Daḥw al-Arḍ (Arabic: دَحوُ الأرض) is Dhu l-Qa'da 25, which is, according to some hadiths, the spreading of the Earth out of water at the time of creation. In Islam, Dahw al-Ard counts as a virtous day of the year. In hadiths, it is strongly recommended in hadiths that worships such as fasting and prayer be performed on this day.
Literal and Terminological Meaning
"Dahw al-Ard" is a terminology in the Quran and hadiths. The word, "dahw" (Arabic: دحو), means to spread, to expand, to remove something from its place, and the phrase, "dahw al-ard", means the spreading of the Earth.
By "Dahw al-Ard" is meant the coming of the lands out of water which used to cover the Earth. According to hadiths and old Islamic sources, the Earth was first completely covered with water, and the lands later came out. The day on which the lands came out of water is called "Dahw al-Ard". According to accounts of the local history of Mecca, the first land that came out of the water was the Ka'ba in Mecca. There are reservations and disagreements regarding the literal meaning of "Dahw al-Ard" and the reliability of hadiths in this respect.
History of Dahw al-Ard and its Events
According to hadiths and books of fiqh, the date of Dahw al-Ard is Dhu l-Qa'da 25, and it is recommended to fast on this day. According to old sources, Dahw al-Ard occurred in the month of Mehr in the solar calendar (roughly October). Some historical events about great prophets have allegedly occurred on Dahw al-Ard, i.e. Dhu l-Qa'da 25, such as
- The revelation of the first divine mercy on Adam (a),
- The landing of Noah's Ark on Mount Judi, 
- The birth of the prophet Abraham(a), and the prophet Jesus (a).
The root, "d-h-w" (د-ح-و), is used only once in the Quran 79:30 , in the form of singular, masculine, third-person past tense (daḥā/ دحا). Exegetes of the Quran have commented on the creation of the Earth and its spreading (dahw) under this verse.
The Quran tells us nothing about how the Earth was spread and where the process started. As to the time of the event, the Quran only says, "after that", which is a matter of dispute among the exegetes of the Quran as to what time it refers to.
In his interpretation of the above Quranic verse, al-Fakhr al-Razi said that by "dahw" here is not meant the mere spreading of the Earth; rather it is a type of spreading that prepares the Earth for growing plants, and this can only occur after the creation of the sky. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi has replied to objections about the creation and the spreading of the Earth, and applied some hadiths to his account.
Recommended Practices on this Day
Some worships are recommended for this day in sources of supplications:
- Saying two rak'as of prayer at noon, in each of which Sura al-Hamd is recited first, and then Sura al-Shams is recited five times, and then a specific supplication should be recited after the prayer.
- Ziyara of Imam al-Rida (a).
- Bayhaqī, ‘’Tāj al-maṣādir’’, vol. 1, p. 90.
- Khalīl b. Aḥmad, ‘’Kitāb al-ʿayn’’, vol. 3, p. 280.
- Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, ‘’al-Mufradāt’’, under the word «دحو».
- Mazrūqī Iṣfahānī, ‘’Kitāb al-azminat wa l-amkina’’, p. 35.
- Ibn Ḥayyūn, ‘’Sharḥ al-akhbār’’, vol. 3, p. 477; Ṣadūq, ‘’Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh’’, vol. 2, p. 241.
- Ṭūsī, ‘’Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid’’, p. 669.
- Bīrūnī, ‘’al-Āthār al-bāqīya’’, p. 273.
- Ṣadūq, ‘’Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh’’, vol. 2, p. 242.
- Ṭūsī, ‘’Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid’’, p. 820.
- Ṣadūq, ‘’Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh’’, vol. 2, p. 89.
- Verse: وَالْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ دَحَاهَا; and after that He spread out the earth
- Fakhr al-Rāzī, ‘’al-Tafsīr al-kabīr’’, vol. 31, p. 46.
- Majlisī, ‘’Biḥār al-anwār’’, vol. 54, p. 22-25.
- Majlisī, ‘’Biḥār al-anwār’’, vol. 54, p. 25-26.
- Ṭūsī, ‘’Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid’’, p. 669.
- Ṭūsī, ‘’Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid’’, p. 671-699; Ibn Ṭāwūs, ‘’Iqbāl al-aʿmāl’’, vol. 2, p. 27-29.
- Bayhaqī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī al-. ‘’Tāj al-maṣādir’’. Edited by Hādī ʿĀlimzāda. Tehran: Pazhūhishgāh-i ʿUlūm-i Insānī wa Muṭāliʿāt-i Farhangī, 1376 Sh.
- Bīrūnī, Abū Riyḥān Muḥammad b. Aḥmad. ‘’Al-Āthār al-bāqīya’’. Edited by Parwīz Adhkāyī. Tehran: Markaz-i Pazhūhishī-yi Mīrāth-i Maktūb, 1380 Sh.
- Fakhr al-Rāzī, Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-. ‘’Al-Tafsīr al-kabīr’’. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, [n.d].
- Ibn Ṭāwūs, ʿAlī b. Mūsā. ‘’Iqbāl al-aʿmāl’’. Edited by Jawād Qayyūmī Iṣfahānī. Qom: Markaz al-Nashr al-Tābiʿ li-Maktab al-Aʿlām al-Islāmī, 1377 Sh.
- Khalīl b. Aḥmad. ‘’Kitāb al-ʿayn’’. Edited by Makhzūmī & Ibrāhīm Sāmirraʾī. Qom: [n.p], 1409 AH.
- Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. ‘’Biḥār al-anwār’’. Edited by Muḥammad Bāqir Maḥmūdī et.al. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1403 AH.
- Mazrūqī Iṣfahānī, Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-. ‘’Kitāb al-azminat wa l-amkina’’. Edited by Manṣūr Khalīl ʿImrān. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1417 AH.
- Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad al-. ‘’Mufradāt alfāẓ al-Qurʾān’’. Beirut: Dār al-Shāmīyya, 1416 AH.
- Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. ‘’Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh’’. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1363 Sh.
- Ṭūsī, Muḥamamd b. al-Ḥasan al-. ‘’Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid’’, Beirut: Muʾassisat Fiqh al-Shīʿa, 1411 AH.