Friday Focus | The Earth as a Video-disc

Surah Zilzal, or Zalzalah, literally, ‘The Earthquake’, of the Quran reads:

When the Earth is shaken to her final convulsion. And when the Earth yields up her burdens. And man says, ‘what has happened to her?’ That day she will broadcast all her (stored up) news because your Lord will have commanded her to do so. That day people will emerge in scattered groups so that their deeds are shown to them. Then whosoever has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it and whosoever has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it. (Surah 99)

The Quran is a book of perennial guidance for mankind and transcends time and space like its source, Allah (SWT). Like Him too, it appears at every time with a fresh signification and grandeur (kulla yawmin huwa fi sha’n). To a modern reader the image of the Earth that emerges from surah Zilzal is that of a video-disc which records and preserves in the minutest detail all the movements, actions and sounds that have ever occurred on its surface. The video-disc will begin to play on the Creator’s command, on the Day of Judgement, and unfold all that has ever taken place on it. Whatever individuals, groups or nations do is being neatly, perfectly and permanently videotaped. This video-disc of the Earth is ever in movement – rotating, revolving and recording all that happens here. Read this in combination with verse 65 of surah Ya-Sin and the account is complete:

Today (the Day of Judgement) We shall seal their mouths and lips and their hands will speak to Us and their feet bear witness to what they had been earning. (36:65)

Today with the sophisticated and ever-advancing gadgetry available to us, only an idiot can say that this is not possible. Whether it should be and will be is another question whose answer is contained deep within each one of us. If murderers, freebooters and those who are neck-deep in evil and corruption seem to prosper here, and those who are honest and sincere and distinguished by their qualities of head and heart seem to suffer, what does man’s ingrained moral sense say? It says that a day ought to be there when the virtuous are rewarded and the evil-doers punished. God’s messengers tell us that this will happen in the Next life.