Almighty Allah in Surat al-Nazi'aat 79:30 speaking clearly about dahwul ardh says: ﴾and the earth-after that He spread it out (dahahaa)..﴿
1. What is Dahwul Ardh?
"Dahwul Ardh" - the 25th of Dhul qidah, according to a tradition of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.H.) reported by one of his Sahabi - 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, is the day when the earth was spread for the advantage of human beings. The phrase "Dahwul Ardh" literally means "The spread of the earth". In another tradition it is reported that the first Rahmah & blessing descended on this very day.
Hence it is a very important occasion indeed. According to a tradition of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.H.), whosoever fasts on this day his fast would equal 70 years of fasting.
Having known these merits, should we limit our celebration with fasting and the expression of joy, or should our struggle transcend beyond that? This obviously would depend on our vision about this important day. And in order to understand properly the importance of this day, we should understand the earth better.
Understanding the Earth Better
We would like to now ask the Holy Qur'an two basic questions about the earth:
A) WHY WAS THE EARTH CREATED?
The Holy Qur'an in chapter 20, verse 53 says: ﴾He who appointed the earth to be a cradle for you.﴿
Allamah Tabataba'i in his Al-Mizan says: "Thus Allah stationed man in the earth to live an earthly life, so that he may earn a provision for his heavenly and exalted life, in the manner that a baby is stationed in the cradle, and is brought up for a more sacred and developed life..." (vol. 14, pg. 171)
From this we come to realize that the earth was created as a preparing ground & means for human perfection and the purity of the heart. Sadly, however, many a people, instead of maintaining it for a good Hereafter, tend to destroy it for selfish gains.
B) DO THE HUMAN BEINGS EMPLOY THE EARTH FOR THE PURPOSE IT WAS CREATED?
The Holy Qur'an in chapter 30, verse 41 clearly talks of a people who instead of practically thanking Allah (swt) by utilizing the earth for its sacred purpose cause mischief therein and subsequently face its evil consequences:
"Corruption has appeared in the land and sea, for that men's own hands have earned, that He may let them taste some of that which they have done, that haply so they may return."
And in chapter 7, verse 10, Almighty Allah says: ﴾Indeed We made you live in the earth and made therein for you the means of livelihood; little is it that you thank.﴿
In this verse, ﴾little is it that you thank﴿ should not merely taken as "verbal thanks," for the reality of "shukr" is to use the gift for the purpose it was created.