Depiction of the Beast of the Earth (Dābba) from a Falnama written in Turkish for Sultan Ahmed I. Topkapi Museum, Istanbul.

The Beast of the Earth (Arabic: دَابَّة الأَرْض, romanizedDābbat al-Arḍ), also called "The Dabba/Dabbah" is a creature mentioned in Surah An-Naml: Ayat 82 of the Quran and associated with Judgement Day. For this reason, the Beast of the Earth is often mentioned in eschatological writings as a sign of Judgement Day close to the event of the sun rising in the west. The Quran doesn't offer details about the nature of the Beast of the Earth, but various interpretations have linked it to the Beast of the Earth mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation or to the monsters from Turkic mythology. It is also claimed by few hadiths that the beast, ad dabbah will mark on the forehead and on the nose of the people, the mark on the forehead may depict that one would be a believer and the mark on the nose will tell that it was a disbeliever.

Quran and Hadiths

The Beast is mentioned in Surah An-Naml:

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.

— Quran Al-Naml (The Ant):82[1]

In hadiths, the Beast of the Earth is further described. It is said that it will carry the Seal of Solomon and the Staff of Moses.[2][3] Some argue that it will emerge from a crack in the Kaaba or the hills of Safa among others.[3] It is described as a combination of different beasts and animals.[3]

In the early period of Islam descriptions of the Beast of the Earth were sparse. Only later more interpretations of the Beast emerged.[3] One of the main features is that it will put a seal to distinguish the believers from the disbelievers,[3] reminiscent, yet not identical, to the Bible.[4] In reference to a creature "worst of the beasts" ("sharra al dawabbi شر الدواب"), due to their spiritual inablity to hear and see despite their physical ability to do so, it was interpreted as embodiment of attachment to the material world, sharing similarities with Central Asia mythological creatures, likewise composed of several parts of animals and symbolizes the material world.[5]



According to the medieval Sunni theologian Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, there is nothing mentioned in hadith reports attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad about the nature of this creature, but it is mentioned in narrations circulating around the time of his successors. Wahb ibn Munabbih stated that such a "beast" spoke to the people of Sodom from under the earth.[6]


While the majority of contemporary Islamic scholars accept the traditional exegesis of the Beast of the Earth, the Dābbat al-Arḍ as a literal creature who will appear in the end times. Another interpretation holds that this Beast is related to materialistic tendencies, and thus the Dābbat does not appear at the end of the world, but rather will doom a given nation or society.[7]

Another interpretation is that the Creature of the Earth could be the computer, as the materials that are used are of synthetic earthly origin.[8] With the Developments of AI, having the potential, to become an Artificial General Intelligence.[9]

An emerging contemporary idea that an AI may be able to warn and remind humans of how far they have come from belief of a creator and righteousness could be a point of discussion. [10]

See also


  1. ^ Quran 27:82
  2. ^ "Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah 27". Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e YAMAN, Bahattin. "OSMANLI RESİM SANATINDA DÂBBETÜ’L-ARZ." Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi Dergisi 29 (2013): 41-57.
  4. ^ Roads to Paradise: Eschatology and Concepts of the Hereafter in Islam (2 Vols.): Volume 1: Foundations and Formation of a Tradition. Reflections on the Hereafter in the Quran and Islamic Religious Thought / Volume 2: Continuity and Change. The Plurality of Eschatological Representations in the Islamicate World. (2017). Niederlande: Brill. p. 622
  5. ^ Emel Esin "Turkish Miniature Painting" First Edition 1960 Printed in Japan
  6. ^ Hasbi. "Dabbetülarz (1)". Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ <
  9. ^ "Planning for AGI and beyond".
  10. ^ Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)