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Article appeared Friday, September 20th, 2019 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (588) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD


Does arrogance {1} blind one towards the truth? God has given each of us eyes and
ears to observe and listen. He has given us intelligence to process and analyze what we
see and hear. In effect, He has given us the ability to separate the truth from falsehood.
The more we engage our brains to hypothesize and compare results to decide on the
truth, the better our ability gets to find the truth. If however, one adopts the attitude or
characteristics of arrogance, does one actively look for the truth? Or when the truth is
apparent, would the arrogant person see clearly? To understand the nature of
arrogance, lets analyze the hidden meaning behind the quote {2} by the British
entertainer Richard Hammond.
“I like to think that my arrogance, impetuosity, impatience, selfishness and greed
are the qualities that make me the lovable chap I am.” {2}

Are arrogant persons lovable? Does anyone even like an arrogant person? Given the
opinion an arrogant person has of himself/herself can he/she see or even workout the
truth? Can we now look at what Holy Scriptures have to say about arrogance? As
pointed out in the Bible study article titled What does the Bible say about arrogance at
the website gotquestions.org {3}, God dislikes the character trait of arrogance and that
the arrogant person will not escape punishment.
“The words arrogance, arrogant, proud, and haughty are mentioned over 200
times in the NIV Bible. And in practically every occurrence, it is a behavior or
attitude detested by God. The Bible tells us those who are arrogant and have a
haughty heart are an abomination to Him: “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is
an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished” (Proverbs
16:5).” {3}

Likewise, in the Qur’an we find numerous Verses on arrogance including the


commandment,
“And swell not your cheek (for pride) at men nor walk in insolence through the
earth; for Allah loves not any arrogant boaster.” [31.18]

Having questioned the ability of arrogant persons and how God looks upon this
character trait, let us ask the question, what type of person was Pharaoh? We find the
following answer in the Qur’an,
“…after that We sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his chiefs with Our
Signs. But they were arrogant: they were a people in sin.” [10.75]

So, the question that this article would like to ask is, was Pharaoh open to the reality that
Moses brought? Was he able to see the truth in the Signs or Miracles sent by God? If
not, why not? Rather than trying to understand the truth, what did Pharaoh do? His
intention was to discredit Moses by showing that the miracles were just a cheap
magician’s trick.

26.38 “So the sorcerers were got together for the appointment of a day
well-known.”
Pharaoh wanted to show that Moses was just another magician. So he got together a
number of magicians. He brought them together on a day when many people would
normally be gathered – a festival day.

26.39 “And the people were asked: "Are you (now) assembled?”
A crowd was gathered and asked whether they were ready to see the show that
Pharaoh was about to put on. The people were told what the event was about.

26.40 “That we may follow the sorcerers (in religion) if they win?”
It was a competition between Pharaoh, who had declared himself as a god, and the God
of Moses and Aaron, who had sent the two brothers to introduce Him and convince
through the use of miracles.
“But speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (Allah).” [20.44]

26.41 “So when the sorcerers arrived they said to Pharaoh: "Of course
shall we have a (suitable) reward if we win?”
The sorcerers or magicians who came, upon realizing the reputation (and religion) of
Pharaoh were at stake, asked about being rewarded upon winning the competition.

26.42 “He replied, "Yes (and more), for you shall in that case be (raised to
posts) nearest (to my person)."”
As a reward, Pharaoh would appoint them for himself as magicians in his own palace.

26.43 “Moses said to them: "Throw that which you are about to throw!"”
Moses asked them to show their best trick.

26.44 “So they threw their ropes and their rods and said: "By the might of
Pharaoh it is we who will certainly win!"”
The magicians used the phrase by the might of Pharaoh in compliance with the religion
they were required to follow with him as a god {4} as well as to please him!

26.45 “Then Moses threw his rod when behold it straightway swallows up
all the falsehoods which they fake!”
The magicians’ trick, as are all tricks, was an illusion. As God gave Moses the miracle,
the rod that became a snake swallowed up all the illusions. This really surprised the
magicians, as they realized what Moses was showing could not be magic – it was real
and something that was beyond explanation for them.

26.46 “Then did the sorcerers fall down prostrate in adoration.”


They recognized the Hand of God and acknowledged this by prostrating and accepting
the miracle as something from God.

26.47 “Saying, "We believe in the Lord of the Worlds.”

26.48 “The Lord of Moses and Aaron.”


This was defeat for Pharaoh – something his arrogance would not accept. Therefore, he

26.49 “Said (Pharaoh): "Believe in him before I give you permission? Surely
he is your leader who has taught you sorcery! But soon shall you know!
"But sure I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides and I will
cause you all to die on the cross!"”

26.50 “They said: "No matter! For us we shall but return to our Lord!”
They did not fear Pharaoh’s threat as unlike him, what they had observed helped them
develop firm faith and trust in God Almighty.
26.51 “Only our desire is that our Lord will forgive us our faults that we
may become foremost among the Believers!”
------
{Notes}:
{1} https://blog.cognifit.com/arrogance/
{2} https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/richard_hammond_498428?src=t_arrogance
{3} https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-arrogance.html
{4} https://www.ancient.eu/pharaoh/

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