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I want to ask what is the meaning of "inherit the earth" in Quran 39:74?

"And they will say, "Praise to Allah , who has fulfilled for us His promise and made us inherit the earth [so] we may settle in Paradise wherever we will. And excellent is the reward of [righteous] workers."

Does this verse indicates that the earth is going to be created again after it's destruction but in a different form than in the first life?

Does this means that in heaven there will be earth again? and the people will build life again there?

I don't remember the chapter but I've read in the New Testament about some similar sayings about the Kingdom of God in the afterlife. Could this be related?

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  • The parallels in the Gospels are found in Matthew 5:5 and 25:34. It refers to jannah (25:34 explicitly), so it goes parallel with the Quran.
    – Jeschu
    Nov 30, 2021 at 20:15

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The word used in this ayah is "Al-ardh" which can be translated as 'earth' or it can be translated as 'land'.

There is an opinion that it means 'Earth' as in the Earth we are living on right now, and, on the day of judgement, Allah will make Earth into Paradise.

But, it seems the more correct and popular opinion and the opinion of Ibn Kathir is the following:-

(and has made us inherit (this) land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent a reward for the (pious) workers!) Abu Al-Aliyah, Abu Salih, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said, "This means the land of Paradise." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

He says that it means 'land' as in the 'land of paradise' not 'Earth'. So, in the ayah, Allah is saying that the people are talking about inheriting the land of Paradise.

Personally, I don't see why anyone would want to "build life in earth" after tasting the goodness of Paradise. And assuming that Paradise will be built on Earth also seems to lead to some problems such as where was Adam (AS). We know he lived in Jannah for some time (2:35), and we know that the Earth was created long before Adam (AS). So, he can't have been living in Jannah if Jannah was going to made out of Earth.

In conclusion, it seems that the most valid opinion is that this ayah is speaking of 'land [of paradise]' not 'Earth'.

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  • Yes, I also found this plausible. It contradicts the story of Adam. Thx.
    – Rextia
    Mar 16, 2018 at 6:47
  • I have to disagree. Here's the full context : 14:48, 20:105-107, 21:104-107, 39:67, 74, 84:3, 4:42, 18:47-49, 50:44, 56:1-56(4-6), 69:13-37(14), 73:14, 89:21, 99:1, 2
    – Afiq
    Sep 22, 2021 at 17:19
  • 21:105 is a direct confirmation of Psalms 37:9-29
    – Afiq
    Sep 22, 2021 at 17:22
  • @Afiq You may view the explanations of those verses or ask about them. Some of them refer to the land of Qiyamah. The one where people will be judged on. Then, they will enter Jannah or Jahannam.
    – The Z
    Sep 22, 2021 at 21:36
  • The earth is the land of Qiyama. The verses state that it will be made plain for the judgement of mankind. The seas boiled, the mountains blown away. After judgement is done only then will the earth be renewed as one of the Jannat for the righteous to inherit.
    – Afiq
    Sep 23, 2021 at 0:29
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The correct translation is land (of Jannah), rather than earth. Using Pickthall's translation:

وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي صَدَقَنَا وَعْدَهُ وَأَوْرَثَنَا الْأَرْضَ نَتَبَوَّأُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ حَيْثُ نَشَاءُ ۖ فَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ

They say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath fulfilled His promise unto us and hath made us inherit the land, sojourning in the Garden where we will! So bounteous is the wage of workers.

— Surat Az-Zumar [39:74]

The verse in Arabic is actually talking about the land of the Jannah, not this planet Earth. Abu al-'Āliya, Abu Sālih, Qatādah, As-Suddi, and Ibn Zaid all said the land (ard, Arabic: الأرض) is referring to the land of Jannah. This is what Tafsīr al-Baghawi stipulates, as does the tafsīrs of Al-Qurtubi, As-Sa'di, At-Tabari, Ibn 'Āshūr, and Ibn Kathir.

In the Arabic language, this literary device is called isti'āra (Arabic: استعارة), which links their good deeds on the land of Earth that they inherit the land of Jannah.

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