|44.37. What! are they better (in wealth and power), or were the people of Tubba‘ and the others (that We destroyed) before them? We destroyed them, for they were disbelieving criminals committed to accumulating sins.|
أَهُمْ خَيْرٌ أَمْ قَوْمُ تُبَّعٍ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ أَهْلَكْنَاهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ
37. What! are they better (in wealth and power), or were the people of Tubba‘10 and the others (that We destroyed) before them? We destroyed them, for they were disbelieving criminals committed to accumulating sins.11
10.Tubba' was the title used for the rulers of Himyar, who lived in Yemen. The people of Himyar were a tribe of the Sheba who ruled in south Arabia for almost 1,000 years from around 1100 bc to around 115 bc. (For the people of Sheba, see sūrah 27, note 9; sūrah 34, note 10.) The dynasty of Tubba' came to power in 115 bc in Yemen and survived until 300 CE. Their story circulated among the Arabs as a legend.
11. The verse means that it is highly likely that any people who do not believe in the Hereafter will lapse into all kinds of sins. This will happen because they are devoid of any spiritual sanctions that would keep them away from evil. Belief in the Hereafter or the Resurrection is very important for individual and collective life for many reasons, as described below by Said Nursi:
Children are one-fourth of humanity. They cannot comprehend death, which must seem to them an awful tragedy, except via the idea of Paradise, which spiritually strengthens their weak, fragile natures. It gives them the hope to live joyfully, despite the vulnerability of their nature, which can so readily burst into tears. Keeping Paradise in mind, they may say: "My little sister or friend has died and has become a bird in Paradise. She is playing there and enjoying a better life."
The elderly make up another one-fourth of humankind. They can endure death only by believing in the afterlife, which consoles them somewhat for the imminent extinction of this life to which they are so attached, for their exclusion from their lovely world. The hope of eternal life allows them to counter the pain and despair arising from the anticipation of death and separation, despite their fragile temperament and spirit.
Young people are the mainspring and foundation of social life. Only the thought of Hell enables them to control the stormy energy of feelings and passions and their tempestuous spirits from destructiveness and oppression by diverting them into serving the collective interest. Without this fear, and drunk on the energy of youth, they would follow the principle of "might makes right" and give free rein to their passions. This would turn the world into a hell for the weak and powerless, and lower human life to the level of beasts.
The family is the inclusive core of our worldly life, our most fundamental resource, and the paradise, home, and castle of our worldly happiness. Every person's home is their own miniature world. The vitality and happiness of our homes and families depend upon sincere and devoted respect, true kindness, and self-denying compassion. All of this, in turn, depends upon eternal friendship and companionship, an immortal bond, as well as the belief that feelings between parents and children, brothers and sisters, and husbands and wives, will be everlasting.
If the Resurrection's reality and truth, and all the consequences thereof, are removed from the human state, the meaning of being human – so exalted, vital, and important within creation – is lowered to that of a carcass fed upon by microbes. Let those concerned with humanity's orderly life, morals, and society focus on this matter. If the Resurrection is denied, with what will they fill the resulting void, and how will they cure the deep wounds? (See The Words, "The Tenth Word," 109–110.)
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