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Article appeared Friday, September 13th, 2019 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (587) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

When we make something, it usually is for a purpose. In today’s technological era,
thousands of mobile applications are being made – each for a specific purpose. Can we
then run away from the fact that if God has made us it also must be for a purpose – His
Purpose? At the same time, however, He has given us all the tools to meet our own
personal goals in life. He enables the dreams of those who pursue their ambitions – He
grants success and satisfaction. He has given each of us the gift of existence, a
consciousness, a personality, intelligence, emotions, potential skills and a free will to
boot. On top, He provides opportunities and arranges for us to achieve specific goals in
life and derive satisfaction. Could it be that He wants nothing in return – even something
that is His Right?

At a very basic level, is a show of gratitude in order? To other people we respond by

saying thank you – even for the smallest of gifts. Why do we show such gratitude? Do
we feel that it is proper and right to show gratitude and/or is it a right of the giver to be
thanked? What about the gift of life? Should it be God’s right to be thanked? On the
contrary, do the gifts of success and status make us arrogant and egotistic? How would
we look upon a person who, upon receiving a gift, arrogantly turns away, perhaps feeling
that he/she deserves the gift and would like others to witness his/her greatness? Should
the gift of status and power corrupt a person?

In turn, how should God look upon arrogant, egotistic and ungrateful people? By their
actions they deny the blessings of God and in doing so, deny Him. Should He punish
them? Do they deserve punishment? Should He overlook their faults? As reported in
Holy Scriptures rather than punish He gives arrogant people a firm invitation and a
further opportunity to turn to Him. This indeed shows how Merciful He is. The story of
Pharaoh appearing in the Holy Scriptures is a case in point. The story demonstrates
God’s Mercy and also His Wrath. Various people {1} have studied the story. However,
the begging question remains – why is the story repeated in Holy Scriptures? Is it to
warn those who use their position and power to not only deny God but to oppress those
under him? Pharaoh was one such person. As reported in the Holy Quran, God sent
Prophet Moses (pbuh) and his brother Aaron to Pharaoh with a message from Him.
"Go both of you to Pharaoh for he has indeed transgressed all bounds; but speak
to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (God)." [20.43 – 20.44]

Speak to him mildly – see how the Creator of the heavens and the earth extended His
invitation – no force. How does the arrogant oppressor respond?

26.22 “And this is the favor of which you remind me – that you have
enslaved the Children of Israel?”
Instead of considering his oppression of the Children of Israel, Pharaoh reminds Moses
of the fact that he was raised in Pharaoh’s palace. As Moses explained who God was,
Pharaoh insolently asks,

26.23 “Pharaoh said, "And what is the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds?"”
26.24 “(Moses) replied, "The Lord and Cherisher of the heavens and the
earth and all between if you would like to be convinced."”
Pharaoh invites those in the palace to listen and mock Moses’s words together with him.

26.25 “(Pharaoh) said to those around, "Do you not listen (to what he is
Moses continues to explain who God is.

26.26 “(Moses) said, "Your Lord and the Lord of your fathers from the
Pharaoh now felt that he must respond, lest the others become convinced.

26.27 “(Pharaoh) said, "Truly your ‘messenger’ who has been sent to you is
Moses however, continued.

26.28 “(Moses) said, "Lord of the East and the West and all between! If you
were to reason!"”

26.29 “(Pharaoh) said: "If thou dost put forward any god other than me I will certainly put
thee in prison!"”

26.30 “(Moses) said: "Even if I showed you something clear (and) convincing?"”

26.31 “(Pharaoh) said: "Show it then if thou tell the truth!"”

26.32 “So (Moses) threw his rod and behold it was a serpent plain (for all to see)!”

26.33 “And he drew out his hand and behold it was white to all beholders!”

26.34 “(Pharaoh) said to the Chiefs around him: "This is indeed a sorcerer well-versed:”

26.35 “His plan is to get you out of your land by his sorcery; then what is it ye counsel?”

26.36 “They said: "Keep him and his brother in suspense (for a while) and dispatch to
the Cities heralds to collect.”

26.37 “And bring up to thee all (our) sorcerers well-versed.”

26.38 “So the sorcerers were got together for the appointment of a day well-known”
26.39 “And the people were told: "Are ye (now) assembled?”