Beast of the Earth

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depiction of Dabba from 16th century Persian art

The Beast of the Earth (دابة الأرض Dābbat al-Arḍ), in Islamic eschatology, will be one of the signs of the coming of the Last Day, after the sun arises in the west, there it is also hold to be sighted the first time. The Dabba appears in the Quran, in Sura An-Naml and is also mentioned in hadiths, which expands upon the activities of the beast. Dabba will precipitate the death of all true believers and the removal of the Qur'an from the world.[1]

The Quran mentions that the Beast will address the unbelievers and admonish them for their lack of attention towards God. The following is the purport of the Qur'anic verse that has been discussed:

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.

— Qur'an, sura 27 (An-Naml), ayat 82[2]

According to hadith from Al-Tirmidhi, Dabba will have the Seal of Solomon and the Staff of Moses. He will mark the believers with the staff and the seal will mark the unbelievers.[3]

Further hadiths[edit]

There also exist other ahadith which mention the beast along with others signs of the approaching final hour, namely the sun rising from the west. The following hadith have been classed as sahih (strong):

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“The first signs to appear will be at the rising of the sun from the west and the emergence of the Beast to the people, at forenoon.’” 'Abdullah said: "Whichever of them appears first, the other will come soon after." 'Abdullah said: "I do not think it will be anything other than the sun rising from the west."

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

Hasten in performing these good deeds (before these) six things (happen): (the appearance) of the Dajjal, the smoke, the beast of the earth, the rising of the sun from the west, the general turmoil (leading to large-scale massacre) and death of masses and individuals.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The Hour will not be established until the sun rises from the West: and when the people see it, then whoever will be living on the surface of the earth will have faith, and that is (the time) when no good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before."

`Abdullah b. `Amr reported:

I committed to memory a hadith from Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and I did not forget it after I had heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: The first sign (out of the signs of the appearance of the Dajjal) would be the appearance of the sun from the west, the appearance of the beast before the people in the forenoon and which of the two happens first, the second one would follow immediately after that.

In al-Qurtubi's book Tadhkirah, the beast is described:

Ibn Jurayj reported that Ibn al-Zubayr described the beast and said, "Its head is like the head of a bull, its eyes are like the eyes of a pig, its ears are like the ears of an elephant, its horns are like the horns of a stag, its neck is like the neck of an ostrich, its chest is like the chest of a lion, its color is like the colour of a tiger, its haunches are like the haunches of a cat, its tail is like the tail of a ram, and its legs are like the legs of a camel. Between each pair of its joints is a distance of twelve cubits."



According to the medieval Sunni theologian Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, there is nothing mentioned in the reports attributed to Muhammad about the nature of this creature, but in narrations circulating around the time of the Companions. Wahb ibn Munabbih stated that such a "beast" spoke to the people of Sodom from under the earth. At that time these people wanted things they can not reach they struggled for things they can not get and they worked for things they can not eat.[4]


Some modern interpreters such as Fethullah Gülen relate Dabba to HIV. Another interpretation holds, the Dabba is related to materialistic tendencies, thus Dabba does not appear at the end of the world, but will doom a nation or society.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lorenzo DiTommaso Studia in Veteris Testamenti pseudepigrapha, Band 20 BRILL 2005 ISBN 978-9-004-14412-5 page 172
  2. ^ Quran 27:82
  3. ^ Sean Anthony The Caliph and the Heretic: Ibn Sabaʾ and the Origins of Shīʿism BRILL 2011 ISBN 978-9-004-21606-8 page 220
  4. ^ Hasbi. "Dabbetülarz (1)". Retrieved 2018-06-30. 
  5. ^ Maulana Muhammad Ali English Translation of the Holy Quran: With Explanatory Notes : from the English Translation and Commentary of Maulana Muhammad Ali A.a.i.i.l. (u.k.) 2010 ISBN 978-1-906-10907-3 page 477