Question: An atheist says, "A body whose bones have decayed and have crumbled to dust cannot rise from the dead. To say that it will rise from the dead is the fairy tale of the people of old." What answer should we give to him? Isn't there a Qur'anic verse on this subject?
Just as Muslims adhere to the path of their Muslim ancestors, so atheists, as it is understood from the question above, adhere to the path of their irreligious ancestors. Note that one of their ancestors claimed the same thing:
One day, a disbeliever, holding a human bone in his hand, came to the presence of our master the Messenger of Allah. After breaking it into small pieces and blowing them into the air, he asked defiantly, You say that the dead will be resurrected. How will this decomposed bone be resurrected? Our master the Messenger of Allah stated, Certainly, Allahu taala, the Creator of the universe from nothing, will resurrect it. Similarly, He will take your life, will resurrect you, and then will put you into Hell" (Baydawi, Hakim).
Then the following verses were revealed:
(Does man not know that We have created him from a drop of sperm? But he [disbeliever] becomes an open enemy, and without ever contemplating his own creation, he presents an example to Us and says, "Who will give life to these decomposed bones?" Say: "He who created them for the first time will give life to them.") [Ya sin, 77-79]
There are many Qur'anic verses on this subject. Atheists do not believe in them; nonetheless, we will write some of them:
(The rejecters said: "After we and our forefathers become dust, will we be raised from the dead? Verily, just as we are threatened with this, so our forefathers were threatened with it before. This is nothing but fables of ancients.") [An-Naml 67, 68]
(Were We incapable of the first creation [that We will be incapable of bringing back to life]? Why are they in doubt about the fact that We will bring [the dead] back to life?) [Qaf 15]
(Do they not consider that Allah, who created the heavens and the earth, is Able to create their like [humans who are the same as they] anew? There is no doubt that Allah appointed a certain time of death for them. Despite this, the unjust insist on their disbelief.) [Al-Isra' 99]
(They say: "Who will resurrect us?" Say: "The One who created you the first time will resurrect you." They shake their heads [mockingly] and say: "When will that be?" Say: "It is near.") [Al-Isra' 51]
(O People! If you are in doubt about the resurrection after death, [know that] We created you [from Adam and created Adam] from dust, then from sperm, then from an embryo, then from a lump of flesh shapely and shapeless in form. We cause whom We will to stay in the wombs for an appointed time. Afterwards, We bring you out as babies and then let you reach your maturity. Some are caused to die, and some are made to live to the most fruitless time of their lifetime, so that after having knowledge, they know nothing. You see the earth withered and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is moved [to life], swells, and puts forth every kind of plant in pairs. All these prove that Allah is certainly the Truth. It is He who brings the dead to life, and He is capable of all things. The Resurrection will certainly come, and Allah will certainly resurrect those who are in their graves.) [Al-Hajj 5-7]
(On That Day, the earth will split open, and people will quickly come out of their graves. To resurrect them and to gather them are easy for Us.) [Qaf 44]
(That the heavens and the earth stand by His command is one of His signs [of His existence]. Then when He calls you, you will immediately come out of the earth [your graves].) [Ar-Rum 25]
(The disbelievers thought that they would not be resurrected after death. Say: "By my Lord, you will certainly be raised from the dead, and you will be informed of what you did. This is easy for Allah.") [At-Taghabun 7]
(It is only We who give life to the dead.) [Ya sin 12]
(Does man think that We cannot gather his bones? Yes, We are Able to create him anew down to the smallest detail, even to his fingertips.) [Al-Qiyamah 3, 4]
(As it is known, everybody has a different fingerprint. This fact has been discovered only recently. Allahu ta'ala tells us that He is Able to create us anew exactly to the same form, even to the patterns of lines on the skin of our fingertips, which are different for everybody.