The worldwide pandemic of this coronavirus creature called Covid-19 continues to spread its tentacles throughout the world reaching 178 countries and infecting an estimated 235,000 people with close to 10,000 confirmed dead, according to the World Health Organization. Despite the fact it is shutting down businesses, restaurants, schools, malls, public parks & places, entire cities with people been isolated in their homes, initially resulting in much fear, anxiety and worry among the world’s population yet there are greater lessons that many have begun to realize from this incident which are much more positive than negative when one sees the picture of this incident as a whole.
Such as people have begun to come closer to their families, it has brought back people in to their homes and disconnected them from a mechanical lifestyle they were engrossed in. It has closed down brothels, casinos, bars/pubs, nightclubs in mega cities as well as cut down crime. It has brought interest rates down, people are spending more on essential things instead of overspending on unnecessary, gas/petrol prices have gone down, people’s life have become more simple, neighbors have become more interactive, people are thinking and contemplating, there is more individual prayers and worship, there is less unnecessary traveling & tourism, people are practicing more hygiene. People are withdrawing from pomp and glitter of mega cities back to their villages, returning to a natural way of life.
Famous Music artists and movie stars that many imitate for their lifestyles have gone in to self isolation. Armies and rulers are more focused on keeping the environment safe and fighting virus than fighting conflicts. Our natural environment is improving, ecologically we are benefiting, with cleaner air & clearer waters there is less pollution which means less chances of other deadly diseases that causes sickness and death among hundreds and thousands each year. Hence it is a blessing in disguise: (Al Quran 2:216) “…You may dislike something although it is good for you, or like something although it is bad for you. God knows and you do not.”
Allah ﷻ says in the Quran: (Al Quran 30:41) “[Since they have become oblivious of God,] corruption has appeared on land and in the sea as an outcome of what men's hands have wrought: and so He will let them taste [the evil of] some of their doings, so that they might return (to the right path].” - The corruption of our cultures, lifestyles, societies and environment due to blind material progress brought us to the point of destruction from our own doings. This happened because humanity stopped distinction between right & wrong, and even if those who attempted to inform are very weak against the strong who wield influence over international economy, politics and the societies around the world. At such moments when larger segment of humanity stops doing justice, forgets to distinguish between right and wrong, then Allah ﷻ divinely intervened on a global scale, to make them realize so that they put a halt to corrupt practices!
What is Dabba (Creature) as per Arabic of the Quran?
Dabba in Arabic دابّة (creature) is a rational or irrational creature that falls in one of the four categories as in: (Al Quran 24:45) “And God has created every دابّة (creature) of water (meaning of the seminal fluid); and of them is that crawls on their bellies, and of them are some that walk on two legs, and some on four. God creates whatever He will; God has power over everything” - Hence viruses are microscopic organisms that are most likely included in the category of those that “crawls on their bellies” and their purpose is to attack other species like humans, animals or insects and either cause them some harm like diseases or some other positive function that is only within the unseen knowledge of Allah ﷻ. As per Edward Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon dabba دابّة means “any small animal that walks or creeps or crawls upon the earth, a small beast, a small reptile or creeping thing, a creeping insect, and any insect, and also a mollusk, a shell-fish.”
In Islam there are hundreds of minor predictions (in addition to the 10 major signs) that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made about the end times and all have appeared true in our age which teaches us that we are living in the last age. A good book to read is The End of the World By Dr. Muhammad Al-'Areefi, clearly mentions hundreds of signs that have come true. One of the major signs of the end times in Islamic Eschatology i.e. the last days before day of judgment and resurrection is a sign called دَابَّةُ الأَرْضِ or dabbatul ard where dabba means “creature” and ard means “earth”, usually translated in English by Islamic scholars as “the beast of the earth” also translated by some as “creature of the earth”, such as at Prophet Suleiman’s death a دَابَّةُ الأَرْضِ or “creature of the earth” i.e. a microscopic worm nibbled away at the stick he was reclining on: (Al Quran 34:14) “…but a creature of the earth (دَابَّةُ الأَرْضِ) eating at his stick: when he fell down they realized…”
Similarly Allah ﷻ says in the Quran that He will make a creature of the earth appear in the last age for humankind who will make them realize how wrong they have been: (Al Quran 27:82–83) “Now, [as for the deaf and blind of heart] - when the word [of truth] stands revealed against them, We shall bring forth to them dabbatul ard (دَابَّةُ الأَرْضِ - out of the earth a creature) which will tell them (tukallimuhum) that mankind had no real faith in Our messages. And on that Day We shall gather from within every community (nation) a host of those who gave the lie to Our messages; and they will be yo’zaoon [will be grouped or separated or kept under control]” i.e. the creature will make humanity realize that they have abandoned Allah’s commandments that teach a natural way of life, as taught by all the prophets & messengers and have adopted their own isms & ideologies which is spreading corruption around the globe and they needs to turn back towards Him. The characteristic of that creature is that it will tukallimuhum meaning “it will tell them” i.e. through its global impact it will bear witness that its appearance is a divine intervention, beyond human understanding and control, to make us realize that it must be to teach us lessons. Alternatively, tukallimuhum al<wbr></wbr>so implies“it will wound them” as per early Muslims such as Said ibn Jubayr (r.a), which may imply its biological harm to humans by causing a disease that will leave its trace on them.
As per doctors the new virus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets, such as those generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is in this light that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “The Beast will emerge and brand the people on their noses, then the people will mix until a man will buy a camel and will be asked, ‘From whom did you buy it?' and he will say, 'From one of the branded people.”(Al-Haythami) - Since the survivors are more than deaths, people will socialize or do business and will identify some survivors. Hence this dabbatul ard may be a reference particularly to virus and pandemic like Covid-19, and Allah knows best. Additionally ayah (verse) 83 states يُوزَعُونَ “and they will be yo’zaoon” - the word used here is “يُوزَعُونَ - yo’zaoon” which has one of the meaning of “will be grouped” or “will be separated” or “will be kept under control”, it comes from the term Waaz. Hence after the global impact of this creature the deniers and heedless who are source of corruption in every nation and society, them and their activities will be put on lock-down or Quarantined!
An interesting analysis coming from Maulana Maududi in his famous tafsir called Tafheemul Quran on Al Quran 27:82 confirms this:
“According to Ibn Umar, this will happen when there remains no one in the world to command the people to do good and forbid them to do evil. Ibn Marduyah has reported a Hadith on the authority of Abu Said Khudri; according to which the latter heard the same thing from the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself. This shows that when man gives up the duty of exhorting others to do good and forbidding them to do evil, Allah will bring forth a beast to serve as the final warning just before Resurrection. This, however, is not clear whether it will be just one beast, or a particular species of beasts, who will spread all over the earth. The words daabbat-an-min-al-ard might contain both the meanings. In any case, what it will say will be: “The people did not believe in Allah’s revelations in which Resurrection was foretold. Now the same Resurrection is about to come; let everyone know that what Allah said was true”. 27. Surah An Naml (The Ant)
Hence despite the fact that this disease has more than 90% survivors and around 5% severe cases with less than 3% deaths yet the scare through its impact has pushed the entire world towards a global lock down and imposed a lifestyle on majority humankind which from a wider perspective teaches us positive lessons and fulfills Allah’s promise of day of judgment and resurrection.
I carry a passion for Researching, Learning & Writing on Various Islamic Topics. To read more of my work You can also visit my personal blog website www.rizqankareem.com.