Harun Yahya

The characters of today's Pharaohs

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One of the leading unbelievers of all time...


Pharaoh; as revealed in verses, he was proud in his wealth, arrogant and mocking, and devoid of all human virtue, such as having a conscience and being compassionate and forgiving.

For that reason, he had no compunctions about ruthlessly oppressing his people.

As a result of his ignorance he looked for superiority in wealth and power alone, and foolishly mocked those who lacked them.

But Pharaoh ended up suffering a previously unseen humiliation because of his deeds he committed under the influence of satan.

Pharaoh was engulfed under the waters, but the “pharaonic character” has never been erased.

Many people, well-known or not, with the exact same character have appeared throughout history.

One can often encounter people with that same character today.

In this film we will be setting out both the open and hidden aspects of the pharaonic character.

We call on those whose character might lead them to heedlessness to reflect on Pharaoh’s end and to avoid suffering such a fate themselves.



Almighty Allah guides His servants through the verses revealed in the Qur’an.

One of the miraculous features of the Qur’an is its unchanging nature, from the moment of its first revelation to the End Times, and that it is the one true Book.

For that reason, the human character revealed in verses applies to all civilizations and all people, both past and present.

This information will also apply to people who live in the future.

This is revealed thus in the Qur’an:

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

That is Allah’s pattern which has passed away before.


You will not find any changing in the pattern of Allah. (Surat al-Fath, 23)

In addition to the superior moral virtues of the prophets, the characters of non-believers, pagans and hypocrites are also revealed in detail in the Qur’an.

All these verses are an important guide for believers and instrumental in their being able to identify the people around them.

One of the personality types described in the Qur’an is the “pharaonic character.”

One might at first imagine that this is a personality type unique to the pagan rulers of Egypt in ancient times.

But one can often encounter people with such characters today.

Almighty Allah has revealed the character of Pharaoh, who lived in Egypt thousands of years ago, in the Qur’an and shows believers that such a character is to be avoided.

Let us now examine the basic character traits of Pharaoh one by one.



One of the most distinguishing personality traits of Pharaoh is his arrogance, or pride.

His immense wealth and great power caused him to become very arrogant toward those under his command and led to his pride growing all the time.

Pharaoh had such a huge influence on the people of Egypt that most of them submitted to him.

Pharaoh claimed that the lands of Egypt and the River Nile belonged to him alone, and convinced his people of that lie.

Pharaoh was so arrogant that he foolishly refused to recognize Allah and His envoy and decided to mock the messengers and Allah’s signs (Allah is surely beyond that).

He sought to belittle Allah’s blessed Prophet Moses (pbuh) who preached to him. (Surely the Prophet Moses(pbuh) is beyond that)

This perverse behavior on the part of Pharaoh is described as follows in the Qur’an:

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

Pharaoh called to his people, saying, ‘My people,does the kingdom of Egypt not belong to me? Do not all these rivers flow under my control? Do you not then see?

Am I not better than this man who is contemptible and can scarcely make anything clear? (Surat az-Zukhruf, 51-52)

Looking for something to disparage in others is one of the most distinguishing features of arrogant people.

As revealed in several verses, arrogance is incompatible with Qur’anic moral values.

Arrogant people always allow their lower selves to make them proud and self-satisfied and make pretensions to superiority, no matter what the subject. As a result they fall into the error of thinking that only their ideas and attitudes are right and appropriate.

Pharaoh made a similar error.

This situation of Pharaoh’s is reported in these words in the Qur’an:

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

...Pharoah said, ‘I only show you what I see myself and I only guide you to the path of rectitude.’ (Surat al-Mu’min, 29)


As revealed in the verse, Pharaoh was an oppressive ruler who trusted in his own ideas and cleverness alone.

Pharaoh wanted to lead his people and make them follow along behind him, and he was so sure of his own ideas that he made no allowances for the possibility he might be on the wrong path.

One frequently encounters this distinguishing feature in arrogant people in modern-day societies.

Arrogant people never admit that anyone else could possibly know better than them.

These people also fall into the error of thinking they can control their own lives and reject the fact that Almighty Allah is the sole ruling power of all things.

Their lower-selves therefore make it very difficult for them to worship or abide by Qur’anic moral values.

Arrogance is also the most fundamental element of satan’s personality.

Therefore, arrogance and the pride that stems from it are at the root of all perversity and excess.

Someone who is arrogant before Allah by ascribing a particular identity to himself (surely Allah is beyond that), who is unaware of his weakness before Him and who turns his back on His verses has thus fallen for this stratagem of satan’s.

When you investigate the origin of arrogance in anyone, you will inevitably encounter one or more combinations of the following attributes;

Power and Wealth    

Beauty and Youth    



It is clear when these qualities are examined individually that they are all transitory and can never be enjoyed forever by anyone.

These are not things to long for or be proud to possess. They are all blessings from Allah to give thanks for.

However, if one fails to consider that it is Allah Who grants these, then one’s arrogance will grow and one will begin to imagine that the qualities one possesses are one’s own doing.    

The fact is, however, that no matter how attractive, rich or clever one is, these things are still all temporary; maybe 50 years, or maybe 80, but no more than 100...

Even the richest man in the world or the loveliest women will still be caught one day by the death they so desperately try to avoid and all the attributes they were so proud of will disappear.

The only unchanging truth in the world is this: everyone, be they of high rank, or the richest person in the world, a king or a shepherd, they will all be buried in the same ground after death.

It is vitally important for people to reflect on all we have been saying here.

The essential thing is not to be caught up by any of these details that Allah describes as the temporary baubles of the life of this world.

We must not forget that an arrogant character will lead to humiliation in this world and in the Hereafter.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

That is because you exulted on the earth, without any right to do so; and strutted about.

Enter the gates of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever.How evil is the abode of the arrogant! (Surat al-Mu’min, 75-76)


Being Unimpressed and Uncaring in the Face of Miracles

When the Prophet Moses (pbuh) told Pharaoh of the existence and oneness of Allah he, like many other deniers, demanded to be shown a miracle. Pharaoh thus thought, in his own eyes at least, that he had set a trap for the Prophet Moses (pbuh). He called together the greatest sorcerers from throughout the land and ordered them to oppose the Prophet Moses (pbuh). Pharaoh imagined that he and his supporters would prevail, but he suffered a huge disappointment. Allah supported the Prophet Moses (pbuh) with miracles from His Presence and thwarted all of Pharaoh’s plans. As a blessing from our Lord, when the Prophet Moses (pbuh) threw down his staff it turned into a real snake, and thus invalidated all of Pharaoh’s tricks.

At that, these people around Pharaoh, the greatest sorcerers in the land, saw the truth and were instantly converted to belief in Allah.

But this had no effect on the hardened heart of Pharaoh, and despite witnessing it first hand, Pharaoh was still able to ignore it.

Indeed, his ferocity grew and he decided to resort to violence:



I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

The magicians threw themselves down in prostration.

They said, ‘We believe in the Lord of all the worlds,

the Lord of Moses and Aaron.’

Pharaoh said, ‘Have you believed in him before I authorized you to do so? This is just some plot you have concocted in the city to drive its people from it.

I will cut off your alternate hands and feet and then I will crucify every one of you.’ (Surat al-A’raf, 120-124)

The words "...before I authorized you..." are another indication of Pharaoh’s arrogance.

Pharaoh held the hugely arrogant opinion that people should have asked his permission before coming to have faith. He thus exhibited a terrible lack of awareness, and was unable to see the greatness of our Almighty Lord.

Today, too, some people who are unwilling to admit the fact that all living things clearly exhibit the might of Allah refuse to see the thousands of miracles of creation all around them.

Miracles of creation are manifest in everything on the earth and in the sky, from the cell to a raindrop. To ignore all these miracles and foolishly imagine they came about by chance stems from the same perverse logic as Pharaoh’s ignoring the Prophet Moses’ (pbuh) miracles and referring to them as magic.

In one verse Allah reminds us that some people’s hearts may be so hardened that they are unable to comprehend the proofs of our Lord on Earth, despite them being perfectly visible.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

Have they not traveled about the earth and do they not have hearts to understand with or ears to hear with? It is not their eyes which are blind but the hearts in their breasts which are blind. (Surat al-Hajj, 46)

Allah creates countless proofs to remind people of His existence, omnipotence and might.

It is very important to be able to see this, think about it and properly appreciate the might of Allah.

Everyone has a responsibility to reflect on the proofs of creation, and to live in the knowledge of the true purpose behind their presence here.



When the Prophet Moses (pbuh) was sent as an envoy to the people of Pharaoh, he and certain people around him foolishly and ignorantly set about mocking the prophets.

The reason for this is that they regarded the Prophet Moses (pbuh), who was chosen as an envoy and called them to the true faith, as being from a lower class than themselves.

His asking them to change their own superstitious religion offended the pride of these unbelievers.

The feelings of pride among them prevented them from recognizing and obeying the Messenger of Allah and encouraged them to mock him.

This is revealed in the following verses:

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

We sent Moses with Our Signs to Pharaoh and his nobles. He said, ‘I am the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds.’

But when he came to them with Our Signs, they merely laughed at them. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 46-47)

Pharaoh was jealous of and hated the Prophet Moses (pbuh), and foolishly tried to belittle the envoy of Allah by stressing such transitory values as his rank in this world, his goods, property and power (surely the Prophet Moses (pbuh) is beyond that).

This exceedingly ugly behavior on the part of Pharaoh, who had the type of character capable of laughing at others’ characteristics and even at his own people, is revealed in these verses:

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

Am I not better than this man who is contemptible and can scarcely make anything clear? (Surat az-Zukhruf, 52)

In that way he swayed his people and they succumbed to him. They were a people of deviators. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 54)

Looking for people’s flaws and exposing their defects is a common form of behavior in societies which are far removed from religious moral values.

The underlying reason why some people adopt these ugly moral values is their passions for this world and their own foolish desires to be superior to others.

Such people believe that exposing others’ flaws or mistakes will bring them some kind of superiority.

They think that by mocking other people’s flaws, weaknesses or errors they can cover up their own.

Mockery is therefore a moral defect that can be encountered at any moment in societies of ignorance.

Mockery has become an indispensable component of life in societies that live far removed from religious moral values.

Children and young people grow up with this culture and morality.

Since they want to be the most superior person in their environment, at least in their own eyes, they mock positive attributes when they see them in others.

In this way, they seek to belittle the person in front of them in other people’s eyes and damage their self-confidence.

They do not want the other person to be liked or admired by others.

Since they do not live by the true love, affection and compassion that Allah commands in the Qur’an, they have no qualms about mocking and offending one another.

These people, bereft of Qur’anic moral values, constantly look for things they can deride in other people while simultaneously being terrified at the prospect of being subjected to mockery themselves.

With this mocking behavior, they thus literally inflict a “climate of persecution” on one another.

The only way out of these troubles and troublesome environment is to adopt, live by and ensure that others live by the moral values commanded by the Qur’an.

The only superiority in the sight of Allah lies in piety.

Nobody can therefore know how valued anyone else is in Allah’s Eyes.

Almighty Allah has forbidden mockery at all times in people’s lives.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

Woe to every faultfinding backbiter. (Surat al-Humazah, 1)

You who faith ! People should not ridicule others who may be better than themselves; nor should any women ridicule other women who may be better than themselves. And do not find fault with one another or insult each other with derogatory nicknames. How evil it is to have a name for evil conduct after coming to faith! Those people who do not turn from it are wrongdoers. (Surat al-Hujurah, 11)


Being Self-Centered

One of the features of people with a pharaonic character is that they love themselves more than anything else.

Their self-love makes them selfish in all spheres.

Because of the value such people attach to themselves, they are unable to attach any to those around them.

They regard nobody as being worth making sacrifices for, or being shown love and affection.

They always want to be the focus of attention, love and respect themselves.

For that reason, one of the main distinguishing features of the pharaonic character is that such people’s relationships are based on their own interests rather than genuine love and sincere friendship.

With someone who attaches no value to anyone else, friendship is shaped solely on the basis of what he can get from others.

For example, Pharaoh was a solitary person with no true friends.

Since he truly valued nobody, he retained those around him solely because they served his own interests.

According to his own self-centered viewpoint, the people close to him, the ordinary public and everyone else in the world existed solely in order to serve him.

 This evil aspect of the pharaonic character is often seen among people with the moral values of ignorance and is a form of behavior adopted by many people as almost a perfectly natural attribute.

The great majority of such people therefore arrange their marriages, friendships and partnerships on the basis of self-interest.

Indeed, many people’s love of others varies according to the other person’s wealth and fortune.

Other people’s ethical attributes are of no importance whatsoever for people with such a moral viewpoint.

Someone’s being rich or famous is thus a perfectly adequate reason to show an interest in them, even if they are irritable, crude, selfish, foolish, ruthless, boorish , dishonest or thoughtless. 25:36

But this love, which is not based on the moral values of the Qur’an, soon disappears.

When one of the parties sees they are not going to be able to gain what they hoped for, the initial excitement immediately gives way to weariness.

In the same way, when they see a weakness or witness a disease, the person concerned immediately becomes little more than a burden.

One can only escape these evil moral characteristics through the moral values of the Qur’an, under which people are judged solely in terms of moral virtues, and love and respect one another solely because of their faith.

One can only love a person because of their piety , moral values, character, and all other attributes through adhering to the Qur’an because believers feel close to all virtuous people who strive to attain Allah’s approval and adopt them as close friends and guardians.

They draw unconditional pleasure from being together under all circumstances and conditions, and are altruistically bound to all Muslims.

Our Prophet (saas) reminds believers that their love for one another is for Allah’s sake alone in this hadith:

The greatest of all labor is to love for Allah’s sake and to feel hatred for Allah’s sake.“ (The Six Books, Vol. 10. p. 140; Abû Dâwud, Sünnet 3, 4599)


Boasting of Property and Possessions

The Nile meant life for Egypt.

The Nile made agriculture possible.

The fields were irrigated with water drawn from it, animals’ needs were met and even human beings were able to drink it.

Pharaoh and those around him mistakenly imagined that all this land and water belonged to Pharaoh alone.

Most people accepted this temporary power of Pharaoh’s and went along with him.

Pharaoh regarded such worldly concerns as wealth, property and power as the only measures of superiority.

Because of this flawed logic, he was unable to analyze matters intelligently, for which reason he failed to grasp the superiority of Almighty Allah and that the Prophet Moses (pbuh) was His chosen envoy.

One of the principal errors committed by Pharaoh, the wealthiest person in Egypt, was his failure to understand that this wealth was a blessing from Allah.

He forgot that all his fortune really belonged to Allah and sought to make it his alone.

He imagined that wealth would give him superiority and protect him against death.

Eventually, however, Pharaoh was both deprived of the blessings of this world, losing all his wealth, and also merited eternal punishment in the endless life of the Hereafter.

As we have seen, no matter how rich, wealthy, prosperous or powerful a person may be, it is easy for Allah to take everything away from them. 

There is one important fact that those who are so proud of their wealth and power fail to grasp; rich or poor, everyone will one day be buried beneath the ground.

Money and possessions lose all meaning at the moment of death and will necessarily remain behind in this world.

What lies ahead is the eternal life of the hereafter.

If a person did not spend the money and wealth he obtained in this world in a manner pleasing to Allah, then it will benefit him nothing in his eternal life.

Another important point on the subject is the way that arrogant people imagine that these characteristics are a sign of character.

But the character that comes with wealth and possessions is not true character at all.

Because when these things are lost, or when one encounters someone with even more of the same attributes, one’s self-confidence and character immediately evaporate.

If a person places his trust in, and acquires a false sense of character through these, then he will naturally be weak and insecure when these no longer exist or exist only at reduced levels.    

The fact is that someone who believes in and places his trust in Allah, the Creator of all things, will never suffer any loss of character, no matter what material losses may befall him.

Because he knows that all strength stems from Allah alone.

Faith, and the trust in Allah that comes from faith, must be one’s sole reason for self-confidence.

Someone who trusts in Allah in all matters is necessarily a very strong person.

There is no greater strength than that. In one verse we are told that:

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

If Allah helps you, no one can vanquish you. If He forsakes you, who can help you after that? So the believers should put their trust in Allah. (Surat al-‘Imran, 160)



Pharaoh was the worst despot and denier of his day.

Denying Allah, he deified himself. Furthermore, he was a despot who inflicted terrible slaughter and persecution of the people of Israel.

He worked them to death through heavy labor.

He deprived them of all their rights and freedoms.

Indeed, so terrible was the persecution of the people of Israel in Egyptian society that even their population was rigidly controlled.

Pharaoh commanded that all their male children should be killed.

He even divided his people into different groups, thus foolishly imagining he could create caste differences among them.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

Pharaoh exalted himself arrogantly in the land and divided its people into camps,... (Surat al-Qasas, 4)

Allah bestowed prophethood on the Prophet Moses (pbuh) at this time and ordered him to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.

The Prophet Moses (pbuh) went to Pharaoh and called on him to abandon his perverse beliefs and to serve Allah, and asked him to let the people of Israel leave with him.

But Pharaoh replied in a hostile manner, and even threatened believers with having their opposite hands and feet cut off in order to turn them away from their faith.

The poor moral values and terrible fate of Pharaoh and all his followers have been recorded in the pages of history and have been handed down to all as a terrible warning in the Qur’an.

Looking at the present day, oppression and injustice have still not come to an end. Conflict and internal strife are still going on all over the world.

Woman and children are still persecuted and oppressed in many places.


We see almost every day, in newspapers and on the television, the lives of people living under the most awful conditions of oppression all over the world.

There is only one solution to the disorder, terror, killing, poverty, hunger and oppression in the world; the moral values of the Qur’an.

Islam is a religion sent down to provide people a life filled with peace and calm, in which the infinite compassion and love of Allah are manifested on earth.

Under Qur’anic moral values, a Muslim has a responsibility to treat other people truthfully, honestly and justly, to protect the weak and the innocent and to “prevent corruption on earth.”

In another verse Allah reveals:

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

You who faith ! enter Islam totally. Do not follow in the footsteps of satan. He is an outright enemy to you. (Surat al-Baqara, 208)

It must not be forgotten that those who ignore the plight of innocent people who are unjustly oppressed, who witness the persecution of women, children and the elderly without the slightest twinge of conscience, and who feel no unease at all forms of vice and immorality will definitely be called to account for their behavior in the hereafter.



Throughout this film we have been looking at certain dominant aspects of the pharaonic character.

The way that Almighty Allah inflicted a deterrent fate upon Pharaoh because of his arrogance and pride is something that everyone must deeply and sincerely reflect on.

Allah has made him a deterrent for everyone right up until the Day of Judgment. This terrible fate that Pharaoh suffered is described in these terms in the Qur’an:

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

We brought the tribe of Israel across the sea and Pharaoh and his troops pursued them out of tyranny and enmity. Then, when he was on the point of drowning, he said, ‘I believe that there is no god but Him in whom the tribe of Israel believe. I am one of the Muslims.’

‘What, now! When previously you rebelled and were one of the corrupters?

Today we will preserve your body so you can be a Sign for people who come after you. Surely many people are heedless of Our Signs.’ (Surah Yunus, 90-92)

Pharaoh’s fate is a lesson for everyone.

Every rational person of good conscience must scrupulously avoid the pharaonic character forbidden by Allah and thus suffering the same fate as him.

There is no doubt that the finest behavior is to submit to Allah, to be virtuous and to properly live by His religion.

What someone who wishes to attain the Hereafter must do is to “strive hard,” which is described as attracting an excellent reward in the Qur’an:


I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed satan-

But as for anyone who desires the Hereafter, and strives for it with the striving it deserves, being a believer, the striving of such people will be gratefully acknowledged. (Surat al-Isra’, 19)

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