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Section 6: The Resurrection, Sure Everyone Shall Be Resurrected

Surah An-Naml - Verses 67-68

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَءِذَا كُنَّا تُرَاباً وءَابَآؤُنَآ أَءِنَّا لَمُـخْرَجُونَ

لَقَدْ وُعِدْنَا هَذَا نَحْنُ وءَابَآؤُنَا مِن قَبْلُ إِنْ هَذَآ إِلآَّ أَسَاطِيرُ الاَوَّلِينَ

67. “And those who disbelieve say: ‘When we have become dust, and our fathers (too), shall we certainly be brought forth (again)?’”
68. “Indeed we had been promised this, we and our fathers before (too), (but) these are not but fables of the ancients.”

One of the things that the enemies do is to create doubts in ideological subjects.

If we do not accept a fact, it is not a reason that it will not occur, or it does not exist.

This verse states the logic of the rejecters of Resurrection in one sentence, it says:

“And those who disbelieve say: ‘When we have become dust, and our fathers (too), shall we certainly be brought forth (again)?’”

They only sufficed to this matter that it is impossible that a man becomes dust and comes to life again, while they were dust at first and they came into being from dust. Is not it possible that they return to dust and then come forth for a new life?

It is interesting that there are eight instances in the Qur’an with the same meaning wherein, as soon as they come to imagination of impossibility of Hereafter, they have paved the path of denial.

Then they add:

“Indeed we had been promised this, we and our fathers before (too)…”

They say that they were promised it before but they found no sign of it, therefore, these promises are not anything but imaginations and superstitions.

The verse continues saying:

“…(but) these are not but fables of the ancients.”

Thus, they begin from impossibility of the occurrence of Hereafter and, after that, they take it as the foundation of an absolute denial. It seemed that they expected Resurrection would happen very soon, and, since they did not see it in their own lifetime, they negated it. However, these statements are the sign of their pride and negligence.

By the way, through this wrong interpretation, they wanted to belittle the Prophet’s word about the Hereafter and to say that this is one of the baseless old promises which others gave to their ancestors, too, and it was not a new matter for them to be dealt with.

Surah An-Naml - Verses 69-70

قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الاَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُـجْرِمِينَ

وَلاَ تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ تَكُن فِي ضَيْقٍ مِمَّا يَمْكُرُونَ

69. “Say: ‘Travel in the earth and see how the end of the guilty (ones) has been’.”
70. “And do not grieve for them nor be you straitened for what they devise.”

Several times the Qur’an, by the Arabic phrase /siru/ (travel) or the phrase /’afalam yasiru/ (did you not travel), has encouraged people to travel in the earth, and in many of them the purpose has been for warning, awareness, and taking an example from the life of wrong doers.

Visiting the remained traces of the oppressors of history is one of the means of growth and training.

Former verses said about the fanatic pagans and their denial of Resurrection when they rejected it by their own derides and ridicules.

In this noble verse, the Qur’an addresses the holy Prophet (S) and says:

“Say: ‘Travel in the earth and see how the end of the guilty (ones) has been’.”

You say that these promises have also been given to your ancestors, and they did not give heed to them, too, nor they were damaged. But if you travel in the world and watch the traces of these criminal, sinful ones, the deniers of monotheism and Resurrection of the old, which are found in the locality of the land of Hijaz, your own land, you will understand that the fact is something else.

Do not hasten, your turn will come, too. If you do not amend yourselves, you will have the same evil fate, either.

The Qur’an has repeatedly invited people to travel in the earth and observe the traces of the old, the ruined lands of the nations who have been seized by the Divine punishment, the destroyed castles of the kings of the ancient, the scattered graves and the rotten bones of the oppressors, and the remaining ownerless properties of the haughty wealthy ones.

The Qur’an specially declares that studying these traces, which are the alive, expressive, and concrete history of the ancient people, in fact, makes the minds aware, and gives insight to them. Sometimes, visiting one of these effects creates such a storm of vigilance in the soul and spirit of man that studying several thick history books does not have it.

A rather detailed explanation in this regard has already been offered in Surah ’Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 137.

It is worth noting that, in this verse, instead of applying the Qur’anic word /mukaŏŏibin/ (rejecters) the word /mujrimin/ (the guilty) has been used. This points to the fact that their denial was not because of their mistake in their research, but the origin of it was obstinacy, enmity, and being polluted by kinds of crimes.

Surah An-Naml - Verses 71-74

وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَي هَذَا الْوَعْدُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

قُلْ عَسَي أَن يَكُونَ رَدِفَ لَكُم بَعْضُ الَّذِي تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ

وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَي النَّاسِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَشْكُرُونَ

وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَيَعْلَمُ مَا تُكِنُّ صُدُورُهُمْ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ

71. “And they say: ‘When shall this promise (of chastisement) come to pass, if you are truthful?’”
72. “Say: ‘May be that it is after you, a part of what you seek to hasten’.”
73. “And verily your Lord is the Lord of grace unto the people, but most of them are not grateful.”
74. “And verily your Lord well-knows what their breasts conceal and what they manifest.”

Whenever the Divine prophets warned people concerning Hereafter and the punishment of Allah, some people asked about the time of the occurrence of Hereafter. But in view of the fact that none knows the time of Hereafter except Allah, the prophets did not answer them, and they only warned the people of the principle of the punishment of Allah, not its time.

The pagans, of course, in order to observe the Divine chastisement, had some haste with ridicule, and instead of taking counsel from the warning of their kind prophet and paying attention to their fate, they ridiculed them, as the verse indicates:

“And they say: ‘When shall this promise (of chastisement) come to pass, if you are truthful?’”

This verse addresses the Prophet (S) but the matter is used in plural form, because the true believers also said the same thing that the Prophet (S) announced and naturally they are the addressees of the verse, too.

Through the next verse, the Qur’an, with a very truthful tone, answers this ridiculous statement of theirs, when it says:

“Say: ‘May be that it is after you, a part of what you seek to hasten’.”

Why do you hasten? Why do you consider the Divine punishment so little? Why do you not have pity to yourselves? Do know that chastisement is certainly earnest! Probably the punishment of Allah has come above you because of these very words of yours, and soon will fall over you and annihilate you. What is this ceaseless obstinacy for?

The Arabic word /ridf/ is derived from /radf/ which means ‘to be set after each other’.

Concerning the objective of this punishment, some of the commentators have said that its purpose is the same sharp struck that these obstinate disbelievers received in the Battle of Badr, the first Battle of Muslims against pagans, in which seventy chiefs of the pagans were killed and seventy persons of them were taken captives.

There is also another probability that the purpose of it is the common painful punishment, but at last it was removed because of the existence of the Prophet (S) among them who was:

“…a Mercy for (all) the worlds”1

And Surah Al-’Anfal, No. 8, verse 33 is an evidence upon this meaning.

It says:

“But Allah is not to punish them while you are among them…”

The application of the Arabic word /‘asa/ (may be) in the verse is from the tongue of the Prophet (S) and it does not matter, and it is also in the word of Allah, though some commentators have considered something else. It points to the existence of premises required for something, though these premises may be faced with some barriers and they do not lead to the ultimate result.

Then, in the next verse, it states the fact that if Allah does not hasten in punishing you, it is because of His grace and Mercy on you so that you may have enough time to amend yourselves and recompense your past.

It says:

“And verily your Lord is the Lord of grace unto the people, but most of them are not grateful.”

By verse No. 74, it implies that if they imagine that the delay in their punishment is for the sake that Allah is not aware of the evil and ugly thought they have in their minds, they make a great mistake, because the Qur’an says:

“And verily your Lord well-knows what their breasts conceal and what they manifest.”

He knows the secrets of their inward as much as He knows their outward deeds, and principally inward and outward, visible and invisible, all are the same for Him.

Surah An-Naml - Verse 75

وَمَا مِنْ غَآئِبَةٍ فِي السَّمَآءِ وَالاَرْضِ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

75. “And there is nothing hidden in the heavens and the earth but it is in a Manifest Book.”

All the hidden affairs of mankind, intentions, the occurrence of Hereafter, the time when Divine mercy or chastisement come, and other secrets, are among the Unseen of the heavens and the earth.

The objective of the Qur’anic phrase: /kitabin mubin/ here may be the Protected tablet and the infinite knowledge of Allah.

However, this verse implies that not only Allah knows their inward and outward secrets, but His knowledge is also so vast that includes every thing.

The verse says:

“And there is nothing hidden in the heavens and the earth but it is in a Manifest Book.”

It is clear that the Arabic word /qa’ibah/ has a vast scope of meaning which encompasses everything that is hidden from our senses, irrespective of the concealed deeds of the servants, their esoteric intentions, and the secrets that are also hidden in the heavens and the earth, as well as appearance of Resurrection, the descent of divine punishment and the like.

Then, there is no reason that, like some commentators, we comment it on only one of these affairs.

The objective of /kitabin/, as was said in the above, is the Protected Tablet, the same source of the infinite knowledge of Allah which has been referred to in Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 59.2

The contents of the former verses show that, in order to shirk believing in Resurrection and its responsibilities, the rejecters of Resurrection expressed their objections in three ways:

1- To return to life after becoming dust is improbable, because, as they believed, dust could not be the source of life.

2- This kind of belief belongs to the ancient, and it is not a new thing.

3- The lack of the descent of punishment for the rejecters of Resurrection, because, they said, if the rejecters must really be punished in this world, why does not this punishment seize them?

For the answer of the first and the second instances, the Qur’an has left it to their clearness, because we always see by our eyes that dust becomes the source of life. At first, we were dust and then we came into being as a living creature.

The state of a thing being old or belonging to the ancient does not decrease its importance, because the main laws of this world, from pre-eternity to future eternity, are wholly fix and unchangeable.

The fix principles in philosophical principles, mathematic problems, and other sciences are abundant. Is the Pythagoras’ multiplication table invalid because it is old, or is its being ancient as a reason for its weakness?

Or if we see that justice is good and injustice is bad, and it is so and it will be so forever, is it a reason for its falseness? In principle, many times, the perpetuity of something proves its authenticity.

Concerning their third objection, the Qur’an answers that they should not hasten for meeting chastisement. It is the grace of Allah that He gives them respite and does not punish them promptly, but they must be careful that chastisement will come though it comes late.

Surah An-Naml - Verses 76-77

إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْءَانَ يَقُصُّ عَلَي بَنِي إِسْرَآئِيلَ أَكْثَرَ الَّذِي هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ

وَإِنَّهُ لَهُدًي وَرَحْمَةٌ لّـِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

76. “Verily this Qur’an relates to the Children of Israel most of what they differ in.”
77. “And verily it is a guidance and mercy for the believers.”

This verse shows that at the time of the advent of the holy Prophet (S), the contents of the Torah and Evangel could not solve the differences of the People of the Book, and only the Qur’an, which is a dominant over the former heavenly Books, has the ability of solving the discords.

Yes, solving the deep doctrinal differences, also by an uninstructed prophet who could neither read nor write, is the sign of miracle and legitimacy of the Qur’an.

In previous holy verse, the words were about (both) Origin and End, while the verses under discussion, by pointing to the subject of prophethood and legitimacy of the Holy Qur’an, completes this discussion.

On the other side, the former verses pointed to the infinite knowledge of Allah (s.w.t.), and in these verses this subject is explained more.

Furthermore, in those verses the addressees were pagans, but here the words are about other disbelievers, such as the Jews and their differences.

At first, it says:

“Verily this Qur’an relates to the Children of Israel most of what they differ in.”

The Children of Israel had discords among them in many things; like about Maryam, Jesus, the prophet whose glad tidings had been mentioned in the Torah, and that who this prophet was, and in many ordinances and religious affairs.

The Qur’an came and said the true matter in this field. It said Jesus introduced himself explicitly and said he was a servant of Allah Who had given him a heavenly Book and assigned him a prophet,

“He (miraculously) said: ‘Verily I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet’.”3

The Qur’an also made it clear that Jesus was born only from mother and without father, and that was not an impossible affair for Allah, because He created Adam without parents from the dust:

“The likeness of Jesus, with Allah, is as the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust…”4

Concerning the Divine prophet whose qualities are clearly mentioned in the Torah, the Qur’an considers that those qualifications adapt to the Prophet of Islam (S), because they adapt to none but him.

However, one of the missions of the Qur’an is to struggle against the differences which have come into being because of mixing the superstitions with the true teachings of the Divine prophets.

So, every prophet was commanded to put an end to the discord originated from distortions and confusions of right and wrong; and since the fulfilment of such an action is not possible to be done by an illiterate person in the environment of ignorance, it is clear that it is from the side of Allah.

In view of the fact that struggling against any discord is the cause of guidance and mercy, the next verse, as a general principle, says about the Qur’an:

“And verily it is a guidance and mercy for the believers.”

Yes, it is guidance and mercy because the evidence of its truthfulness has lain in the magnificence of its content.

The Qur’an is guidance and mercy because it shows both the way and the style of paving the way.

The Qur’anic term /mu’minin/ (believers) mentioned specially in this verse, is for the sake that, as was pointed out before, a person cannot enjoy this Divine source unless he has a stage of faith in him, that is, he must have a receptive state for accepting the truth and submitting to Allah.

Surah An-Naml - Verses 78-79

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَقْضِي بَيْنَهُم بِحُكْمِهِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْعَلِيمُ

فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَي اللَّهِ إِنَّكَ عَلَي الْحَقّ‌ِ الْمُبِينِ

78. “Verily your Lord will judge between them by His judgment, and He is the Mighty, the Knowing.”
79. “Therefore rely on Allah, verily you are on the manifest truth.”

Judgment is one of the dignities of the Lordship of Allah, because there is no ignorance, fear, instinct and happenings effective in Him, and his judgment is completely just.

The opponents of the holy Prophet (S) used to seek pretext while the way of Faith had no ambiguity.

It was why some of the Children of Israel resisted against the facts that the Qur’an had stated and did not submit to the truth.

This verse says:

“Verily your Lord will judge between them by His judgment, and He is the Mighty, the Knowing.”

In this verse, this fact, that the final Judgment is on the Hereafter Day, is not explicitly mentioned, but considering the next two verses which exactly speak about the differences between the Children of Israel and the judgment of Allah, and that the Day of Judgment is clearly mentioned therein, it makes manifest that the objective in the verse under discussion is also the same.

Surah Al-Jathiyah, No. 45, verse 17 says:

“Verily the Lord will judge between them on the Day of Judgment as to those matters in which they set differences.”

Something similar to this verse is also recited in Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 93.

Qualifying Allah (s.w.t.) to ‘Mightly’ and ‘Knowing’ is an indication to the couple of qualifications which are necessary for a judge who must be aware enough and be able to execute the judgment. Allah is the Most Mighty, the most Knowing.

Since these statements, besides expressing the greatness of the Qur’an and being a threat for the Children of Israel, are counted as a means for calmness and peace of mind of the Prophet (S), through the next verse the Qur’an says:

“Therefore rely on Allah…”

To rely on Allah Who is the Mighty, the Knowing, is relying on the One Who is invincible and Omniscient, and relying on Him Who has given you the Qur’an, with that magnificence.

The Prophet (S) is commanded to rely on Allah and does not afraid of the oppositions of the enemies, because the Qur’an says:

“…verily you are on the manifest truth.”

Surah An-Naml - Verses 80-81

إِنَّكَ لاَ تُسْمِعُ الْمَوْتَي وَلاَ تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ الدُّعَآءَ إِذَا وَلَّوْا مُدْبِرِينَ

وَمَآ أَنتَ بِهَادِي الْعُمَيِ عَن ضَلاَلَتِهِمْ إِن تُسْمِعُ إِلاَّ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاَيَاتِنَا فَهُم مُسْلِمُونَ

80. “Verily you cannot make the dead to listen nor can you make the deaf to hear the call when they turn away backward.”
81. “Nor can you lead the blind against their straying; you can make none hear save those who believe in Our revelations and who have surrendered.”

In the culture of the Holy Qur’an death and life have been used for both ‘the natural death and life’ and ‘the spiritual death and life’.

Those who are not affected by the word of Truth are considered dead in the culture of the Qur’an, and vice versa. As in many occurrences of it the Qur’an says not to think of the martyr as dead, they are alive, happy, and being provided sustenance with their Lord.

Therefore, those obstinate, stone-hearted ones who are alive are really dead, and the martyr, who have passed away, are really alive. It is better to speak rather more clearly.

There are some stages for life:

1) The vegetal life, upon which the Qur’an says:

“…Who gives life to the earth after its death…”5

2) The animal life, about which the Qur’an says:

“…Who gives you life…”6

3) Spiritual life, as the Qur’an says:

“That it may give admonition to any (who are) alive…”7

That is, they are those who have safe intellect and nature.

It also says:

“…he invites you to that which gives you life…”8

4) The political and social life is for life, as the Qur’an says:

“And in (the law of) retaliation there is (saving) of life for you…”9

5) The life in the next word, as some mortals will say about it:

“…O’ would that I had forwarded (good deeds) for (this) my life.”10

However, in this holy verse, the Qur’an implies that if they do not accept this ‘clear truth’ and your enthusiastic words do not affect in their cold hearts, it is not wonderful for:

“Verily you cannot make the dead to listen…”

Your addressees are the alive ones, those who have a lively, vigilant, and truth-seeking spirit, not those dead who seem alive but bigotry, obstinacy, and constant committing sin have suspended their thought and contemplation.

Therefore, the verse continues saying about those who are alive but their ears are spiritually deaf:

“…nor can you make the deaf to hear the call when they turn away backward.”

Then by the next verse, the Qur’an implies that if, instead of hearkening ears they had eyes with insight in such case, though the sound did not reach their ears, they might find the Straight Path by signs and marks, but it is a pity that they are blind, too, and as the verse says:

“Nor can you lead the blind against their straying…”

Thus, all the ways of conception the truth are shut to them: their hearts are dead, their ears are deaf, and their eyes are blind.

So, the Qur’an continues saying:

“…you can make none hear save those who believe in Our revelations and who have surrendered.”

In fact these two verses refer to a clear collection of the factors of cognizance and the way of man’s communication with outward world. The sense of discrimination and vigilant intellect is against despondency; a hearkening ear for attracting the words of Truth is against being heedless to them through the ear; and an eye with insight of observing the feature of right and wrong through the eye.

But obstinacy, contumacy, blindly imitation, and sin, make the truth seeking eyes of man blind, make his ear deaf to hear the truth, and also cause his intellect and heart (mind) not to work.

If all prophets, the saints, and the angels come to guide such persons, it will be in vain, because their communication with the outward world of their entity has utterly been ceased and they refer to only themselves.

In other words, he who is physically alive but is so engaged in lusts that he neither hears the cry of an oppressed, nor does he hear the sound of the seeker of the truth, nor does he sees the feature of an indigent, nor does he observe the effects of the greatness of Allah in the scene of creation, nor does he even contemplate about his past and future, such a person in the logic of the Qur’an is dead.

But those whose works are spread and used in the world after their death and whose thoughts, ways of manner, and conditions are introduced as guide, leader and example for others; such persons are spiritually alive forever.

However, we mention this point again that the purpose of Faith and submission is not in that he had accepted the facts of religion from before, so that it is actualization of what has already been actualized, but the aim is that man should have the mood of truth seeking state and humiliation before the command of Allah, else he will never hearken to the words of Divine prophets.

Yes, if the hearer is stone-hearted the true speech, even from a pure and eligible speaker, does not affect on him. It is like a consumed lamp which does not give light by connection with any electricity.

A weak sect from among Muslims have taken the verse:

“Verily you cannot make the dead to listen”

as a means for their deviated thought. They say that the Prophet of Islam (S) has passed away and he does not hear any word, therefore it is meaningless that we pilgrimage and, addressing him, state some matters.

The answer to this sect is that the verse is in the position of a simile.

It is like the simile of the heart of a cruel person from the point of effectiveness which is likened to stone, as the Qur’an says:

“Then your hearts hardened after that as stone…”11

Of course, it does not mean that for everything their hearts are like stone, because the Qur’an has accepted the purgatory life for the martyr and there are some narrations cited in the Sunnite and Shi‘ite sources, as follows:

1- Muhammad-ibn-‘Abdul-Wahhab in the book entitled: Al-Hidyat-us-Sunniyyah, P. 41, says:

“The prophet has a purgatory life after his death which is superior to the life of the martyr and he hears the greeting of those who greet him.”

2- There are many traditions recorded in Shi’ite and Sunnite sources in this field that the Prophet (S) and Immaculate Imams (as) hear the words of those who salute them from near and far distances and answer them, and even the deeds of people are said to them.12

3- It is cited in Sahih Bukhari:

“The Messenger of Allah (S) spoke with the annihilated pagans of the Battle of Badr;”

and when he was asked by ‘Umar, he (S) said:

“By Allah, in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, you are not a better hearer (than them).”13

4- At the end of the Battle of Jamal, Hadrat Ali (as) said:

“Make the corpse of Ka‘b-ibn-Sur sit!”

Then he (as) told him, while he had been killed:

“Woe be to you that did not enjoy your knowledge and Satan caused you go astray and sent you to Hell.”14

Surah An-Naml - Verse 82

وَإِذَا وَقَعَ الْقَوْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَخْرَجْنَا لَهُمْ دَآبَّةً مِنَ الاَرْضِ تُكَلّـِمُهُمْ أَنَّ النَّاسَ كَانُوا بِاَيَاتِنَا لاَ يُوقِنُونَ

82. “And when the word is fulfilled against them We shall bring forth for them a moving creature from the earth that shall speak unto them, because people did not believe in Our revelations.”

Some Islamic traditions announce that when human beings suspend the act of enjoining what is right and fulfil none of them, they will obligatory deserve the Divine displeasure, wrath and chastisement, and, at this time, a creature will come out from between Safa and Marwah in order to inform the believer that he is faithful and to inform the disbeliever that he is an infidel.15

It is then that the duty will be removed and no repentance will be accepted, and this is one of the signs of Hereafter.

However, the words in the former verses were about the pagans who hastened for meeting the Divine punishment or the occurrence of Hereafter and impatiently expected it to happen. They told the Prophet (S) why those punishments that they were promised did not come to them?

Why the Hereafter did not happen? The verse under discussion points to a part of the events that happen at the threshold of Resurrection, and depict the painful fate of these obstinate rejecters.

It says:

“And when the word is fulfilled against them We shall bring forth for them a moving creature from the earth that shall speak unto them, because people did not believe in Our revelations.”

The objective of the Qur’anic phrase:

“…the word is fulfilled against them…”

is Allah’s command which will be issued for the punishment they have been promised, or the occurrence of Resurrection and the manifestation of its sign.

These are the signs that by observing them every one will become humble and submissive, and he will be completely certain that the promises of Allah were true and the Hereafter is near. In that circumstance the doors of repentance will be closed, because the faith in that condition will be a constrained belief which is not accepted.

These two meanings are not separate from each other, because approaching the Day of Hereafter is accompanied with the punishment of the wrong doers.

Concerning this earthly creature and that what or who he is, and what program he will have, the Qur’an has stated ambiguously. It seems that the Qur’an wanted to speak shortly about it, for sometime the effect of the word is in that the horrible matter should be said in curtain.

The Qur’an only implies that this is a creature that, at the threshold of Resurrection, Allah will bring it forth from the earth and this creature will speak with people, saying that the people do not believe in the verses of Allah. In other words, his job is to separate the rows from each other and to distinguish between the row of rejecters and hypocrites and the row of believers.

It is evident that, by seeing this scene, the rejecters will become regretful from their own dark past, but they will not have any way to return.

In Islamic narrations, the commentary books, and Shi’ite and Sunnite sources of traditions, there are many matters about the details of the Qur’anic phrase: /dabbatan min al ’ard/ (a moving creature from the earth) as well as its exact qualities and specifications, a short explanation of which is as follows:

The Arabic word /dabbah/ means ‘a moving creature’, and the word /’ard/ means ‘earth’, and in spite of the belief of some commentators, the word /dabbah/ is not applied only for moving creatures other than humankind, but it has a vast meaning and encompasses human beings, too.

We recite in Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 6:

“And there is no moving creature on the earth but its sustenance is on Allah…”

Surah An-Nahl, No. 16, verse 61 says:

“And if Allah were to take people to task for their inequity, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving being…”

Surah Al-’Anfal, No. 8, verse 22 says:

“Verily the worst of animals in the sight of Allah are the deaf, the dumb, who do not understand.”

Concerning the adaptation of this term with its meaning, as it was already said in the above, the Qur’an has referred to it ambiguously, and the only quality that it has stated for it is that the creature speaks with people and compendiously defines the disbelievers.

But there are a lot of discussions in this regard in Islamic narrations and commentaries of the commentators all of which can be referred to in two commentaries:

1- A group of commentators of the Qur’an believe that it is an extraordinary living and moving creature which is not of the kind of human and has a wonderful shape. They have cited some wonders about it that are similar to the miracles of Divine prophets.

This moving creature will appear on ‘the last day’ and will speak about disbelief and Faith, and, by putting marks on the hypocrites, will make them infamous.

2- Another group, following numerous Islamic narrations recorded in this field, say that this moving creature is a man, an extraordinary man. He is a moving and active man, one of whose main actions is separating the rows of Muslims from hypocrites and putting marks on them.

Some narrations even indicate that the Rod of Moses and the Signer of Solomon will be with him; and we know that the Rod of Moses is the secret of power and miracle, and the Signer of Solomon is the secret of Divine government and domination. Thus he is a powerful man who divulges the facts.

Hathifah narrates a tradition from the Prophet (S) who, qualifying /dabbat-ul-’Ard/ (a moving creature from the earth), said:

“(He is so strong that) no one can reach him nor any one can flee from him. He puts a sign on the forehead of every believer and writes ‘believer’ between his eyes, and puts a sign on the forehead of every disbeliever and also writes ‘disbeliever’ between his eyes; and he has the Rod of Moses and the Signer of Solomon.”16

Some narrations have adapted it to Amir-ul-Mu’minin Ali (as). It is recorded in the commentary of Ali-ibn-’Ebrahim, narrated from Imam Sadiq (as):

“Once a man told ‘Ammar Yasir that there is a verse in the Qur’an which has disturbed his mind and caused him to be doubtful.

‘Ammar asked which verse it was and he answered the verse which says:

“And when the word is fulfilled against them We shall bring forth for them a moving creature from the earth that shall speak unto them, because people did not believe in Our revelations”,

and he added which moving creature it was.

‘Ammar said:

‘By Allah! I do not sit on the ground, nor do I eat any food nor drink any water before I show you /dabbat-ul-’ard/.

Then he, accompanying with that man, came to Ali (as) while he was having food. When he (as) saw ‘Ammar he told him to come in. ‘Ammar came near, sat down and ate food with Ali (as).

That man seriously wondered, while he has watching that scene incredibly, because ’Ammar had promised him and had made an oath that he would not eat any food before fulfilling his promise, as if he had forgotten his promise and his oath!

When ’Ammar stood up and said good by to Ali (as), that man, addressing him, said he made an oath not to eat food nor drink water, nor sit on the ground unless he show the man /dabbat-ul-‘ard/. ‘Ammar answered him:

‘Did I not show it to you if you understood?’”

A tradition similar to this one is narrated from ’Abuthar recorded in the commentary of ‘Ayyashi.17

‘Allamah Majlesi, with a valid document, has cited in Bihar-ul-’Anwar that Ali (as) was asleep in the mosque when the Prophet (S) came in there.

He (S) roused Ali (as) from sleep and said:

“Get up O’ moving creature of Allah!”.

One of the companions asked the Messenger of Allah (S) whether they are right to call each other by that name, and the Prophet (S) said:

“No. this name is specialized to Ali, and he is /dabbat-ul-’ard/ about whom Allah has said in the Qur’an:

‘And when the word is fulfilled against them We shall bring forth for them a moving creature from the earth that shall speak unto them, because people did not believe in Our revelations’.”

Then he (S) said:

“O’ Ali! On the last day, Allah will restore you to life in the best form and there will be a means in your hand by which you will mark the enemies.”18

According to this tradition, the abovementioned verse is about ‘return to life’, and it adapts to the next verse which is about ‘return to life’.

The Late Abul-Futuh Razi records in his commentary book concerning the above verse:

“According to the information we received by the way of our Companions, the Qur’anic phrase /dabbatul ’ard/ is an implicit declaration to Hadrat Mahdi, the Lord of the age (as).”19

Keeping this tradition and the above traditions in mind, we can take a more general concept from the holy phrase /dabbat-ul-’ard/ and adapt it to each one of the great leaders who rises in ‘the last day’ and has an extraordinary movement by which he differentiates between right and wrong as well as believer and disbeliever.

This meaning involved in the narrations which indicate that the Rod of Moses and Signer of Solomon, which are the secrets of power, victory and government, will be with him, is a frame of reference that ‘a moving creature from the earth’ is a very active human.

And also the fact which is mentioned in the narrations that he will mark the believer and disbeliever and separate their rows, adapts to the meaning that the creature is a human.

The quality of ‘speaking with people’ which is mentioned in the text of the Qur’an is also appropriate to this very meaning.

On the other side, there are some other references in the above verse itself added to many traditions concerning the commentary of the verse, all show that the objective of /dabbat-ul-’ard/ here is a human with the qualities mentioned in the above.

He is a very active human being who specifies the right and wrong as well as the believer from unbeliever and hypocrite. It is a human being who will appear at the threshold of Resurrection and himself is one of the signs of the greatness of Allah.

  • 1. Surah Al-’Anbiya, No. 21, verse 107
  • 2. The current commentary, Vol. 5, P. 145
  • 3. Surah Maryam, No. 19, verse 30
  • 4. Surah ’Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 59
  • 5. Surah Ar-Rum, No. 30, verse 19; and Surah Al-Hadid, No. 57, verse 17
  • 6. Surah Al-Jathiyah, No. 45, verse 26
  • 7. Surah Yasin, No. 36, verse 70
  • 8. Surah Al-’Anfal, No. 8, verse 24
  • 9. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 179
  • 10. Surah Al-Fajr, No. 89, verse 24
  • 11. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 74
  • 12. Kashf-ul-’Irtiyab, P. 109
  • 13. Sahih-Bukhari, Vol. 5, P. 97
  • 14. Sharh-i-Nahjul-Balaqah, by Ibn-’Abil-Hadid, Vol. 1, P. 248
  • 15. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Jawami‘-ul-Jami‘, and Manhaj-us-Sadiqin. The commentary of the verse.
  • 16. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, and tafsir-us-Safi, the commentary of the verse
  • 17. Majma’ul-Bayan, the commentary of the verse
  • 18. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 53, P. 52
  • 19. The Commentary of Abul-Futuh Razi, Vol. 8, P. 423

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