Structure that Pharaoh ordered Haamaan to build in verse 40:36-37
Fatwa No: 317554

  • Fatwa Date:19-3-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 10, 1437
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I would like to know, when Pharaoh ordered Haman to build something higher than the clouds so that he would be able to see the God of Moses, what did they build? Is it the pyramids of Giza or something else? Where has that building gone? What do our historical books say?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The scholars differed in opinion on whether or not Haamaan (Haman)built the tower for Pharaoh in the first place. Al-Aloosi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “The order that was given to build the tower does not mean that it was built, and the scholars differed in opinion about this: some said that he did build it, and Allaah knows best about its characteristics, and some said that it was not built. According to this second view, the order of Pharaoh was to confuse his people and to give them the impression that he was going to achieve this matter.

According to the view that it was built, then only Allaah knows how it was built and what happened to it afterwards.

The stories of the Israelites mentioned that it was built, that it was a tower that was unique in its kind, and that Jibreel (Gabriel) destroyed it after it became a fitnah (temptation) for the people of Pharaoh.

Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

When Pharaoh ordered his minister Haamaan to build the tower, he gathered the workers – it was said that they consisted of fifty thousand builders excluding the laborers and hired people – and ordered that the bricks and plaster be prepared; they laid the wood and drove the nails (into the wood), and they built it very high, higher than any other building ever since Allaah created the heavens and the earth. The builders themselves could not get unto its roof until Allaah willed that they be tempted by it. As-Suddi reported that Pharaoh climbed upon the tower and threw an arrow towards the sky, so it came down stained with blood. So Pharaoh said, 'I killed the God of Moosa (Moses).' It was reported that when Pharaoh said this, Allaah sent down Jibreel  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention who struck the tower with his wing and cut it into three pieces: one piece came down on the soldiers of Pharaoh and killed one million, and a second piece fell in the sea, and a third piece fell in the West, and all those who worked in this tower were destroyed. Allaah knows best about the authenticity of this narration.

This is the news of the Israelites, which we can neither deny nor believe in. In brief, it cannot be asserted that this tower was built.

According to the view that it was built, only Allaah knows how it was built and what happened to it afterwards. There is no decisive evidence in this regard.

Allaah knows best.

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