Why Pharaoh claimed to be god
Fatwa No: 357508

  • Fatwa Date:1-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 14, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu, Shaykhs. Is it true that Fir‘awn (Pharaoh) did not get sick for a very long period or throughout his life? And if it is true, was it a reason for him to say that he was God? May Allah curse him; Aameen. May Allah reward you, Shaykhs.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

After careful research, we could not find any evidence indicating that Fir‘awn (Pharaoh)  did not get sick throughout his life.

As for the reason why he claimed to be God, some scholars said that he was deceived by the blessings of Allah upon him in his physical appearance and his possessions and the like, so he became arrogant. It was also said that he was dazzled by the miracles that Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention, came with, and so he started raving with his false claim. Ibn Al-‘Arabi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

"Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {We have certainly created man in the best of stature.} [Quran 95:4] Allah, the Exalted, created nothing finer than man. Allah gave Man life, knowledge, ability, will, speech, hearing, eyesight, reason, wisdom... This indicates that Man is the best creation of Allah inwardly and outwardly ... The perfect creation of Man is manifested in the propitious form in which he was created: the perfectly created head and what is inside it, the chest and what is inside it, the private parts, the hands, and the legs. This is why the philosophers described Man as the microcosm of the world (a smaller representation of the universe) in his appearance and essence (because he contains all the essential qualities and features of the universe). The beauty of the creation of all the creatures is reflected in the creation of Man, who has been created in a better form than the Sun and the Moon ... Alas, the perfect qualities and capabilities with which Man is endowed caused some arrogant people to disbelieve in their Lord and give in to blind arrogance, like Fir‘awn, who proclaimed, 'I am your most exalted lord!'" [Al-Ahkaam]

Al-Khaadimi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote about the conceited people, saying:

"And like Fir‘awn, who claimed divinity and said, 'I am your most exalted lord!' Allah, the Almighty, sent Moosa (Moses) to expose the falseness of his claim, but he disbelieved in him. Accordingly, Allah punished him by drowning him in the sea. If it is said: How could he make that claim while he is obviously not the Creator of the universe with its heaven, earth, mountains, and seas, and his claim is clearly false because it is such a plain lie? In response, I say that Pharaoh was an atheist who disbelieved in the Creator of the universe and the resurrection, so he meant that he was their lord, who bestowed upon them provisions and fulfilled their needs, and nothing else. It was also said that he made that statement out of confusion and amazement upon witnessing the miraculous staff of Moosa turning into a giant snake, exposing his utter weakness and powerlessness. His mind was boggled at such a miracle, so he said what he said." [Bareeqah Mahmoodiyyah]

Allah knows best.

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