As transmitted by Imam Bukhari, Allah's Prophet (SAW) said: "While a man was walking, clad in a two-piece garment and proud of himself with his hair well-combed, suddenly Allah made him sink into the earth and he will go on sinking into it till the Day of Resurrection."
What a horrible death to have suffered. In the blink of an eye, Qarun and all his fortunes were swallowed by the earth, never to be seen again. Until today, people dream about excavating Qarun's lost treasures, but they are all deep in the belly of the earth.
The ones who, the previous day had wished to be in his position realized, the error of their desires.
And those who had wished for his position the previous day began to say, "Oh, how Allah extends provision to whom He wills of His servants and restricts it! If not that Allah had conferred favour on us, He would have caused it to swallow us. Oh, how the disbelievers do not succeed!" (Al Qur'an 28:82)
They realized that indeed, the wealth of this world is all subject to Allah's will, and that each person is allocated provision as Allah wishes, regardless of his talent or ability. They also realized that it is not the riches that causes one's success or failure in the eyes of Allah or brings one closer to Allah. The disbelievers are the ones who failed in attaining the pleasure and mercy of Allah, regardless of their wealth.
Qarun is so hated by Allah that he is now one of the leaders of jahannam. No one goes to hellfire without having one of these three cursed people as his companion. Those who love their own status and glory above Allah will have Pharaoh as his companion, those who love their jobs above Allah will have Haman, the Pharaoh's advisor, as his companion, and those who love their wealth and not use it for the path of Allah will have Qarun as his companion.
Imam Ahmed, in his Musnad, reported that once the Prophet (SAW) said: "He who observes it regularly and properly, it will be light, evidence and salvation for him on the Day of Resurrection. And, he who does not observe it regularly and properly, there will neither be for him light, nor evidence, nor salvation. And, on the Day of Resurrection, he will be (gathered) with Qarun, Fir'aun (Pharaoh), Haman and Ubaiy Ibn Khalaf".
Lessons To Be Learnt
Allah is giving a message to those running after the material world. Qarun accumulated and hoarded, but had no mercy for the poor and needy. He became arrogant with his money, status and property. He abused his wealth and became proud and stingy. As a punishment, Allah destroyed him completely.
Allah emphasizes that it is the piety, generosity, faith and belonging to Allah that is our salvation. That home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness upon the earth or corruption. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous. (Al Qur'an 28:83)
Today, we are self obsessed, both on a personal and national level. The rift between the poor and the rich is widening, and most of the extremely affluent, including the super rich Muslims, indulge in the material life, abusing the bounties granted to them by Allah, and the trust and responsibility associated with such bounties.
Allah tells us:
And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted. (Al Qur'an 3:180)
If you are a believer, then perform good deeds and exercise patience. Nobody, no matter how rich, is able to stop the torture of Allah upon him. If one has Qarun's characteristics of greed, selfishness, stinginess and arrogance, he will never be amongst the victorious in Allah's kingdom and his will be a sorry ending.
May Allah save us and not make us amongst those who have succeeded in the material world and arrogantly think that we obtained it through our ability and intelligence, and not attribute any of it to Allah's will and generosity. We cannot do anything without the will of Allah. May Allah make us humble and show gratitude for His bounty, and to use the bounty for the path of Allah, ameen.