِہٖ فِیۡ زِیۡنَتِہٖ ؕ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ یُرِیۡدُوۡنَ الۡحَیٰوۃَ الدُّنۡیَا یٰلَیۡتَ لَنَا مِثۡلَ مَاۤ اُوۡتِیَ قَارُوۡنُ ۙ اِنَّہٗ لَذُوۡ حَظٍّ عَظِیۡمٍ ﴿۷۹﴾

28:79 So he went out to his people in his finery. Those who desired this world’s life said: If only we had the like of what Korah is given! Surely he is possessed of mighty good fortune!

وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡعِلۡمَ وَیۡلَکُمۡ ثَوَابُ اللّٰہِ خَیۡرٌ لِّمَنۡ اٰمَنَ وَ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا ۚ وَ لَا یُلَقّٰہَاۤ اِلَّا الصّٰبِرُوۡنَ ﴿۸۰﴾

28:80 But those who were given the knowledge said: Woe to you! Allah’s reward is better for him who believes and does good, and none is made to receive this except the patient.

فَخَسَفۡنَا بِہٖ وَ بِدَارِہِ الۡاَرۡضَ ۟ فَمَا کَانَ لَہٗ مِنۡ فِئَۃٍ یَّنۡصُرُوۡنَہٗ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ ٭ وَ مَا کَانَ مِنَ الۡمُنۡتَصِرِیۡنَ ﴿۸۱﴾

28:81 So We made the earth to swallow him up3 and his abode. He had no army to help him against Allah, nor could he defend himself.

وَ اَصۡبَحَ الَّذِیۡنَ تَمَنَّوۡا مَکَانَہٗ بِالۡاَمۡسِ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ وَیۡکَاَنَّ اللّٰہَ یَبۡسُطُ الرِّزۡقَ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِہٖ وَ یَقۡدِرُ ۚ لَوۡ لَاۤ اَنۡ مَّنَّ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡنَا لَخَسَفَ بِنَا ؕ وَیۡکَاَنَّہٗ لَا یُفۡلِحُ الۡکٰفِرُوۡنَ ﴿٪۸۲﴾

28:82 And those who had yearned for his place the day before began to say: Ah! (know) that Allah amplifies provision for whom He pleases of His servants and restricts (it also); if Allah had not been gracious to us, He would have humbled us. Ah! (know) that the ungrateful are never successful.


  1. The story of Korah, or Qārūn, his revolt against the leadership of Moses and Aaron, and his being swallowed up by the earth, is given in the Bible in the book of Numbers, ch. 16. The only addition of any importance to the story as given in the Quran is the mention of his wealth, a fact noticed in Rabbinical litera­ture. There may be a reference in the mention of Korah’s wealth to the modern materialistic tendency of making the accumulation of wealth the great object of life to the utter neglect of the Truth. The hankering after wealth and the amassing of gold leads undoubtedly to ruin, as it is leading the world today.
  2. They will not be asked to give any explanation for their sins, as Allah is All-Knowing.
  3. The meaning conveyed is that he perished.