Al-Quran, Surah An-Naml (27), Ayat 82 says
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"When the verdict is given against them, We shall bring a creature out of the earth, which will tell them that people had no faith in Our revelations." (Translation of meaning: Abdul Haleem)
And when the Word is fulfilled against them (the unjust), we shall produce from the earth a beast to (face) them: He will speak to them, for that mankind did not believe with assurance in Our Signs. (Translation of meaning: Yusuf Ali)
"And when the time for the fulfilment of Our Word against them will come, We shall bring forth for them a beast from the earth who will speak to them because people did not believe in Our Signs. (Translation: Syed Abul Ala Maududi)
Explanation by Syed Abul Ala Maududi:
It will happen when the promised resurrection approaches.
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”. The sentence, “The people did not believe in Our Revelations”, is either a part of the beast’s own speech, or Allah’s narration of its words. If these are its own words, the word “Our” will be understood in the style of an official who speaks on behalf of his government and not on his personal behalf. In the second case, since Allah is narrating the beast’s words, He has used “Our Revelations” in the normal sense.
As to the time and occasion of the appearance of this beast, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: “The sun will rise in the west and the beast will suddenly appear in the open daylight. Whichever of these signs appears first, it will be closely followed by the other.” (Sahih-Muslim). In the other traditions related in Sahih-Muslim, Ibn-Majah, Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, etc. the Prophet (peace be upon him) foretold that the signs of Resurrection as emergence of the Anti-Christ (Dajjal), appearance of the beast, smoke and the rising of the sun in the west will appear one after the other.
As for the nature, general appearance, place of appearance and other details about the beast, contradictory traditions have been reported, which only cause confusion and are not relevant to the object for which this thing has been mentioned in the Quran.
As regards the beast’s speaking to human beings in a human language, this will be a manifestation of the power of Allah, Who can give the power of speech to anything He pleases. He will give this power only to a beast before the event of Resurrection, but when Resurrection will have taken place, each limb of man, his ears, his eyes, even his skin, will speak out and give evidence in the court of Allah, as has been clearly stated in (): “Then, when all will have reached there, their ears and their eyes and their very skins will bear witness against them concerning what they had been doing in the world. They will say to their skins, why have you borne witness against us? They will reply, the same God who has given speech to everything has given us speech.”
First Published at IslamicOntario.ca