In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
And all of them shall surely be brought before Us. And a sign to them is the dead earth: We give life to it and bring forth from it grain so they eat of it. And We make therein gardens of palms and grapevines and We make springs to flow forth in it, That they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands did not make it; will they not then be grateful? (36:32-35)
Do they not consider how many of the generations have We destroyed before them, because they do not turn to them? (36:31)
It means that don’t you see how the past people were destroyed by Us? You should take lesson from their fate and not adopt their ways. People imagine death means destruction; that it is annihilation forever whereas what is meant is passing away from this world and arriving in the world of requital. As we have said, death, from the superficial viewpoint of man, is absolute annihilation. But from the point of view of intelligence and religion, death is not for anyone. Rather it is a change of place and dress.
And all of them shall surely be brought before Us. (36:32)
That is, without exception, each and everyone will come to Us. No one would ever be able to escape or remain absent. Allah says in Surah Rahman: O group of men and jinn! If you have power to cross the regions of the earth and the skies, do so.
O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority. (55:33)
In the explanation of this verse it is mentioned that on the Day of Judgment, angels of the first heaven would surround the grand field of gathering. They in turn would be surrounded by angels of the second heaven and so on till the angels of the seventh heaven.
Then a voice will be heard: O groups of men and jinn! If you can cross these parameters, escape from this horizon.
All have to appear before the supreme court of Divine Justice. Two divine functionaries would be there with each and every person.
And every soul shall come, with it a driver and a witness. (50:21)
They will not be able to move either this side or that. Guards would there along with them. At their hint one will have to march on upto the highest court of God.
Let me be sacrificed for the one who does not need a pusher or watcher and who comes up on his own and submits his accounts himself readily. That is the ‘Mumzaroon’ – Those who will come up. The place for meeting with God is mentioned here as ‘Meeqaat-e-Ilaahi’:
Shall most surely be gathered together for the appointed hour of a known day. (56:50)
He also gives proof of this in other verses, that is, proofs of the Return and Resurrection; rather of practical monotheism.
And a sign to them is the dead earth… (36:33)
The Arabic word ‘Ayat’ means sign, proof and evidence. Here it is a sign to show that you have to live in another world after your death where all your good fortune will come out openly.
They say: How this rotten and decomposed body will come to life again? Look at the earth beneath your feet and observe how God gives it life after it has dried and was dead.
Life and death of everyone and everything is like this. Earth also has life and death. Its death has grades and levels. One of its grades is growing and not growing. The season of fall and winter is death of earth. The beginning of spring is life for earth.
How much life grows with it and is added to it. The earth wherein no movement was seen is lashed with spring breeze. Seeds show up their heads in the form of plants. All sorts of vegetables and grass grow. Who gave it this life? Did it happen itself? Why couldn’t it do so in fall and winter? This fresh life is a proof of the life after death, that is, Resurrection.
And a sign to them is the dead earth: We give life to it and bring forth from it grain so they eat of it.
Here ‘grain’ means a corn seed. The chief grains are wheat, barely, lentils and rice etc. By way of development, a seed of wheat becomes a ear or cluster. Thereafter, a seed gives seventy to seven hundred seeds. This shows God’s Might and indicates that the universe is being directed by a limitless power.
You sowed a date seed. Then it bears branches and leaves producing hundreds of dates, each of which contains the same seed stone. This is manifestation of God’s powerful might. The One Who created wheat also gave you teeth to eat it. Who created taste in your tongue and Who made this date fruit so sweet in taste?
Whether movement in quality or quantity, every movement requires a mover. Nothing shakes without a shaker. Every cluster of grapes, in the beginning, is smaller than a seed of wheat. But then gradually it increases in size. Who gives it this quantitative movement and who evolves it with a fixed order and regularity?
The grape fruit, in the beginning, was very sour and then it gradually sweetened. Sometimes its extreme sweetness sickens man. Every movement or turn requires a mover, a driver, or pusher. Who is behind the quantitative and qualitative changes in grapes? Is it anyone except Only One God? He gives life to a dry barren earth. He makes the grass to grow. As Sadi Shirazi has said:
The clouds, the winds, the moon, the sun, the sky, all are doing their work.
So that you may eat your bread and may not remain heedless.
All of them are working for you and are at your service.
It is, therefore, not just on your part not to obey (The Almighty God)
Monotheism is clearly understood from this verse from the aspect of resurrection. The farmers know that the seed they sow in the earth, after getting water, is changed. The seed was hard when placed in the soil but after it settled down and got water, it sprouted.
Thereafter, it turns green and raises its head from the ground. Half of it comes up and half remains under ground. Half of it secures its root and base and the other half looks after its top and stem.
The point to be noted here is that after its disintegration who has given it a new life again? Only One God! Exactly like my body and your body. You ask what is going to happen after its disintegration? You have seen the events in this world how there is life after death. Why do you not think of hereafter?
And certainly you know the first growth, why do you not then mind? (56:62)
The bones will be disintegrated and after the Almighty wills they would again be resurrected. There will be a life-giving blow making all atoms and molecules alive again.
And the trumpet shall be blown, when lo! from their graves they shall hasten on to their Lord. (36:51)
Of course there would be changes therein. This time the body would be subtle, especially if it is of the people of paradise. It is mentioned about the female dwellers of paradise that the houries will be jealous of them as these (women of paradise) will be extremely fine and beautiful.
The substance of body is the same substance but appearance is changed. Of course its deeds will be like those of the angels. God willing, nothing but good will be done by them. On the other hand those who will be punished will get hard and coarse bodies corresponding to the harshness of divine torture.
And We make therein gardens of palms and grapevines and We make springs to flow forth in it, (36:34)
That is, look at these gardens of dates and grapes, which are just before your eyes; where was this sweetness? From where did it come? Say, ‘Praise be to Allah, Allah is the Greatest, from the inner fold of dry wood from earth and from water.’
What a wonderful drawing of essence in this systematic and well-organized manner. How it reached in this form to each and every cell of the fruits! What a marvelous relationship between a seed and the complete fruit! Indeed He is powerful over everything…
After this Quran says:
and We make springs to flow forth in it, that they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands did not make it; (36:34-35)
…and their hands did not make it…
Meaning it is ‘We’ not the people, who has created these fruits. It is God Who created grapes but man extracts juice from them, which is pleasing to taste. Similarly he makes vinegar from grapes, which was among the diet of messengers.
…will they not then be grateful?
Meaning: Are you then not thankful? O ungrateful one! O disloyal fellow! Should you not be thankful to God Who granted you such precious and delicious things? Is it not necessary for you to chant His praise constantly?
Praising of the intermediary is good provided its being intermediary is not forgotten. But the fact is that One in Whose hand is the original or main bounty must be thanked. None should be made partner in this main thanksgiving and appreciation.
If the water supply is stopped to you who is it that makes palatable water available to you?
Say: Have you considered if your water should go down, who is it then that will bring you flowing water? (67:30)
Whatever bounty reaches us, it is from Him and there is no bounty for us except from God.
And whatever favor is (bestowed) on you it is from Allah; then when evil afflicts you, to Him do you cry for aid. (16:53)
Though the comparison is rather awkward, there is no harm. Does a dog, with all of its lowness, give more importance to a bounty or to its benefactor? Dog is, indeed, a benefactor worshipper, not bounty worshipper. It harkens to the call of the owner of the house, not to its food.
Several times, its owner forgets to feed it, but the dog does not ignore him. It remains meek; it flatters him, and wags its tail for him.
It is an animal and does not have more intelligence than this. But you, O man! In spite of the fact that God gave you intelligence, why did you forget your Benefactor? You knew your Lord and you said: There is no god except Allah. Now, do you have anything to do with the Benefactor or with the bounty (given by him)? Are you a Benefactor worshipper or a bounty worshipper?
Since God has granted the precious bounty to you, you should praise and glorify Him alone so that He may increase the bounty.
If you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more, and if you are ungrateful, My chastisement is truly severe. (14:7)
In fact it is prohibited to say, “Such and such food has harmed me.” Rather, you should say, “I was not fit for that food.” Of course foods having opposite effects should not be taken together.
It is narrated that, among reasons of chastisements like squeeze of grave, is thanklessness for bounties. So, to avoid such ungratefulness, kiss the bread and respect it, let it not fall down and be trampled.
It is a must for all of us to repent from the bottom of our hearts for whatever thanklessness has been shown by us. There are things about which we did not realize that they are great bounties of Allah. For example, we did not consider a son a big bounty from God. But when he died we say, “God took him away from me.” Now this is ungratefulness.
We should say, “O God! Whatever we have is only from You. There is no God except You. We are monotheists. We are thankful people and we are shamed of our past when we did not realize that all bounties were from You. I seek forgiveness from You and I turn towards You (in repentance).