﴿69﴾ قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الاَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُـجْرِمِينَ
﴿70﴾ وَلاَ تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ تَكُن فِي ضَيْقٍ مِمَّا يَمْكُرُونَ
69. “ Say: ‘Travel in the earth and see how the end of the guilty (ones) has been’.”
70. “ And do not grieve for them nor be you straitened for what they devise.”
Several times the Qur’ān, by the Arabic phrase /sīrū/ (travel) or the phrase /’afalam yasīrū/ (did you not travel), has encouraged people to travel in the earth, and in many of them the purpose has been for warning, awareness, and taking an example from the life of wrong doers.
Visiting the remained traces of the oppressors of history is one of the means of growth and training.
Former verses said about the fanatic pagans and their denial of Resurrection when they rejected it by their own derides and ridicules.
In this noble verse, the Qur’ān addresses the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and says:
guilty (ones) has been’.”
You say that these promises have also been given to your ancestors, and they did not give heed to them, too, nor they were damaged. But if you travel in the world and watch the traces of these criminal, sinful ones, the deniers of monotheism and Resurrection of the old, which are found in the locality of the land of Hijāz, your own land, you will understand that the fact is something else.
Do not hasten, your turn will come, too. If you do not amend yourselves, you will have the same evil fate, either.
The Qur’ān has repeatedly invited people to travel in the earth and observe the traces of the old, the ruined lands of the nations who have been seized by the Divine punishment, the destroyed castles of the kings of the ancient, the scattered gravesandtherottenbonesoftheoppressors, and the remaining ownerless properties of the haughty wealthy ones. The Qur’ān specially declares that studying these traces, which are the alive, expressive, and concrete history of the ancient people, in fact, makes the minds aware, and gives insight to them. Sometimes, visiting one of these effects creates such a storm of vigilance in the soul and spirit of man that studying several thick history books does not have it.
A rather detailed explanation in this regard has already been offered in Sura ’Āl-i-‘Imrān, No. 3, verse 137.
It is worth noting that, in this verse, instead of applying the Qur’ānic word /mukaŏŏibīn/ (rejecters) the word /mujrimīn/ (the guilty) has been used. This points to the fact that their denial was not because of their mistake in their research, but the origin of it was obstinacy, enmity, and being polluted by kinds of crimes.
* * * *