Qarun (Korah) was doubtless, of the people of Moses; but he acted insolently towards them: such were the treasures We had bestowed on him that their very keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men, behold, his people said to him:
"Exult not, for God loveth not those who exult (in riches). "But seek, with the (wealth) which God has bestowed on thee, the Home of
the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world: but do thou good, as God has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for God loves not those who do mischief."
He said: "This has been given to me because of a certain knowledge which I have."
Did he not know that God had destroyed, before him, (whole) generations,- which were superior to him in strength and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? but the wicked are not called (immediately) to account for their sins.
So he went forth among his people in the (pride of his wordly) glitter. Said those whose aim is the Life of this World:
"Oh! that we had the like of what Qarun has got! for he is truly a lord of mighty good fortune!"
But those who had been granted (true) knowledge said:
"Alas for you! The reward of God (in the Hereafter) is best for those who believe and work
righteousness: but this none shall attain, save those who steadfastly persevere (in
Then We caused the earth to swallow up him and his house; and he had not (the least little) party to help him against God, nor could he defend himself.
And those who had envied his position the day before began to say on the morrow:
"Ah! it is indeed God Who enlarges the provision or restricts it, to any of His servants He pleases! had it not been that God was gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up! Ah! those who reject God will assuredly never prosper."
That Home of the Hereafter We shall give to those who intend not high-handedness or mischief on earth: and the end is (best) for the righteous.
If any does good, the reward to him is better than his deed; but if any does evil, the doers of evil are only punished (to the extent) of their deeds. (The Holy Quran, 28:76-84)
Qarun is called Korah in the Bible and the Talmud. He was a first cousin of the Prophet Moses (peace be on him). According to Bible, in the book of Exodus (18-21), the fathers of Korah and the Prophet Moses were real brothers. At another place in the Qur'an it has been stated that this man had joined with Pharaoh inspite of being an Israelite. Qarun became a ring-leader of opposition to Prophet Moses.
"We sent Moses to Pharaoh and Haman and Qarun with Our Signs and a clear authority of appointment, but they said, `He is a sorcerer, a liar'." (Al-Mu'min :23-24).
From this it follows that Korah had rebelled against his own people and become a supporter of the hostile forces which were bent upon wiping out the Israelites. On account of this rebellion against his own people he had attained a high place with Pharaoh and the two persons, besides Pharaoh, to whom the Prophet Moses had been sent were Pharaoh's minister, Haman, and this Israelite capitalist, Korah. All other chiefs and courtiers were of inferior status, who were not worth mentioning. The same position of Korah has been alluded to in Surah Al' Ankabut: 39.
In the story related of him in the Bible (Num., ch. 16), there is no mention of this man's wealth. But according to the Jewish traditions, he possessed immense wealth, so much so that three hundred mules were required to carry the keys of his' treasures. (Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, p. 556). Though greatly exaggerated this statement shows that even according to the Israelite traditions, Korah was a very wealthy man of his time.