The Quranic Word Series: Ard

Today’s Quranic Word is: Al Ard

As we have seen in the video, Ard means Earth as in the planet we are living on. It is among the great creations of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala and signs of His that show He is the only one that has the right to be worshipped. Allah says;

إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ۖ يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ ۖ مَا مِن شَفِيعٍ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ إِذْنِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ – 10:3

Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne, arranging the matter [of His creation]. There is no intercessor except after His permission. That is Allah, your Lord, so worship Him. Then will you not remember?

The Creation of Earth

Allah has informed us in the Quran that He created the earth first and then the heaven. Then he created all that is in the earth and on it in six days. But the earth and what it entails took four days.1

Allh tells us that our creation is not difficult for him. Even the greatness of the earth and its size cannot be compared to the worship of Allah alone. He created everything to worship Him. That is why if the worship of Him alone placed on the same scale with the Earth, the former would outweigh the Earth. The prophet ﷺ said in a hadith Qudsi:

قال: “لو أن السماوات السبع وعامرهن غيري والأرضين السبع في كفة، ولا إله إلا الله في كفة، مالت بهن لا إله إلا الله”

“If the seven heavens and all of their inhabitants other than Me, and the seven earths as well, were all put in one side of a scale and La ilaha illa-Allah put in the other, the latter would outweigh them.”

Allah SWT tells us in Suratul ZalZalah that, the earth is witnessing what we do and on the Day of Judgment, it will reveal all its secrets. That Day, it will report its news. We must prepare for this day; everything including the earth will bear witness to what we used to do on this surface of the earth.2

Likewise, we have been given the responsibility of being a khalifah (the one who manages and sustains something) on this earth. Allah ﷻ says Suratul Baqarah:

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ – 2:30

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”

Our responsibility on this earth is to live our lives in accordance with Allah’s guidance. We also have the responsibility of looking after this planet which includes taking care of  the environment in whatever way we can.

Functions of the Earth for Mankind

From it we originated

Our father, Prophet Adam, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, originated from the earth.

هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ إِذْ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ وَإِذْ أَنتُمْ أَجِنَّةٌ فِي بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ – 53:32

He was most knowing of you when He produced you from the earth and when you were fetuses in the wombs of your mothers. So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him.

A means of getting provision

Allah has made the earth a means by which we derive our provisions and wealth. He caused the rain to fall on the earth and brings out different crops, fruits of different sizes, shapes and tastes. The animals too eat from them which in turn serve as benefit for mankind. All these are made for us so that we are grateful and thankful to Him. Allaah says;

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا نَسُوقُ الْمَاءَ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الْجُرُزِ فَنُخْرِجُ بِهِ زَرْعًا تَأْكُلُ مِنْهُ أَنْعَامُهُمْ وَأَنفُسُهُمْ ۖ أَفَلَا يُبْصِرُونَ – 32:27

Have they not seen that We drive the water [in clouds] to barren land and bring forth thereby crops from which their livestock eat and [they] themselves? Then do they not see?

A Dwelling and Resting Place

Allah made the earth firm, solid and pegged it with mountains so that it holds it in place and makes it stable. He spread it for us as well. So with this we can walk and dwell without the fear of a quake.3

To Keep the Desceased

Allah has made the earth a place to cover the shame of the son of Adam. Had his body been left to decay on earth we would have seen the end of those bodies and that they are not worth the pride we put in them in this life but rather worship Allah with them. He says,

فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ غُرَابًا يَبْحَثُ فِي الْأَرْضِ لِيُرِيَهُ كَيْفَ يُوَارِي سَوْءَةَ أَخِيهِ ۚ قَالَ يَا وَيْلَتَا أَعَجَزْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِثْلَ هَٰذَا الْغُرَابِ فَأُوَارِيَ سَوْءَةَ أَخِي ۖ فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ النَّادِمِينَ – 5:31

Then Allah sent a crow searching in the ground to show him how to hide the disgrace of his brother. He said, “O woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the body of my brother?” And he became of the regretful.

A Means of Punishment

Allah uses whatever He wishes of His creation to punish mankind for their transgression. As for the earth, Allah has made it to swallow some people like Thamud, Madyan and Qaarun. He says

فخسفنا بِهِ وَبِدَارِهِ الْأَرْضَ فَمَا كَانَ لَهُ مِن فِئَةٍ يَنصُرُونَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُنتَصِرِينَ – 28:81

And We caused the earth to swallow him and his home. And there was for him no company to aid him other than Allah, nor was he of those who [could] defend themselves.

So look after the Ard and let it witness your good deeds.

Notes

  1. Surah 41:9-10
  2. Surah 99:2-4
  3. Surah 78:6-7

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