A Man of Faith in the Palace
Despite the miracles Allah granted to the Prophet Moses (pbuh), Pharaoh and his inner circle resisted the Prophet Moses (pbuh). They insisted on denying the truth, due to their arrogance and obstinacy, and went to such lengths as to say the lie that the Prophet Moses (pbuh) was a magician who performed a spell. Furthermore, they devised new plans to subject the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and his adherents to more severe torture and oppression. Surely this was a consequence of their failure to exercise their intelligence. They were unable to grasp that Allah would never let something happen against His sincere servants and that they were defeated from the very first beginning. Allah relates the traps set by these people in question as follows:
We sent Moses with Our Signs and clear authority to Pharaoh, Haman and Karun. But they said, "A lying magician." When he brought them the truth from Us they said, "Slaughter the sons of those who have faith with him but let their women live." The stratagems of the unbelievers are nothing but errors. Pharaoh said, "Let me kill Moses and let him call upon his Lord! I am afraid that he may change your religion and bring about corruption in the land." Moses said, "I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every proud man who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning." (Surah Ghafir: 23-27)
Pharaoh, with his foolish mind, even planned to martyre the Prophet Moses (pbuh) in order to hinder this blessed person's struggle. He was committed to preventing the establishment of a new order in the land of Egypt which would hinder his further enrichment. If the Prophet Moses (pbuh) were to attain more power, Pharaoh would not be able to rule over the Egyptian people as he desired. That is why he tried to justify martyring the Prophet Moses (pbuh) by telling the lie that the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) intentions were solely evil. However, this time Allah sent a person from the family of Pharaoh who supported the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and this believing person objected to Pharaoh's cruelties:
A man among Pharaoh's people who had faith, but kept his faith concealed, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying 'My Lord is Allah' when he has brought you Clear Signs from your Lord? If he is telling a lie, be it on his own head. But if he is telling the truth, then some of what he is promising you will certainly happen to you. Allah does not guide any unbridled inveterate liar. My people! The kingdom is yours today, as masters in the land, but who will help us against Allah's violent force, if it comes upon us?"
Pharaoh said, "I only show you what I see myself and I only guide you to the path of rectitude."
The man who had faith said, "My people! I fear for you a fate like that of the factions (of old), the same as happened to the people of Noah and 'Ad and Thamud and those who followed after them. Allah does not want any injustice for His servants. My people! I fear for you the Day of Calling Out, the Day when you will turn your backs in flight, having no one to protect you from Allah. Whoever Allah misguides will have no guide. Joseph brought you the Clear Signs before, but you never stopped doubting what he brought to you to the extent that when he died, you said, 'Allah will never send another Messenger after him' That is how Allah misguides those who are unbridled and full of doubt."
Those who argue about the Signs of Allah without any authority coming to them do something hateful in the Sight of Allah and in the sight of the people who believe. That is how Allah seals up the heart of every arrogant oppressor. (Surah Ghafir: 28-35)
The warning from the believer in the palace did not affect Pharaoh, whose heart was filled with arrogance and blinded in denial. In order to render his words ineffective, he tried to, witlessly ridicule this Muslim who had warned him and all the people of Egypt. Unwisely in a derisive manner, Pharaoh turned to his assistant Haman, asking him to build a tower:
Pharaoh said, "Haman, build me a tower so that perhaps I may gain means of access, access to the heavens, so that I can look on Moses' God. Truly I think he is a liar." That is how Pharaoh's evil actions were made attractive to him and he debarred others from the path. Pharaoh's scheming led to nothing but ruin. (Surah Ghafir: 36-37)
Surely this is an indication of the great perversion of Pharaoh and his being utterly bereft of exercising his wisdom. He did not grasp the importance of the message, that is, the obvious existence and oneness of Allah, communicated by the Prophet Moses (pbuh). Pharaoh, mindlessly, thought that Allah was solely up in the air and in his own opinion, derisively contradicted the Prophet Moses (pbuh). The fact is, however, Allah is beyond time and space. Our Lord Who created Pharaoh and all the fortune he possessed and the Creator of the entire universe and everything in it encompasses everywhere. Throughout the history countless people who possessed the mentality of Pharaoh and did not correct their attitudes lived and each one of them were openly defeated in the face of Allah's superior Might. It was based on this premise of his own foolish mind that he founded his denial of the Prophet Moses (pbuh).
Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misquided from His way. And He knows best who are guided. (Surat an-Nahl: 125)
Recognizing the error of Pharaoh's understanding, the believer from Pharaoh's family, who had concealed his belief, started to explain the existence of Allah and the Hereafter to Pharaoh and his people. He warned them against a never-ending torment. He summoned them to the right way and pleaded them to follow him:
The man who believed said, "My people! Follow me and I will guide you to the path of rectitude. My people! The life of the earth is only fleeting enjoyment. It is the Hereafter, which is the abode of permanence. Whoever does an evil act will only be repaid with its equivalent. But whoever acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, such a person will enter Paradise, provided for in it without any reckoning. My people! How is it that I call you to salvation while you call me to the Fire? You call me to reject Allah and to associate something with Him about which I have no knowledge, while I call you to the Almighty, the Endlessly Forgiving. There is no question that what you call me to has no foundation neither in the world nor the Hereafter, that our return is to Allah, and that the profligate will be Companions of the Fire. You will remember what I say to you. I consign my affair completely to Allah. Truly Allah sees His servants."
So Allah safeguarded him from the evil things they plotted and a most evil torment engulfed Pharaoh's people. (Surah Ghafir: 38-45)
Pharaoh and his companions did not heed the warnings of this devout believer who was from among them. Nevertheless, in return for their denial and their arrogance, a great torment awaited them, for they did not repent and correct their behaviors.
The Name 'Haman' in the Qur'an Is Also Mentioned in the Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions
Some of the information the Qur'an provides about ancient Egypt reveals many historical facts that were not disclosed until recently. This information also indicates that every word in the Qur'an is used in accordance with Divine reason.
"Haman" is another person, along with Pharaoh, whose name is mentioned in the Qur'an. In six separate verses, Haman is referred to as one of the closest men to Pharaoh.
Surprisingly however, we never encounter the name of Haman in that section of the Torah where the life of the Prophet Moses (pbuh) is related. However, there is reference to Haman in the latter chapters of the Bible, as the counselor of a Babylonian king, who lived approximately 1100 years after Pharaoh, and who was notorious for his cruelty against Jews.
Some non-Muslims, who claim the Qur'an to be a compilation of the Bible by the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), allege the fallacy that the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) incorrectly copied some of the material from the Bible into the Qur'an.
However, this claim has been proven to be groundless, thanks to the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabet approximately 200 years ago.
Through this achievement, the name "Haman" was found in the ancient Egyptian inscriptions.
Until then, the writings and scrolls in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs had remained unread. The language of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs had remained in use for many centuries, but with the spread of Christianity, and its ultimate cultural influence in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D, brought an end to the knowledge of it. The last example of the hieroglyphic writing known to us was a scroll dated 394 A.D. After this date, hieroglyphic had become an extinct language, leaving behind no one who could speak it until the 19th century.2
The mystery of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs was solved only in 1799, by the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, which dated back to 196 B.C. The use of three different languages made this stone decipherable: hieroglyphic, demotic (a simplified form of hieroglyphics used by the ordinary literate class) and Greek. The ancient Egyptian writings were decoded mainly by the help of the Greek script. The transcription was completed by a Frenchman, Jean-François Champollion, and an extinct language, as well as the history conveyed by it, had finally been brought to light. Thus, ancient Egyptian civilization, representing an entirely different religion and social life, was resurrected.3
Thanks to the decoding of hieroglyphic, we also attained an essential piece of information related to our subject: the name of "Haman" was indeed mentioned in the Egyptian texts. This name was inscribed on a monument displayed today in the Hof Museum of Vienna. The inscription also stressed the nearness of Haman to Pharaoh.4In the Dictionary of Personal Names of the New Kingdom, a dictionary based on the information gathered from a complete collection of scrolls, Haman is mentioned as "the chief of workers in the stone-quarries."5
Unlike the claims of its opponents, Haman was a person that had lived in Egypt at the time of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), just as was indicated in the Qur'an. Again, as mentioned in the Qur'an, he was a man close to Pharaoh who was responsible for construction projects.
Similarly, the verse conveying how Pharaoh asked Haman to build a tower is also in compliance with evidence in this archaeological finding:
Pharaoh said, "Council, I do not know of any other god for you apart from me. Haman, kindle a fire for me over the clay and build me a lofty tower so that perhaps I may be able to climb up to Moses' God! I consider him a blatant liar." (Surat al-Qasas: 38)
In conclusion, the existence of the name of Haman in the ancient Egyptian scrolls not only rendered these fabricated claims totally unfounded, but also reinforced the fact that the Qur'an is the infallible word of Allah. Miraculously, a piece of historical information which had been otherwise impossible to attain or resolve during the time of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) was revealed in the Qur’an.