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What’s the meaning of Qarun sinking into the earth until the day of judgment ?

Question:

What’s the meaning of Qarun sinking into the earth until the day of judgment ? Does it mean he’s alive and continuously being sunk into the earth? Answer: ﺑﺴﻢ اﷲ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﯿﻢ In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

It is mentioned in a Hadith that the Prophet said, “While a man was walking dressed in clothes admiring himself, his hair combed, and arrogant in his walk when suddenly Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ caused the earth to swallow him. Thus, he will continue to sink in the Earth until the Day of Judgement.” (Riyadhul Saliheen: Hadith 619 with reference to Bukhari and Muslim).

According to some scholars, the man in reference in the above mentioned Hadith is Qarun (Tafseer Ibn Katheer: v. 6, p. 256 [Dar Tayyiba]). It is mentioned in the books of Tafseer that the amount he will sink every day will be the stature of a man, and he will not reach the bottom of the Earth until the Day of Judgement (Tafseer Mazhari: v. 7, p. 185 [Maktaba Rasheedia]; Tafseer Qurtubi: v. 13, p. 318 [Darul Kutub Al-Misriya]).

Another point we can deduce from this Hadith is that his body will not decompose like other bodies (Fathul Bari: v. 10, p. 261 [Darul M’arifa-Beirut]). This type of punishment was meted out to this particular individual so that it may last, consequently being more damaging and disgraceful on account of his pride (Daleelul Faliheen: v. 5, p. 75 [Darul M’arifa-Beirut]).

Regarding whether he is alive or not during such a punishment, it is possible that he is still living as usual like how he was in the worldly life, thus he will continuously be punished in this manner until the Day of Judgement (i.e. punished whilst still being alive in the belly of the Earth, therefore he will feel the pain just how a living person would feel it). It is also possible that when he was sunk into the Earth he passed away in accordance with the Sunnah (system/way) of Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ. In this state, i.e. the state of being dead, he is sinking lower and lower into the Earth, hence this sinking of his is barzakhi (post-death) which only Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ knows its reality (Sharhu Riyadul Saliheen: v. 3, p. 554 [Darul Watn])

Only Allah knows best

Written by Moulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham

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